I have a Toshiba L450d which starts with a Blank Screen. If I remove and re-fit the hard drive it fires into life, but once powered off for more than half an hour or so it seems to start with a blank screen again. In the fail condition, the CPU fan is running but there is no display. Ive tried removal and refittement of battery and ram but it would seem the only reliable way to restart from the condition is to pull the hard out the hard disk for a few minutes and re-fit. Once the computer does switch on correctly it works a treat. I hope this is a connection or a flakey hard disk issue - Any ideas anyone ?
You can run a brand specific hard drive testing tool to check out its health, though this may not show anything as the issue may be connection related. The best way to see whether the drive is the issue is either to try it on another computer or to boot your computer with another drive.
Sound advice D_Know_WD, many thanks. I’ll have a look for the drive specific software. I guess what has thrown me was I was expecting that the screen would go through its Toshiba splash and then bark that it couldn’t find the OS in the event of an HDD fail rather than just no display at all. Interesting that since I’ve posted I’ve not moved the laptop at all and its booted 3 times in the last 24 hours so my money is on the connection. My brother in law had tried the drive in another computer and couldn’t read it so it would tend to point to the drive connection. He’s also been running it with the drive cover off and therefore possible mechanical strain on the contacts which won’t help. I do have another drive I can try and see if I can get the reliability back.
When a hard drive starts to have some issues(even though you can still access it), my advice would be to back up the important data as soon as possible. As the drive is not recognized by another computer, I will also say that changing the drive will most probably sort your issue out.
Tried the Hard drive in another machine via a USB adapter - No issues. Tried another HDD in the laptop -still fails to boot intermittently. I was fairly convinced this was a driver or controller issue but after a few more days of testing, I think the HDD refit is a red herring for the boot failure.
When the laptop boots it will work pretty consistently. If I dont get the Toshiba splash screen it will sit there with a black screen pretty consistently. Ive pretty much discounted battery and RAM seating issues.
In amongst the intermittency I think Ive found I can leave it for a hour or so in the failed to boot condition and the next boot will generally work; though it will probably call me a liar tommorow. The BIOS on the laptop is the current release which is surprising given the build date and date of the BIOS release . Ive managed to force a re-flash of the current version 1.3 but still no joy. Am turning my attention to the CMOS battery although it measures a good 3V so Ive not replaced it yet. The internet forums seem full of similar L450D issues and there are loads of motherboards on ebay. Am wondering if my motherboard is older than Toshibas intended BIOS version and also wondering if there are previous BIOS versions available anywhere that I can revert to ?
I don't really think that you MOBO could be older than Toshiba's intended BIOS. Have you downloaded the BIOS from here: http/www.toshiba.eu/innovation/download_bios.jsp?service=EU ? If so, by selecting Family, Model, etc. you should get a BIOS that is fully compatible with your laptop. Apart from that, if you still plan on installing older BIOS, you may need to contact Dell's support.
I would advise you to try the CMOS battery thing. If this does not solve your issue, and taking into account all the troubleshooting you have done so far, it is very likely that the issue is caused by the MOBO.
Yes the BIOS was from Toshibas European site. Since the re-flash, I now managed reset the CMOS last night, loaded the defaults, reset the clock etc. and it seems to have booted at least 10 times now, so I’m hopeful once again. Maybe the combination of the flash and the clearance of settings has cured it for whatever reason.
If not its battery CMOS change time. Fingers crossed Im in business but Ive been here before and hope I’m not counting chickens. Next stop is finding a serviceable Mobo as you say. Thanks for coming back to me D_Know_WD, its good to explore ideas. If I can get a week out of it , Id be happy to suggest its fixed !!!
Here’s another long shot...I have not had the mobo fully out yet. I see from pictures that the processor is mounted on the underside and was wondering about a heatsink thermal paste failure and if it heat generated internally in the processor on start-up would be sufficient enough to trip an interupt before it had chance to get to any steady state condition ?