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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
 
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Frank Geiger Oct 16, 2004, 12:11pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
FIXED!

I have a 3 year old Sony PCG-FX240 with that second memory slot problem. I took out the second memory chip and the laptop rebooted fine. One of the articles talked about poor soldering on the second memory slot, particularly at the very last contacts of the memory slot. I verified this by using a pair of tweezers to see which were loose at the motherboard. I then took my $5 dollar soldering iron and resoldered the two loose end connections using no additional solder and VOILA - it now works like a charm!

I figure that the joints weaken from thermal cycling of the motherboard and chassis as well as from shock and vibration. Those other tricks are bandaids that may not last very long and you could damage your memory card should they intermittenly make contact. Its is very possible that it could be causing some of those blue screens out there.

Hope this helps.



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Tristan Schofield Oct 17, 2004, 07:58am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
My Sony FRV31 laptop won't boot for the most part. When I manage to get it to post, it won't initialize Windows. It worked well from the time I got it in Feburary at Best Buy until about two weeks ago. I've tried testing the RAM, bought a copy of XP and reinstalled it after the Windows XP copy on the machine started crashing all the time.

I dunno what else to do save wanting to trash it. It's so frustrating. I'm going to get more RAM to see if that works, but needless to say, I do not intend to ever buy Sony again. This is so disappointing.

Kris R. Oct 17, 2004, 09:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Well it seems that I am joining the "screwed by Sony" Club. :-( We bought a Sony Vaio PCG GRZ610 on March 1, 2003. Any one like to guess when we started to have real problems?? Yep....the middle of March 2004, right after the warranty ran out. I probably should have put this post in a different thread, but I am sure that I am headed for the same road that everyone here has traveled. Our notebook started out fine, and then it would occasionally lock up. Couldn't do anything with it, finally realized that if you hold down the power button long enough that it would shut down, and usually it would boot up fine after that. Then a few months ago I noticed that my clock and date were wrong, so I reset them. The only trouble is, it still won't keep time correctly, in fact it wouldn't even keep time when plugged into an outlet. We formatted and reinstalled, and for a short time it will keep the time, even when running only on the battery, but the second you turn it off.....the time and date will be wrong when you turn it back on, in fact, it will actually move backwards hours at a time in just a few minutes of being turned off. I am also having problems with the power cord. I will plug it in all the way, and the thing will run fine, and then it will pop up saying that my battery is running out, and I need to use the plug or it will shut down. If I unplug the cord and plug it back in, it will work fine. Anyone else have these clock problems? It is really getting on my nerves.

Kris
Kristine Takvoryan Oct 21, 2004, 06:14pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have the same problem as everyone else here. My PCG-GRX500 wont start up unless I am pushing down on the memory card. I just contacted Sony, they deny this is a known defect. The technician thinks just because there is one little website (like this one) where people think its a defect, doesn't mean its a defect and doesn't mean sony should be aware of the problem. There suggestion is change the motherboard for $700.

I am going to contact their legal department. I wanted to know how many people here have contacted Sony directly and described this problem with no help from them. If you are interested in bringing a class action suit to get them to deal with this problem please email me directly (kis0o@sbcglobal.net). The more people, the easier this will be to prove.

Also if there is anyone who got a technician to actually admit this was a "known problem", please email me.

THANKS

Mark Traphagen Oct 22, 2004, 12:30am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have officially given up and committed my VAIO to the dustbin.

The trick of putting something under the memory card access panel proved to be temporary. I had to put increasing amounts of pressure to get it to work. Then it started overheating repeatedly and freezing up.

Yesterday I went to Sam's club and bought an Averatec for under $900. PC Magazine Editor's and Reader's choice. It's several pounds lighter than the VAIO and perfect for my class notetaking.

Monica Reategui Oct 22, 2004, 11:51am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Mark!
I have the same exact laptop PCG-FX240!!! and i too had the same second memory slot problem. my Laptop is working fine now after i took the second chip out but i have been wondering how to fix the second slot. i will sure follow what you did since it is the same exact one! i am so excited. my laptop is working under 128mb and unfortunately i can't work on projects i need to do. It took me about 25min to 30min to connect and download files from a server to my dreamweaver! i am a web developer and i need to have a laptop that works. i gues i am one of those poor web developers because i can't afford a new laptop. :(

definetely, i will buy a thinkpad or Mac in the FUTURE. I SUGGEST YOU GUYS DO THE SAME. for now, i will do what you did. :)

Monica

Monica Reategui Oct 22, 2004, 11:52am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
the e-mail above was referred to Frank Geiger. go figure! :}

Mark Traphagen Oct 22, 2004, 12:12pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Monica,

I'm a little confused about your reply to me, because the gist of my last post was that my solution DIDN'T work; at best it worked for a couple of weeks.

Frank's idea above about re-soldering is probably the real fix, but I am completely un-handy, so I wouldn't attempt going inside my laptop with a hot soldering iron. I do have a friend who has done maintenance on laptops in his father's shop; he's offered to have a look at it. I may have him try to do the soldering, and he could probably clean out whatever's causing my overheating problem.

I'm still glad I bought the Averatec, though. It much better fits my present use (notetaking in class) than the big, heavy VAIO. We bought the VAIO for my wife to do heavy graphics work on, but she now has an iBook. If we get the VAIO fixed, we'll probably keep it because her only copy of Quark Express runs only on that.

Stacy Hughes Oct 23, 2004, 06:31pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello all. I'm new to this forum as a post-er, but my husband and I have been using this thread to trouble shoot his problems with his Viao. We tried ALL of the suggestions listed here, and they would work for awhile, but it would always end up the same way. We dealt with this for six months. We didn't want to buy a new motherboard...we would have instead bought a whole new computer rather that deal with this same computer over and over again.

I contacted Joe K, who is listed in this thread, and we finally just bit the bullet and sent the computer to him. $149.00 later for services (my husband bought more RAM as well, just in case) and shipping charges, and the computer is running like a dream. The entire 512 memory is back, there are no more glitches and waiting for the thing to just die. The computer was received by Joe, fixed, and sent out in three days!!!! If you all are serious about getting your computer fixed cheaply, and you want it running smooth again, send it to Joe! Really.

Joe, Thanks for your help and professionalism! It is such a relief to deal with someone who problem solves rather than trying to cover their butt, like Sony! It's sad that Sony knows of this problem, it takes so little to fix it, and they won't acknowledge it.

Have a good one all, and if your Viao won't boot...."Send it to Joe!"

Stacy

Joe K Oct 23, 2004, 06:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Stacey,

I'd like to say thank you for the nice words! It's really a pleasure to serve the Vaio owners in the time of need. I was just speaking with my co-worker Tammy this past Friday and we were discussing how nice everybody's been that we've dealt with concerning this GRX memory slot issue.

I have to admit that I've never dealt with nicer people since we started this business in 1996.

Thank you to everyone.

====================================================


Now back to business!

Everyone, if you look at your GRX and the way it's setup, you'll see that the CPU fan has a round cutout on the bottom of the laptop case. That air opening is where your GRX and GRV takes air in from. If you leave your laptop on a carpet or a dusty desktop or anywhere there is excessive dust (on your lap, ect ect), this will promote the need to clean the CPU fan assembly more frequently!

Please be aware of the dust conditions UNDER your GRX / GRV because that is where the debris is coming from that is building up on the CPU Fan and cooling system thus generating MORE heat and thus in turn promoting the DIMM slot problem (for those of you who have not repaired your slots or don't have a slot problem yet) This info is also good for the people who have had the DIMM slots repair as well to avoid other problems that result from excessive heat!


Joe Kabalan
AQS Computer Services
2572 Sheridan Drive
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Toll Free: 1-866-204-4677
Local: 716-832-2473
Email: aqs12@adelphia.net

http://www.aqstech.com
http://www.laptopbios.com








Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Monica Reategui Oct 23, 2004, 11:32pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Mark,
in my second posting i said i was referring to Frank and not you. i am sorry for the confusion.

Joe,

All the way down to the chain i have been hearing nice things about your work. I know i was about to give my laptop to you but thank god my laptop was fixed as soon as i took the second chip out. thank you for great advice along the way. :)

Question:

you keep referring to GRX laptops, is that where you have seen more problems? Frank's is the first one i see has the exact same laptop i have.

Joe K Oct 24, 2004, 12:40am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 24, 2004, 12:41am EDT

 
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi Monica,

The reason I keep mentioning the GRX line is because that was the basis of this thread. The FX series has it's fair share of issues, but the majority of posts in this thread are related to the GRX / GRV series. Unfortunately, our workload doesn't allow me to post as much as I'd like. Also, often times issues are not resolvable through a message board / email format.

Motherboard repair and troubleshooting (especially Sony) is far to complicated to simply throw "ideas" out and hope for the best. Unless of course it's a documented problem with a developed repair. Such as your case with the RAM slot in your FX and the GRX / GRVs.

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Mikael Wejsflog Oct 24, 2004, 12:28pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> General question about Sony Vaio laptops?
Hi, I'm currently in the process of buying a Sony Vaio laptop model: VGN-297XP (or similar).
See info:
http://vaio.sony-europe.com/ShowProduct.do?site=ite_en_GB&...VGN-A297XP

Judging by the massive amount of posts from users with negative experiences with their Sony laptops, I am naturally a bit worried. I am basically looking for some unbaised advice!
Should I drop the Vaio and go for a Dell instead?

The main reason why I want a Sony is because it seams to have a rugged, sturdy construction and generally be of good quality. It is going to be used for multimedia applications... Music making, graphics, webdesign, programming and the occasional watching of movies...

I live in Sweden and Sony doesn't seam to have as firm support base as Dell has here.
The only real negative aspect of the Vaio is that the hard drive has an rpm of about 5000 - Which is a bit low... But I can probably manage, also I can always upgrade to a faster HD later on (I hope).

Any advice that I should be aware of before I decide, are truly welcomed
Thanks!

Mark Traphagen Oct 24, 2004, 12:49pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
If this forum hasn't convinced you to go with the Dell, I don't know what will! If we here in the US, who supposedly have "full support" from Sony can get no help, how well do you think you will fare over there when you, almost inevitably, will have the same problems as the rest of us?

Mikael Wejsflog Oct 24, 2004, 02:00pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Thanks for your reply Mark.
The thing is, since most people on this node seem to have problems regarding the specific model: GRX (and similar), I reckon that some technical deficiancies might have been overcome by later models (such as the A-series).
Regarding Dells laptop systems... I currently have a Dell Latitude C600 and I suffer serious hardware failures on it. 2 months ago it started having boot problems - Either it couldn't find important system-files or they were corrupted. My only conclusion is that the hard drive has damaged cylinders due to regular wear and tear. And the really annoying thing about it is that the warranty expired just 2 months ago! Hence the reason I need a new laptop. Anyway, so you see Dell computers are not without faults.


Tip concerning hard disks: try running the checkdisk-tool (replaces ScanDisk) in the dos-window of Windows XP.
Press Start>Run, type "cmd".
Type "chkdsk /?" Here you'll see a list of commands...
Type "chkdsk /f" to find and correct any damaged cylinders on your hard drive. Hopefully the computer will avoid writing/reading data on damaged parts of the hard drive (if you have any, that is).

As John K states in earlier posts, for longer durability, clean the air intake and fan and keep your laptop away from dusty surfaces. A clogged air intake would impare the cooling efficiancy of the processor fan and thus lead to heat build up which in turn could lead to that the computer shuts down when on a heavy work load.

Regards
/Mikael


Juan Vargas Oct 24, 2004, 02:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Just want to add to all of your complains.
I have a customer's VAIO PCG-6C2L (on the back) VGN-S150 (on the front) which does not boot. He bought it about 4 months ago. I have a previous customer with a VAIO PCG-GRX520 which turned off after some hours, and he decided to dump it; I guess that was the best choice. This time I may call for the warranty, or give Joe a chance, due to his good feedback in this forum.
As a conclusion, I add to others:
1. Don't buy a SONY computer.
2. Sony's customer and technical service is a waste of time.
3. Get a Dell, their customer service is great.
4. Always buy a laptop with extended warranty.
5. Consider not buying a laptop. Desktops are more cheap, reliable, easy to fix. If you want mobility, get a GoToMyPC account, you'll have your PC wherever there is an Internet connection.

Denis Luzin Oct 24, 2004, 09:10pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Dear All,

Let me put few words here.
I'm owning GRX316MP - European analog of GRX560. Bought May 2001. RAM issue appeared two month ago. I have some experience in fixing of electronics, but my main experience is with audio electronics.
I've disassembled notebook, I decided that the problem is with voltage regulating board. After few days of trying to fix I've found this thread and I was able to fix RAM issue, but I got other problems - two flat cables have been damaged and now I bought a set of them and I'm waiting for them to arrive (I'm living in Kazakhstan)
I've also fixed 3 F series notebooks in the meantime.
What I can recommend:
If you've started to experience RAM issue with your GRX and want to fix it by yourself - DO NOT DISASSEMBLE NOTEBOOK! RAM slots leads can be easily soldered after removal of RAM cover only. If you decided to disassemble notebook - take EXTREME care with at least 2 flat cables - power button cable and flat cable that connects voltage regulator board. These cable are absolutely weak and after 2-3 pluggings they can simply loose 2-3 contacts. I was wondered that GRX series motherboard has only 2 sockets for flat cables equipped by locks - keyboard connector and i-Link connector board connector. For example all flat sockets in Toshiba 1805 has locks and you can dis/reassemble this notebook as much as you want without any chance of damage to cables (If you accurate enough of course).
I also wondered how cheap and leak DIMM sockets are used in GRX series. I've paid for my notebook about $3'500.00 and I've expected that it made more solid.
F-series Vaio notebooks are built much more solid. This series also has some problems with flat cables, but cables itself are much stronger. DIMM slots in F-series have much better quality than in GRX-series.

Resuming:
If you have GRX and experiencing RAM socket issue - it is easily fixable. If you are familiar with soldering iron you can do it by yourself. Just put out battery, disconnect AC adapter, remove RAM cover, use grounding for your soldering iron _and_ your hands. Then simply re-solder each lead of DIMM socket one by one. This should be done for both sockets. If you still experiencing RAM issuse in one of sockets - this socket is probably going out of order. This should be changed to new one, OR if you have no such type of socket (as me) - you can try to solder each lead of DIMM itself. This will make DIMM leads thicker and should work if this socket properly soldered.(I had to do it with my DIMM to ensure that socket No 1 is in working order).
You ca also bring your laptop to good electronics repair shop (this can be audio electronics repair service for example) and tell them what to do, but ask them to not disassemble notebook without urgent need.

I hope that this info will help.

Regards,
Dennis

Joe K Oct 24, 2004, 10:43pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello Denis,

Typically I wouldn't respond to a "positive" post that gives some hope concerning the problem discussed here but when I see the words "easy fix" I tend to worry about people who shouldn't take on a job like this doing so from such encouraging words. It's really great to hear from people (there has been a few) who have the ability of doing such repairs themselves.

I'm going to have to dis-agree with you about the easy fix though. You see, there is a difference between thinking you've repaired the problem and simply patching the problem for the time being (I'll explain in detail later) . You didn't mention any type of vision equipment at all. This tells me that either you didn't use any or you did and you simply didn't mention it. That should be the first thing someone who is going to attempt to perform this repair should have.

I've seen GRX's come here that have had repair attempts and it's unbelievable. Our repair cost goes straight up. I've also seen repaired GRX / GRVs from Sony and that is not adequate as well otherwise they wouldn't have come here for repair AGAIN. I do understand where you're coming from though. In the general scheme of electronics repair, a resolder repair is not the highest level of difficulty.

But .... This memory slot problem is a little more tricky then you think. (now I'm going to describe what I meant by the patching) You see, soldering the slots or replacing the slot(s) is only half the work. You MUST visually inspect the repaired pins because if full uniformity and full conformity of the solder over the pin is not achieved the problem WILL come back. I've seen it happen. So, inspection and the proper solder technique is vital for any prolonged repair.

I will not even go into what I've seen from previous repair attempts and the possible damage to the motherboard and or DIMM slots themsleves. I consider myself a professional. We have about a quarter million dollars of electronic repair equipment in the shop and I wouldn't attempt to do this repair without at least a 20x microscope.

Also, your cables are on the way. You should have them very shortly. Good luck with them. I'm very confident you'll like them much better than the original Sony cables.


Joe Kabalan
AQS Computer Services
2572 Sheridan Drive
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Toll Free: 1-866-204-4677
Local: 716-832-2473
Email: aqs12@adelphia.net

http://www.aqstech.com
http://www.laptopbios.com




Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
mark doyle Oct 25, 2004, 12:57pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi,
I have a sony fx370 with much of the same nonbooting problems. there is a slight difference with mine though that I would like to ask about? when I first turn it on there is a clickingsound coming from the power supply area and the fan wont spin and I get a non system disk error so I soft boot it after the first nonboot reboot cycle the clicking goes away and the fans spins till the windows logo comes up almost as if it will boot then I get a flash of a blue screen and it shuts down and reboots. I tend too think that this is a failed power supply but when I boot from floppy or cd I use {ultimate boot cd by the way} I get get to to my hard drive and view it contents.
thanks for listening!
all suggestions welcomed
mark

Denis Luzin Oct 25, 2004, 02:00pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi All!
Joe, what do you think about Mark's problems?

My opinion:
1. Problems with HDD (most like)
2. Problems with CPU overheating
3. Problems with capacitors near to CPU and/or PWS (notebook quite old and you know how "good" are capacitors used by SONY and how they "like" heat)

By the way, it looks like I'll try to open a repair shop for laptops in Almaty, Kazakhstan in half a year. So I will look for cheap used (but working!) soldering equipment, microscopes, oscillographs, etc. Electronics repairing was my hobby as from I was 13 years old, so now I have some money, time and real interest for it.
Any suggestions (regarding equipment) will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Dennis


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