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I have a Toshiba Satellite A300 19P, It was working normally a week ago, today it just won't boot.

After the initial Toshiba boot logo, I get a black screen and nothing happens, I hear the computer buzzing as usual.

I can access the boot menu normally, but the PC just won't boot to the hard drive. Is there a System diagnostics tool out there that I can use to run low-level checkups? Something that I could boot from CD?

Edit: CD won't boot either, I'm only getting a black screen. The only thing I can do is to access the BIOS menu.

Edit: Hard Drive is OK, I found another laptop, plugged the Toshiba's harddrive in and it booted without any trouble, so now I suppose it is a problem with the motherboard or maybe disk/cdrom controller.

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Just finished a fix on an A300 with the same problem. Took a while so I'll walk you through it.

This machine was bought from a recycling yard yesterday for $30. So it either is fixable, or good for parts.

As long as the HDD was in the machine it would not go past the Toshiba Splash Screen. Tried the usual fixes, changed RAM modules, checked BIOS settings, etc.

Remember to backup any data, as when you do the re-install or format, all will be lost.

  1. Removed the drive and it went through the BIOS boot sequence as normal. Connected the drive to another machine and it immediately started a Checkdisk scan. Let it go, ticking file and bad sector repair.

  2. Put it back into the #1 HDD bay in the A300, no change. Replaced the HDD with a spare and ran an install of Windows XP from the CD Drive, went without a hitch. Put the original drive in the #2 bay, pushed F12 to select it to start, and it booted into Vista from there.

  3. Created the repair disk (two DVDs). Installed the original OS and software on the new drive. Runs perfectly.

    In the process of doing a full format of the original drive at the moment but I have a feeling it will be OK. My guess is an infection in the Boot sector of the original drive.

  4. Format has completed. No problems found. Deleted all the partitions on the 200Gb drive before format, as they have been replicated on the new 320Gb one. Full format should probably get rid of any infections.

I'm a mechanical fitter, not a technician, but the diagnostics are the same, a process of elimination.

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It sounds like your hard drive is bad, if you can go into BIOS but windows is not booting up, it might be hard drive is bad or OS is corrupted.

First I would go to the BIOS and see if it recognize the hard drive.

if it does recognize it then you might need to check for bad sectors, There is a decent CD you can download&Burn and boot from it to check the hard drive/memory/motherboard/etc.

Ultimate Boot CD

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no luck, i can access bios setup, harddrive and cd are showing there but nothing will boot, neither hdd nor cd... – Smugrik Nov 3 '11 at 21:48
did you try to prioritize the CD-ROM to boot first in the BIOS Setup? – Miro co Nov 4 '11 at 3:30
no, but I made sure I boot to cdrom, using the boot order menu, accessed through the f12 key at bootup. – Smugrik Nov 4 '11 at 7:34
Hard Drive is OK, I found another laptop to plug it in and it worked like a charm, so here I guess it is a problem with the controller or mother board... – Smugrik Nov 20 '11 at 19:36
thanks for letting us know! – Miro co Dec 11 '11 at 6:20

For others who find this page and have this problem, I found some info on a tech forum that helped a lot of people. Apparently this is common and may not even be a serious issue that requires repairs.

Try a power drain:

Turn off the machine, disconnect from the external power and take the battery out.

Hold the power button for 30 seconds.

Connect to the AC adapter without the battery.

This drains the static charge from the RAM slots which can cause a blank display. The battery can be inserted again after the next power down.

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