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Toshiba laptop not booting after mobo driver update - no BIOS

Posted on 2013-05-19
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Last Modified: 2013-05-19
Hi,
after fitting a new hdd to a Toshiba Satellite C660 laptop  (model code PSC 0LE), I was installing Win7 64bit from scratch.

The OS had loaded, and I was installing drivers.  After the motherboard driver install, it rebooted - a little faster than I was expecting - I thought I'd clicked the button to Reboot Later.  However, after reboot, there is no screen display at all, no POST, no beeps, nothing.  There is a single short flash of the power led on the laptop, and the cpu fan can be seen to spin up for a few seconds inside the casing.

It does the same thing now with the HDD removed, or with either or both sticks of RAM out.  Connecting an external display shows nothing, either.  The only difference is if the battery is removed (but power still attached), it won't boot at all.

The old HDD is definitely bad - not even seen in BIOS on other PCs, and sounds physically damaged.  The laptop had been jolted to cause this fault in the first place.

My suspicion so far is that the Mobo update has damaged the BIOS.  I've been trying to get a BIOS update to work, but most toshiba utilities seem to want an OS to be in place.

I've downloaded the update from here, and run it on another PC (but not to the end!)
http://www.toshiba.co.uk/innovation/download_drivers_bios.jsp?service=UK
As it runs, it unpacks the files to a temp location:
C:\Windows\Temp\WINPHLASH64
 - in this location is the BIOS.ROM file.  I've copied all the files out of here, and then cancelled the installation (as I don't want to flash a laptop BIOS onto my main PC!!).  This BIOS.ROM file is 2100 kb - therefore too big for a floppy...

After seeing advice on other forums, I've been trying to make a bootable USB memory stick, and to use this to recover the BIOS.
Forums:
http://www.theeldergeek.com/forum/index.php?s=471693231ba9bfefea3832b0c75aef37&showtopic=37865
[most of the download links there are dead, but the concepts seem to make sense]

To make a bootable USB disk, I've used http://www.bootdisk.com/pendrive.htm - Method 1
I've tested this on another laptop, and it boots to FreeDOS nicely.

The instructions on using it for BIOS recovery are more complicated though - there are many online references to WINCRIS.EXE, which should make a bootable **floppy**, but the problem I have here is that I can't fit all the file onto the floppy.

I've also tried copying all the files to my bootable USB, and then the recovery process is supposed to be that you remove the power AND battery, connect power ONLY, and hold Fn + F while you hit the power button.  Hold the keys down for 10 secs
full info:
http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/System-Recovery-and-Recovery/Erased-BIOS/td-p/130554
 - however, on doing this, I get no response at all, not even the single LED flash of before.

Other sites refer to other keys, notably Fn + B, Fn +F3, Fn + Esc - but none are working.  

This is a friend's laptop, and he's really skint, so I don't want to end up with a large repair bill for a whole mobo replacement unless we really have to.

Anything else worth trying?
cheers, Danny
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Question by:Danny Child
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39178617
You have tried the full power off, power on cycle and get nothing, not even BIOS.

Remove the battery, hard drive, CD if there is one, remove one of two memory modules (if two), remove any flash cards and then try power button held down for 10 seconds.

Replace only the battery and try to start to BIOS.  If this does not work, the motherboard would certainly seem to be bad.

Would a used computer be less expensive?

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Danny Child
ID: 39178645
Yes, to confirm, no BIOS at all, with either battery in or out.

Just done your test with only 1 stick of RAM = no change.  I also tried to reset the BIOS earlier by peeling up the sticker under the ram, and shorting the 2 pads there.  No effect.

It just seems too spooky that we had a definite fault in the failed hard disk, and now a 2nd fault in the mobo that only occurred after a driver update.  No obvious link between them, surely?

Am seeing whether I can get a different power brick in case that's faulty.
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by:Danny Child
ID: 39178659
have also gone back to the Phoenix Crisis Recovery Disk (with a USB floppy attached), and it gives the error:

Failed to copy bios.wph file
- make sure Diskette format completed.
- check if file exists.
   When ready, try again
<ok>

Now, the BIOS.ROM file that I extracted from the Toshiba tool was renamed into the BIOS.WPH file, which has seemed my best shot at making this.  So, I can't explain the error above.  I've re-downloaded all files in case of corruption.  I was initially thinking that there's no way that this program can copy a 2.1mb file to a 1.44mb disk, but perhaps it's smarter than that, and only extracts the files it needs.  But, no joy so far.

Just also tried a different BIOS update from Toshiba Australia, which was a 4mb (!) ROM file - same error... grrrr!
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by:Danny Child
ID: 39178700
well, whaddayaknow?

just dug out an old multi-voltage power brick, and it's all fine!  No issue at all!!!  Guess the old PSU has died too.  That makes a *bit* more sense, as my friend got his foot caught in the power cable and pulled the lappy onto the floor to cause the initial issue.  It only fell about 2 feet though.

Well, it's working now, just ploughing through the rest of the updates.  Guess I had to think back inside the box for this one.  Cheers for your help, they're all yours...
Ta, Danny
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39179310
@DanCh99 - Thank you and thanks for the update. Glad you got it working.

.... Thinkpads_User
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