[ubuntu-uk] Toshiba Portege P4010 - BIOS Bad Block 3

Barry Titterton barry.titterton at mail.adsl4less.com
Mon Oct 17 19:13:01 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-10-17 at 17:44 +0100, David Goldsbrough wrote:
> Hi,
> Up until Friday I was happily runnng Ubuntu on subject machine.  It
> has never managed to do a restore before, and I have always shutdown
> and re-booted whenever softaware updates requested it.
> I have never tried ever to suspend it or hibernate it, due to bad
> attitude on my part as I regard this function as "fancy-dan stuff".  I
> also suspected it would never be able to cope on the basis that if
> "restart" never worked then suspend or hibernate never would either.
> On Friday though my "wisdom" got the better of me and I tried to
> suspend it.  Boy, did it sulk.  It just went dead!  Any attempts to
> re-boot it results in an error message "BIOS(Block3) is damaged! (call
> user serviceman.)  Serviceman: Place maintenance disk in drive and
> press any key when ready."
> I have spent the weekend on and off researching the net and trying a
> few things.  It would seem that I am unable to access the BIOS at boot
> time.  Pressing F2 is the normal access method but I have tried the
> ESC key and the left-shift key.  The DVD drive is not accessible and
> there is no floppy drive.  I do have a usb read-only floppy drive
> available but I suspect the usb ports are not operable either.
> I did see some reference to getting a boot floppy and altering some of
> the bytes with a hex editor which somehow fooled the BIOS and then
> allowed the BIOS to be flashed.  I never pursued this solution as I
> could not think (or did not have the means) of achieving.  I also had
> some doubt whether it would work.  I could find nobody who had
> actually really fully solved the BIOS error.
> The machine cost me less than £50 some years ago, but I loved it so
> much!  It was my Ubuntu/linux learning platform.  Is it time for the
> scrap heap?
> DaveG

You have my sympathies. Exactly the same thing happened to me a couple
of years ago when my first Ubuntu laptop, also a second hand Toshiba,
failed. My son shut the lid without shutting it down first. It tried to
hibernate and never worked again! The machine had a floppy drive so I
even tried the official Toshiba BIOS repair floppy image from their web
site, but nothing worked. I think you are looking at a new machine.

Barry T

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list