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Old 09-05-11, 07:46 AM   #1
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Default Laptop won't restore to factory settings

Hi,

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop (M45-S2692) with XP Home Edition ( I think)

The laptop kept restarting frequently, after running virus scans/ spyware scans etc... nothing seemed to fix the problem so I decided to revert the hard drive back to factory settings.

I did what the instructions said, but the OS would never reinstall, it would just get to a certain point and hang. I've researched this problem for hours and hours and have found people with the exact same problem, but as far as I can tell, no solution has been found. The excellent folks at Toshiba support forums answer was to take it to an authorized repair shop, or have one of their support team lend a helpful hand for $30 an hour. I shouldn't have this problem in the first place so I'll be goddamned if I'm going to pay $30 and hour to be led around in circles.

The laptop didn't come with any discs at all (bought brand new), the only way to reinstall the OS is to use the partition included on the drive., which simply won't work.

I did a memory test on it yesterday and everything checked out o.k. , I'm not sure what to do next.

Is there anyway to install a version of Windows to get the laptop up and running again? I already paid for the OS that was included on the laptop so shelling out cash for another OS isn't likely to happen.


Here is a post I'm quoting from a website where someone seemed to have the exact same problems I"m having-

http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/System-Recovery-and-Recovery/Satellite-M45-Recovery-Issues/td-p/100577
"Satellite M45 HD crashed big time. Ordered new drive same make and size. Loaded recovery disc, ghost displayed error. Turned off all Bios passwords and it completed without errors. After rebooting it would just sit with a blinking cursor. I ended up loading a old 130 day evaluation copy of xp pro. After rebooting I ran the recovery disk again this time it deleted the Xp Pro and loaded the factory version. For some reason the recovery disc did not want to work with out a os already in place. Laptop works like new again."

Any advice or suggestions would be great, basically all I want is to install an operating system on the laptop and get it to work again.

Thanks :)

Last edited by corona55; 09-05-11 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 09-05-11, 07:57 AM   #2
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Thanks for the heads-up on coding that link.

This laptop was bought back in 2006-2007, so the warranty is long gone.

It's been out of action for the past 3 years, that's when I tried to revert it back to factory settings.

My current PC is having major problems and is ready to go, so I'm trying to get the laptop up and running so I at least have something.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:13 AM   #3
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is there any particular time it crashes/hangs out
if its at the same time very time it could be an applciation...
if its close to the same time each time, it could be heat...

Have you got a CD Key sticker underneath the laptop?
if you have that CD Key a clean install with an OEM disk would be good.

If you havn't there are various programs to recover the CD Key.

Theres something called Hirens Boot CD, packed full of all kinds of repair/hardware test programs that don't boot off your current install to count that software out.
Might be worth a tickle.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:19 AM   #4
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I second the hirens method. run hirens then go into mini xp. always works no matter what
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Old 09-05-11, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for the Hirens info !

I burned a cd and minixp booted right up, first time I've seen anything work on this laptop in years.

Not sure what I should do now though- how would I go about trying to restore the laptop to it's factory state?

This info. (link below) gave some good clues, but I still don't see the recovery partition on my laptop. The only partitions I see are the Boot CD and the laptop drive. Around 4 gigs of the laptop drive are being used, so I assume the recovery partition is there?

http://groups.google.com/group/altoswindows-2k3/browse_thread/thread/28bc6fb5d9d3b536
I'll keep looking, thanks again :)

Last edited by corona55; 09-05-11 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 09-05-11, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
The laptop didn't come with any discs at all (bought brand new), the only way to reinstall the OS is to use the partition included on the drive.,
Some times you have to make a back-up disk within the first coupla times you use the computer or it won't burn a rescue CD anymore.

I'm not sure if you're doing this.....
[http://www.geekpolice.net/t18281-toshiba-recovery-partition-hotkey-instructions
or you need to access a hidden partition......
http://www.ehow.com/how_6802998_access-factory_hidden-partition-toshiba-laptop.html

Good Luck!

EDIT....Never mind. It looks like you've already tried my ideas.

Last edited by OldHippieRick; 09-05-11 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 09-05-11, 12:46 PM   #7
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Since you loaded Hiren's miniXP you can fire up any partitioning tool you like (or even the generic winXP Disk management console) and start with the easy stuff first. Like doin a Check disk on your Windows partition as a first step.
If that doesnt help then, you can delete the whole XP partition (not the hidden factory one, obviously) and recreate it again.
(I know that you might have already done this but I am posting it here for any other TOSHIBA user with a similar issue)

If your recovery partition is not damaged, reboot and press the F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Option Screen.
Select Repair Your Computer and hit Enter
On the System Recovery Options Screen select Restore Application
Follow the onscreen instructions
When prompted, select Full Factory Recovery

If youre lucky after a couple of minutes the recovery will be completed.

Good Luck
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Old 09-06-11, 02:03 AM   #8
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Quote: Originally Posted by jbgoode View Post
Since you loaded Hiren's miniXP you can fire up any partitioning tool you like (or even the generic winXP Disk management console) and start with the easy stuff first. Like doin a Check disk on your Windows partition as a first step.
If that doesnt help then, you can delete the whole XP partition (not the hidden factory one, obviously) and recreate it again.
(I know that you might have already done this but I am posting it here for any other TOSHIBA user with a similar issue)

If your recovery partition is not damaged, reboot and press the F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Option Screen.
Select Repair Your Computer and hit Enter
On the System Recovery Options Screen select Restore Application
Follow the onscreen instructions
When prompted, select Full Factory Recovery

If youre lucky after a couple of minutes the recovery will be completed.

Good Luck
This may be the way to boot from the recov partition...
it varies from laptop to laptop/desktop...

Some are ALt+F10 before windows kicks in
some have a bios prompt for it like F4 on some newer samsungs.
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Old 09-07-11, 01:06 PM   #9
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Thanks to each of you for providing such helpful information and suggestions.

Here's where I'm at : After running the Hirens Boot Cd I finally got it to restore to the original factory settings. Everything was going absolutely fantastic, I was setting up the freshly installed OS without any problems whatsoever, then I started to download all of the Windows updates from the past few years (SP1, SP2, SP3, etc...) Everything went great until I got to service pack 3 then the installation failed and everything went downhill from there.

Apparently, certain anti-virus programs and perhaps even Zonealarm firewall interfere with service pack installations. What specifically happened was Internet Explorer was being updated to version 8 and it corrupted certain files.

The next thing I knew I was getting a C:\$Secure error, and my paging file was set to zero (meaning I now had no virtual memory whatsoever).

I tried to roll the system back, but all of the restore points just said that C:\$Secure is corrupted.

I tried to uninstall Internet Explorer, but it's not possible.

I tried to uninstall Service Pack 3, but it's not possible.

Every option Microsoft provided to fix this known problem has failed. The only option left according to them is to either restore your system to an earlier date or do a complete reinstall, which brings me back to my original problem.

My Toshiba laptop will not restore to it's factory settings by using the method they provide, which is holding down the 0 (zero) key while powering up the laptop. It used to bring up the recovery console (which never completed), but now it doesn't bring up anything, no matter how long I hold it.

It just simply doesn't work. I don't have any USB devices hooked up, no CD in the drive, I've tried tapping zero, holding down zero, have tried other key combinations used for other models.

I've tried tapping F8 , but there is no option for booting into restore mode once that menu comes up.

I've tried using partition programs to find the hidden restore partition but it never shows up. I have no idea how to unhide it and have searched for several hours.

I have absolutely no idea what to do next.

It's such a shame because everything was working great until Microsoft installed an update and ruined everything.

Any other ideas guys?

BTW- I got it to restore using Hirens Boot Cd by just selecting boot from Xp or whatever the option was. I assume it booted from the recovery partition because the previous install of XP was wiped clean when I used the restore feature a couple of years ago. Now XP is installed again, so Hirens is booting from the latest install (which is corrupted), if that makes sense.

I really appreciate any help or suggestions, thanks :)
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Old 09-08-11, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
I got it to restore using Hirens Boot Cd by just selecting boot from Xp or whatever the option was. I assume it booted from the recovery partition because the previous install of XP was wiped clean when I used the restore feature a couple of years ago. Now XP is installed again, so Hirens is booting from the latest install (which is corrupted), if that makes sense.
Here's what makes sense.....You booted from the XP version installed ON the Hirens CD and NOT from your HD in your computer.

If you've read every link posted in this thread AND tried those suggestions then there's nothing left on your HD and the only recovery possibility is thru a professional service which will start at 1000.00 USD.

If you haven't looked at every link that's where I suggest you start before asking for more suggestions. :)

It just makes common sense.
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Old 09-08-11, 11:27 AM   #11
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Hey OldHippieRick :) - I did read through all the suggestions everyone offered, including yourself.

My recovery partition is most definitely still on my hard drive because I booted from it a couple of days ago and everything was perfect.

Windows XP is most definitely still on my hard drive because it was installed and working great, the FULL version, not Mini XP. I didn't even have the Hirens Boot Cd in my drive while I was running XP for the past two days.

I was able to boot Mini Xp off of the Hirens boot cd, then after selecting boot from XP option off of Hirens and after a restart of the laptop that's when it was restored back to factory settings.

Like I said, I was able to reinstall XP back to factory settings and everything was going great until I was installing updates via the Microsoft website and a known issue (on their end) corrupted my files and basically made the new install of XP useless.

I have plenty of common sense my man, and have invested dozens of hours trying to fix this problem. What would make common sense to me was if Toshibas instructions for a factory install actually worked. What would make even more common sense is if the recovery partition would actually be visible.

Not only can I not figure out a way to boot from my recovery partition, I can't even get the recovery partition to show up and I've used many different partitioning programs and have sought advice from other help forums, and nobody knows.

I know it may sound like I'm glossing over the suggestions everyone has made, but nothing can be further from the truth. I've been at this problem non-stop for the past 3 days and it's really starting to piss me off.

I really appreciate the two suggestions you made in your previous post Rick, and they were really helpful, unfortunately neither of them worked, they should have, but they didn't for some reason.

At this point I'd just like to erase the entire hard drive, and install another copy of XP. How would I go about doing that? F**ck this whole recovery partition nonsense, it doesn't even work for Christ sake and I am beyond infuriated.

I bought a Toshiba external hard drive over a year ago and that thing was even more of a nightmare than my current problem.

Is there anyway to wipe my current install of XP (which is corrupted) off of my drive so that the only partition Hirens boot cd can boot from would be the recovery partition?

Thanks again for all the help, I was staring a black screen with a blinking cursor for the past 3 years before the assistance I got in this forum, I really do appreciate the help.

Last edited by corona55; 09-08-11 at 11:30 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-09-11, 01:57 PM   #12
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I feel you bud! All in all, there are some pretty neat generic WinXp Pro SP3 GHOST images (XXX.GHO) that can be deployed on every single laptop out there.
If you are interested I could upload that thing to one of those file sharin places for you to dnld.
Guess what; it's a legit, clean MSDN OEM Ghost Image with all updates and hotfixes installed and a bunch of drivers which the "found new hardware Wizard" picks from during first bootup.
You'll only need Hirens miniXP to load GHOST32.EXE and an empty drive.
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Old 09-10-11, 07:44 AM   #13
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Hey jbgoode thanks for the offer of uploading the XP ghost image, I would have been all over that a couple of days ago but I installed Ubuntu the other night after it was suggested to me. I'm actually typing this post on the laptop right now.

So far it's working great, and I don't miss Microsoft at all.

I'm pretty familiar with cracked programs but don't have any experience with ghost or cracked operating systems, I wouldn't mind having XP installed on another partition on my laptop though.

Are there any drawbacks or issues at all with having a ghost image instead of a licensed install, such as hidden spyware or anything along those lines?

I really appreciate the help, thanks a lot !
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Old 09-10-11, 10:58 AM   #14
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You have way too many things going and I can't look at it, but if you can't boot from or use the recovery partition.....it's no good to anybody.

If you have XP on this thing just go and buy a recovery disk from whomever made you computer....you never did mention the manfgs name.

Quote:
I have plenty of common sense my man,
Sorry, common sense usually requires a reliable back-up. :)

I'm glad you're happy with Ubuntu. :)

Last edited by OldHippieRick; 09-10-11 at 11:00 AM.
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