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Toshiba Satellite A300 - Restarts on Windows boot

Hi, I've recently been given a Toshiba Satellite A300 to try and fix as the user has reported it to constantly be rebooting during startup. Basically the system will attempt to load Windows Vista and mid-way through the load up screen with the horizontal bar the computer will simply restart.

My first thoughts were that it's a windows DLL error but all attempts to get into the recovery console to do a SFC or chkdsk have just resulted in the laptop rebooting each time the recovery console tries to load. I can get into safe mode though.

I've opened up the laptop and cleaned out the motherboard and fans thinking it might be an overheating issue. I've also tried one RAM stick at a time (there's 2 x 2GB) and also swapped in a fresh HDD to try a clean install of Vista but the machine reboots each time it goes to "loading windows files".

I've completed 5 hours worth of Memtest (4 passes) with no errors and I've left the machine in Safe Mode for hours with no issue.

I've also tested some of the SATA settings in the BIOS thinking it might be a hard drive connection problem and also tried disabling or switching off most of the advanced hardware features in the BIOS as well (such as Legacy USB Support and Virtualization Technology).

It sounds like there's a hardware problem as the laptop won't let me boot into recovery console or the few recovery discs I have like from AVG or Avira.

Here's all the times it will reboot
- Normal Mode
- Recovery Console
- Windows Vista setup (from disc)
- Windows Vista Recovery Disc
- Avira Recovery Disc

Here's the times the laptop will not reboot
- Safe Mode (surprisingly)
- BIOS
- Memtest 4.20

Is there anything else I can test to try to determine what the issue is? In Safe Mode, is there anything I should be looking for in the logs?

Let me know if this would be better posted
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about toshiba satellite a300 restarts windows boot
  1. Why not use Safe Mode with command prompt to run Checkdisk and then the System file Checker?
  2. Why not use Safe Mode with command prompt to run Checkdisk and then the System file Checker?

    Hi Saga, the SFC command in Safe Mode is coming up with the error "Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service". I've tried running this under an elevated command prompt as per the Microsoft support article with no success. I've looked it up a bit more tonight on Google and also checked the registry entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProgramFilesDir to confirm it reads "C:\Program Files" (which fixed it for other users).

    I've also tried running "chkdsk /r" but receive the message that it cannot lock current drive and would I like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts. Of course, the laptop would reboot during the next bootup and it never gets to the stage of performing the scan.

    I've just tried running "chkdsk" in safe mode with no parameters and it appears to do a scan despite the message "WARNING! F parameter not specified, running chkdsk in read-only mode". The scan results usually finish in about 10 minutes and report no bad sectors but does say:

    The Volume Bitmap is incorrect.
    Windows found problems with the file system.
    Run CHKDSK with the /F option to correct these

    Executing chkdsk with the /f parameter brings up the same prompt as /r - that it cannot lock the current drive and offers to scan on the next reboot.

    I guess my main concern is that these do not explain why the laptop won't let me boot from a Windows Vista disc or access the recovery console.
  3. Best answer
    I'm fairly sure I'm right in saying the /f switch is the exact equivalent to ticking both find and fix boxes in the GUI version of running Checkdisk - only not quite as strong as /r in Command Prompt. So choose Check Now from the Tools menu in the disk's Properties pages, tick both boxes and it should find and fix some problems.

    Did you try running the SFC from a Command Prompt or the Run box? Command should be able to run and with eth GUI open, it would almost invariably fail.
  4. I'm fairly sure I'm right in saying the /f switch is the exact equivalent to ticking both find and fix boxes in the GUI version of running Checkdisk - only not quite as strong as /r in Command Prompt. So choose Check Now from the Tools menu in the disk's Properties pages, tick both boxes and it should find and fix some problems.

    Thanks, I've just tried starting an error checking on C:\ through the Tools menu and I ticked both checkboxes but when I click start it comes up and says "Windows can't check the disk while it's in use. Do you want to check for hard disk errors the next time you start your computer?".

    If I click "Schedule disk check" and reboot the laptop, the system runs into the "automatic rebooting" problem before the scan kicks in.

    Did you try running the SFC from a Command Prompt or the Run box? Command should be able to run and with eth GUI open, it would almost invariably fail.


    I tried running SFC from an elevated command prompt in both "safe mode" and "safe mode with command prompt".
  5. Have you managed to fix this issue? The suggested solution doesn't help.

    I have exactly the same problem only with Windows 7. System shuts off while booting into Windows. Safe Mode works fine. Tried to format the HDD without luck - system shuts down. Replaced the HDD with a brand new - same thing. Pulled out one of the memories, then the other - no improvement. *system temp is fine - air vents are clean*

    Please help!
  6. The only suggestion I could make in addition to my earlier attempts is that, because Safe Mode works , it could be because it loads far fewer utilities and drivers. Therefore, use msconfig from the Run box to untick everything in the StartUp tab then restart into Normal and see if that helped.

    If it didn't, go back into Safe with Networking and update every driver in the box - starting with those which load in Networking but don't in plain old Safe.
  7. The only suggestion I could make in addition to my earlier attempts is that, because Safe Mode works , it could be because it loads far fewer utilities and drivers. Therefore, use msconfig from the Run box to untick everything in the StartUp tab then restart into Normal and see if that helped.

    If it didn't, go back into Safe with Networking and update every driver in the box - starting with those which load in Networking but don't in plain old Safe.


    Thank you for the quick reply. If it was a case of bad drivers then I wouldn't have any issues formatting the drive and re-installing windows. I have stumbled on another thread in this forum that most probably pinpoints the problem.

    I don't have the link handy, but this is what it says:
    "What's happening is that certain capacitors on the motherboard that regulate the current of the CPU have started to fail. So whenever the CPU changes its clock speed or multiplier, the capacitors do not deliver the required voltage to it and the CPU malfunctions. This causes the system to reboot. Some users have fixed the issue by replacing the faulty capacitors (they are located directly behind the CPU socket on the motherboard).

    Intel refers to this throttling technology as Speedstep. Windows Safe Mode seems to not use this CPU function which is why the system doesn't reboot in that mode. Disabling all the processors in Device Manager prevents normal Windows mode from using it as well. As long as the CPU doesn't use Speedstep, no spontaneous reboots will occur."

    I'm going to look for faulty capacitors and try to replace them. I'll post an update if any progress is made.
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