I have a Toshiba Satellite, about 2 years old. I often poke around in its innards while optimizing (e.g. boosting RAM, new HD, changing DVD drives etc.), so I thought I would try an experiment. I wanted to see if there was any vestigial amount of "inherent" RAM on the motherboard in addition to the two RAM expansion slots found under the keypad. So, I removed both the RAM cards plugged into the expansion slots and tried to boot up. Big mistake! Don't try this at home kids.
The green LED power light came on, but nothing else happened; I mean nothing, no drive reset clicks, no screen activity, nada. I held the power button five secs, and the LED went off. I replaced the RAM cards in their slots and tried again. Same story.
Next I tried troubleshooting as if there were a power problem - battery only, AC only, etc. Nothing. After 2 or three attempts to power up, the power light stopped going off after holding the button 5 secs. The light stayed on until I had unplugged and pulled the battery. Things were going downhill fast.
I waited until the CPU reached room temperature...still nothing. I hunted in vain for any kind of hardware reset button.
Finally, I took out the RAM cards and replaced them, let the battery charge for about 15mins, danced backward in a circle nine times while singing Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, hit the power button, and presto!
I'm back in business. If I had to guess at a mechanistic explanation for the recovery, I would have to go with the application of Flaming Lips. Hope this helps others in distress.