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Lap Top Problems


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#1
superstar

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Okay here is my problem...

I got a call from a friend asking if I would help him install a program he bought since he didn't know much about computers. He dropped off his laptop with me and I put the program on it. The laptop was working fine and dandy. I called him and told him that it was ready for him to pick up. So he came and got it and talked to me later on msn messenger and told me thanks that it was running nice and he appreciated my efforts.

For the record he just bought this lap top and it seems to me as if it's either refrusbished or used. I can tell because I know a heep of a lot about pcs.

Anyways he e-mailed me today with a message that read: "My laptop crashed, and now it won't boot up. It keeps restarting on it's own, and it won't even go into Windows XP." He was on it when I gave it back to him and said it was fine so I dunno what's up. Maybe he went on the net without virus protection because he was talking to me on a messenger late at night and who knows where else he was roaming online. Great well now I have a feeling I should take the time out and fix it for him. What could this be and how can I diagnose his lap top when I get it?

I noticed 3 things that struck me odd when I took it in just to put the program on it. The first thing was that he had the windows vista theme on winxp pro service pack 2. I know from experience that you shouldn't use that because the windows vista theme could screw up your pc. The second thing I noticed is I didn't see any anti virus (although I am not sure since I was not looking for it), but usually it would be out in the open on the systray or desktop. He just got dial up on his lap top.

Well I need some pointers as to how and what to do if I do help fix this dum lap top. I would only be doing it because I put the program on his pc (that I have installed a million times on my computer and other peoples pcs). He bought the exact same program I've been installing for years. Well my guess is I would first check to see if I can safe boot. Problem is I dunno how to safe boot on a lap top. Second off I would check to see if there is an antivirus program on his pc. And if not than I would install one and scan his pc. Another thing I was thinking is worst come sceanario I would have to reinstall windows xp for him and he would lose everything. He has nothing on his pc anyways because he just bought it. But I dunno if I reinstall windows if it will screw his lap top up because I notice that lap tops have different things in the systray for internet and battery watch, etc.

What am I to do? How can I diagnose his pc? Especially if it isn't booting up?

(he has a Tosiba lap top... I will figure out the model when I call him)
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#2
piper

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Pressing F8 when the Windows logo screen first appears should get you to the boot options menu, where you can choose Safe Mode.

Secondly, check the Event Log for any errors (control panel, administrative tools, event viewer). If you find any, you can post them back here or to to EventID.net to get information.

Thirdly, run antivirus. If you can get to the internet, you can run Panda Software's online scan (http://www.pandasoft.../ActiveScan.htm) or Trend Micro's online scan (http://housecall.trendmicro.com/). Or download and install one of these freeware programs:
a-squared - http://www.emsisoft..../software/free/
AntiVir - http://www.free-av.com/
Avast - http://www.avast.com...ast_4_home.html
AVG - http://free.grisoft.com/
BitDefender - http://www.bitdefender.com
ClamWin - http://www.clamwin.com/

Good luck.
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#3
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Thanx for that information. I'm just asking in case I run out of ideas and I just need to know in order to fix his lap top as I now feel somewhat responsible even though I gave it back to him fine, and even though I know a heck of a lot of pcs, even how to take them apart and put them back together.

Can I still Install a program in safe mode?

If so I might try installing "System Mechanic" to see if there are registry errors.

Also if I install winxp back on it will it automatically set up with everything the lap top needs? (ie: battery watch, wireless internet stuff, etc)
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#4
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Yes, you should be able to install software in safe mode. You may need to start Windows with Safe Mode with Networking, to be able to get to the internet for downloading software for install.

Are you asking if you have to reinstall Windows XP, will everything else get installed? It depends - on whether the softoware, utilities, or hardward components were installed at the factory or added later. Your friend should have the CD(s) that came with his system. I generally only deal with Dells, and can tell you that Dell ships an OS CD and a software resource CD that contains all the drivers and other utilties that would have been pre-installed on the system.

The manufacturer website should also have a link for downloading the software that goes with that particular laptop (again, I'll drawing on my experience with Dell).
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#5
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Okay well he just gave me his laptop. & told me that the program I installed for him that he bought was fine and that it was working fine. He said he knows that couldn't have been the problem either.

He began to tell me what he did after I gave him the laptop. He doesn't know much about pcs by the way. He said that he was on msn messenger and a friend gave him a url link to go on to get free music (what an idiot). Anyways he said he clicked on it and than his pc just crashed and shut off or whatever.

So now I'm stuck with the pc here with me and I booted it up. This is the screen I see when I boot it up:

Posted Image


Anytime I choose any single option all it does it pretend to load or seem like it's loading my option and than just reboot again.


His lap top info: Toshiba Satellite A40 System Unit Model No. PSA40C-09CXV


Any help? If I should refer to one of the links above you posted or if anyone has any ideas let me know. I have the only winxp disc he has because he got it used. I can reformat the pc and put windows xp back on it but i don't want to only in a worst case scenario. He said that if I have to do that it is fine. But I don't know if that will bring back his battery watch, wireless internet stuff in the systray and all that as this xp disc does not look to be the same version he had on the lap top.
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#6
piper

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So you can not boot into safe mode?

You might try installing Windows into a different folder (leaving the original install intact). This will basically give you two OS/boot options.

Then install and run the antivirus software. At that point, you should post to the Malware forum. Start here: http://www.geekstogo..._Log-t2852.html.

Once the computer is clean, boot into the original Windows installation and delete the second. Everything's back to normal. Be sure to install trustworthy antivirus software and keep it updated.
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#7
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I can't do anything the pc will not boot into safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with comand prompt, last known good configuration, or boot windows normally.

None of them work. It won't boot. How do I reinstall windows xp if I have this disc and I dunno how to get it to boot off disc on a laptop. I figure this is my last option is to put a fresh windows xp. Please help.


I dunno how to get into the bios to boot off cd first...

Edited by superstar, 05 December 2006 - 02:37 PM.

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#8
piper

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You probably need to get into BIOS to put the CD drive first in the boot sequence. Try pressing/holding the ESC key when the Windows Logo screen first comes up. After making the boot sequence changes, be sure to save and exit. The system should restart and hopefully boot to the CD.

If keeping data is critical, try installing Windows to a new/different folder. That will leave the original installation alone and you should be able to boot to it after you've cleaned the system.

If it isn't critical to keep anything, go ahead with a clean install, choosing to format the drive before installing the OS.
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#9
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I got into the bios. Thanks. The screen shows the time on one side, the password which is not registered, and the boot priority on the other side. But when I click the left right up and down arrows it only lets me go to the time and password. How do I get to the boot priorities?

It won't let me go on that side. This bios can't be password protected because it says password not registered. man what a lousy day. & worse for my friend because he said his car wouldn't start either! Thank you & Please Help. I hate doing things for people.

Edited by superstar, 05 December 2006 - 02:49 PM.

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#10
piper

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Try pressing the appropriate arrow button on the keyboard to move from one side to the other.
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#11
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That won't work I have no clue as to why. And it says to use the arrows to move where I want. But it won't work. Should I set the bios to default values?

Because look... When I turn on the pc it shows the toshiba screen, that is where I hold and press esc. Than it shows a black screen that says:

CHECK SYSTEM. THEN PRESS [F1] KEY



After pressing F1 I see this screen:

Posted Image


It wont let me go to the boot priority side. Man Im mad!!! Please Help my blood is boiling. It won't let me set vaules with the home button, I press page down and I see another area of the bios but the arrows wont highlight anything. Nothing works other than moving the arrows and they go on the clock and password areas that's it. Could there be some sort of block on this?

Edited by superstar, 05 December 2006 - 03:09 PM.

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#12
piper

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If you have a spare keyboard, try plugging it in (if the laptop has a keyboard port), then shut down, power up and get back into system setup.

It looks like pressing "S" will take you to System Date/Time. Is any letter bolded for Boot Proiority?
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#13
superstar

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Before I go on let me say your smart. Let me try that. One sec...
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#14
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No letter is bloded for Boot only for set time and password. my keyboard will not fit on the plug there. I think that plug is only for a mouse.

HEY YOU KNOW WHAT I NOTICED? You know how lap tops have this thing on the side that looks like a floppy drive? It has no card in it? Isn't that like a pc lock card? Or maybe it is a floppy drive. It says something like "CB" next to it.
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#15
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okay well im willing to put the bios on it again. but i need to know where to get the exact version i need.

Edited by superstar, 05 December 2006 - 07:15 PM.

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