Toshiba Laptop - Freezes unless in Safe Mode

By mgags7 · 26 replies
Mar 20, 2007
  1. Hi all.

    I have a toshiba m45-s355 laptop with a freezing problem.
    It has:
    1.86ghz pentium celeron m processor
    1gb ram
    3 usb ports (two of which do not function for some reason, i think they could be part of the problem)

    had been running win xp corporate edition, sp2

    I suppose that is enough description, anyways, I have never changed any internal hardware, only semi-dissasembled the thing to clean the dust out, I may or may not have messed something up while doing that a few weeks ago, though today I read a how-to on dissasembling it and did it the right way, and I feel like everything went back together fine.

    For a long time, the thing would sometimes boot up with the screen not at full resolution, and just sit at the first screen that shows when its turned on until I restarted it. Also for a while, if I closed the lid, the screen would shut off, when I opened it, the screen wouldn't come back on....had to restart.

    As if that wasn't enough to go wrong, 3 weeks ago I came home to the computer sitting there frozen, so I reach to hold down the power button for the 10 seconds necessary to do the restart, and it immediately shuts off.

    I format, try and reinstall 3 different versions of windows, it keeps freezing during installation, etc. So I do some reading online, think its a bad hard drive, so I bought a new one, that wasn't the problem.

    I then ran memtest86 on it and got no errors.

    Today I tried it with and without the battery connected, no difference, it freezes either way.

    Curiously it worked for like 20 minutes earlier (it usually freezes within a minute or two) and then I pick it up to sit it in my lap and it instantly freezes.

    But it never freezes in safe mode....

    I know that was an essay, anyone have some ideas?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    USB port and freezing problem could be caused by corrupt XP software. Try repairing the XP installation
  3. mgags7

    mgags7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I formatted and reinstalled many times

    Does the repair function do something different than a fresh install?

    bump it up
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    No, a repair of XP is done before a fresh install of XP. You probably have a failing motherboard or another pending hardware failure in this Toshiba. Take it in for repair, or save for a new laptop
  5. edgarbiii

    edgarbiii TS Rookie

    Have you found a cure for this? I have the same computer and the same freezing problem.
  6. edgarbiii

    edgarbiii TS Rookie

    I brought mine to Best Buy to be repaired and they sold me memory to fix it. They said that my existing memory was bad. I still have the problem after $269.
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You should take the memory back to Best Buy and get your money back... This could be a failing hard drive, or worse... You think $269 was bad. Save for a new laptop, hopefully not a Toshiba next time
  8. mgags7

    mgags7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I already tried a new hard drive, so thats not it, and I tested my RAM, so that shouldn't be the problem either.

    I'm gonna call up toshiba and chew their asses out for a while, see how many customer service supervisors I can piss off until I get somewhere. I'll let you know how that goes...

    FYI if you know someone at IBM you can get a pretty solid used thinkpad for around $300.
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I was replying to edgarbiii's post... You both have motherboard problems I'm afraid. You would be looking at a $400 to $600 repair
  10. pTech

    pTech TS Rookie

    Locking up Toshiba

    I read your essay and to answer one of the questions, I have caught windows not replacing some files when doing a repair, whether it be infected with a virus or just corrupt for one reason or another. I most definately would try a fresh install before investing in a motherboard just to find out that you actually do have a software problem. Be sure to delete the partition and recreate one and format the hard drive at the very begining of the install. Dont forget to backup your data before you start, the windows file & settings transfer wizard works pretty well in these cases but it is possible to save & restore some bad files so be carefull with it. I would just backup the "My Documents" folder & its sub folders only. I could go on & on I hope you find a fresh & complete install solves the problem.

    p.s. You will need drivers after you format the hard drive.
  11. wollein

    wollein TS Rookie

    Same Problem Solution

    I have an m45 also and it freezes in two minutes upon start up. it also wont freeze in safe mode. I dont have a solution but try this
    when it starts up open a antivirus program and start the search right away, or get a dvd to play. I found out that when the computer has a high performance task running it wont freeze. It works for me, let me know how it goes-Andrew
  12. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 246

    That is by far possibly the strangest thing I've heard all day... rather all week...
    I would think high load programs would crash it faster... this is interresting...

    I would say that unfortunately, unless you want to shell out about $500 or so in repair bills, I would just say save for a new laptop.

    It's highly likely if you have already replaced the Hard disk drive, that it is an impending motherboard failure. The repair bill for this would probably almost get up to (if not overshoot) what the laptop is worth. (To my knowledge if it's the model I'm thinking of, it's only worth about 500-600$)

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help, if nothing else I'd like to say I recommend the following laptop brands:
    Sony - Good computers, slightly expensive usually, but good computers from my experience.
    Gateway - I previously wasn't a fan of Gateway, but recently they've come out with some pretty good looking machines.
    Dell - Also wasn't a fan of Dell stuff until recently, as they have started to sell laptops that use better parts, less proprietary, and they're also shipping some with linux I hear (case anyone's interested).
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Not freezing in the Safe Mode usually means that a main hardware driver or software program not loaded and inactive in the Safe Mode, is the cause of the freezing
  14. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 246

    Wise words from a wise person.
    Now that I think about it, yes that is very likely to be the case.

    If the device is not used (drivers are not loaded and is there for not used) in Safe Mode, even if the device had a hardware problem, potentially it would not cause the crash when running in Safe Mode.

    That being said, it is possibly that windows XP tries to use a bad device driver that's default in XP... (doubtful though cause if your problem started seemingly randomly and then you installed the same version again, that would fix it if it just got corrupted).
    Are you using the version of the Operating System that came with the computer? (You said you tried 3 different versions, I take it I should assume that you have tried the one that came with the computer correct?)

    Does it give you an error message when it crashes at all? Can you describe what it does when it crashes a bit more? (This might help us understand what's going wrong.)
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I can truly say that I have never heard of running many programs at once can cure a freezing computer... Maybe it's a strange virus, or spyware infection. Or has aready been said, an impending hardware failure
  16. wollein

    wollein TS Rookie


    Right now i am running my system on the install cds that came with my computer. All of the drivers are the same as before I haven't updated any of them. Perhaps I should try that?? Personally I dont think it is a driver problem, it wouldnt start crashes after a year of no problems. Could the be caused by over heating? A few days before the first crash I left the laptop on in my bed and the heat fans/ ducts were partially covered? I've done that before and never had a problem but perhaps that will mean something to computer educated people. right now i am currently a student living in germany and I dont have the access of the funds to buy a new laptop. how much longer do you think my laptop will last? Thanks for all of the help I really appreciate it.-andrew
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I would say your windows registry is corrupt. RUN CHKDSK or CCleaner registry repair or glarysoft registry repair. all are free.
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I really like the Glarysoft free utilities :)
  19. guielias

    guielias TS Rookie


    I´m from Brazil and I´m havving the same problem with my M45S355. I tried to restore from its DVD, and when the windows starts to complete de restore action, it freezes again.
    When I´m in safe mode, its rather to freeze, but it happens some time, not usualy.

    In the beginning, it was freezing when I connect the network cable. So, I tried to disable it, but with no sucess.
    I think it´s possible that some energy in the network cable may crashes it. I don´t know.

    When I take off the battery, notmally it works more time without crashing,

    Many things happening, but no answer...... I decided to buy a new one, but i can´t take this machine away into trash!

    Need help!
  20. yogi1984

    yogi1984 TS Rookie

    Any Solution for this problem?

    I am also facing the same problem with same model. My Laptop is 3 years old and it never gave me trouble.. But after installing SP3 I started facing lots of problems so ultimately I had to use recovery disk..

    But After using recovery disk the whole system is freezing in normal mode but works real fine in safe mode .. I understand that its some driver problem which are not uploading in safe mode.. But how to identify the bad driver?

    Should I try "enable boot log in" and read that text to know whats wrong? As I dont know much about computers I wont be able to comprehend that .txt file report properly.. Any help would be greatly appreciated..

  21. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Go to Toshiba's support site and download and install all the XP drivers for chipset, sound and network. If you don't know how to do this get a computer savvy friend to help you
  22. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  23. comptick

    comptick TS Rookie

    is the laptop running very hot?
  24. yogi1984

    yogi1984 TS Rookie

    I have cleaned up the heat sink already ..

    Since normal mode is freezing do you guys know any way to Install all updates in safe mode? As windows installer in not working Safe mode and giving me weird errors..One more thing is happening where after freezing the mouse/key pad arrow pointer is also gone..

    Thanks for your help..

    I have already run CHKDSK /R /F and memtest and they havent given any errors..
  25. karlcorrea

    karlcorrea TS Rookie


    Whoever said that running a high memory application was correct.

    So this is what i did. I ran the computer in safe mode and then opened windows media player and played a song.

    Of course the song dint play but after i did so i restarted in normal mode.

    As soon as my laptop started off i ran windows media player and went to recently played files and played the song.

    And bingo it works like a charm. Everythings fine.

    Havent stopped playing songs though. Will post on how this works in the long run. Lol!!

    Cheers guys have fun!
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