Toshiba Satellite Pro A120 Laptop was BSOD, now not even booting

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benjaminf

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I was given a Toshiba Satellite Pro A120 to fix - the sound wasn't working.
I installed the latest drivers and checked all the usual and it didn't work, so I thought it might be a hardware issue.
I unscrewed the laptop and looked around - it all looked fine, but I clearly did something wrong.
When I put it back together, when booting from the hard drive in normal or safe mode (windows xp installed), I got a BSOD with a REGISTRY_ERROR message and when I tried booting from a Windows XP cd, I got a BSOD with a SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED message.
I thought I might have left a cable a tiny bit loose, so unscrewed it again, checked all the cables and now, it won't turn on at all. The lights on the front of the laptop are lit for the AC power and the battery. When I turn it on, the power and hard drive lights light up for half a second, then all four go off and then the AC and battery ones come back on.
Any ideas anyone?
 

Macboatmaster

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Do not be annoyed at this suggestion, as I do not know your level of knowledge
DID you take out the battery and hold down the power switch first to discharge circuits.
The reason I ask is, from working but no sound, to what you have now, could very well be caused by not doing so.
The other matter I would check is that you have not disturbed the ram. On laptops it is very easy, if you have taken the ram out, not to have it seated properly

Generic guide for more detail go to the toshiba site if necessary
http://www.computermemoryupgrade.net/installing-laptop-memory.html
 

benjaminf

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Thanks for the reply.
I hadn't actually tried that, but it didn't work.
Also, I remembered that I had switched the RAM from one slot to the other (only one module installed) whilst trying to fix things, but I now put it back and it still does the same.
Any other ideas?
 

Macboatmaster

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You will probably not like this post but please be asured that it is offered as the BEST advice.

Memory chips are susceptible to damage by static discharge built up in the body. Before beginning RAM installation, it is important for the installer to ground himself. This can be done in a number of ways, but wearing a grounding wrist strap is recommended. These are widely available and quite inexpensive. With the computer plugged in, at least, you should touch a metal part of the computer case to ground yourself so you don't "shock" any of the computer's internal parts.

Additionally RAM is always installed in the first slot, if there is more than one slot.

If you mean by
I was given a Toshiba Satellite Pro A120 to fix
To FIX - it is now yours then of course whatever you try is up to you.
IF HOWEVER you mean - you have offered to fix it for someone else and they expect it back.
Then if you did not disconnect the battery and discharge by holding the power button down and take the necessary precautions for static, then I would URGE caution against trying anything else - unless you really do know what you are doing.

  • After purchasing RAM, it's time to install it. Make sure you are familiar with the precautions needed in order to prevent electrical shock and damage to the RAM by grounding yourself.

  1. Turn your computer off and unplug it.
  2. If you're installing RAM in a laptop, remove the battery and press the power button to fully discharge it.

Will it go to setup - what is shown in BIOS.
If you do not know - how to get there. - my advice is be very careful with FIXING it.

I repeat that the advice is offered in an effort to try and help - not to criticise.
 

benjaminf

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Jan 16, 2011
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Thanks.
I appreciate the help! There's no point asking for help if you'll get upset when someone gives it!
Anyway, I don't remember if I grounded myself before moving the RAM, so on the assumption I didn't, what do I do now?
Get new RAM, and try that?
It doesn't go to BIOS...
Thanks
 
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Try reseating it while touching something metallic, even if it's only one of the motherboard screws on the base while holding the blade of the screwdriver. The RAM may not have gone in properly.

Is there any life on the screen at all?
 

benjaminf

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No life, no. As I said earlier, all the (power) lights go out within half a second of pressing the power button.
 
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Coincidentally, something I'm working on now has just reminded me it helps sometimes to take the power cable out and, in the case of a laptop, withdraw the battery for a few minutes before trying again. I'd still try reseating the RAM before doing the above.
 
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