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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
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Billy H Mar 07, 2005, 03:09pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

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Derek G Mar 08, 2005, 04:47pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Does anyone else notice how generic all of the JOE K shop "testimonials" seem to be. I could get 50 accounts at hardware analysis also and placing the amazing Joe K sucess stories too. This guy wouldn't bother me if he wasn't overcharging at such an alarming rate. Don't be fooled people, you can get this job done for alot less than 140. And just as good too. Don't belive everything you read, especially when its an internet forum and money is involved.

Joe K Mar 08, 2005, 08:40pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Congratulations, you just insulted 50 + people, by calling them "generic". This issue is closed as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry everyone for having to read this.

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Mark Weiss Mar 08, 2005, 09:46pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I bought a Sony GRX560 with 256MB RAM about 2-1/2 years ago. I added 256MB of Crucial memory a week after I bought it. It has been a sterling performer during that period til last week.

Last week, I upgraded the 30GB HDD to an 80GB HDD. I rebuilt my application/OS environment over a period of 58 hours.

On many reboots, I started to notice that sometimes booting was faster than other times when it seems to take a long time.

Initially, I was having a problem with the clock speed being 1.1GHz instead of 1.6GHz on AC power. But a number of times I checked the Properties menu and noticed it reported 256MB of RAM. I'd reboot and suddenly it'd report 512MB.

To make a long story short, I ran MEMTEST86 overnight. It tested 511MB of extended memory and not a signle error.

But the alternating Windows startups with 256/512 RAM continued. Eventually, I caught the BIOS reporting 256, though all prior checks reported 512. So now I know it's not XP, it's hardware.

I did the usual swapping, trying one stick at a time, etc.

I found that putting a stick in the slot closest to the front resulted in no bootup. But other times, it would boot.
I found that the back slot always seemed to boot.

So after two days of searching, I found this site and read about the solder problems.
I figured it's a worthwhile hunch, so I got out the 30X magnifier and used a needlepoint tool to check the bond on each pin of the SODIMM socket to the PCB. I found that when I pressed down lightly on a pin, sometimes the solder would change appearance in terms of the way light scattered off the surface of the connection. The solder is very soft apparently.

The next thing I did was get out my Ungar soldering iron with the finest needlepoint tip they make (tip was about the diameter of one contact on the SODIMM) and, using a 500W halogen lamp to illuminate the work area, and the 30X magnifier, I reheated and pressed down on each pin. Some of them moved closer to the PCB slightly, others seemed snug. I did this to 400 pints on two sockets.

Two hours later, after inspecting for solder bridges and contamination between pins, I was ready to power up.

Inserted one stick in the front slot. It booted. Shut down, move stick to other slot. It booted again. Shut down, added second stick. Booted. BIOS reports 512MB. Shut down and rebooted 5 times. BIOS reported 512 each time.
Next, I booted into XP, 5 times and shut down completely in between. XP saw 512 every time. Good! I figure, so I put the cover back on and bring the laptop back to my desk, hook up my PDA, LAN, AC adapter, headphones and boot up. XP saw only 256 this time. I shut down, reboot into BIOS, 256, sure enough. I shut down, give the case a slight twist, reboot, and 512 is back.

In my case, once the PC is running, it's reliable, but booting is hit or miss with seeing all the RAM.

That's been my experience with the VAIO.

Stan Konesko Mar 08, 2005, 10:31pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Mark I applaud your effort...nothing ventured,nothing gained!

Peter C Mar 09, 2005, 10:47am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
You know, anyone who has read this ENTIRE long thread will have come to know two things. 1) Joe has been a selfless contributor the entire time, offering all kinds of free advice to people. He has also offered a reasonable service that fixes peoples computers where other services have misdiagnosed users computer problems. 2) There has been an attempt by a person whom I shall not name, to try and steal potential customers away from Joe. This Derek character looks and smells like a troll to me.

What is your real name Derek, and what is your point in knocking Joe's service? And who are you to question his prices? The $60 an hour price you quote is for someone to do basic work on a PC. You know, the kind of work that anyone with a phillips head, a PC's for Dummies book and a bit of handyman built in 'em can do. I, along with probably most other people on this board, can completely assemble from the ground up, a working PC. This is easy stuff.

What Joe is doing is a bit beyond screwing a motherboard to a chassis. It takes some amount of knowhow, the right tools and the right knowledge.

Why not keep your grumbling to yourself. And if you don't like his prices, then bloody well start your own Vaio repair business, and charge others what you think is a good price. Do I think you'll be a perfect saint and charge only, say $30 (since it ONLY takes 30 minutes to do this repair)? Nahh.,....My guess is, it'll be right around....ohh....say $150.

Court Christensen Mar 09, 2005, 11:32am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Well, my GRX550 finally kicked the bucket. A year ago the secondary ram slot died, like so many others. Now, the primary ram slot appears to be doing the same thing -- computer freezes, wont boot without reseating the ram etc. I just wish Sony would admit there is even a problem with our hardware.

I hate to do it, but I'm giving up on my VIAO, and Sony in general. I ordered a new Dell 700m (12" widescreen ;-) ) Good luck to all.

Casey Clermont Mar 09, 2005, 01:51pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I am looking to purchase a Sony vaio pcg-481L or pcg-tr1ap laptop for parts , mainly for the lcd screen

Derek G Mar 09, 2005, 07:32pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
All this really makes me sick, Superman JOE K is getting rich off of this sony vaio problem. In reality sony should be the one taking care of it, but Joe dosent want that, he is perfectly content raking in great amounts of money since so many people are so desperate to get their laptops fixed. People I strongly advise you to call all of you local repair shops and explain the problem to them. I know you can get quality service for much less than the greedy money Joe K is asking. Will someoen please step up to the plate and offer this service at a fair cost?


Derek "The Truth" G

Tom Pappas Mar 09, 2005, 07:39pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I might as well chime in here...

Anyone who thinks reworking SODIMM slots is an eight-minute job should get into the business instead of bad-mouthing those who can. I'll help you.

All you'll need is the education, experience, equipment, and skill to make four hundred solder joints on contacts that are .15mm apart and .15mm wide.

Without introducing any solder bridges or balls, which will kill a $2000 computer the instant you turn on the power.

In other words, perfect the first time.

Knock yourself out.

Tom Pappas

Stan Konesko Mar 09, 2005, 08:04pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? submitted to mod:
why don't you bounce this idiot...he has absolutely nothing productive to ad to this forum!!

Peter C Mar 09, 2005, 10:27pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Here, here Stan.

Onto other things.

I've read a lot of postings throughout this long thread about class action suits against Sony for this recurrent laptop problem, but there doesn't seem to have been any kind of resolution. I sent an email, and then called Scott Shepherd from the the law firm information he posted on this forum (see below) and left a message for him, but have yet to receive any response.

Does anyone know what is going on with this class action suit? I have a Sony PCG-GRX580K that is also experiencing these SODIMM problems.Before I send this thing off to super Joe K. to work his magic on, I want to see if perhaps there is some kind of settlement offer coming from Sony.

Thanks all!

Scott R. Shepherd
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC
35 East State Street
Media, PA 19063

Derek G Mar 10, 2005, 12:50pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hey JOE, In case you didn't notice we live in AMERICA. That means we are entitled to free speech. So if you don't like what I am saying its too bad. If you really get upset about it, just start counting all the money you make from this forum by overcharging everyone in sight. Lets see 140x 50 = $7000 you have made off of this forum so far. Must be nice to have a mini monopoly.

Curt Terpstra Mar 10, 2005, 03:19pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Why dont you get off your a$$ and provide competition to Joe? You keep railing on him saying how he is charging too much............................... Wait - STOP THE PRESSES............... all 6 posts that you have is trying to say that Joe charges way to much for a service that is wanted by people on this board. But you have yet to say anything to Tom who provides the same service for $10 more................ now I know its hard to follow my reasoning here, but try to follow along.............if you are trying to disclaim one person for charging $140......... and not say anything about another person on the same board that charges $150... one of two things are happening here...................... either you are Tom pretending to be Derek, or you are getting paid by Tom to try to discredit Joe.....................................

Now I am not saying that either case exists ..... it just one avenue of thinking outloud .......................

I know neither Tom or Joe................ I dont know anything about either one except for what they have posted on this board............. and what others have posted about them..................... and I make no assumptions about either person........

Now one other thing I do know.... first you accuse Joe of making 50 aliases on this board and using them to say how wonderful Joes work is............................... and then you are saying how Joe has made $7000 from this board......................... now... if he has to make 50 alias's to promote his work, he did not make $7000 from this board..................... and if he made $7000 from this board...... then he wouldnt have to promote his work himself...... and if his work was shabby, then there will be people that will complain about his work................ its not my business to care how much Tom or Joe is making offering their repair services................... last time I checked......... people need to make money to live........... If their prices are to high for you..... find someone else...........

BTW... I have been working on computers for over 15 years........... before that, I was a certified Solderer to the Govement MIL-SPEC......... since I was in quality control for attitude indicators for aircraft............. when I am ready to have my laptop worked on, I will be using either Joe or Tom............... because my time is worth having someone to do the work and guarentee their work.............. and I dont have the equipment to solder the minature solder joints...........................

Tom Pappas Mar 10, 2005, 04:20pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
..."either you are Tom pretending to be Derek, or you are getting paid by Tom to try to discredit Joe..."

That's an interesting idea. How does accusing Joe of gouging justify what I charge for the same repair?

Please elucidate.


Curt Terpstra Mar 10, 2005, 04:52pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
The sentence after the one you quoted

"Now I am not saying that either case exists ..... it just one avenue of thinking outloud ......................."

I really was not accusing you of doing that Tom... again.. I dont know either one of you personally, or professionally ...................... I was just doing a thinking outloud type thing.... It was a tongue in cheek type thing ... something that my mind goes through sometimes

Stan Konesko Mar 10, 2005, 04:57pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Derek......"Opinions Are Like A__holes"Everybody Has One....Their best kept to oneself.
Flamer mean anything to you???

Mark Weiss Mar 10, 2005, 08:15pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Does anyone know which pins on the SODIMM are the most likely to affect whether that slot is polled or not at boot time?
While I have spent two hours a couple nights ago re-heating each of the 400 solder joints involved with both slots, it would help to know which pins are the culprit in these instances where the RAM is not detected on bootup. I could then got back and focus more attention on those specific pins.
It is difficult to focus a lot of attention on 400 pins, but if the trouble area could be narrowed down then I could spend more time and effort at resoldering the suspect pins.
I really don't want to be sending my GRX560 anywhere for two reasons: past repairs to another laptop (a Compaq Presario) resulted in scratches to the case and no resolution of problem, and, I rely on the GRX560 to do a weekly radio program (music on hard disc) and it travels with me to the radio station.
Since this seems like a mechanical connection problem and my effort at reheating 400 pins has met with no gain, I think I just need to focus better on the specific pins of the SODIMM slot that are the cause of the problem. Any information on which pins these are would be helpful.

Denis Luzin Mar 10, 2005, 09:10pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
To Mark,

You have few cases: 1. You've damaged some connectors of SODIMM slot(s) by overheating them. I had same thing and here are two ways of solving - replace of slot(s) or put some solder to sodimm(s)'s leads to make them thicker.
2. DIMM selector/switcher is not soldered well (microchip OZ998S on the back of the motherboard near under PWS board). I'm not recommend you to try to solder it by yourself, but if you know how to prevent electric static discharge you can try.
3. You've slightly damaged PCB by overheating leads under slot(s)'s pins.
4. Some of leads on motherboard has microgaps.

So If you're ready to spend few days inspecting motherboard of your Vaio and don't afraid of risk to completely kill it you can try to find a problem. If you think that your time and nerves costs more than $140 I can recommend to send it to Joe.

To Derek.
I'm fixing bad SODIMM slots soldering in Almaty, Kazakhstan for $50. But if the problem is not only in soldering of SODIMM slots I'm charging more. If the notebook I'm fixing has problems not only with SODIMM soldering (resoldering can be made without disassembling) I'm charging:
Disassemble/Assemble: $20
Resoldering of other components: $10 per component except BGA chips and chips with more than 50 pins. For chips with more than 50 pins I'm charging $20. I have no infrared soldering station, so I can't fully resolder BGA chips. The only thing I can do is to use heating fan at the opposite side of motherboard to heat it up to 220-240 C degrees. Sometimes this solves problem, sometimes not. So no warranty on BGA chips resoldering.
CPU fan cleaning/checking: $30
DC connector replacing: $30 (including connector's price)

VAT: 15% to all of costs.

As you can see resulted amount may be more than Joe charges for SODIMM problem solving.
Sometimes the problem is easy to fix, but in most occasions there is another problem caused problem with SODIMMs. Usually it is overheating because of garbage in CPU fan. Overheating is very bad thing for motherboard with poor soldering because it may cause the lost of contact not only of SODIMM slots. For example I have Toshiba Satellite A35-S159 that has been overheated once and now modem and sound card isn't woking properly.

To resume all of above I can say that complete fixing, inspection and cleaning worth more than $140 if you're ordinal notebook user (you're not disassembling your notebook once a year for cleaning of fans).

Derek, I've showed my charges. Where are yours? How much are you charging for same work (and your contacts or name of company you're working for)? You're talking of 'too costly' repairs done by Joe, but what are you really doing? Just talking?

I've started my Vaio repair business (small business for the moment) after my own GRX316MP failed with SODIMM problems. I've fixed this problem, but damaged a cable between PWS and motherboard. Damaged cable caused damage to DIMM selector/switcher (thanks a lot to Joe who's described how to diagnose it!). Now I've fixed 13 Vaio of different models (F, FX, SRX, GRX, GRV) and have some experience. Also thanks Joe for amazing quality of cables he sells.

Mark Weiss Mar 11, 2005, 12:58am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Thanks for the hint about the memory selector chip, Denis.

Is this chip physically close to the SODIMM slots? I would think it should be, due to the nature of it's work.
I see a couple of chips at the edge of the panel opening for the SODIMM access, but cannot see enough of the chip to read the part number. I started to removed the screws that held the case together, but decided it was more than I want to get into tonight. If I knew exactly where the chip was, relative to the SODIMMs, I might try to use your suggested remedy.

I used extreme care in reheating the pins / solder connections. No melting of the sockets resulted, and I used only enough heat/pressure to reflow the existing solder.
Ultimately, I may wait until Sony, under court order, accepts for repair, all the VAIO computers, and then I'll send it for repair. Hopefully by then I will own another reliable notebook. This Sony has been the only notebook I would consider reliable, up until now. It still operates reliably, unlike my Compaq Presario, which blue screened 20 minutes after I took it out of the box!

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