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System Crash - black screen with flashing cursor

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I am not a geek. Will need step by step instructions (and explanations for some of the short forms) thanks.

I have a Toshiba Satellite M40X. I think my hard drive may be toast, but not sure. Would like to try to see if I can get it going, but not quite sure what to do next.

Nasty Katushka (I think) malware virus started opening all sorts of windows - I didn't follow their commands, just clicked the X to close the windows. Safe mode, etc., worked at first, then didn't work. I probably did everything wrong. I tried system restore with Toshiba recovery disks (win XP). SysRestore goes thru the motions, but doesn't restore system. I have tried many times. I get only the black screen with the flashing cursor.

I am not really concerned about recovering files - have copies of most everything - and if not, oh well - them's the hazzards. Bought another Toshiba Satellite with Windows 7.

My question is, is my hard drive toast? Here may be clue???? System Memory 640kb Ext Memory 1270 MB

If it is not toast, , I am aware Toshiba software contains drivers specific for Toshiba computers. Can I try to install the Windows 7 recovery software I was given with my new laptop try and get the M40X running? Other than knowing if it is the 32 or 64 "whatever", I think the old machine can handle Windows 7 but not totally sure. I added 1Gb of memory to it a while back. I only want to use the M40X for email (modem), Word & Excel basics, maybe play my Scrabble game if I can. It won't be used for anything fancy or to store any files on.

I can get into the BIOS Menu, reads current date and time,
HD is H7S424040m9AT00 (PM)
Quiet Boot Enabled
Power on Display auto selected
LDC Dispalay stretch enabled

Bios V 1.60

I selected to load set up defaults.

I think the CD on the old one is working as it reads the recovery CD to start the system restore process. I do have one of those little USB sticks too, a small (old) one that has never been used.

If my hard drive is toast, what is involved in replacing the hard drive? Is it an expensive endeavor? It would be great to have this laptop working as I could use it when I travel.

Any assistance would be great. I am not in a panic, I have my new laptop working. Thank you very much in advance.
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The 640K and the 1270Mb is nothing to do with your HDD.
HDD space is not shown as memory.
The 640K is the basic BIOS memory.
The 1270Mb is the 1Gb you added eg. 1024Mb and the existing 256Mb I would guess.

Firstly even if you do recover anything I would be EXTREMELY careful about transferring ANYTHING except the most basic documents and JPEGS to the new computer. If this old computer is infected anything else could easily transfer the infection.

There is no reason I can see on the information given to suspect that the HDD has crashed.
This link here is your computer just check the exact model of the M40X

Have a look at the link, and see if the manual provides instruction for running any inbuilt diagnostic software usually accessible from an F key on boot. See later in my post I found it for you

There is ABSOLUTELY no chance of the Windows 7 software working on this computer. - I mean the recovery disc.

The first question for you to answer is - Do you wish to attempt recovery. IF so you need to go to the Malware forum on this link
and follow the advice there. Malware matters can only be dealt with by a certified Malware removal expert.
If you do post in the Malware forum please include a link to this post so that everything is readily available to the expert. You will have to be patient in the malware forum they are very busy.

If you do not wish to recover and the Toshiba disc includes the full reinstall, using the key on the laptop base then that is a matter dealt with here.

If the diagnostics will not run, then you may well be able to boot to dos with Seatools which will test any drive, not just Seagate.
Here is the link
You want Seatools for dos on the CD rom, as I do not think your laptop has a floppy - does it.
Here is the link to your manual
See page 3.12 - 66 on adobe pdf reader .
F12 is the key to activate recovery to factory condition from the CD

Finally please post back as to your intentions.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 10 December 2010 - 09:07 PM.

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Hi Macboatmaster. Thank you very much for your reply.

I think I would prefer to reformat the old laptop entirely rather than take the chance of infecting my new laptop.

I checked the Toshiba link you provided. I could not find my specific model. It is the M40X RH4. I do have the original User's Manual for the M40X RH4, but there is not really too much in there about troubleshooting...and only the standard instructions for reinstalling the product software.

I have tried many times to get the product recovery software to run (this was provided with the laptop by Toshiba when I bought it). What happens is I put in the disc, shut down the laptop. Then restart, pressing the F12 key. It takes me to a menu where I can select CD/DVD Rom to boot the laptop.

What I get is an Easy Restore Recovery screen to "restore all software originally pre-installed on your computer's hard disk". The options are continue, or cancel. I select continue. The computer takes approximately 26 minutes to go through the restore process. This is on a screen that is grey and white with red writing (it almost looks like "safe" mode...the main screen for the recovery product also looks like safe mode - it is very plain). A blue progress bar appears across the lower part of the screen. At the end of 26 minutes, I am asked to reboot the computer. I take out the recovery cd, then click ok to restart. Again, I get the black screen with flashing cursor only. For some reason, the system is not restoring. I have tried this approximately 5-6 times.

I did find the list of downloads, there was a product diagnostic zip file called pcdt-en-2008-1031095719 Just in case it is the correct file, I have saved it to the desktop of my new laptop. I don't know if it is the correct one though. I can copy this to CD and try it on my old laptop if it is the correct diagnostic tool.

If it is not the right tool, think I will need to run the Seagate for DOS product as the product recovery cd isn't working and I am not sure the dignostic file I downloaded is the correct one (mentioned above). I am not sure what I should do once I get Seagate, but assume there will be instructions? My laptop does not have a floppy disc, only a cd/dvd drive. So I will down load the Seagate to my new laptop's desktop and then make a copy to CD to try to use on the old laptop.

I truly appreciate your assistance. I am not a geek but I am more than willing to learn and try when problems arise. Once I know if the diagnostic file I downloaded is the correct one for my laptop, I will try that. If that doesn't work, I will then try the Seagate. If that doesn't work, I will return here and provide whatever information has presented.

Thank you once again.

Edited by BusyB, 10 December 2010 - 11:31 PM.

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Have a look at the contents of the various CD`s you have with this Toshiba. If one of them has the XP files on ie: the i386 folder etc then you can use this to reinstall., rather than attempting easy recovery. I will have another look and post back.

When you get to the back scren with the white flashing cursor, press Ctrl Alt Delete.
IF Task manager executes, then on Task Manager click New Task and type Explorer.exe

Edited by Macboatmaster, 11 December 2010 - 10:41 AM.

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Further to the above see this link

If that computer had a hard drive recovery partition then on the F8 options in addition to Safe Mode etc, there would be a recovery option.
Check if that is there.

If not and you are certain the CD is good, then IT APPEARS you will have to format the HDD and reinstall from that CD.

PLEASE BE AWARE that you need to check that the CD has the Windows files. It should tell you somewhere that it is also the reinstallation CD. Some OEM CD`s serve two purposes. One is the soft recovery which is basically a repair installation of XP the other is a complete reinstall of Xp.
The first process leaves all your personal data and programs intact. The second formats the drive and all you end up with is a fresh installation of XP, in the state that it was on the CD. ie: many updates to do and service packs to install

Edited by Macboatmaster, 13 December 2010 - 07:30 AM.

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