Toshiba laptop dropped, hardware - software???....help...please

Xmaiden2

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After dropped laptop - how to determine hardware vs software problem??

My son has a Toshiba Satellite c75D-B7200 laptop OS Win 8.1 (not sure if 32 or 64bit) which he bought a few years ago (he did not make a recovery CD or USB). About a year and half ago, it fell out of his backpack onto pavement. It had been on, with an open browser, then arrived at destination. He said it worked, only slower than usual. it was only after he turned off and next time went to use it that he ran into more problems. Initially, he took no action after turning it on, and finding it "not working." The laptop was not cheap & was meant for school. I had advised him of a number of options to try & diagnose & possibly repair (based on what the laptop was able to do or not do) and if too complicated, told him to contact Toshiba Support or even any of a number of trusted forums on line (using another device to do so, of course.) He did nothing...other than letting it sit in his room. Over time, he would turn it on (phone support had now expired.) and there have been all types of results ranging from just getting the Flash screen but going no further, there was one time where he was able to get to the Control panel, and I said let's back up your files, and then try to troubleshoot. Can't remember if there had been any Windows messages regarding diagnostics or not. He was unable to backup because the amount of files far surpassed the amount of backup media he had available. The laptop then sat for months. (I should add that he is legally an 'adult' and I take care of & troubleshoot any problems with my PC and laptop, and advised him it was his responsibility to 'fix' the laptop we paid for, as it was intended for school.)

Moving ahead to recent weeks: I told him he had gone so log with no access to what is on laptop, and since he wasn't making any effort to buy an external drive to backup, I would go ahead and try to troubleshoot with the knowledge that he may lose everything...he didn't care. So, last week, he turned on, and only received black screen with "no bootable device" and then he shut it off. Another day, the Splash screen which then had "preparing to repair" or similar message at bottom but, resulted in nothing. Today, I turned on, got the splash screen, then the same preparing to repair for a bit, and then got to blue screen "Choose an option." The options given "Exit and continue to Windows 8.1," "Turn off your PC," "Use a device....," and "Troubleshoot - Refresh or Reset your PC, or use Advanced Tools. I've assumed all of this time that this would be a hardware issue because of the fall. I've been hoping that these different levels of well, responses...that perhaps something is either loose or there is perhaps something not too expensive to replace (wishful thinking.) I chose the Advanced Options-> "System Restore," System Image Recovery," Startup Repair," "Command Prompt," UEFI Firmware Settings, & "Startup Settings." Being cautious, I selected "Startup Repair" and after son put in password, splash screen..."diagnosing your PC." and 2 seconds later, blue screen "startup Repair" and then Startup Repair couldn't repair your PC," another line or two, and now back to "Choose an option" screen.

I do not know what else to do. I have done online searches (Toshiba site no help) hoping that there was some way of running a diagnostic test that could tell me it is the hard drive, etc. I do not want to turn the laptop off, as I am afraid I will not get it to any functions. Any suggestions?? Hate to think that a few hundred dollars is essentially flushed down the drain. Another family member could really use this laptop right now. Any direction to point me in would be gratefully appreciated! Frustrated now my problem, after recent time-consuming, brain wreck, 'fixing' my own Pc thanks
 
There are many ways to be careful not to cause damage while installing it. And you are right about most laptops being plastic. A few higher end ones are metal. How you choose to protect from ESD is really up to you. Me I am in an office with wood floors and a metal desk so. :)

In regard to the re-installation of software... Yeah they say start fresh, but then computers don't come with the disks like they used to. They just come with programs on the computer so you can make your own. This is often ignored when the computer is first gotten, and when it would be best to make the installation disk(s). Later you risk there being problems. Obviously you don't want to go out and buy a new version to install. You can try downloading the right version here... https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download ... but it may not take the product key if it was a version that came pre-installed.

If you are unable to get the downloadable version, since your problem was hardware related, I would then try the disks you made.

The original installation of the OS onto the drive should install some basic drivers and windows itself should start looking for drivers once you get it going. The ones you would need to install would be for anything that doesn't auto install and for anything that was added to the computer after it was purchased. Those may not be there. That also includes software, of course, for hardware installed after purchase.
 
If it won't load at all and just keeps giving you these issues, you can check the drive another way, by pulling it and connecting it externally to another computer. You would just need the right cord/adapter to make the connection. Then you would be able to read the drive (if it is still good) and get things off of it.
 

Xmaiden2

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Thanks for your input!

The last thing I did before I saw your reply, was select "Exit and Continue to Windows 8.1." It went back to the Toshiba splash screen and a moment later, the bottom of the screen said "Scanning and repairing drive (C): 2% complete" I let it go for a bit, came back and it was only at 9%, so I left it overnight. This morning it was just a black screen with "No bootable device --Please restart system"

Looking at your suggestion, how would I know the right cord/adapter? My son really seems unconcerned with getting anything off of the drive (kids!) If cost is not major or something I may already have, I myself would want to try and recover as he said he had purchased & downloaded media, etc., but that is me not wanting to lose anything - in general.

So my novice thinking is, if I opened it up, is it possible that something is just loose & perhaps can be 'fixed' on my own? Since cost is an issue and the main goal is to somehow not have to buy a whole new laptop, would it be better just to put all cost to a new hard drive?
 
Well, were you to open it up, you would have to carefully check for anything being loose. Possibly disconnecting and then reconnecting the hard drive to see if that resolves it. Just be extremely careful when messing around inside the device if you are unexperienced. :)

If that doesn't do it, then you would need to try connecting it, as suggested before, externally to another computer to view the drive. Here is a video that shows you how to do just that. :) https://youtu.be/lNIeCOpIAbA There are actually quite a few videos on youtube for this. I wouldn't be surprised if there were ones on how to remove the hard drive as well.
 

Xmaiden2

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Here is an update as to the current status. I watched the video you had linked and was prepared to go ahead with that step - a neighbor thought they had one of the connectors shown. This would have worked out well, as I had looked online at prices, and thought the cost of ordering one might not be worth it. It turned out, my neighbor did not have the correct adaptor. Because my son was insistent that he no longer cared about anything he had on the laptop, I went ahead and did a reset. Everything seemed to be fine in terms of all going as it would right out of the box. When ready, I used Toshiba's Recovery media creator, and created the required number of DVD's. I believe during this process, there may have been one or two Windows notifications that Windows had detected a hard disk problem, to backup files immediately, and gave the Disk name & Volume.

While the opportunity still existed, I decided to use the Windows recovery media creator to back up on a USB drive (more convenient to carry about.) While doing so, there had to be up to 6 (if not more) of the Windows notifications as mentioned previously. I wasn't sure if the USB creation would be complete before any failure. The USB media had completed, and for some reason, I opened the Event Viewer, Event Properties, and took note of "The driver has detected that the device\Device\Harddisk0\DRO has predicted that it will fail. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent."

When I looked locally for the cost of a new internal HDD, I decided that was the way to go. I got one but have not installed yet. I have watched a number of videos online as to how to replace, and they all seem pretty straightforward. There is one from Toshiba that I viewed as well. In addition I did search here for similar scenarios.

This is where perhaps too many sources of info is a bad thing. Regarding the "How To" videos...2 pointed out ESP issues, and the persons in the demo videos used either an antistatic wristband, and/ or a mat, while others did not mention taking any precautions & didn't exhibit using any measures or methods to prevent ESD damage. I remember a decade or so ago, upgrading RAM in an old desktop, and although did not have a band or mat, I followed a set of recommendations to ground & prevent any ESD risks. This time around, as I was looking for current info, it seemed like on the 'lessor' precaution end, advice givers ( and there are some really heated debates on the subject on this site alone,) would refer to keeping a hand on the metal casing...that makes sense on a desktop where the tower would be metal but, that would not be the case with the laptop...seems that it is all heavy plastic. Plus, some of the videos, and some replies in other posts, point out that the HDD in these models are pretty self-contained, and so one side seems to think no extraordinary measures need to be taken to avoid ESD damage - the other side, seem to swear by using a wristband, etc (as of today, I would have to order one as none are in stock locally.) So, I have held off on swapping out the HDD's. Of all the videos I watched, only one mentioned a step to take after you have installed the new HDD...that was going to the BIOS to make sure the new drive is recognized. So, I did a little more searching......

The other issue that caught my attention: reading an article on the topic of replacing a damaged drive with a brand new one, the writer recommends not using recovery media that a user has made , but to go for a "clean install of the operating system, as there may be less problems down the road." This gives me pause as there was no installation disk with the purchase of the laptop (only the Product Key) and that the only recovery media I have, was made well after the laptop drop and all the ensuing problems. What opinion can you offer on this? Perhaps these are issues that are not extremely important??

I guess the last question mark in my mind, preventing me from going ahead & swapping the HDD's, is this: The Toshiba user manual does mention the various reasons one would want to replace the existing HDD. They do not give a lot of info other than the basics to what amounts to "locate the existing HDD, removing it from it's enclosure, and putting the new HDD in the enclosure, position & reinstall, close up the laptop.

Somewhere in my reading (not from Toshiba), there was a mention of having to update the drivers for the motherboard & video drivers. That made me wonder if there is more to this than just replacing the drive, use the recovery media, and then you are on your way to computing as usual.:??: If updating drivers is a necessary or standard part of installing a new HDD, I would then have to research how to go about it.

I know I may be asking a lot, and I appreciate the suggestions you have already made. It's just that I haven't been in this situation before, and don't want to make any further moves which may create problems.

Thanks

 
There are many ways to be careful not to cause damage while installing it. And you are right about most laptops being plastic. A few higher end ones are metal. How you choose to protect from ESD is really up to you. Me I am in an office with wood floors and a metal desk so. :)

In regard to the re-installation of software... Yeah they say start fresh, but then computers don't come with the disks like they used to. They just come with programs on the computer so you can make your own. This is often ignored when the computer is first gotten, and when it would be best to make the installation disk(s). Later you risk there being problems. Obviously you don't want to go out and buy a new version to install. You can try downloading the right version here... https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download ... but it may not take the product key if it was a version that came pre-installed.

If you are unable to get the downloadable version, since your problem was hardware related, I would then try the disks you made.

The original installation of the OS onto the drive should install some basic drivers and windows itself should start looking for drivers once you get it going. The ones you would need to install would be for anything that doesn't auto install and for anything that was added to the computer after it was purchased. Those may not be there. That also includes software, of course, for hardware installed after purchase.
 
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