I keep my Toshiba Satellite M45-S355 laptop powered on virtually all the time. One morning I woke up to a blue error screen that was full of text, but most notably said "Memory Dump". I restarted and it ran as normal for several days. But then it happened again. And finally on Thursday, while I was actively using my computer, it started making a bit of a grinding noise and then went to the blue "Memory Dump" screen. I powered down, and when I tried to power up again, the Toshiba screen flashed up but instead of booting, it went to a screen with
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM
So I powered down again, pretty certain that my HD had just crashed and burned. In a desperate display of hope beyond hope, I called my ex-boyfriend and asked him to send the recovery CDs that I'd left at his place when I left without realizing my trip home was one-way. They arrived today, so I pulled my laptop out of its case and set to work, hoping to boot it up so I could salvage any data that might be salvagable.
But instead of being dead and having to boot off of the CD (I changed the boot priority setting on Thursday before I realized I didn't actually have the recovery CD with me, so it's been sitting in the case while I waited for the disk)... Anyway, instead of having to boot off the CD like I expected, Windows came up just before I could even put the CD in the drive. And I did a cursory check, and it appears all my files are where I left them and everything is in working order.
So, my guess is I have a cooling problem (I noticed that the internal fan didn't seem to be working, and the area where my palms rest on the keyboard does tend to get hot... I have a "Chillpad" laptop fan system, and I think that's been keeping my computer going even though the fan is dead)... so, that's my hunch. Before I rip this thing apart to replace the fan and clear out dust and debris, does anybody have any other suggestions?