Old Toshiba laptop screen dies

Something that has happened a few times. When an old computer is left unused for a few years, then turned on, it fails. It seems that they have to be turned on periodically to keep them functional.

It happened again to me today. I wanted to work on the problem that some people have with PCMCIA not working with recent puppies. My Acer Aspire 3681WXMi has a PCMCIA slot, and it works fine with the latest pups.

However, I suddenly remembered my old Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT laptop, neglected in storage for years. I bought it back in 2006 and had Puppy running on it, see an old news post:
http://www.puppylinux.com/news/news202-210.htm

I remember, I bought it for $120. It has 512MB RAM, very good, plus a couple of PCMCIA cards -- modem and ethernet. Also an external floppy drive.

Today I got it out and fired it up. Windows 98 came up. I shutdown, plugged in the floppy drive and a freedos boot disk that I had used back in 2006 to boot Puppy off the CD.

It refused to boot the CD and dropped me to the DOS prompt. A few minutes later, the screen dissolved into vertical lines. Now seems to be permanently broken.

That's a shame, haven't tried an external monitor yet.


Posted on 10 May 2011, 9:07


Comments:

Posted on 10 May 2011, 10:26 by CLAM01
Old Laptop Revivification
Barry,
Leave your TS430 plugged in 24 hours, to try to revive the CMOS and main batteries, or at least get them working enough to be capacitors, then go through the BIOS settings, date and time and so on. If the main battery (I assume a NiCad) takes any charge that should help the screen clocks to even out.

If the screen has lots of colored stripes (not just odd lines across) the screen itself should be OK. Just signal scramble. If worse comes to worse, open the case and remove and reset plugs, slots and sockets to assure contact. Micro-volt fluctuations for corrosions can cause odd symptoms and confuse signal transmissions.




Posted on 10 May 2011, 12:04 by ozsouth
Old Tosh
I had (until last month) a 2003 Toshiba Tecra S1, 512 ram 60gb HDD, Radeon 9000 video. If I didn't use it at least fortnightly, the battery would discharge & the bios would need resetting (F1 on startup, before you see anything). I could boot off a CD, but only if I hit F12 before I could see anything. Loose chip(s) are a real possibility, especially with your hot environment.


Posted on 10 May 2011, 13:30 by Sage
Dud laptop
Agree with CLAM - it's not the screen if you get any picture. If it was, you could've swapped the cold cathode lamps - proprietary ones cost more than the entire machine, but you can convert a couple of case-modding ones for a fiver.
What you describe is classic battery failure - used it on adapter only from now on because a battery will also cost a lot more than the machine's value. Not on the list is 'badcaps'. The tantalum ones should be OK but still plenty of Al ones used in LTs. We did this before: badcaps.org. Some clever soldering needed with sm types, but a lot easier than R, chips & others.
Try drying out the mem and use pencil rubber (eraser for US) to clean contacts. It ain't the BIOS - always a red-herring thrown up by the ignorami, but you can be sure that it's Li-coin cell is dead.
Time to plug in:
mains adapter
k/b & mouse
monitor

Notwithstanding, like the proverbial broken record - never tangle with laptops, even when gifted. Waste of time, money and resources. Just concentrate on compat & sync -ing to Android smart phones with ARM and older desktops!!!


Posted on 10 May 2011, 16:28 by disciple
how did the other old computers break?
> Notwithstanding, like the proverbial broken record - never tangle with laptops, even when gifted. Waste of time, money and resources.

Yes, I can certainly see where Sage is coming from.

> Something that has happened a few times. When an old computer is left unused for a few years, then turned on, it fails. It seems that they have to be turned on periodically to keep them functional.

How did the other ones fail? I've had hard drives from unused computers fail after plugging them into another computer and using them once, briefly. This seemed a bit odd to me, and I wondered if they weren't happy with the power supply.


Posted on 11 May 2011, 17:42 by 8-bit
computer screen repair
I have a Compaq laptop that did the same thing.
I was told I needed a new LCD screen. But I ignored that and carefully disassembled the laptop.
I found that the ribbon cable that connects the screen to the video chip had disintegrated from normal wear and tear of opening and closing the laptop.
I found a replacement ribbon cable, installed it and all worked fine after that.