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frskin' Tecra 9100... no boot!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DarkDesigns, May 10, 2007.

  1. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    Hey guys, s'been a while...

    I have a brain-acher of a problem here.

    Got a Toshiba Tecra 9100, it's refusing to boot. Powers up, charges battery, powers screen etc, but the screen remains blank, there is no HDD spin, no post beeps... nada.

    I have just replaced the motherboard as the old one was damaged by a suspected power surge, so essentially we're dealing with fresh guts... and I can't see an opening here for me to work in.

    Have I picked up a duff replacement or am I just not seeing something?

    The system is complete, all drives, ram etc in place and functioning.

    Ideas would be appreciated, anybody else had this prob?
     
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  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Do you get to see the toshiba splash screen?
     
  3. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    Nope, doesn't boot at all mate. No splash screen, no nothing.
     
    Certifications: Unqualified Wretch
    WIP: A+
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I think the Tosh Tecra range autoseek USB floppy drives for booting. Have you got them to try?
     
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  5. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    Unfortunately no, not yet. I recently left a comp shop... got rather too used to the creature comforts of a fully stocked workshop and neglected to build my own resources ^^;

    I suspect I can borrow one, though I'm unsure if it will get me anywhere, even the BIOS isn't flaring up to inform me it can see bugger all to boot from... I'm becoming increasingly convinced it's doornailed.

    Seems to be a common problem with tecras, I've seen it in two other units but this is the first time I've attempted a fix.

    Shame I'm not friends with a reseller, I could rummage through the Toshiba bulletins for the problem.
     
    Certifications: Unqualified Wretch
    WIP: A+
  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Our main stock for our employees are Tosh's - so we have a great deal with our reseller. If you fancy holding on to the lappy until Monday/Tuesday, I'll see if I can come up with anything else for you.

    I have seen a similar issue once before, which is why I suggested the boot disk.

    However, with you mentioning the old unit was damaged by power surge, have you replaced any of the other comonents?

    When our Tosh's have gone and hung at boot, it stops very early in to the boot process (usually hanging at the service AGP440.sys) and a hard drive replacement solves it.

    If you have a spare lappy, you might want to check your components in there.

    And always, always, check any capacitor you can manage to cast your eye over. If your capacitors are blown (usually indicated by awful gunk on top of the capacitor) then your device will power, but it should never, ever boot.

    Keep us posted - and I'll hopefully have more info for you early next week, if you want!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
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  7. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    Well, I can't make much of a move until after the weekend anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem mate. I'd certainly appreciate anything you can tell me =]


    Well, /suspected/ power surge, as this and several other units all developed faults after being run from a particular outlet.

    This machine I'm working on was 2nd hand and already had a problem in that it didn't like running from its battery. (not unheard of with tecras)

    I took to using it at work, and after a time it developed a queer fault where it would refuse to boot.
    I'd power it up, and it would just stop there.
    Power light would be on, if the battery was in it would top up the charge, LEDs on the keyboard would light if provoked, and that was it.
    No HD spin, no fan spin, almost no obvious signs of running whatsoever apart from a very slight warming about the bottom. didn't even power the backlight on the screen.

    I put it aside and picked up a couple of other units to use. ( I'm not rich, I was just using stock machines in the workshop to bash about online and help troubleshoot etc =D)

    They both rapidly developed faults, and one of them was an identical Toshiba and went exactly the same way as the first one, which made us suspect the power source, and lo, we changed it and nothing else died (apprently the same source claimed two sets of phones, three routers and an answering machine before the laptops...)

    Getting to the point, I left there after a time and was saddled with a Tecra's corpse instead of a working lappy.
    At this point, it didn't even power, there'd be a brief flash from the power light and zip.

    So I went to ebay, and looked for replacements (this being standard practice back at the shop. Ebay being the oft mentioned 'suppliers' we were always getting replacement parts from *grin*)

    Found someone with the lower half of a Tecra, its battery and HD. So I thought 'win!' he said 'works fine guv' and I bought it.


    Fit it all together with native battery and HD, and old RAM, keyboard, screen, CD-RW/DVD drive annnnnnnd we're back to:

    ... slight quirk now that the LED for accessing the optical drive is now lit with the power light, and it backlit the screen a grand total of once.
    Apart from that, exactly the same.

    ... saying all that, I was just playing around with it again, changing the occupied ram slots etc and it sprang to life very briefly.

    Gave the error

    **** Bad RTC battery ****
    **** Bad check sum (CMOS) ****
    Check system, Then press [F1] key.

    I went into BIOS, from what I saw it listed things accurately, the boot order is set with HDD up first.... then it froze.

    Not been able to get a repeat performance as yet.

    I am puzzled, anything you can dig up would be appreciated!
     
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  8. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    If it's your RTC battery, then it's likely to be jaffered, and will need to be seen by a Tosh specialist repairer (I should imagine).

    RTC batteries can go 'flat' if the lappy is left unpowered for any great duration of time. If you bought this as spares and repairs from an eBay chap, this scenario is *quite* likely. There is a way you can charge it though, before you chuck it in the bin :)

    Connect the power up to your lappy, and turn it on (never mind the booting problem). Make sure that your charger LED and the Power LED on the lappy are both on. Leave it like this for 24 hours, as I don't think the RTC battery will charge with the power off.

    Make sure you keep everything else on the mobo as it was configured before, as it was changing your RAM slots that managed to get any spark of life out of this little 'un!

    Then, after 24 hours, you'll have a fully baked cake and a Tosh Lappy you can attempt to turn back on.

    If, after this time, your lappy still won't power on, then you probably need the mobo checking out by a specialist repair centre.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    What a fantastic way to put it... can I steal that? =D

    Spot on, according to the most recently modified files on the HD, its not been touched since 2005.
    This could mean of course mean it was merely set aside as it didn't work anymore... but we shan't dwell on that for the moment. Heh.

    *bows* thank ye kindly for that and the reams of advice. Huuuuugely appreciated!

    We shall see how it stands tomorrow... promising so far, the cooler is spinning up on occasion to bring the temp down, so someone is still alive in there somewhere.
     
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  10. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    *a funereal dirge strikes up gently*

    Ladies and gents, we are gathered here today to mark the passing of our dear friend, the Tecra...

    Afraid the overnighter - much like the goggles - did nothing. =[

    On the brightside, ebay chappie is offering a troublefree refund... and, I am 90% certain the problem lies with the main system board.

    I have no sodding clue what that problem specifically /is/, mind, but that is definitely where the bug is...
    Differentials are win.

    Thanks for the aid!
     
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  11. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Never a bother :)

    With the Checksum error, I'm still convinced it's an RTC battery problem; if it didn't charge, then it's dead as a dodo.

    At least your eBay chappie is being cooperative :biggrin
     
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  12. DarkDesigns

    DarkDesigns Bit Poster

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    Aye, definitely a boon that =] I used to run an ebay store for that comp shop I mentioned... dear gods am I glad he hasn't dug his heels in. Get some right nutters on there...

    But anyway, I need the cash more than I need a project atm, so that's the way of it. When I have more readily available funds I'll see about another attempt!

    I still think the faults are unrelated, though, more unhappy coincidence.
    I reckon this lappy was set aside for the power fault. That's why it wasn't touched for more than a year and the RTC was allowed to discharge itself.

    I'm just thinking about the other units I've seen with the same problem. When they infrequently sparked to life they went through the motions and booted normally, perhaps it's just bad luck? The fault does seem pretty common from what I've read online....
    Ah well. Academic now I guess...
     
    Certifications: Unqualified Wretch
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