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Old 01-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2012
Posts: 5

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Cannot boot from DVD, cannot access BIOS. Toshiba Satellite l650

I'm trying to boot from an install CD to change my operating system from ubuntu to debian. I am at the end of my rope, and my next step is to try to take this thing apart and remove the CMOS battery.

I have spent considerable time searching the internet for a solution.

Every one seems to involve a key at startup. I've tried this. The user manual says for this computer, the boot key is F12. This does nothing. It boots into Grub 1.99 and into ubuntu. (Yes, despite what the manual says, I've also tried F1, F2, F3... Del etc etc etc.) (Edit, To be explicit, I've also tried C, F8) Either it goes to a blank screen and does nothing, or goes to a grub recovery screen.

From the Toshiba Manual:
"To change the boot drive, follow the steps below.
1. Hold down F12 and boot the computer. when the TOSHIBA Leading
Innovation >>> screen appears, release the F12 key.
2. Use the up and down cursor keys to select the boot device you want
and press ENTER"

Ok, before I risk damaging my motherboard by opening it up in cold weather, does anyone have suggestions as to how to instruct my computer to boot into the DVD drive?


Last edited by gnonannon; 01-21-2012 at 11:32 AM.
Old 01-21-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: SC
Distribution: Kubuntu 20.04 LTS
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I also have a Toshiba and there is this option in the BIOS called "fast boot". If you have it enabled, you might be hitting the key too late. To get to the BIOS setup with fast boot enabled, press the power button and all the F-keys at the same time. Just slap every F-key and the Del key as soon as you hit the power button. Although it's not a very elegant solution, I also had trouble getting into setup with fast boot. For some reason, F2 or F12 doesn't work sometimes, so hitting all the keys guarantees that you hit the right button.

On most Toshiba's, F2 goes into setup, and F12 goes into the boot selection screen. Like I said, just press every key you can as soon as you hit the power button.

good luck,
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2008
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Guess you could try a usb or ps/2 external keyboard and try it.
Old 01-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #4
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Registered: Jan 2012
Posts: 5

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Thumbs up External USB keyboard: might have been a better idea.

Funny story: I lost patience about 1/2 hour after having posted this request.

And trust me Rabbit, I pressed keys countless times. The only keys that did anything, merely gave a blank screen. Otherwise, they would send me to one of two different recovery modes, neither of which was related to the BIOS.

After hours of searching the internet and finding only more threads explaining to people which key combination to press, this newbie right here lost his cool, and pulled the computer apart to find the CMOS battery.

As it happens, resetting the battery worked. So I was now able to boot into an external device to install a new OS. Wonderful.

On the other hand, I seem to have damaged the DVD player, having randomly taken it apart in my efforts to find that battery. At first, it was just disconnected, so I took the computer apart again and ensured that the power cable was properly in.

It seems that I might have damaged the motor or improperly aligned the mechanism somehow.

So, having destroyed and repairing my boot.conf, having lost access to my BIOS, regained it, I am left with a damaged DVD player, a functioning computer and a grim sense of satisfaction.

Edit: I took apart my DVD player and found I left a screw inside. It's working now, but the debian installer is having a hard time detecting my network hardware/monitor. However, this is the sort of thing I can figure out. Thanks for the replies.

Last edited by gnonannon; 01-22-2012 at 02:02 PM.


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