I'm helping a friend with an old Toshiba Satellite 305. When she came to me she had a bogus version of Windows XP on it in a foreign language. This was not her fault; it was installed by a relative overseas in a ... er, "causal" transaction, which is a typical way of doing business where she's from, if you get my drift.
That version of Windows, apparently a foreign version of XP or whatever the hell it was, was woefully incomplete. Not only could I not read anything without a co-pilot to translate for me, Networking stuff and other major parts of Control Panel were non functional or non existant. We couldn't even find the "run" box so I could type in commands!
So we retreived what few data files were on it and used the LEGAL Toshiba Windows Vista 32 bit recovery disks to take it back to factory state. In English.
Next, Windows Update had 130+ updates, which went on fine.
I'm about halfway through uninstalling bloatware and bogus 30-day trial nagware. I uninstalled Norton 360 and replaced it with Microsoft Security Essentials. I uninstalled other stuff that was bound to confuse her in 30 days with demands for money.
Internet Explorer 7 seems to be working fine for now so I am saving the update to IE9 for a little bit later.But then a problem has begun:
The screen occasionally goes blank but you can see it's still energized. The laptop then does not respond to Ctl-Alt-Del nor will it respond to Alt-Tab. There is no blue-screen display. When it's in this state, the mouse and keyboard don't seem to work at all and there appears to be no hard drive activity. The only thing that brings it back to life is a hard stop via holding the power button. Reboot is fine.
The next time I see her, I'm going to investigate video drivers and then any other Toshiba hardware drivers that she might need. I'm thinking maybe one of those Windows Update patches is causing a problem with an old Toshiba driver.
I'll let you know if additional patches or uninstallation of bloatware helps, but in the meantime maybe somebody here has had a similar experience with a laptop (or any other Windows machine) where the screen goes black but stays energized.
Thanks in advance!Additional Info and Reasoning:
1. English is not her first language. But she wants to stick with English based Windows.
2. Linux is not my
If it were, I'd set her up with that because she has no special needs; just internet, Skype, and office-type software. Ideal for Linux!
3. The laptop has some cosmetic marks on it but is in good shape otherwise. It has 2 GB RAM, the screen is immaculate, the keyboard and trackpad are clean and work flawlessly, and the hard drive is ginormous for a laptop (160 GB I think). There's no trouble with the wifi, and other than a little warm heat coming out the side, it seems that the laptop is fine. I'll blast it with some canned air the next time I see her, just in case there are some dust kitties in there.
4. The laptop does have a built-in webcam. I wonder if maybe an incompatibility here with drivers and such might be a potential problem area. It's on my list to update or disable the drivers to see if the problem stops.
5. She has decided that this Toshiba only needs to be reliable for a couple years until she can find work and make some money. I just bought her an extended battery and I'll get her an inexpensive case to protect the laptop and carry around a mouse (she doesn't like the trackpad) and the AC power supply. Beyond those things, the laptop is too old to sink more money into. I'd consider buying her an inexpensive Windows 7 license without all the bloatware, but given the age of the laptop and her needs, I think Vista will be good enough. Once I finish cleaning out the nagware, that is.