Toshiba Laptop Black Screen

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Old 12-05-13, 07:40 PM
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Toshiba Laptop Black Screen

I have a 6 year old Toshiba Laptop that I am having issues with. It started about a month ago when using it, the screen would blink a few time then it would go black. The laptop would still be on but the screen would be black. Holding down the power button and rebooting I would still have a black screen. I then connect to an external monitor and I was able to see the screen. Then window would ask to repair and I would say yes. During this screen the screen would sometimes have trash on it like the video card driver had issues. After the repairs it would work fine for a few day. Then it started happening more often. Some time insted of the screen blinking it would get trash on it before it would go black. I tried removing the video card driver and installing a newer one but I had the same result. Finally I wiped the hard drive and reinstalled windows. After that everything worked as normal for about 2 weeks. I started having the same issue today and now it happens about every 5 min. This is my wifes pc and she did say it gave an error. The only thing she could remember it saying was "wlan". I dont think it would be the wireless card causing this.

At first I thought the screen may be going bad but since I get the same result when connected to an external monitor I have ruled that out. Could this be my HDD going bad? GPU going bad? I hope its not the latter. Thanks for any help.

Jeremy
 
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Old 12-05-13, 07:48 PM
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Here is a screen shot of the screen during the startup repair.

Not sure if I attched this correctly...if not heres the link:
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/at...1&d=1386301611
 
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Old 12-05-13, 10:04 PM
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To me it looks like a bad video card. You have about eliminated everything else including a virus or other malware that could be causing a problem. Could also be a bad screen too though as you mention using an external screen and then mention the repair process which I imagine works at fixing any video card drivers, as Dell has something similar to Toshiba.

Try just switching to an external monitor and just using that without going through any repair process. If you see no lines on the external monitor then it is the laptop screen if however you see lines like that on the external screen then it probably is the video card portion. It looks like an external monitor from your picture but I am not sure. Some laptops have the video integrated and some have a separate video card that might be replaceable.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 07:13 AM
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That is a screen shot of the external monitor. It seems like if it was the video card then I would have still had issues right after the reinstall of windows. Also, I played some video games on it Saturday for 5 hrs straight with no issues. It seem like if it was the video card then it would have had issues during those 5 hrs while under a greater load. I do agree though that it does look to be a video card issue. If thats the case then it looks like i have an over priced paper weight. Any ideas on how to trouble shoot a GPU?
 
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Old 12-06-13, 08:58 AM
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Does Toshiba use lamp backlighting like Dell? I have had to replace exciters and lamps on Dell before with identical symptoms.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 01:12 PM
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I dont think its the backlight/screen since it does the same thing when connected to an external monitor.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 02:19 PM
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One thing you might try is disassemble the case to gain access for cleaning the cooler fan and tubes --- this *might* be a heat problem.
Other than that with the laptop's onboard graphic chipsets you might be looking at replacing the unit.

Some of those other issues with the HDD might be from improper shutdowns resulting in corrupt files and bad sectors.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 03:05 PM
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canuk. ive already vacumed out the fans and vents. I did all that before I reinstalled windows thinking that it might be a heat issue. Thats what I was leaning toward until I reinstalled windows and it seemed like the issue was resolved...for 2 weeks anyway. Like I said in an earlier post, I was gaming on it for about 5 hrs straight over the weekend and had no issues. This leads me to believe that its not a heat issue. I was wondering if it might be the hard drive with some bad sectors. Since it was causing issues then I wiped the HDD and reinstalled and it was working fine and now it not again. Could it be that I have some bad sectors and when I wiped it and reinstalled on good sectors that its working properly and now maybe its starting to write on bad sectors causing the issue? Im just not sure. Ive never had a HDD go bad so im not sure what to look for.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 03:22 PM
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When you reformated and reloaded Windows it wouldn't write to the bad sectors.
Normally the known bad sectors are flagged so as to avoid writing to them. However, if your HDD was improperly shutdown the head can get damaged ( hence the expression *crash* ) and could be flakey.

I don't think the problem with your graphics has anything to do with the HDD though.

If you just vacuumed from the outside you may not have gotten the buildup inside, at least from my experience.

Just throwing out some ideas.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 03:48 PM
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Thanks canuk. You are correct. I vacumed from the outside. Getting inside this thing is like breaking inside of fort Knox. It has about 20 screws on the back side and also having to take out the keyboard and everything else to get to the GPU. Ive found a disassembly video on my model and its about 30 min. long and thats with what looks to be a pro doing all the work. Would probably take me 2 hrs and who know if I would be able to get it all back together. That is my last option but it may come to that. I did a search on "Black Screen of Death" and came back with some scary options. Lets just say it invloed an oven or a heat gun. That would be the D-Day option.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 05:08 PM
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Sometimes but not always you can get to most of the insides of a laptop by just lifting the keyboard. Of course that too can sometimes be easier said than done on a laptop. I have a used Inspiron I recently bought and it isn't nearly as easy to take apart as the older Dell Latitude D600 I also own. So I certainly understand why you wouldn't want to take your laptop apart. At the same time though Canuk makes a good point heat can build up from dust inside of the laptop.

Larry Chandler makes another good point too it could be the lamp backlight is going bad on the monitor. I kind of am not thinking it is though and I am thinking instead it is an accumulation of dust inside the laptop.

My newer used Inspiron had video issues and I had a blue screen twice. I then did a fix like you did and so far everything is fine but will have to go inside sometime and clean it out. I don't know whether Toshiba does this but Dell publishes their technical manual online. With the technical manual all I have to do is read it and it guides me in taking apart the laptop. I am going to get a bigger hard drive for this laptop anyway so whenever I do get it I will clean it then. Try to find the guide if it exists then it isn't so scary when taking it apart.
 
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