Laptop Repairs

A basic guide to repairing common problems in laptops

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What if I drop my laptop?

Dropping a laptop can cause a wide variety of problems, from scuffing the case to smashing the screen, PCMCIA slots or other internals. Some older laptops have modular parts that can be replaced, but many newer and smaller laptops have almost everything integrated on the motherboard, so that they are often very expensive to repair. In some cases, depending on the age of the laptop and the damage done, it can be cheaper to buy a replacement laptop rather than repair the damage done to the old laptop.

What if my laptop will not boot up correctly?

Many things can go wrong with the operating system and other software on laptops. Due to the fact that many laptops have customized software to control power management and other laptop specific hardware, problems can arise should these programs be deleted, corrupted or updated wrongly. If it should become necessary to reformat your laptop, it is best to have any driver disks readily available, and to reinstall the operating system from the original manufacturer CDs that were supplied with the laptop. This ensures that the laptop will operate in the same way as intended by the manufacturer.

What if I forget my BIOS password?

This can be quite a problem if you forget the BIOS password to your laptop, as many manufacturers will ask you to take it to a repair centre, however, at least for Toshiba laptops, there are a few things you can try to bypass or remove the BIOS password before you resort to sending it away for servicing. If your toshiba laptop has a parallel port, try building and using an "unlocker" dongle. The dongle is simply a DB-25 male plug with specific pins shorted. The pinout is as follows:

DB-25 Male Plug Pinout
This is the DB-25 Male plug as viewed from the front. (The bit that plugs into the computer)

DB25 Male


Bridge the following pins:
Pins 1, 5 and 10
Pins 2 and 11
Pins 3 and 17
Pins 4 and 12
Pins 6 and 16
Pins 7 and 13
Pins 8 and 14
Pins 9 and 15








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