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Arfonzo's Blog

23/11/2006 01:57 GMT | Troubleshooting Installation of Windows Vista, Server 2008 and 7 for Toshiba Satellite M40 Laptops

Update (31 May 2009): Note that this same process (in particular the pcmcia related caveats) has been successfully tested with Vista RTM, and Windows Server 2008. Refer to my comment from today for Windows Server 2008 instructions (31st May 2009).

Update (04 Nov 2009): This process should work for installing, R2 upgrade and SPx updates for: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.

Well, looking at the date of my last post... I guess it's that of year again, yes, the annual post!

MSDN is a real pain sometimes. Anyways, I finally got hold of my MSDN Vista Ultimate, they finally cleared the server backlog and gave us some serials, and I finally got Vista installed successfully!

Microsoft Vista on the Toshiba Satellite M40

If you, like me, have a Toshiba Satellite M40 (other machines seem to suffer the same symptoms), and can't figure out why Vista isn't booting, perhaps you might be interested how I installed it (yes, it happened to me from their earliest releases right up until RTM, just in case you were wondering). I guess I'll do the standard thing, and list out my hardware specs, as it seems to be the normal thing to do in these types of technical rants (I already told you--I have an M40!):

- Toshiba Satellite M40-SF3 (PSM40C-SF300E)
- Intel Pentium M/Centrino 1.87ghz CPU
- 2048MB ram (stock machines come with 512mb)
- Dedicated Nvidia 6600 Go 128 mb video card

Ok, so now that we've confirmed that our computers are similar (or not), let's see if we suffered the same symptoms:

Vista looks like it installs properly. When it reboots, the computer starts up and the lowres windows splashscreen loads (with the green moving progress bar). The bar moves across a few times, then stops completely. All lights/activity cease shortly after.


Vista looks like it installs properly. When it reboots, I see a blank black screen of death.

I'm glad I finally managed to figure it out after trying every single MSDN release of Vista unsuccessfully (sigh), luckily, my boss is a downloadaholic.

This is exactly what I did to get Vista to install:

I had the delight of discovering two problems interfering with Vista. After trying as many "one step" fixes as I could, of course.

You need an external monitor/tv/etc. I plugged into the LCD TV here at home. Make sure the video out is enabled in your BIOS (Toshiba HWSetup in Control Panels, for instance), make sure it all works beforehand to save yourself some grief. Plug it in. Reboot the machine or run the upgrade from within Windows.

Don't ask me why--just do it...I know it sounds ridiculous. I can't begin to explain the delicate and mysterious ways in which Microsoft bugs work. The LCD must not initialize properly during the installation, for one reason or another. That's about all I know about it.

1. Let it install.
2. When it reboots, make sure your Vista DVD is still in the drive. Boot from the DVD.
3. Select the Windows installation when it asks, and then select repair.
4. It will go through a long period of scanning or some sort of other bullshit. You should just cancel this.
5. You will see an option for advanced repair options. Go there.
6. Go to the command prompt there.

Now, two files are messing everything up at startup, you have to rename them:

c:\windows\system32\drivers\pcmcia.sys (rename it to anything else, i.e., pcmcia.bad)

- AND -

c:\windows\system32\driverstore\filerepository\pcmcia.inf_1234a123 (the numbers at the end vary with the release)

So, now you've renamed them. Reboot. Vista should continue to finish off the install now. You can unplug from the video out (forever, if you wish).

I hope this works for you. If it does, please confirm it with me by dropping me a note! Thanks.


Art, 23 November 2006, 03:06
Now that RTM is ready to go, I suppose a lot of people are going to start experiencing the same problems and having a lot of questions about how/how much of Vista works with the M40. So, I should just add a few notes, and I welcome any further comments that might help others out!


- It will boot up, and your sound will not be working. Ensure you are connected to the internet, and let it search online for the drivers.
- Your graphics drivers will be the same deal. 1024x768. Download the drivers online, Vista should prompt you automagically.
- Wireless works.
- Ethernet works.
- Function keys work.
- Power saving functions work.
- All my USB devices/USB hub/etc work.


If you know how to make these work, please let me know.

1. Wireless works, but I have to manually toggle the on/off switch every time I reboot. For some reason, it doesn't power the wifi device automatically on startup anymore.

2. PCMCIA will not work. We renamed it, remember? I have no PCMCIA cards in use right now, and I haven't yet tried to replace the pcmcia system file. *** 04Nov09: SEE COMMENTS BELOW FOR PCMCIA FIX SUGGESTIONS ***

- arf

forenplayer, 2 December 2006, 02:17
hey arf, i have the same problem with my toshiba m40 laptop,Wireless works, but I have to manually toggle the on/off switch every time I reboot. For some reason, it doesn't power the wifi device automatically on startup anymore
did you figure out how to solve it?

Art, 4 December 2006, 00:54
Hi forenplayer,

I haven't gotten this fixed yet. However, I do recall having the same problem upgrading XP Professional, which was resolved by downloading either the M40 or M60 wifi drivers, and re-installing. I haven't had too much time to look into this problem, I will let you know if I come across a solution for Vista.

Art, 9 January 2007, 00:10

- Aero works. You need the latest available Vista NVidia drivers, possibly modified by a third-party (i.e., to match your card if you have a laptop). Graphics score went from 1.0 to 4.1.

- 6-in-1 memory card reader works, kind of(?): my Sony Memory Stick works, my friend's SD Card freezes the computer every time.

- arf

jeffdgr8, 29 January 2007, 19:13
I was glad to have found your post, since I was having the same problems with Vista installation on my M40. My wireless card is not having the problem that you stated. It's an Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG. I don't think you mentioned your wireless model.

I am having problems getting my function keys to work. After installing the XP drivers for Toshiba Common Modules (v1.00.10K) and Toshiba Hotkey Utility (v1.00.03K), the brightness and sleep controls work, but nothing else does. Also, every time I bootup, I get an error "Hotkey Utility has stopped working." This is part of Toshiba Common Modules.

Also, my card reader does not work. I tried several different drivers, even a couple from later toshiba models (v2.00, v2.0.0.1, v2.0.0.6A) besides the default Microsoft driver. Inserting an SD card just froze my system. Could this have anything to do with PCMCIA not working (because I renamed the files)?

gfd29, 18 February 2007, 13:36
This post is a bit late, but I wanted to share my info with you. I have a Toshiba M40 with the Texas Instruments cardbus controller and had the same probelm. I used the same issue as Art, and video and hot keys, etc. My experience follows:

I renamed the files a la Art and then booted, but then I didn't have a cardbus controller. The trick is to rename the files in Vista to pcmcia.sys, disable the Texas Instruments pci-xx21/xx11 etc in device manager, then reboot. Vista will load the driver and it will boot. When back in windows, enable the device, and you can use it. The problem is, if you forget to disable the device before you reboot or shutdown, vista will lock up. The more permanent fix is to change the start type of the driver. It is normally loaded at the kernel level and I think that's what causes the problem. You can open a command box, type cmd in the start menu. Right click the icon and click Run as administrator. The command window will open. Type the following:
"sc config pcmcia start= auto" without the quotes, and leave the space after the equals sign. Go into device manager and re-enable the cardbus controller. Reboot, and voila! Vista will load, and you will have access to your pcmcia slot.

-re video card. I have an nVidia Geforce Go 6600 graphics chip on my laptop. I went to LaptopVideo2Go and downloaded the 97.52 driver package and also the INF it is the link next to the driver file. It is modified so that the driver will load on any laptop. Extract the package containing the driver files. Copy the modified inf file into the driver folder. Tell vista it's ok when it nags you. Open the driver file and run the install program. Anyway, hope this helps.

Art, 24 February 2007, 02:13
Hi everyone, thanks for all your comments thus far. I'm glad to know there are at least a few people out there with the same problems (but more importantly, solutions).

We do have the same model of wireless card. It originally didn't exhibit this problem, but now seems to do it everytime on boot, regardless of the operating system that starts or shutsdown. I guess it doesn't have anything to do with Vista directly. It is annoying though. Perhaps with Vista finally hitting the store shelves a few weeks ago, we can see some official software support from Toshiba.

Regarding your function keys, I haven't tried the XP drivers here, but did it ask you to re-run the installation right after you installed it? Something to the effect of Vista asking you to let the setup run again with the proper settings?

Thanks for your input, I appreciate your documenting the solutions to these problems!

Another Vista driver source for the M40 is 3dguru, which also has a modified INF/setup package available for download. I'm not sure which site has the latest drivers at present.

- arf

pdomo, 30 March 2007, 11:54
I am trying to follow your instructions to rename the pcmcia files in Vista but so far cannot figure out how to do so from within Vista. I am logged as administrator but Vista will not allow me to rename these files.

Art, 31 March 2007, 23:26
Hi pdomo,

You have to rename the files from command line, but it MUST be done by booting the computer with the Vista install media (it's described in my article above).

pdomo, 1 April 2007, 20:01
Thanks arf.
I did follow your directions to get Vista installed. Then I tried to follow gdf29's instructions to get the card bus controller back. He suggests disabling the device and changing the pcmcia files back the their original names. I can rename the files from the dvd command prompt but then I am back to the "no boot" problem. Perhaps I don't understand his suggestion.

superjua, 6 April 2007, 17:59

Good tip, I installed Vista in my M40-285 laptop following this steps and run fine, but only a problem, when I insert a SD card, my computer freezes and then I have to reboot manually, Anybody with the same issue?, any solution?, thanks

anthonykong, 13 April 2007, 04:29
my bluetooth is not working at all anyone got some idea where i can get a diver

Art, 14 April 2007, 23:51
Hi guys, thanks for dropping by.

I wish I could help further, but as I have no need for PCMCIA anymore, I've not tried his recommended solution. If anyone else has success, could they please drop us a note here?

If I were you, I might try (if you haven't already):
- disable the device.
- reboot into safe mode, then rename the file via command prompt.
- reboot into normal mode, does that fix the "no boot" problem?

As noted, we seem to have the same problem. The only solution I've found is to connect to the SD media via another means (another card reader device, using usb cable from the camera to the computer for example, etc).

Please check out the Toshiba Europe Bluetooth page, where you may directly download the proper bluetooth stack drivers for Vista:


I've installed it here on my system and it works fine.

I've experienced problems with the bluetooth stack interfering with wireless mice: if your bluetooth and mouse devices are attached to the same usb hub (I discovered this with my own setup, and the fix is simply to ensure your bluetooth device isn't plugged into your usb hub but directly into the usb port on the Toshiba).

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