View Full Version : Laptop fail - hard drive or screen?

30-11-2009, 12:15 PM
Pulled my Toshiba Tecra laptop out this morning to try a portable backup drive out on it that had stopped working on my desktop PC - and it wont boot up at all. Screen remains blank although the LED's come up on the front and it makes all the right noises

First thing I tried was plugging in an external screen, namely the one on my desktop machine. Still nothing, so I looked closely at the LED's as I rebooted the laptop, and noticed that the HDD LED comes on briefly then goes out, and does not come on. Listening closely to the drive I can hear it is still spinning however.

I am inclined to replace the HDD in the laptop, as it is only 40GB and very easy to get at, but it bothers me that I get nothing up on the screen when I boot it up - should I at least get some DOS type display to the effect that there is no drive to boot from or something similar?

Would quite like to get this laptop going again as it is a nice machine, but dont want to spend too much as it is a fairly old laptop now, about 4-5 years old


30-11-2009, 12:44 PM
Was the portable usb drive plugged in while you booted, i have had issue before where the system wont boot with some usb devices plugged in....you can attach when \if the systems boots!

30-11-2009, 12:54 PM
Nope, nothing plugged in, not even the USB mouse

I am starting to wonder if it is in fact the graphics card that has died, it has a NVidia GeForce graphics card, hopefully not integrated into the motherboard.

By the way there is a place up here in Auckland that advertises laptop diagnosis for something like $40, I can recall the advertisments in the paper, but now I can find an ad just when I need it!. Anyone recall the details?

30-11-2009, 01:16 PM
Is there a key combination you have to press to enable the external monitor output?

On my IBM it's Fn+F8

30-11-2009, 04:42 PM
There is a specific button on the Toshiba for this and I tried it. Initially thought that might have been my problem... but no it looks like the graphics card has died, bit of a shame as it's a nice machine and has been looked after. I took it to a place close by home, turns out they do diagnosis for $40, so left it there, suspect they will confirm what I suspect.

I will try and get anything off the hard drive I can, not that anything crucial is stored there. Have already bought a replacement back up drive so I can back it up as well as the desktop

30-11-2009, 11:09 PM
There are several problems which could cause it not to output video.

Graphics card failure is low on the list of those, actually

02-12-2009, 03:12 PM
You were right, Agent.... just heard back from repair place, onboard controller has died, will cost $280+GST to fix.

I'll be buying a new laptop

03-12-2009, 12:06 AM
Oh well

You can probably sell it off for parts on Trademe or something