View Full Version : Toshiba satellite A200 display malfunctioning

06-12-2012, 11:21 PM
Hi, I'm after some advice on whether my machine is salvageable...?

Last night I put the computer into sleep mode, but when I woke it up the screen remained black (it is lit, but there is no picture) I forced the machine to power off by holding the power key. When I turned it on again the screen lit up but there was still no picture. The hard drive light was active and the system seemed to be booting.

I powered off again and then attempted to boot with an external display connected. The external display worked but there were lots of visual artifacts (vertical bars) on the Toshiba splash screen and on the windows loading screens. The white-on-black DOS screen for safe mode options looked fine. The system failed to boot windows and reported a blue-screen error showing the display driver had stopped responding. The BSOD was garbled with lots of artifacts.

I rebooted the machine (still with artifacts) and started in safe mode. Windows loaded properly and I un-installed the display drivers and rebooted. The machine then booted into windows but there were still artifacts on the splash screen and windows loading screen. I installed a different set of display drivers (for Geforce Go 7300) and rebooted. At this point computer was now working on both external and LCD display, but still with some artifacts (it booted once without artifacts) It ran without problems for about an hour but then suddenly reported same BSOD error with same visual artifacts all over the screen. I then had to repeat the process of connecting the external display and removing Nvidia graphics drivers to restore operation to the LCD display!

I'm currently running the machine on standard VGA drivers and it seems ok (touch wood) I'm no tech but this problem suggests to me that there is a hardware fault with the graphics card :l I hope this is not the case...

p.s gfx are not overclocked at all...

Nick G
07-12-2012, 08:36 AM
This looks like a graphics card problem to me. Most likely the hardware is failing, it does happen sadly.

Its pretty much impossible to replace a graphics card on a laptop, so your machine is most likely ready to be replaced.

The Error Guy
07-12-2012, 09:19 AM
Lots of artefacts, even before it's started booting windows sounds bad to me sorry. Usually happens when the BGA (lots of little solder balls, hence the name Ball Grid Array) becomes damaged. Sounds like one of them has developed a bad connection. The machine still functions but only just. This is nothing you have done I'd say, just the heating/cooling has weakened them over it's lifetime.

IF it is the BGA, you can get it reflowed or reballed. Reflowing is just re melting the existing solder whilst reballing involves taking the GPU off, removing solder and reapplying the BGA. Requires full disassembly and should be carried out by someone with the right gear. You can attempt a reflow yourself with a heat gun/paint stripper yourself but I'm not sure if that's your cup of tea. Should be a last ditch effort if you can't afford anything OR if you know you need a new one and think stuff it, might as well try.

Other option is to cover it up with a few towels and let it run HOT, let that sucker bake in it's own heat. The idea here is that the heat from the CPU/GPU will fix the bad BGA connection by partially melting the solder, of course it really should be a last effort thing as it can cause problems. Use it with caution.

Sorry to hear that, it sucks :(

Oh and you can't replace laptop GPU's because they are part of the mobo.

Is it worth paying to repair? Your HDD will be fine so if you get a new lappy just copy everything over and you'll be sweet. You won't loose any data because of this malfunction luckily

07-12-2012, 02:10 PM
Posting from my phone as the lcd stopped working again. My wife and i are going overseas soon and ill probably pick up a new machine while we're away. Thanks guys.

07-12-2012, 02:11 PM
The fact that the external display also showed corruption proves it's a GPU problem. Could be VRAM and if the RAM is shared with system you might get away with a new RAM module but probably the GPU has got the cracked solder ball problem.

You could try a DIY repair but to do it properly you should at least have the right flux, otherwise the repair will not likely last very long. You should also pre-heat the board to prevent warping (if the board warps, you're screwed) Don't overheat the GPU or you'll cook it. Don't overheat the board and cause other damage.

Reballing or replacing the GPU IC outright is preferable.

The cheapest guy I've found in Auckland that does this so far is this chap: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=3680272

No idea if he's any good though, never used his services. A friend of mine was going to have his laptop done by him but we ended up just selling it instead. But the rest all seem to charge at least $350 so maybe worth a try.