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  SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine agai...on then dies again 
 
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gerd Beckmann Jul 12, 2004, 05:53pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I have reviewed extensively the forum and find the problems most people have is that the computer will no boot; however, mine boots fine - runs for a few minutes - then the screen just goes balck - will restart right away once I hit the on button.

I replaced the CMOS battery as was suggested in one of the forum entries - but no luck.

Any advice?

I only have the original 256 MB RAM so I do not think the problem is RAM slot related and I have verified that the fan starts and runs - and moves air so I do not think it is a heat problem - seems that it would not start right up if it were heat related.

As for the power connection issues I see on the forums - I am using a DOCKING BAY and the power is fed from the bottom connection so it does not seem to me that the problem of teh solder connection at the motherboard applies

Running XP, and basically the ystem has been troublefree and dependible for years - really could use some troubleshooting experience beyond what I have done.

Thanks in advacne for any and all help.


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Joe K Jul 12, 2004, 06:20pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Hello,

Try going into the BIOS setup and locate the CPU performance, change that to "None" or "Off" and see if that helps.

Also, this may be a heat issue, you can't rule that out.. you say that the screen goes black. Is the system still power on? Have you tried hooking up an external monitor and see if it's only the LCD panel going black?

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
gerd Beckmann Jul 12, 2004, 07:35pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Thanks for your input I tried as you suggested; however, it dies - it is definately stopping not just that the screen goes black - the drive stopps dead and then when I press the on button it starts right up and will run for a few minutes then die again.

I changed the CPU from the setting RECOMMENDED to the slow setting.

The system stops just like it did when I selected Shut Down from the BIOS screen - just stops!

I really thank you for your feedback and help.

Regards,

GERD

Scott Burnett Jul 16, 2004, 09:07pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Hi,
Here is my story
I restore my system to the original, then started to do the updated one by one from sony site. right at the very first bios update, dated ealy 2002, the system died. everything seemed to be ok, the bios program messages was showing successfull process. at the end it said that the system now will be shut down. once it turned itself down, I have not been able to bring it back. there is no sign of any power or light any where.

does this sound familiar to your case?

any hint or suggestion would be nice.

thanks,

Scott

gerd Beckmann Jul 16, 2004, 10:30pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
I have made no progresws toward the resolution of the shutting down problem - although there are similarities in that the power indicator does not show - I did not do an upgrade, etc.. unless one was done automatically in the background unbeknownced to me --


Joe K Jul 17, 2004, 11:18am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Scott,

What model do you have, FX340 also?

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Joe K Jul 17, 2004, 11:29am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 17, 2004, 11:30am EDT

 
>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Gerd,

Did you try changing the CPU performance to the "DISABLED" selection.. not the slow.. as you indicated above.. ?

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
gerd Beckmann Jul 18, 2004, 07:23pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Yes I went back and realized that I did the disabled option-

I am very perplexed I have many other SONY laptops an old f190, an f340, fx-190 and nothing like this has ever happened and I use them regularly in very rugged applications - skiing, and other outdoor venues.


Thanks,

Gerd

P S Jul 30, 2004, 10:58pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
The problem is most likely your memory. I had the same problem a few days ago. I removed all my memory and reseated it. It apparently becomes loose over time with the shaking around and all that...Also, try moving between banks. Even if the memory is the 'original' you can have this problem. I almost changed my LCD screen, before I agve the memory a shot.

Edward Gent Jul 30, 2004, 11:07pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
I have exactly the same symptoms on a PCG-FX340.

1. I run Linux and I **thought** I had fried the CPU chip so I ordered another one. The replacement chip behaved the same way. The original thermal material was very dry, I used new graphoil on the replacement chip.

2. Current symptoms, from cold it runs for a short time and then stops. Power up again and it stops earlier.

3. I did a Google search on Sony thermal problems and there are reports of the bulk capacitors or other components that are under the CPU heatsink degrading and failing. There are explanations about the power regulation as well as, possibly erroneous, posts about faulty thermal sensors.

I'm now going to pull off the heatsink again and check the components immediately around the CPU and I'll post any further findings.

The history of the laptop was that it originally was not heavily used. Around November 2003 I installed SuSE Linux 9.0 and started using it daily. It started shutting down a week ago (July 2004).
I have two banks of memory installed, pulling one bank makes it run longer lending some credibility to the power supply issue.

ted

gerd Beckmann Jul 31, 2004, 05:55am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
I cannot believe it is a thermal problem because when it shuts down and I IMMEDIATELY hit the on button the machine boots, runs for about the same length of time regardless of whether it is the first time (i.e. cold start) or if I have been trying to 'get it running' i.e several starts. I appreciate your feedback and will check the heat sink compound - I have verified that the fan runs and stays running until the shutdawn - I displaced the panel above keybarad and displaced the keyboard to determine this - I left both ribbon cables attached - still no luck and I have removed RAM chips and reseated them along with using 'strips' of heat shrink tubing to hold them under the cover.

Thanks I appreciate the comments - I am going to remove hard drive and try it in another machine.

GERD

Joe K Jul 31, 2004, 07:56am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Gerd,


That was going to be my next question. Does it shutdown or turn off when you sit at a DOS prompt or sitting in BIOS setup? Basically anywhere other than in the operating system?

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Edward Gent Jul 31, 2004, 08:53am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Hi again,

There are three fairly well documented problems with the Sony VAIO's and there are a number of threads and sites claiming to have fixes. One such site is http://www.sonyvaioshutdown.com. Here is a summary of the problems I have found from other posts:

1. Thermal shutdown - caused by degradation of the thermal bond between the CPU and heatsink, plus degradation of the components under the CPU. I have not found an explicit reference to the FX340 other than on this forum. Various companies claim to be able to fix it for a fee, they are secretive on the fix (except one which says to replace the bulk decoupling caps).

2. Failure to boot, included in the symptoms are reducing memory size, reducing performance abd under Windows Blue Screen of Death pointing to a memory problem. A search has shown this has been experienced on the FX340. The problem appears to be the binding (soldering) degrading under the rear memory slot. Various posters have suggested putting additional pressure on the memory module as a fix. Clearly that is only short term. I don't know the exact failure mechanism but from experience it's probably corrosion in the bonds.

3. Power connector issues. This has come up far less than the previous symptoms.

There is a post gathering signatures for a class action suit against Sony, if there's any interest I'll post the forum for that.

best regards ted

Edward Gent Jul 31, 2004, 09:06am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Sorry Gerd,

I reread your post in greater detail, sounds like you have tried the memory trick and verified the fan running. It could be a faulty thermal sensor.

I removed the hard drive from mine last night and put it in a Toshiba laptop. That booted just fine into Linux (and to my surprise XP!). It ran stable in that platform (I changed the network, display and sound settings for the Toshiba).

Sounds like a previous post is trying to steer you down the ACPI path. The software fixes I've read there turn off the ACPI (or equivalent) functions. That was under a post about Windows 98 safe mode working and all others failing.

I am going to tear down the CPU again and also check the soldering under the memory dimms, at this stage I don't care if I destroy the unit, I'm more interested in the root ause analysis.

cheers ted

Scott Burnett Aug 01, 2004, 01:06pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Follow up of my case on this thread.
I did send my laptop to Sony for diagnosis, at their expense. Their response was a list with the following items:

sheet CPU, therma
key board
MBX 49z3, ch assy, mother board

I don't know the failure of BIOS update might have been a coinsident with any other problems or not, such as therma.
what I am hearing here, and what sony sent me for a charge, and the fact that they did not gave any detail about the therma, suggesting that there is something that they don't want me to follow..

I will update you, after my next step to remedy my situation.

thank you all for your sharing information.

Scott.

Edward Gent Aug 01, 2004, 07:57pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
I'm intrigued by the therma input, in my case the thermal compound had dried out. There seems to be a wide gap for the thermal compund to fill between the CPU lid and the headsink. I have not put plastiguage on the top to measure the thickness but the compression on the material I used was minimal and the thickness is 12 thousanths of an inch. That is quite a gap for thermal compund to fill.

Gerd - if you are willing, if you pull the heatsink (four long screws and one short one) and check the condition of the thermal compound. Also, if you can, measure the gap. One of the posts I sent referred to the gap being too large and needing a copper shim. The heatsink should be installed again with an X tightening pattern (the sequence is marked against the long bolt holes).

I'll repost after I get some copper shim and reassemble.

ted

Joe K Aug 01, 2004, 08:36pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
Hello,

I would imagine the only reason they are replacing the Threma sheet is because they are swapping the CPU from the old motherboard onto the new motherboard. Why they are wanting to replace the keyboard is beyond me. (maybe missing keys?)

This is either component failure on the motherboard or a Windows XP issue. The big question is, does it shutdown or produce the fault while sitting at a DOS command prompt outside of Windows.

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
charles payne Aug 03, 2004, 04:26am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: SONY PCG=FX340 dies after a few minutes - boots fine again by pressing start button then dies ag
One idea could be a sensor is going bad, where it thinks the heatsink/fan is not working.

Many ideas come to mind. If you still need help email me and I will post the Sony newsgroup forum link in the email.

cpayne@ithinkpc.com

--

cpayne@ithinkpc.com

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