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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
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Jim L Jan 18, 2004, 01:32pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

I forgot to ask...

I've been through all 7 pages of msgs here, and it's given me a headache, but was wondering, at this point, what a summary of this problem might look like?

1) Is the problem JUST with the socket nearer the back of the system, or is it with both sockets?

2) Does the problem, if it's occurring, really damage the SODIMM modules themselves?

In our case, there were 2 128M SODIMMS, module A in the rear socket, and module B in the front socket.

For awhile, we were able to intermittently get the machine to boot with module A in the rear socket, but not any more it appears. When it was able to boot, I ran a standalone memory test program (DocMemory) on it, and we were consistently getting errors at "127M".

Right now, I have only module A, which use to be in the rear socket, inserted in the front socket, and that's the only way we could get the laptop to boot (after multiple attempts). Module B won't allow the laptop to boot no matter which socket it's installed in.

I'm running DocMemory on this module A for awhile now, and it's getting a consistent error at "127M".

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Jim L Jan 18, 2004, 02:16pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

I have to correct/change some comments from my earlier post:

1) The error is showing up during the DocMemory test at "126M", not "127M".

2) It appears that neither of the memory modules themselves is bad, as if I swap either module A or B into the front socket, I can boot, and when I run DocMemory, I get the error at "126M".

3) The laptop won't boot with either module A or B in the rear socket, even with some pressure (card) between the cover and the socket.

So, it kind of appears that the rear socket is the problem, although this is weird, because I'm almost 100% sure that it booted with a module in that socket at least once earlier when I started looking into this problem :(!!!

Kate Hindle Jan 19, 2004, 05:06am EST Report Abuse

Joe K Jan 19, 2004, 09:35am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I'm editing this post because we have not established Kate's current problem to be related to the DIMM slots.

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Chris Oakes Jan 23, 2004, 06:35pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
One more-- Thanks for all 7 pages of posts. Mine is a PCG FX-340, wouldn't boot, worked with the back mem chip removed and 1/2 the memory, worked with full memory and a bit of folded paper over the back chip (cleaned the terminals for good measure). I've signed the petition, but haven't bothered to contact lawyer Lonnie as it doesn't sound like he's gotten back to anyone.

I am interested in long-term results of the resolder fix; does anyone have any feedback on Joe K's repair at AQS for $150?

Thanks again

Varun Swarup Jan 24, 2004, 02:36pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Add my name to the list. Vaio PCG-GRX580, bought fourteen months ago. Same story. LEDs come on, fan and CD-ROM drive whirr for a few seconds, but nothing shows up on the screen. Sony asks for $800.

Thank you everyone for making the effort to post your problems and solutions on the board. My laptop was at a local repair shop, who's mechanic also told me they'll have to replace the motherboard, but as soon as I read this thread, I called it back. Will try the posted solutions.

I have already signed the online petition and have e-mailed Lonney about the Class Action Suit. If anyone has other suggestions to add further momentum to the movement, please do let me know.

We must definitely not let Sony breathe easy on this one.

Varun Swarup

Bob Stekeur Jan 24, 2004, 10:02pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I sent my grx550 to Joe K last week, he recieved it on fri morning, and was finished repairing it on fri afternoon. I just recieved it today and it works just as it did the day I bought it. Joe K did and excelent job, and charged just what he quoted. $149 sure is a lot better than the $800 shaft job sony tried to stick to me.
I highly Recomend Joe K and AQS Computers in NY but shame on you Sony

John wear Jan 26, 2004, 04:18pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
In December my X570 (18 months old) fell ill due to the memory problem. Pressure on the bad card worked for a month, then nothiong helped. I called Sony, spent about 90 minutes getting to the third level of support (supervisor of second level), never raised my voice, just listed for the supervisor the number of Sony products that I owned (this is my 3rd VAIO), and told the supervisor that it would be my last if they didn't fix it. They sent me a box to return it, and gave me the manager's name to address it to (Jim D). I included a letter in the box giving Jim D the address of this discussion and told him to check it out if he wanted to see what a group of Sony customers thought about Sony's service. In the box where they asked for a credit card number, I wroye NONE and told them to either fix it for free or send it back. The box left Friday afternoon.

Jim D called Monday afternoon afternoon and said that they would fix it for free and send it back as quickly as possible.

Stay tuned. I'll post something if they actually do.

Matt Clayton Jan 27, 2004, 10:21am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Sure enough. My Sony NV170 with 512 RAM (I added and additional 256 when I bought it) that I have had for 15 months didn't boot up a week ago. I noticed that the power would come on, and the hard drive would spin for just a second and then nothing. I called Sony, and they told me the minimum service was $275 or $700 if it turned out to be the motherboard. I opted to buy a new hard drive, hoping that would fix the problem. I stuck in my new hard drive and same result.
I then took my laptop into a local technician in town, and he said it was most likely the motherboard and was surprised it had happened on a Sony. I succumbed myself to realizing that I would need to auction off all my laptop parts on eBay until I searched yesterday and found this forum.
Last night, I pulled out my RAM in slot 2 and whallaa, she booted up. I then stuck by RAM back in slot 2. Put a small piece of cardboard over it with electrical tape so it wouldn't slide. My NV170 reads the 512 RAM for now, but I feel like I'm working on eggshells when using my laptop.
Thanks for the help and wisdom on this forum. I signed the petition, and am curious on what Sony will say about these bad memory slots.
Good luck to all who have this problem, and keep in touch!

Derrick S Jan 27, 2004, 02:46pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I came across this thread after discovering that I have this same issue (again) with my GRX560. The first time this happened, I must admit, Sony was extremely helpful in getting it resolved. I was under warranty at the time, and I had the computer back from Sony within 3 days. Their repair note was "resolder". That was nearly a year ago. Since then, one of my colleagues experienced the same issue, and now, mine is acting up again. I can boot every time, but I am experiencing lockups occasionally. And just a few minutes ago, I discovered that I was only running on 256 MB of Ram. I would recommend that if you are within Sony's warranty, contact them directly (I often hear horror stories about 3rd party warranties through Best Buy and others anyway). Now, that I am no longer under warranty, I guess I will be contacting AQS in NY for a quote.

Belinda Marchand Jan 27, 2004, 05:06pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I'm so happy I stumbled upon this link. It is almost unbelievable that so many people have had the same problem with sony laptops, and not just one particular model. I happen to own an FXA47 and it's the same story. The laptop worked ok for about two years. I too purchased the computer from Best Buy, thankfully along with their service contract (3 years). I've had all sorts of problems in the past with this computer but this is by far the most annoying. The moment I try to power up, the computer shuts down. It stays on the longest after the first boot up. After that, each subsequent boot leads to a shorter and shorter power on, until the computer doesn't turn on at all. ONCE I got a memory error right after boot. Something about windows NT needs at least 7MB of extended memory ...).

At least there's that lemon policy to look forward to. I have no confidence in Best Buy's abilities to diagnose or fix anything. I got it back last Friday, supposedly with a brand new motherboard (for an FXA49) and the same thing happened the moment I came in to work. What really hits me is that they didn't even bother to test it before shipping it back to me. What kind of service is that? Every single time I've sent the computer back for repair, it always comes back with the same problem. In the past I've simply fixed it myself. But this time, I think I'm going to call them in on it.

So, moral of the story - don't buy a sony! and don't have any expectations about Best Buy's ability to fix anything. They really don't know what they're doing.


Jeffrey Sides Jan 29, 2004, 12:53pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Today I had an interesting experience with Sony that may prove to be helpful to some or all of you experiencing these problems. First I should say that I own a VAIO PCG-FX215 laptop that has been exhibiting the same symptoms described here by many others: turn it on, the fans spins, the LEDs flash, the green power LED stays lit, and nothing else happens. No HD activity, no bootup, only a blank screen. For a while I could turn it off and back on 15-20 times and it might boot up and start normally. Most of us are familiar with this scenario.

So, I contacted Sony via their customer support website and got the usual brush off. They did say that I could write or fax to: Sony Electronics Inc., ATTN: National Customer Relations, 12451 Gateway Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33913, Fax (239)768-7730. Being quite unhappy at the state my laptop was in and at the way Sony abandons their customers as soon as possible, I sent both a fax and a letter expressing my discontent. I didn't think much would come of it and had, in fact, already sent off my motherboard to Joe K at AQS Computer Services for a repair. Here's the interesting part: yesterday I actually got a call from a Sony customer relations employee, Barry, who left a direct number to call back. It seems that they were responsive to the part of my letter/fax that stated "How Sony responds to my problems with this obviously defective product will dictate whether I will every purchase another Sony product."

I had not even had a chance to call the guy back this morning, when he called me again. To make a long story short, I didn't expect to receive any satisfaction and I didn't. The guy said essentially that Sony's answer to my complaint at this time was that, being out of warranty, there was nothing they could do to help me. I told him that my answer to Sony at this time was that I would never buy another Sony product again. The most interesting thing to me was that the guy said Sony had no record of there being such a problem with the FX210/215 series that would cause the symptoms I was seeing. He said it must have been something I had done, which I assured him was not the case. When I pressed him about the memory slot problem reported by many folks with the GX series especially, he would not respond directly to that subject. He did say that there was no widespread reports of this problem in the FX series, carefully avoiding mention of the GX series. I told him he could go to this forum and, in minutes, find 50 people who have had the same or similar problems, including GX and FX owners. I think my friend Barry at Sony Electronics National Customer Relations would enjoy hearing from you all about just how widespread this problem IS. Give him call at (xxx) xxx-xxxx, M-F 8AM-4:45 PM EST?. Enjoy!

Note: Phone number removed by moderators due to a request from Sony.

John wear Jan 29, 2004, 01:09pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: They fixed mine for free - that's the good news - read below for more
This is my third entry in this thread. I got my GRX570 back and they had replaced almost everything - screen, hard disk, motherboard, all the LED lights. You see, when it got there, nothing worked, like we all know, so, instead of paying attention to what I wrote them, they just replaced everything but the bottom half of the case and sent it back. So I lost my hard disk that had 20 months worth of stuff on it.

They warned me that this might happen so I made copies of the critical stuff, but you never know what you are going to really miss until it is all gone.

When I talked to the first level of support he gave me the company line about no known problems. When I moved to level 2, he said the same thing. It was only when I asked for level 2's supervisor that I got somebody to listen to me. So, keep trying and you too might lose your hard disk, but get everything else new and a 3 month warranty to boot.

Good luck

Scott Lambert Jan 30, 2004, 09:12am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
This is also posted in topic (Note to the above thread, I didn't lose the contents of my hard drive)

I sent my Vaio GRX550 to Joe @ AQS ( to get the soldering fixed. He received it on Monday, fixed it and had it shipped back out the next day. It's been running with full memory and no problems since.

For a reasonable $149 + shipping, Joe wins the Sony Support award of the year.

Considering Sony wants a minimum of $695 to fix a defect in their product... Should we send the receipts to Sony with a note saying "You're welcome"?

Philip Gass Feb 02, 2004, 07:00pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Belinda Marchand Feb 02, 2004, 08:08pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
> I'm not sure what to do! Is this my problem or sony's? Am i wasting my time
> even phoning the reparis department? Anyone had any success getting the
> laptop repaired for free without warrenty cover? Or is there any way of getting
> warrenty cover after the first year is up?
> apreciate any tips!

Getting Sony on the phone, if you're warranty is expired, is a royal waste of time - unless it's something that doesn't cost them anything to fix (like over the phone support for little things). However, even knowing ahead of time that they won't do anything about it, you should still call them and make it a point to complain about the quality of their products... STRONGLY. Document your complaints, who you spoke with, the day you talked to them and get their extension number. Talk to their supervisor if they'll let you, though they probably won't let you.

Again, out of warranty they have ZERO obligation to help you out so, don't expect anything from them. I would say don't fix it, buy a non-sony product next time. But, stay away from compaq laptops and gateway laptops... they may be inexpensive but they have a short lifetime.

I'm thinking of going the customized route...

OK, they're pricy but these are some power packing laptops - true desktop replacements if that's what you're looking for. Instead of spending less on a laptop that will break right after the warranty expires, try something that has a chance of lasting a little longer, even if it costs more. The Alienware laptops are almost completely upgradable (including the graphics card, which is an absolute bonus (

If you really want to do something NEVER buy a SONY product, of any kind, ever again. If enough people start doing that over time they'll hurt eventually.


Ken Beal Feb 03, 2004, 03:16am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
A couple of weeks ago I got to school and my GRX-550 wouldn't boot. I used a computer in the lab and ran a search in Google and found this site. Following the directions I found in some of the postings, I removed the memory module from the number 2 slot and the computer started right up. However, I started having intermittent lock-ups about a week later.

I suppose I'm one of the lucky few that works at a company that has electronics assembly equipment. I looked at the memory socket connections under a microscope and found the same solder problem that has been described by others. At the ends of the connectors of both sockets, several pins were loose. I resoldered the pins and the computer works fine now. All 512K of memory is recognized and there are no more random lock-ups.

I just want to thank everyone that has posted information on how to fix this problem. The descriptions of the problem and the solution were right on the money.

Even though I was able to fix the computer myself, I contacted Sony by email and by phone to complain. They have had, and may still have, a problem in their assembly process. The fact that most of the failures seem to occur outside of the warranty period should not exclude Sony from taking responsibility and providing customers with a reasonable solution.

Stuart Pearson Feb 04, 2004, 06:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Claudia Tynes Feb 04, 2004, 07:30am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I would add don't buy Sony anything. I have a Sony digital camera. There's this tiny piece of plastic in the zoom lens that cracked. Now the whole camera is inoperable..350+ to repair. My perception now is that
Sony has great features, functionality, but they cheap out somewhere..on a critical piece. I think its on purpose.

Don't buy Sony ANYTHING!

Mas Chano Feb 05, 2004, 04:21pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Let's add another vaio. Mine is the PCG GRX-71. I bought it in Japan. Should be the same as the GRX-550 in the US or something similar to it. Mine is 1.6Ghz, 512RAM, 16.1 inch, etc etc. Bought it summer of 2002 so it's about 1 year and 7 months old now. Anyway, started having problems in November, 2003. Quick fixes worked for a bit when i found out about them in January but not anymore. Very upset right. Mine has japanese OS so will probably have to go back to japan to fix since people here most likely won't be able to read what my comp says. Unless Joe K, can read japanese. what to do what to do... This son of a b!tch cost me close to $3000 too. Hope the class action suits work. I'll see if ppl in japan have this problem too and see if i can do anything there. Thanks to everyone for posting on this issue.

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