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Solved: Toshiba: Cannot boot from CD or enter Safe Mode or enter BIOS on startup


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tom496 tom496 is offline
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06-Nov-2008, 09:11 PM #1
Solved: Toshiba: Cannot boot from CD or enter Safe Mode or enter BIOS on startup
Hello all, I've been messing with and Googling this problem all day and am stumped. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

My laptop:
Toshiba A105-S4134
XP SP2
MCE 2005
Intel T2400 Duo Core
2 GB RAM

1. Two days ago I had a glitch - a bunch of browser windows were open and the system just sort of froze up. I ended up doing a hard restart. The PC then took a longer than normal time to boot back up.

2. That made me nervous, so yesterday I made True Image images of both partitions on the HD, that is C: (OS and apps) and D: (data).

3. This morning I decided to run a memory diagnostic disk (I had memtest86+ and Windows Diagnostics CDs on hand). I set boot priority to CD/DVD ROM using Start > All Programs > Toshiba > Utilities > Toshiba Assist > Optimize > Toshiba Hardware Settings > Boot Priority

4. When I restarted the PC, I heard the CD Rom drive spin for a few seconds, but the screen stayed lack and didn't boot. After some time passed with no activity, I hit control/alt/delete a couple of times and XP then booted form the HD.

5. I unsuccessfully tried multiple times with three bootable CDs (that worked on another Toshiba laptop), including the Recovery and Apps disk that came with the laptop. Same result. I re-checked boot order a few times and the setting priority was still as I had set it.

6. I then found that I was unable to get into either safe mode or BIOS, or to get the PC to boot from the CD ROM during startup using any of F12, F8, F2, or C. Always the same result as in step 4 (although not always with the CD ROM spinning).

7. A System Restore to a point about one week ago did not help.

So, I realize I'm probably looking at a full OS reinstall (pretty tedious with reconfiguring the tuners with MCE) since the images I made yesterday presumably have the same problem I am experiencing. At least I don't anticipate losing any data.

I'm grateful for any advice or thoughts, including whether there's a way to figure out if this problem is hardware related.

Thanks,
Tom
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06-Nov-2008, 09:57 PM #2
Toshiba's site is having problems right now, but try tapping esc and del while it boots. There are many bios setup boot keys. Also, do the lights light up on your keyboard, such as number lock? Could be a keyboard problem. As soon as their site comes back up I'll check on the right key..
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06-Nov-2008, 10:15 PM #3
Thanks, Ekim68. I had no luck tapping the Del or Esc keys during startup. I am seeing the caps lock light and a couple of small lights between the row of F keys and the row and numbers keys blinking briefly right after initiating startup. How can I determine whether the F keys are actually working?
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06-Nov-2008, 10:29 PM #4
I meant to also mention that the CD-ROM drive otherwise works OK. It reads and writes CD-Rs and DVD-Rs just fine.

Also, my boot priority options include "USB Memory". I have a 4 GB USB flash drive on hand. Any thoughts on whether it would be worth my while to pursue booting from that?

Thanks.
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06-Nov-2008, 10:49 PM #5
First things first...Get into the bios to set the boot..If it has the USB in the boot options, well that's cool, the later ones do...But, after re-reading your last sentence in your first post, it might not be hardware related. Sounds like some system files might be corrupt or you have malware problems..(I just checked and the Toshiba site was still down..)
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07-Nov-2008, 12:07 AM #6
Toshiba's still down...Can you boot into normal mode?
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07-Nov-2008, 12:23 AM #7
If so, just to check that the windows system files, (protected), are okay, go to 'start', 'run', and type in cmd...That will take you to a black screen...Type in 'sfc /scannow', (without the quotes) and enter...It may require a CD, but it will check on your system files..
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07-Nov-2008, 01:06 AM #8
OK, I ran scannow, which tells me "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Insert your Windows XP Professional CD2 now." It looks like your suspicion about my problem having to do with missing or damaged system files may be on the mark. Unfortunately, I don't have Windows XP Pro CDs as this PC shipped with only the Recovery / Apps CD, to which scannow replies, "The CD you provided is the wrong CD".

Well, since this problem may be OS file-related rather than hardware related, perhaps I should just bite the bulet and do the reinstall? The good news in that regard is that my Toshiba Recovery disk will run from Windows (that is, I do not have to boot from it to run the clean installation.) Any other ideas? And thanks again.
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07-Nov-2008, 01:14 AM #9
Save what you can and go for the recovery..
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07-Nov-2008, 02:00 AM #10
Yes, and this time I'll make my images before the OS gets corrupted. Many thanks, ekim68.
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