Question Toshiba laptop suddenly turned off and really unstable after restart

vkatsarelias

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Feb 11, 2018
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My relative has a Toshiba Satellite C50-A-19T laptop with an Intel Celeron 1005M. She left it for a bit, just sitting there with Chrome open. Then it decided to lock on its own and restart abruptly. 5 seconds after the restart it completely shut down and did not start again.

I checked the laptop and started with simple things, like changing the CMOS battery (which is easily accessible, props to Toshiba for that) and draining any potential flea power (yes, I disconnected both the battery and charger for those wondering). No signs of life. I then proceeded to take the hard drive out, since it's several years old and I thought it might be faulty, thus causing the issue. It did boot this time, but shut down again 3 seconds after showing the "Checking media" screen, just as it did after the initial restart, but without any bootable media this time. The only thing I did not touch is the RAM, which I know is OK.

I then disassembled the laptop, up to the CPU's copper tube, as the thermal paste was probably never changed. I changed it, and plugged only the charger this time (not the battery). This time, something interested happened: I hear a "popping" sequence, followed by a quick power up and power down, and a flash of the power LED. Using my ears, I was able to track the sound source down to the CPU area. I bet the CPU just ran for its last day....

Is this what happened? Or could it be something else? I'm at a total loss, since it's her only PC.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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My relative has a Toshiba Satellite C50-A-19T laptop with an Intel Celeron 1005M. She left it for a bit, just sitting there with Chrome open. Then it decided to lock on its own and restart abruptly. 5 seconds after the restart it completely shut down and did not start again.

I checked the laptop and started with simple things, like changing the CMOS battery (which is easily accessible, props to Toshiba for that) and draining any potential flea power (yes, I disconnected both the battery and charger for those wondering). No signs of life. I then proceeded to take the hard drive out, since it's several years old and I thought it might be faulty, thus causing the issue. It did boot this time, but shut down again 3 seconds after showing the "Checking media" screen, just as it did after the initial restart, but without any bootable media this time. The only thing I did not touch is the RAM, which I know is OK.

I then disassembled the laptop, up to the CPU's copper tube, as the thermal paste was probably never changed. I changed it, and plugged only the charger this time (not the battery). This time, something interested happened: I hear a "popping" sequence, followed by a quick power up and power down, and a flash of the power LED. Using my ears, I was able to track the sound source down to the CPU area. I bet the CPU just ran for its last day....

Is this what happened? Or could it be something else? I'm at a total loss, since it's her only PC.
Unknown. Any time you choose to disassemble something, you risk breaking it. It seems to me you owe her a similar laptop.
 

vkatsarelias

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Have you checked if the cooling fans are clear of any lint or pet hairs?
Yes, they are mostly clean. The baffling thing though is that it automatically locked the user before the shutdown, something that it only does by itself when its battery is close to 0%... So my guess is that the battery is the fault after all. But it does the same thing when it's also connected to AC only...
 

vkatsarelias

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Unknown. Any time you choose to disassemble something, you risk breaking it. It seems to me you owe her a similar laptop.
UPDATE: I reassembled it. It does the exact same thing, although it stays on for 2-3 more seconds now. My guess is that the battery is completely dead (as I've stated in another reply) or the capacitors have gone bad.
 

vkatsarelias

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My first suspicion would be the hard drive is failing. Is the hard drive still disconnected from the laptop? Can you get into the BIOS?
Sorry for the late reply. About the drive: I put it on an external enclosure (which thankfully transfers SMART data), opened Hard Disk Sentinel and the drive's OK (100% health).

Now to the laptop: I left it to "charge" for almost an hour. After that time of the charging LED blinking (before I replied to you), I pressed the power button and it booted, miraculously. It's now repairing disk errors, since the boot process was abruptly interrupted multiple times. Forget it, it just shut down again as I was writing this. My guess is that it uses the battery as it's first power source, no matter if it has totally failed or not (which I'm totally sure it has). Why would someone design their laptop to not use AC when it's needed?...
 

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