Re: Sony Vaio won't start
Last Friday morning, my Sony Vaio PCG-GRX550 wouldn't power up. I had a green power light, but the disc light would flash for a moment and then go away. The battery charging light would blink, but that was all.
I called Sony support--the number on the green warranty pack card, worked with two different techs for about 30 minutes. They decided I needed to fedex the unit to San Diego (I'm in Memphis) and it would be at least $300. One very interesting question from them..."Have you recently done a memory upgrade." No, the Vaio came with 512mg in 2-256mg chips. I had done nothing to the unit in the 11 months I've owned it. (It's a refurb.)
I called my husband at work to tell him my sad tale. He called me back in an hour with an interesting story. He works in a radio station and was talking to his chief engineer friend who also has a Vaio, as does his wife and the assistant engineer. His wife's Vaio had failed the previous week! Same problem description. The assistant engineer's Vaio had failed similarly in the recent past. For some reason, somebody had checked his memory slots. The #2 slot was BAD!. He had removed the second memory chip and left it out. The Vaio worked perfectly. The chief engineer did the same thing with his wife's Vaio and got the same results! Two out of four is a pattern, friends.
I went to Comp USA and asked the tech to remove the second memory chip and put in a 512 in the first slot. He did and the unit worked! I paid for the chip and went home delighted. When I got home, it didn't work. I took it back, the tech decided the chip was bad and put in another. It worked. I took it home and it failed again. I went back today and another tech said the 512 chip was not the one needed for a Sony Vaio, that it was a proprietary chip we would have to buy from Sony. He put in one of my 256 chips (in the #1 slot) and it worked. I came home and it's still working!!!
I can't find a 512 chip on the net for a Sony Vaio and I may not worry about it. The 256 works fine for my needs and I'm going to leave things alone for a while. It sure sounds like Sony has a problem with their memory slots on Vaios...the query from the Sony tech seems suspicious in light of later knowledge. Can you spell CLASS ACTION SUIT? SOOOO, if you're having a problem, power down, unplug, and then unscrew the center plate under the Vaio and remove the chip closest to the back of the laptop-that's the #2 slot.
I'd be interested to hear if this works for anyone else. As it stands tonight, I'm 256mg lighter, but my Vaio is working and it didn't cost me a cent!
Thank you very much for posting this information. I had the same problem and just tried your advice and so far it seems to be working although I won't know for sure for a bit longer as it sometimes worked temporarily before.
If you are right, I would be interested in following through with taking some action to encourage Sony to make this right and would volunteer to host and develop a Web site for that purpose.
If anyone has more information or would like to participate (or is already doing this), please contact me or post an update here. I will do the same. Thanks again.
I have the same issue, but the fix is no good for me. If I leave the thing unplugged and with no battery in the unit overnight it resets and I can boot once.
The reset button on the bottom has no effect, although if I juggle the RAM in the bottom a couple times the same "reset" happens. The sucky thing is my VAIO did this to me 2 weeks out of warranty, and I got the $300 dollars minimum charge crap (the 2nd level tech was very sympathetic, but said he had no way of overriding the charge). Youíd think my $2400 laptop and Sony repeat business would matter, but no. I can honestly say Iíll never buy anything Sony again.
I did try to troubleshoot the problem myself. I thought that maybe the BIOS battery was bad because I was losing time doing my resets. So I took the battery out (Itís just above the graphics chip) and hooked it up to my multi-meter. That wasnít the problem, the battery was @ full strength and I just had to set up my BIOS settings again. Upon reboot, dead again.
Yeah me too. Tech at Comp USA after three days of running diagnostics says the mother board EATS memory. So it will boot up a couple of times, but at some point will fry the chip. I'm done. Have ordered a Dell.
Beware of the GRX670s that's for sale at Sams'
Please note that the GRX series is no longer even listed on the Vaio site except as refurbs.
Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often - same problem
I own a Sony Vaio PCG-FX370 for about 2 years, it was $2100 something. Last couple days, I got the problem that exactly what we discuss here. I don't think it is a memory issue because I upgraded to 512 a long time ago and it works good so far. I try to take out everything (HDD, RAM) but when I put it back it even worse that the system all stop (HDD, fan) after 2 second, only the Power LED is still on. It will cost me $699 + tax + shipping + (maybe) additional charge for this repair at Sony service center. I think it's better to buy a new one. I'm a SONY fan but now I feel kind of disappointed with the quality of its product.
To: Claudia Tynes
Thanks for your posting, I used your solution and it works for me also. I upgraded to 512 a long time ago so at first I really don't think this is the reason.
I think we should complain with Sony about this common problem.
My laptop was showing the same signs by simply freezing and needing a reboot but it would always come back up - just with half the ram that I paid Sony for. Went through their tech support BS (which was of NO help whatsoever) All of this happened 2 months outside my warranty......BOTTOM LINE FIX: Open the bottom cover with a small phillips screwdriver - it seems that the majority of the failures are coming from memory slot #2 (the one closest to the back of the computer) - buy a short length of heat-shrink wrap ( the kind you would use on about 12ga wire) - cut 3 short lengths of it and place it in between each of the memory chips (the theory is that when you put the cover back on - it pushes the chip down) I did this and it shows my full amount of ram again.......Don't spend the $600 that sony wants to fix it......Actually.....don't ever buy Sony again.......
I bought a 512 MB RAM ($110) from http://www.memorysuppliers.com. It is made by Samsung, which is the same brand that Sony used in GRX series. It works. I paid $140 to CompUsa for repair and they told me I need a new $2400 motherboard. So I spent totally $250 to make computer work again. Sony should have paid me back the money. Never buy Sony again.
Just had a friend bring in a Vaio to our shop, same problem as mentioned in this forum. Found both memory cards are extremely loose. Fould by pushing on both of them system boots fine. Tomorrow I will try the shrink tubing suggestion. Thanks. I find it amazing Sony isn't doing anything about this problem other than trying to collect more money.
I have FX-502 which was working fine until yesterday when I decided to look at the bios. for some reason I disabled the HD and save the new settings. When I tried to restart, I get the Sony screen and then nothing just stays there.
When I tried to restart with the recovery disk in I get the same SONY screen.
Finally when I try to get to BIOS, by pressing F2, I get a screen which lists the hardware (CPU, ram, Mouse, CDW/DVD etc.) and at the end the message : "Entering set up......" and nothing else it stays there... no response.
Any ideas what the problem might be or what can i do?