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Muh
04-02-2008, 06:17 PM
I've bought this laptop last september and it has been crashing since pretty much since the start, but I can't figure out what the problem is.

laptop:
http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/cgi-bin/ToshibaCSG/jsp/productPage.do?service=EU&ACTION=PRINT_WITH_BACK&PRODUCT_ID=124473&DISC_MODEL=0

At some point my screen just goes black, music keeps playing at first, but after a few seconds it gets stuck and then I usually get a bluescreen and then it restarts.
After it restarts Windows tells me I have a problem with my nvidiadriver and that I should update it. I formatted the laptop little over 2 weeks ago and installed a new driver for my videocard then too. This didn't solve anything and since then my laptop has problably crashed +/- 15 times.

It always happens when I'm playing WoW but since that's pretty much the only game I play I doubt it has much to do with it.

So anyone got any clue to what this could be?
If more information is required to be able to say something useful about it, just let me know.

Ammanna
04-02-2008, 06:35 PM
When you formatted it did you do it with the Toshiba "Product Recovery" disk that comes with all Toshiba's, or do you literaly mean used a dos based boot disk to format it and install your own OS manually?

If you used the Toshiba one, it will of put back the correct driver, and no software fault or driver problem is going to make it do that. It's likley the graphics card is overheating or has some other fault. Best you can do is clean out any vents of dust with a compressed air canister encase it's overheating for that reason. Does it have the little rubber feet still on it? or have they fallen off? Reason I ask is if there is any vents under the laptop, without the feet, whatever surface it's left on is blocking that vent. Just something to think about. Failing that, you may need to get the laptop serviced.

If you installed your own OS, if you haven't already, you can download the driver from toshiba on the website you already linked, assuming that's not the one you already downloaded. If it's the one you already downloaded, see the paragraph above.

Muh
04-02-2008, 06:58 PM
When you formatted it did you do it with the Toshiba "Product Recovery" disk that comes with all Toshiba's, or do you literaly mean used a dos based boot disk to format it and install your own OS manually?

If you used the Toshiba one, it will of put back the correct driver, and no software fault or driver problem is going to make it do that. It's likley the graphics card is overheating or has some other fault. Best you can do is clean out any vents of dust with a compressed air canister encase it's overheating for that reason. Does it have the little rubber feet still on it? or have they fallen off? Reason I ask is if there is any vents under the laptop, without the feet, whatever surface it's left on is blocking that vent. Just something to think about. Failing that, you may need to get the laptop serviced.


I did use the recovery DVD, but I updated the driver after that, because I thought though unlikely something was wrong with that driver.
I've also at some point tried monitoring the heat, and I didn't see any crazy temperatures, allthough I guess I can't monitor it right when it's happening.
The rubber feet are still there and I make sure it has enough space to ventilate.

So that pretty much leaves me with bringing it in for service then? >.>
I don't much like the idea of losing my laptop for a couple of weeks : <

Ammanna
04-02-2008, 10:08 PM
Sounds faulty to me I'm afraid. Nothing else you can do.

Muh
04-02-2008, 11:26 PM
Hmmpf

Is it gonna get worse, as in is likely that this is actually damaging the hardware more and more?
Or is it probably ok if I wait a little with getting it fixed? xD

Faylin
05-02-2008, 07:47 AM
It's not like you are -not- going to miss it later, is it? :)

TroldePus
05-02-2008, 07:54 AM
I was experiencing what you are describing on my desktop computer for 3 months - constantsly getting bluescreens! And everybody was telling me "ITS THE NViDIA DRIVERS!!!!". But it turned out that it wasnt - it was simply the bios that had to be updated, and now I havent had a crash/BSOD since.

So please check for a new bios at Toshibas site :) - be careful though Bios flashing is nasty stuff...

http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/cgi-bin/ToshibaCSG/download_drivers_bios.jsp?service=EU&mode=allMachines&action=search&cmsCategory=Notebooks&cmsFamily=Satellite&cmsSerie=Satellite+A100+series

theres a new XP Bios Driver there from december and one from january for Vista - Make sure they fit your computer though. New Bios' usually means they fixed something important in either power distribution, cooling etc. - so you should check it out - if you date ;)

Also a FAQ for updating Bios on Toshibas: http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/cgi-bin/ToshibaCSG/faq.jsp?z=234&service=EU&from=faq_selection&CFID=BIOS&FID=TRO0000000b07

Muh
05-02-2008, 10:39 AM
Thanks Trolde :)

There is actually an update available gonna try that later.

*crosses fingers*

Muh
05-02-2008, 02:05 PM
Ok I'm starting to feel like an idiot, but I don't really want to fuck this up so, a couple of questions:

On the toshiba FAQ site is mentioned that the following is required:
Notebook is undocked.
Notebook is connected to the mains.
Notebook must be in boot mode and not resume mode.
Remove any PC Cards.Undocked, not sure what it means but I doubt my laptop is docked cos it sounds like the kind of thing you'd know if it was.
Connected to the mains = connected to the power?
Boot mode? Resume mode? : <
And PC cards? >.>

Next thing the FAQ says is:

For the current range of Notebooks Toshiba offers two different BIOS update procedures.

Windows based update: BIOS is updated from within Windows.

Traditional update: BIOS is updated using a diskette or CD-ROM when booting.
We recommend to update the BIOS from within Windows.

Now this seemed pretty straightforward at first, but after checking the same FAQ in dutch I'm not so sure what they mean by "current range notebooks", because in the dutch FAQ it says:

Het is tegenwoordig bij veel machines mogelijk om in Windows een BIOS upgrade uit te voeren.
Dit kan ondermeer bij de machines uit de onderstaande series:


Portégé 3500, M100 en R100
Satellite A10, A20, A40, A50, A60 en M30;
Satellite 1400 en 2400;
Satellite 1410, 2410 en 2450;
Satellite Pro 2100, 6000, 6050, 6070, 6100, A10,A40, A60, M10 en M30;
Tecra 9000, 9100, A2, M1 en M2.Which says that it's possible on a lot of machines these days to do it through windows and then names a list for which that goes, but it doesn't say it's limited to this list either.

So now I'm left pretty much dead confused and scared to shit, that I'll break something xD.

Can trying to run it through windows even if it's not intended cause any harm?

Llort
05-02-2008, 02:28 PM
I guess it won't run if it ain't supported.

[ff in het nederlands]

-undocked, er zijn docking-stations beschikbaar om je laptop intesteken. Het docking-station is neits meer dan een vast blok op je bureau, waar standaard je muis,toetsenbord,beeldscherm en andere randapparatuur op aangesloten zit. Zie je niet veel meer, misschien op kantoren.
-Connected to mains: idd, op stroom aangesloten, niet via de batterij
-geen idee
-van die insteek kaarten in je PCMCIA slot(en).

[back to english]
I experienced exactly the same with my nvidia card. My solution? I lend another card from a friend of mine, problems gone -.o. It appeared the card was broken. So I am waiting for a new one now. :-)

TroldePus
05-02-2008, 02:34 PM
I updated my bios through windows - no problem there. Basicly just make sure its the right version, that you pc is connected to the main powersource and that you aint doing anything else on the pc atm.

Ammanna
05-02-2008, 06:41 PM
While a BSOD can be resolved by driver or BIOS update issues, Muh's laptop has no known common issue that a BIOS update fixes. I deal with enough of these on a day to day basis, I'm sure a BIOS update wont fix it, so I wouldn't bother. For that range of laptops, if a BIOS update fixed a known issue with anything major like this, I would know about it. I deal with enough every day.

If you want to go ahead with the update anyway, your questions:

* Notebook is undocked. Toshiba Docking stations (http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=toshiba+docking+station&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2) - you dont have one, or you wouldn't be asking.
* Notebook is connected to the mains. Mains = power, yes.
* Notebook must be in boot mode and not resume mode. I doubt this is a correct translation, but I think you mean "hibernation" or "normal" mode. ie, when you turn your PC off do you choose "hibernate" or "turn off" ? It wants you to make sure you have turned it completely off and not put it into hibernation.
* Remove any PC Cards. PC Cards (http://images.google.co.uk/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=PC+card&btnG=Search+Images) - once again, you don't have any, or you wouldn't be asking.

"Current rage" probably just refers to the web page you are looking at at the moment's selected range of laptops that you are viewing the BIOS updates for. Dont worry about it basicly.

When you are looking for the driver update, while your model of Toshiba is a "A100-819" any technical documentation does not refer to this model number, Toshiba laptops have a 2nd model number (probably starting "PS" something, at least UK ones do) underneath. This is the actual model and what it will refer to it as when selection the BIOS update.

Bear in mind this is all based on my knowledge of Toshiba laptops sold in the UK, but I doubt this sort of thing will be any different for other EU countries.

Muh
05-02-2008, 08:18 PM
While a BSOD can be resolved by driver or BIOS update issues, Muh's laptop has no known common issue that a BIOS update fixes. I deal with enough of these on a day to day basis, I'm sure a BIOS update wont fix it, so I wouldn't bother. For that range of laptops, if a BIOS update fixed a known issue with anything major like this, I would know about it. I deal with enough every day.

If you want to go ahead with the update anyway, your questions:

* Notebook is undocked. Toshiba Docking stations (http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=toshiba+docking+station&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2) - you dont have one, or you wouldn't be asking.
* Notebook is connected to the mains. Mains = power, yes.
* Notebook must be in boot mode and not resume mode. I doubt this is a correct translation, but I think you mean "hibernation" or "normal" mode. ie, when you turn your PC off do you choose "hibernate" or "turn off" ? It wants you to make sure you have turned it completely off and not put it into hibernation.
* Remove any PC Cards. PC Cards (http://images.google.co.uk/images?gbv=2&hl=en&q=PC+card&btnG=Search+Images) - once again, you don't have any, or you wouldn't be asking.

"Current rage" probably just refers to the web page you are looking at at the moment's selected range of laptops that you are viewing the BIOS updates for. Dont worry about it basicly.

When you are looking for the driver update, while your model of Toshiba is a "A100-819" any technical documentation does not refer to this model number, Toshiba laptops have a 2nd model number (probably starting "PS" something, at least UK ones do) underneath. This is the actual model and what it will refer to it as when selection the BIOS update.

Bear in mind this is all based on my knowledge of Toshiba laptops sold in the UK, but I doubt this sort of thing will be any different for other EU countries.

I've already tried it and yeah it didn't work. (I knew about the model nr thing actually)

Part of me just doesn't want to accept I'll have to get it fixed yet >.>

Muh
07-02-2008, 03:35 PM
So I've called Toshiba now and after I get it picked up it will be a minimum of 10 days till I get it back >.>

Anyway, I'm sort of worrying that, because I have no idea what actually triggers the problem that they won't find it and send it back unchanged or something of that sorts. Is there any way to know for sure it's the hardware? Some test or anything?

And if I hand it in for repairs should I do that with a clean install or just what it's like now, or doesn't that matter at all?

Ammanna
07-02-2008, 07:09 PM
Laptop workshops focus on pushing out repairs asap, so with intermittent faults, yes, it's not unheard of to get it returned with nothing done because they did not test it enough. Best trick you can do with slide a piece of paper inbetween the screen and keyboard before you sent it off with information about the fault. That way, the engineer that looks at it will have a more details account of the fault that they otherwise would.

Include things like:
-describe the fault, obvously.
- how often it happens.
- what you have to do to reproduce the fault. what games, etc.
- any pattern to the fault.
- what you have tried so far to correct it yourself.

In thoery they should have all this from the call you placed to them, in reality, they probably wont. At least if you are clear and include all that, it's better than them not having enough info.

As to how you leave it with them. I would say use the recovery CD, but put on something to give the PC some work to do, put the PC under some load. like, install some demo versions of some game that is fairly graphic heavy and mention on the piece of paper that you have done this to give them something to soak test it with.

thurlog
08-02-2008, 07:20 AM
If you still have Carry In warranty you can bring the laptop to a service centre yourself, explain the problem better and (depending what you've agreed on when calling them) wait for the repair.
(check the site for centres in the Netherlands).