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Toshiba A200 Booting Up Problem

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January 26, 2011 2:58:08 PM

Hey guys,

I am experiencing a very peculiar problem with my Toshiba laptop. In recent weeks, my laptop has started to become progressively harder and harder to boot up. What happens when I try to boot up my laptop is that either during or just after the windows loading screen on Vista, my laptop would either turn off and restart, or freeze. Now at first this would happen once every few boot ups and by the consequent boot up attempt, I can get past the windows loading screen and everything is dandy. But recently, it has become much harder to get past the windows loading screen. It would take me 5-10 boot up attempts before I can get to the logon screen.

Now I know the first thing to try is the OS. So I tried doing a clean install of Windows 7 on the 2nd hard drive but each time I am in the middle of installing Windows 7, the laptop would just turn off. So I am assuming that this has pretty much ruled out the OS as the source of the problem.

I have also opened up the laptop and cleaned out the dust from the cooling fan but to no avail, which I assume rules out the possibility of it being an overheating issue.

So now I am on a last ditch effort, seeing if any of you have either experienced the same problem or know of a potential fix that I have overlooked before I send it in to the shops and pay big money.

What would cause a laptop to have problems between the time it first boots up and the logon screen BUT NOT after it gets to the logon screen? Is it a BIOS issue? or is it as simple as a power issue, such as the adapter?

I appreciate all the help and advice you can lend me.
Thank you very much,
Rian

Note: I have tried safe mode but it still crashes while loading and I have tried windows repair/recovery to no avail.
January 26, 2011 3:28:19 PM

I would try reseating the RAM (Remove and reinstall), Run MEMTest, test HDD with Hitachi DFT If those arent the problems then you may just be having some power issues, and with a laptop that is somewhat of a problem. I have run into an issue like this where a HDD had malfunctioned and was drawing too much power / drawing improperly.
January 27, 2011 4:12:53 AM

What sort of Toshiba is it? Satellite Pro A200 by any chance? Also how old is it?

I've got a Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 and it has had these restarting/resetting issues occurring at any time whether the laptop was plugged in or not, and even when the computer was running normally. The Satellite Pros and normal Satellites (A200 series at least) seem to be constantly having these issues and it seems to be slightly different each time. For example, after searching these forums I've found a couple of posts reporting various solutions to the issues that users have found via trial and error, which don't seem to solve the problem for others. For example I read about one person who "solved" the problem by switching off his WiFi, but no one else found this worked. Please see: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/54070-35-toshiba-satellite-a200-random-shutdown

A valid theory to the cause of this issue is that the laptop's overheating issues break certain components in the computer causing the seemingly random set of issues that everyone is experiencing. Here are my suggestions;

- Experiment with various workarounds mentioned in the forum post to see if there is a way to make your laptop function!
- Take the laptop to a repair shop and get it fixed, Please bear in mind that you can probably buy a better laptop now for less than $500 US, not that It'll be any better
- Throw it out the window and buy a new one such as a Lenovo Thinkpad T410/510 at about $1000 or an ASUS Business class notebook (or sony vaio z series if you can afford it)

Please dispose of computer hardware responsibly!

Luke
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January 27, 2011 11:39:09 AM

wanamingo said:
I would try reseating the RAM (Remove and reinstall), Run MEMTest, test HDD with Hitachi DFT If those arent the problems then you may just be having some power issues, and with a laptop that is somewhat of a problem. I have run into an issue like this where a HDD had malfunctioned and was drawing too much power / drawing improperly.


I've tried reseating the RAM but this did nothing.
I ran a seagate hard drive tool instead of the Hitachi DFT, simply because my optical drive is broken so it's much harder to do the whole boot-able HDD test with the Hitachi DFT, and I found that my 2nd hard drive (the hard drive that windows isn't installed on) keeps failing the test. So I removed it and tried to boot-up the laptop but it didn't fix it.
Haven't ran the MEMTest due to the same reason.

Thanks for the input though. Much appreciated.

ukee1593 said:
What sort of Toshiba is it? Satellite Pro A200 by any chance? Also how old is it?

I've got a Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 and it has had these restarting/resetting issues occurring at any time whether the laptop was plugged in or not, and even when the computer was running normally. The Satellite Pros and normal Satellites (A200 series at least) seem to be constantly having these issues and it seems to be slightly different each time. For example, after searching these forums I've found a couple of posts reporting various solutions to the issues that users have found via trial and error, which don't seem to solve the problem for others. For example I read about one person who "solved" the problem by switching off his WiFi, but no one else found this worked. Please see: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/54070-35-toshiba-satellite-a200-random-shutdown

A valid theory to the cause of this issue is that the laptop's overheating issues break certain components in the computer causing the seemingly random set of issues that everyone is experiencing. Here are my suggestions;

- Experiment with various workarounds mentioned in the forum post to see if there is a way to make your laptop function!
- Take the laptop to a repair shop and get it fixed, Please bear in mind that you can probably buy a better laptop now for less than $500 US, not that It'll be any better
- Throw it out the window and buy a new one such as a Lenovo Thinkpad T410/510 at about $1000 or an ASUS Business class notebook (or sony vaio z series if you can afford it)

Please dispose of computer hardware responsibly!

Luke


It's a standard Toshiba Satellite A200 I'm pretty sure and it's around 3 years old now. As you have mentioned, it is an overheating machine which also prompted me to think that I have either overcooked the GPU or the processor. However, if that was the case, why would I only experience the problem while booting up and not while in normal use. Which is why I initially thought it to be software related, mainly the driver of the OS being missing or corrupt, rather than a hardware issue. But then again, there is so many components of the laptop it's hard to say.

As you also have mentioned, the laptop is getting to that stage where it's on the last leg of it's life-cycle in terms of performance so I am going back and forth over whether to get it fixed or just pay a bit more and look for an upgrade. Having said that, seeing that you seem to know a lot about the laptops on the market atm, are Toshiba actually a good brand for laptops? Because the A200 is the first laptop I have ever bought and I found it to be pretty good performance for the price at the time. But suffice to say, I am very disappointed in some aspects of it, ie the optical drive shitting itself and the overheating problems. So I am just curious if the A200 was just a one-off bad product or should I try to stay away from Toshiba.

Thanks for all the input guys! Appreciate it.
January 27, 2011 11:36:23 PM

I really don't know which component might have been baked inside the computer, or why it only causes the issues during boot up, all I know is that the symptoms are similar to many other Satellite A200s.

Finding a good laptop seems to be a very difficult task these days. I have a very old Compaq laptop which must be over 7 years old now which is still working while the other laptops that are merely 2 years old are falling apart. The best way is to search for a laptop which will suit your needs and then check on the forums here for any reported issues. If you have the space and are not going to move your computer around a lot I would recommend buying a desktop from a computer building store (or building it yourself)

If you have to buy a laptop here is my recommendations:
- ASUS and Lenovo seem to be pretty decent at the moment. You'll find that a lot of the business notebooks are Lenovo Thinkpads and they seem to last pretty well. ASUS are generally regarded to have the edge though.
- If you are going to buy an ASUS ALWAYS buy a business class one as I've got an ASUS N50VC which is a home class one and while the internals seem to be ok (no overheating whatsoever) the case on it is just abysmal!! The plastic flexes and scratches easily despite being "Scratch resistant", there is paint coming off from underneath one of the see-through panels, the monitor is getting stuck pixels, the keyboard is breaking, One of the USB ports broke (fixed under warranty), the hinge is getting loose, and most annoyingly the rubber feet keep falling off no matter how often I glue them down. As I said the internals seem to still work fine so I have it closed up most of the time and just plug in my monitor and keyboard/mouse. ++ the touchpad is terrible for ergonomics being especially hard to "click" with so that after prolonged use your fingers get very tired. The hope is that the business class notebooks will not have these issues being designed for ergonomics and hard use.
- Toshiba still seem to do well in the reliability surveys SEE HERE so I would still consider buying one of these. Once again do check on these forums to see whether there are any reported issues.

From what I have understood the manufacturers consider 2 years to be about the maximum lifetime for a laptop and could well consider your A200 to be a success as most people would have replaced the computer by now.

My ASUS was an display model for 6 months before I got it and probably got some hard wear in the store by all those pimply young sales staff especially since they broke the USB port in the store (I believe) by roughly plugging in a USB mouse because they hadn't installed the touchpad drivers.

Perhaps you should post your requirements for the computer so that we can suggest laptops.

Luke
March 22, 2011 1:40:03 AM

This is a typical power mangement problem of toshiba laptops, especially A200, when the battery is low. The solutions that worked for me are:

1. Disabling both the cores of the processor in the Device Manager (surprisingly does not seem to affect the performance in any way).
2. Changing the first two settings of the advanced options tab in the BIOS to "Disable" and "Always Low" (probably offers reduced performance but not sure).

Of course the laptop works fine in the safe mode, which is good to know in case of a problem.

During major updates, such as SP1/SP2, the processor cores get enabled and hence when the laptop restarts after configuring stage 2 of 3 then immediately press F2, enter BIOS, and use the settings of the second solution to ensure that the update goes through. Of course this may not be necessary if one is using the solution 2 all along, which I have not tried. I prefer solution 1 for everyday use.

I think there is a way of disabling power management in Vista, which should also work - theoretically speaking. This might be the best solution.
September 28, 2011 12:22:13 AM

Hello,

I am facing similar issue with A200..

Did you find a solution?
!