Do it Yourself Toshiba Laptop Repair & Diagnosing

by J.E. Myers

Toshiba sells excellent laptop computers, but like all laptops, they will encounter problems that require diagnosis and repairs. Some laptop problems are easily diagnosed and repaired by inexperienced owners, while other problems are more challenging and require the expertise of a qualified professional PC repair person to protect your investment against irreparable damage.

Power Diagnostics

Use a logical progression of diagnostic tests to try to pinpoint what is wrong with a laptop. Power problems are the first thing to test. Remove the laptop battery. Begin from the wall outlet and work back to the AC Adapter port. Make sure the wall outlet works, then any surge protector, then the AC Adapter itself, and finally the AC Adapter “in” port. Testing an AC Adapter can be difficult if you don’t have a spare for your Toshiba. Universal adapters can be purchased for testing and as a spare.

AC Adapter Ports

If even a universal power supply won’t make the laptop turn on, take a ball point pen and try to wiggle the silver post inside the AC Adapter. If the post is loose, the AC Adapter post has snapped off the motherboard. You can also try this test. Plug the AC Adapter into the port and twist it around as you turn on the machine. If the machine tries to power up when the AC Adapter is plugging in a certain way but dies as soon as you let go, the AC Adapter port has been broken. This is not a do-it-yourself repair. Seek professional help.

Processor Tests

If the machine boots up for a few seconds and then quickly dies, the exhaust fan has failed or is blocked by debris and the processor is overheating. Avoid opening the case yourself. Take it to a professional.

Boot Problems

If the machine powers up but the desktop does not appear, there may be something wrong with the hard drive. Remove the hard drive from the laptop and connect it to an external USB hard drive enclosure with an adapter that changes the drive head from the 2.5 inch type to a 3.5 inch type. Connect this USB external to another working computer. If the other computer can see and read the drive, it is okay. If the other computer cannot see or read the drive, the hard drive is probably broken. Return the hard drive to the laptop if it appears to be okay. Insert the Windows Setup disk in the CD tray and try to use the Recovery Console to repair Windows. If this does not work, try to reinstall Windows on the hard drive. If the drive is broken, Windows will report “no hard drive found.” Replace the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Monitor Diagnostics

If you can hear the hard drive working, but cannot see anything on your monitor, connect the laptop to an external monitor and press the appropriate F+ key combination to toggle the screen view to this external monitor. If this doesn’t produce an image, it’s likely there is something wrong with your screen or the video card. Seek professional help.

Other Device Diagnostics

If the laptop boots to the Windows desktop normally, but then things go wrong, reboot. Press “F8” as the machine reboots and enter “Safe Mode” or “Last Known Good Configuration.” Then reboot. This time, check out settings in “Start,” “Control Panel,” “System,” “Device Manager.” Look for any red “X” marks or yellow caution signs, which indicate missing device drivers. Reinstall these drivers and reboot.


Viral infections can mimic hardware and Windows problems. Run scans of your machine using Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware and Avast to remove the bugs. If a scan freezes, remove the hard drive from the laptop, connect it to another computer, and scan the hard drive in this manner. Return the drive to the laptop when complete.

Reinstall Windows

If all else fails, reinstall Windows and the device drivers for your machine. This last-ditch effort restores function to most machines so long as there are no other outstanding hardware issues at work. Get the device drivers from the Toshiba website.

Google It

Even professionals use Google or other search engines to research problems. Search for keywords that describe your problem and see if there is a solution posted online that might help.


About the Author

A writer and entrepreneur for over 40 years, J.E. Myers has a broad and eclectic range of expertise in personal computer maintenance and design, home improvement and design, and visual and performing arts. Myers is a self-taught computer expert and owned a computer sales and service company for five years. She currently serves as Director of Elections for McLean County, Illinois government.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Philip Sustachek/Demand Media