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laptop wont start


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#1
odin008

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Hi there,

Trying to find out what an LED error code of 4 short blinks 3 long 1 short on the power cord LED means.
I have a toshiba satellite 2400 laptop. It was working fine and then just shut off and now no matter what that error code flashes. The failure seems to be intermittent in that if the laptop is left alone for a while..sometimes needing as long as several days the problem disappears and it starts to work fine. Other times it will run for several days with no problem then just shutoff and not work.
I have inspected the fan and heat sink and cleaned them.
I should note the battery has a limited life on it as its seems to be nearing its end but the unit will not run on a/c power when it begins one of these episodes.


Any help is greatly appreciated.
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#2
The Skeptic

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Go to Control Panel > administrative tools > event viewer > system. See if there are any errors (red circles) that are time correlated to the occurence of the problem. If you do, please double click on the error and write here what is written in Description.
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#3
odin008

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Unfortunately the unit wont start again. I cant give you that info. Still getting the same blink code.
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#4
The Skeptic

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I searched in Toshiba's user manual for this computer but found nothing concerning this specific code. In this computer you can set different alarms for battery condition and this code might be one of them.

Regardless of the code the problem looks as of battery or charger origin. You mentioned that AC will not work during one of these episodes. If you take the battery out altogether can you run on AC?
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#5
odin008

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No, when the unit goes into this state it wont run period. Not on battery or a/c. It shuts down and when you press the power button you get the 8 blink code. I have tried removing the battery and running on a/c alone and same result. I have noticed that if the battery is plugged in and the a/c is then plugged in it seems to charge the battery as the light goes from amber to green over time, but again this does not cause a start in the unit.
When the unit did run there did not appear to be any problems. Fans appear to be functioning correctly, memory and hard drive are working, graphics card is as usual etc.
The failure is also immediate in the sense that if it was an a/c failure i would expect to get a warning about an impending battery failure due to power loss, i dont, it simply shuts off as if all power to it has been removed.

Quite perplexing really
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#6
The Skeptic

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Could be that the charger itself is faulty, does not chrge the battery which was already in a bad shape, and cannot run the battery on AC, without the battery. I think that you should try another charger before anything else.
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#7
odin008

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Unfortunately i tried that and same result.
Im starting to wonder if it is an overheat problem even though the fan seems to be working.
If i manage to get it started i will check the info you asked for and get that too ya.
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#8
odin008

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Sorry for the delay but it took a while to get the unit running again.

I checked the section you requested and the only errors it shows relate to the absense of my usb modem and those dont appear to correspond with shut down times at all.

Apart from that there are no other errors in that section.
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#9
The Skeptic

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Is the computer running now? Is it running well? What did you do to start it? If it's running well then that's fine. If not, we can run a number of tests now. Please update.
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#10
odin008

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Well i grabbed it the other day after it being off for over a week and pressed the power button and (as its prone to do lately..lol) it started up. When it is running it appears to run fine. I notice no problems with it except the occasional slowdown in speed but i think that is primarily due to a need for a reformat of windows.

Apart from that it seems to run fine. Graphics and such work as they do all the time. The only thing i did try last time was to elevate the unit slightly to allow more air flow thinking it was an overheat issue. But since it takes a long time (several days sometimes) to get it going again im not sure if that is the issue.

Once again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance
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#11
The Skeptic

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Download Everest from my list of programs below. Run it on Computer > Sensor. Keep the program open and run a scan with your antivirus. After about 10 minutes write down and report temperatures of cpu, hard disk and motherboard. Please also report voltages. First, when the computer run on battery only. Second, repeat on battey + AC. Theird, with AC only.
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#12
odin008

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Motherboard temp was 44C 111F
cpu 50-53C 129F

hard drive did not display

couldnt find a voltage display

downloaded sandra as well and it didnt display voltages either

best i could find at the time was a reference to the battery of 10.8v?

Edited by odin008, 02 October 2007 - 11:34 AM.

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#13
The Skeptic

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When the computer has this problem and you leave it for several days, do you leave it with the charger loading the battery?

I don't know what the problem is but I am almost convinced that it has to do with the power supply. Either the battery, or the charger, or both are in a marginal state. test must be made with good-condition power supply.
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#14
odin008

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Well, ive sometimes left it charging and other times its been sitting in a carry case with no charging. Either way it seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to when i dies and when it starts again. This last time it was in a carry case with no charge and was started on battery which promptly died about 5 minutes after the start but once hooked up to ac it started again no problem.
I am really at a loss as to what it is apart from a probable short or overheating component even though it can sometime take several days of unit use for it to die.
Strangely enough today while I was watching the screen i saw a smbus controller get found by windows. im not sure what that is but could it be the cause of a problem?
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#15
The Skeptic

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If the problem is time related then I am almost sure that it's origin is a faulty power supply system (battery, charger).

Another possibility is that there is a bad contact somewhere in the system. It can be a cold welding or some other loose connection, or bad lead/wire, that can drive you nuts. In this case the problem is definitely not time related. Boot up is only possible in those occasions in which the contact is just good enough, and impossible at other times.
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