I know I’ve been gone for over a month, and that you all miss me dearly. Trust me, my loyal audience, there is a Good Reason for my prolonged absence. Alas, it’s a reason which I’ll save for another post. In the meantime, a quick troubleshooting tip for anyone who has issues with a Toshiba Satellite that won’t boot past the splash screen.

I had this issue just this evening. Got home, plugged my droid phone into my laptop, since I’m currently accessing the Internet via tethered Droid (suck it iPhone fan kids! :-D ), and hit the power button. The splash screen showed up and the machine just stuck there.

No fan noise, no apparent hard disk access (activity light completely off), no more boot process.

Rebooted a few times; no joy.

So then on a completely random hunch, I unplugged my Droid and rebooted. The machine booted as normal. So if you’re having this issue, try unplugging any smart phones or other similar devices. (My SWAG on the issue is that the Toshiba bootloader was trying to boot from the phone, thinking it was a bootable USB drive or somesuch.)

Possibly involved factors:

0.) Toshiba Satellite (A-305)
1.) OS disk is encrypted with TrueCrypt, which monkies with the MBR, among other things.
2.) Motorola Droid, latest supported Android OS (2.1, I think). USB Debugging enabled.
3.) Running on negative computer karma, since I don’t have a recent backup for this machine, so I was definitely overdue for a scare.

Hope this helps.