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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
 
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Denis Luzin Mar 11, 2005, 02:02am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Dear Mark,

I can recommend you to double-check SODIMM slots before doing something else.
Take a magnifying glass an inspect each pin of each slot. Also check pins inside slots, are they tight or not.
Have you used any soldering flux? If not, I can tell for sure that you haven't soldered SODIMM slots pins well. I'm using regular rosin solution in spirit (I don't know English very much, but hope you will understand what I'm talking about). If you have only rosin it can be used also. You should make a rosin powder and spread it over area you're going to solder. Do not spread too much rosin, just very small quantity, otherwise you will not be able to see what you're soldering after rosin melts. Without flux solder will not have a good contact to pins/leads because of oxides.

Regarding chip - it is located at bottom side of motherboard near to lower right corner (if you're looking at the top of notebook as usual). The chip is OZ998S. This chip works as SMBus switch and serves DIMMs and batteries and can be very easily damaged if the cable between PWS board and motherboard is damaged.
Once again, I do not recommend you to disassemble notebook and remove motherboard if you're not extremely careful person. Flex cables used by SONY are absolutely weak and may be very simply damaged during plugging to their sockets. If you're unplugging cables do not forget to note how they're directed to their slots. Do not twist or bend cables and do not apply too much pressure when you're plugging cables. If you can safely keep cables plugged while disassembling notebook - leave them plugged.

Hope this will help.

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Mark Weiss Mar 11, 2005, 03:40am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Sounds like carefully-thought out advise, Denis. Thank you for the cautionary details as well.

I should note that even before I re-heated those 400 connections, I took a needle and pushed each gently to the side to check for loose connections. I found none. Visually, the soldering looked good under the magnifier. I am not completely certain that my problem is in the soldering. It may be the SODIMM contacts themselves, or it may be a problem with the selector chip you described.

My reasoning is this: if the problem was in the SODIMM socket connections, then I should be experiencing system hangs, crashes, frequent errors, especially when moving the laptop case and flexing it gently while programs are running. It does not crash or generate errors. It is strictly a problem with reporting the amount of installed RAM to BIOS.

I did further testing today and verified that the trouble appears to be associated with the slot closest to the front of the machine. With one stick installed in that slot and the other slot empty, the PC will sometimes boot and sometimes not. Move stick to other slot and it boots. Populate both slots, and with a little twisting of the case and a few reboots, it will finally see all 512. And no matter what I do, as long as I don't reboot, the 512 remains operational and error-free.

I think it's got to be something that only operates during POST just before bootup that is setting a flag in BIOS as to how much RAM to expect. What do you think?

Denis Luzin Mar 11, 2005, 06:27am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Mark,

Most probably you have a problem with SODIMM slot itself. Try to check every contact at this slot and double-check soldering. If OZ998S has some troubles they're (in theory) appearing for everything, including both SODIMMs and batteries.
Try to clean leads of SODIMM (by regular wiper used to clean pencil's marks) and clean SODIMM slot contacts by a sheet of paper moistened by spirit or vodka and then try again. If the problem will occure with same frequency - check soldering. If the problem will continue to appear seldomer - the slot is bad and you can try to put some solder to SODIMM's leads or just to line-up slot's contacts by a niddle, but be careful with this.

Hope this will help.

Alan Berecka Mar 11, 2005, 12:23pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
After about two years of decent use, my VAIO developed a problem booting, especially rebooting. I tried the on-line chat with a SONY technician, who told me that it must be a software problem. After uninstalling several programs, defragging and checking the hard disk, the problem didn't go away. I decided to google the problem, and the search brought me to this forum. As I read through the postings, it became clear I wasn't alone, and that Joe K and AQS Computer Services seemed to offer the only real diagnosis(faulty soldering) and cure of the situation. Not being the trusting sort, it sure seemed too good to be true. Still when faced with the choice of the cost of a new mother board or a 150 dollar repair bill, I chose to gamble on the cheaper cure.

I sent the computer out to Tonawanda. I live live near Corpus Christi, Texas. It took two days for the computer to get up to NY. Joe and his folks had it for a day, and then it took two days for it to get back. I unpacked it last night, booted and rebooted the thing a dozen times, and it's working like it's brand new.

So if you are fretting about the choice that most of us VAIO users seem to have to face, I'd say go with Joe. He's quick to respond to e-mails, his folks are friendly, and they know what they are doing.

Here's the info if you need it.

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


Mmicrosysm Mar 11, 2005, 12:29pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
QUOTE {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?} END

Derek;

I too charge that same amount as AQS. As for SONY taking care of it, they do, why don't you give them a call and find how much they want. You will be very surprised on how inflated there price is, seeing its there fault to begin with they should service it for free. None of these companies take care of there flaws, someone has to get hurt first before they take any action (Automotive Industry).

Also if you think you could do it cheaper, go righ ahead, as this is free country offer up your services. Make sure you have the right equipment, because a Radio Shack soldering iron and magnify glass will not cut it.

Jim Moore Mar 11, 2005, 12:44pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I sent Derek a message rather than cluttering up the board.
JOE - thank you for providing a needed service. as we talked before, I had already given +$800 to Sony before finding this site and would rather have spent that contested $150 gladly instead!
Ignore that idiot and please continue to provide us with your knowledge and experience.

Actually I like the sound of it; "S U P E R J O E and the AQS miracle workers"
LOL...

Joe K Mar 11, 2005, 01:25pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Everyone,

Thanks for the support!

I'll never allow negative feedback such as Derek's to change the way we do things. I personally am not offended by Derek's comments because I know he's just an end user that wants his laptop repaired. I think he should be aiming his frustration toward Sony rather than the people offering a solution.

There are several choices Derek can make, at this stage of this "Memory Slot" problem (going on 2 + years of the problem surfacing), there are several options (repair facilities) for him to choose from. I'm sure if he searches enough, he will find a shop that can perform the repair for the price he's looking for.

Denis, best of luck with your business, sounds like your well on your way to offering a valuable service to the public locally in your country as well as outside your country.

Mark, I sent you a message with some details that may help with your repair.

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Anonymous User Mar 12, 2005, 01:07am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
A class action suit against sony is being filed. If you want your laptop repaired, replaced or compensated for free of charge, join the cause. Go to:

http://vaioclassaction.blogspot.com/

for more informaition. Please help.

Scott Border Mar 12, 2005, 02:34am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Joe - I sent an email to you earlier. Unfortunately, I don't think I can send my comp until my semester is done. I'll see.

Anyways, from the class action website, this is exactly my problem. Does anybody else have this problem and also have a VGN series? (Mine is a VGN S150)

1. Push power button.
2. Green power LED comes on.
3. Harddrive and fan spin up.
4. Screen remains dark, the "Sony" logo never appears, there is no additional harddrive activity, and the computer is effectively dead although the green power LED stays on).

The computer will eventually come on after several tries.

Hermilo Uy Mar 12, 2005, 11:33am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have followed the threads of this topic silently and I truly find it very interesting and informative. As an owner of a Vaio laptop, I am concerned that sooner than later I will find myself in the same situation as some of good people here. At this point my Vaio is in good working condition.

I would like to ask Joe K regarding the behaviour of the cooling fan of my PCG-F350 which I have observed to, at times stop and then seconds later spins back on. I am wondering if this behaviour is normal where the system intentionally suspends cooling to save on battery power. I noticed this when there is no activity with the laptop. Is there a way to keep the fan operational at all times which I believe will lower overall temperature.

Thank you Joe in advance.

Hermilo

Mark Weiss Mar 13, 2005, 03:13am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Denis,

The problem may indeed be the socket and not the soldering, but I'm at a loss to tell. Under the magnifier, each pin has a generous bump that protrudes below the plastic 'comb' that separates them.
There is one area that I question though: the back. It appears that there is some fancy metal twisting/stamping that those pins go through, before they enter the socket housing. I wonder if a hairline break in the pins could be causing this ellusive problem.

Today I tried a number of strategies, including applying super-heated air to the contacts surrounding each socket while applying downward pressure to the socket assembly. Even with great care, the plastic housing of the laptop started to melt in just two seconds, so I had to cease that method. The only time I have encountered plastic that melts that easily is with toner cartridges and milk bottles. Sony must intend for this thing to melt in the noon day's sunlight!


To Joe:

I revisited the pins you mentioned in your IM. No luck there. I brought in some optically focused laboratory lighting for semiconductor wafer inspection, so I'd have really good, close in lighting tonight. Upon a very clear inspection, the solder is just fine on all pins in question.

But the insertion/removal of the SODIMMs seems to be making the problem steadily worse. At one point, the laptop refused to boot with BOTH memory sticks installed. Scary, considering I use this laptop as the hard disk recorder and control system for an external 8-channel A/D converter for recording musical performances at various concert halls. If this notebook failed to boot at a job site, I'd be dead in the water.
I also rely on it on Sunday nights to run the music portion of my radio show. Again, if failed to boot, I'd be doing a talk show instead of a music show.

Right now, the 256/512 flipping is just a big annoyance, but not a show stopper, except when it comes to editing video, in which case the system bogs down too much to be productive. I can slam the thing down on the desk a few times and keep rebooting and slamming and rebooting until the 512 come back. And once booted, all 512 remain without hangs or crashes.

I'm not convinced the problem is even the sockets. It could be somewhere else on the motherboard for all I know. Just another evening shot. The wife went to bed hours ago and I'm just buttoning up the VAIO.


ironically, my other notebook, a Compaq Presario 12XL310, which crashed habitually from 20 minutes out of the box, which has been back to Circuit City repairs three times for the same three problems, is still running the same as when new, not any worse. I figured that 4 year old computer would not last more than two and be totally dead by now. But it seems like my nice new Sony VAIO is the one that is dying at an alarming rate.

I went digging through my paperwork to see if I had an extended warranty and found the Sony warranty. I'm shocked... it only covers parts and labor for 90 days! That's like a warranty on a used computer. I always assumed typical warranties were for 1 year or better. Wow, Sony must not have much faith that their notebooks will make it through the next season.

The big question now is what laptop to replace this with... I bought the GRX560 because of the 1600x1200 display. I have not been able to find another brand with a screen that large and sharp. (A must have when you're dealing with 8 tracks of audio, or editing video).

I noticed there are quite a few GXR560 notebooks on eBay. I wonder if they are selling because of this problem. :)

Angela Huang Mar 13, 2005, 11:45am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi all fellow Vaio disgruntled-

I have been reading these boards since Aug of last year when my GRX-580 starting having the same problems that have been described- "powering on" with green button lit and fan spinning, but no Sony logo appearing. Eventually it'll start up again, but will get worse and worse as time goes by. Mine no longer starts-up at all. So I would advise all of you whose Vaio still starts-up to extract any files you may need while you still can.

Now call it foolishness- but I bought another Vaio. The S-150 that Scott Border mentioned. Augh, I'm not a complete idiot. At the time I bought Vaio2, I wasn't completely sure that it was a Sony defect since I had been traveling alot and the laptop did get roughed up a few times.

It's great to know that my new S-150 may succumb to the same fate. Luckily, I did sign up for BestBuy's 3 year warranty. I hate paying for those things, but after Vaio1... So if this one exhibits the same problems, I'll take it to them and let the board know how it turns out.

BTW- How is that class action suit going? It looks like many people have signed up for it but I haven't heard any more for the people in charge or on this board.

Tom Pappas Mar 13, 2005, 08:41pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
The symptoms of a HDD light that flickers a few times and a black screen are key indicators of a SODIMM socket issue. Evidently the BIOS checks for memory, and if it doesn't see any, simply quits. You can prove this to yourself with a healthy computer by removing the RAM and turning on the power.

Why a name-brand international mega-manufacturer with Sony's reputation wouldn't provide a diagnostic indication of some kind in the BIOS code is anybody's guess.

We've repaired a fair number of otherwise resistant memory problems by replacing the sockets. The only inference I can draw is that the springiness of just one individual contact is lost, and there's no way to restore it. If you would like to try this yourself, I can provide the sockets.

Tom Pappas

http://www.vaioshutdown.com

Mark Weiss Mar 14, 2005, 12:09am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Does anyone know what the Molex part number is for the SO DIMM sockets (both normal and reverse-keyed)?

I'm still trying to dig up my receipts to see if I have extended warranty coverage, but in case I don't, I may consider changing the sockets myself.


Scott Border Mar 14, 2005, 10:43am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I posted earlier, VGN S150 that frequently won't boot. Usually get Green power light on but blank screen when I try to start it. My laptop basically take about 5-10 starts whenever i try to start it up.

Could the SODIMM problem affect the graphics driver? Sometimes when I physically move my computer, i'll get an avi2dvag error (including decreased resolution). Could this be related to whatever the Sony Laptop issue is or is this something additional?

Tony Burke Mar 14, 2005, 06:14pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Scott

have same problem with GRT996VP Vaio:

Power up to green led, can hear HD scanning + fan + DVD/RW scanning but no display at all.

Have tested DDR chips = OK.
Have tried various advised DDR chip adjustments = NO JOY.
Have tested CMOS lithium battery out = OK.
Also various CMOS battery routines ie: out + AC + Main bat out, then boot up with just AC = NO JOY

Have run POST on diagnostic card and arrived at a error code 28 which indicates an AUTOSIZE DRAM problem. Unfortunately I am still trying to find out what the hell that means so I will post when the answer finds me.....

In the mean time if anyone can confirm that the GRT series of VAIO run a Phoenix BIOS that would be appreciated.

Mark Weiss Mar 14, 2005, 10:13pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I'm doing some homework, before I decide to replace the SODIMM sockets on my GRX560 myself.
Since I'm experienced at doing microscopic repairs on loudspeaker voice coils, as well as industrial/military electronics, I think I know the risks involved and can manage the level of precision, just one time, to save my GRX560 from the scrap heap.

It seems the four issues are:

ESD protection
Hot Air SMD soldering station
63/27 2% silver solder
SMD no-residue flux

Item 1 I have under control.

Item two might be worked around.

Items 3 & 4 would be pretty important, since this kind of 'rework' involved 'reflow' soldering and they type of solder needs to have the low melting point.

It seems that this procedure is not impossible without a $100,000 worth of soldering equipment and can be done with a few specialized soldering tips and the right solder and flux. But it is not something for just anyone to attempt. It will be extremely difficult, require almost unlimited patience and a very steady hand.

It seems the DigiKey sells a kit under the name Chip Quik, and they sell the flux and solder individually, iintended for just this sort of rework.

I found a couple of web sites that describe soldering techniques that work quite well for SMD soldering.

The way I see it, the hardest part of the job is removing the old sockets. For this it would be good to have a custom-made U channel that can be heated to 450F and placed over all the pins of the SODIMM socket at the same time, thereby loosening the whole thing as a unit. Any other method might be too destructive to the PCB.

Then I got thinking about superheated air... if I could direct it into a pencil thin line, and focus two beams on the front and back pins, the whole socket would be loosened in one operation. In essense, an air dam could be placed around the SODIMM socket and a heat gun with monitored temperature, used to heat the socket and pins.

Just a few ideas I have. If anyone has better ones, feel free to IM me. Thanks.

Scott Border Mar 14, 2005, 11:30pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I finally have got my system working - although I think my issues were different even though they were creating the same symptoms. Of course, I don't know why this works, but it does. I'm guessing for some reason the CPU and the graphics chip don't talk well. I have no idea.

Anyway, if you have a VGN S or A series and have been having issues, give this a try. And if somebody knows why this would fix problems we've been having, please let me know.

Right click-mouse over My Computer
Properties
Hardware(Tab)
Device Manager(button)
Click [+] next to System devices
right-mouse on CPU to AGP Controller (or whatever your controller is called, mine was SiS AGP)
Update Driver(button)

Select Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)
Next(button)
Select Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.
Next(button)
Select PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
Next(button)
Finish(button)
Reboot.

Chris DeVitto Mar 15, 2005, 01:47am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Ok here is a good one for you folks out there that love hearing about Sony service. It seems that sony told some people that thier laptop needed a new motherboard because their GRX would not find the hard drive or the cd dvd, but the laptop did boot and show correct memory. Well I bought the thing from them thinking I could do something or send it to Joe for repair.

Well what do you know the dvd cdrw was bad and I had a spare well that was fixed then I pulled the HD and someone had put a jumper on the drive and of course the laptop would not see it as it was looking for a slave or whatever, jumper removed and viola good working laptop Oh I also reset the bios to factory defaults as per advice from Joe K and everything is fine.. loaded up recovery disks and working great.

The moral of this is dont listen to anything Sony has to say regarding repair of these older machines, it seems all they want to do is make you spend a grand to get the thing fixed without even looking at the machine. Now I can understand thier thinking they know 99 % of these have MB problems so lets just go ahead and change it out to cover all vairables and keep the troubleshooting to a minimum.

I sure hope my auto mechanic does better than this however time is money and they are probably pushed to get out alot with a few....

Just my 2 cents.

Chris

Scott Border Mar 15, 2005, 08:30am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Well, it appears that my computer is not fixed afterall. My symptoms have decreased by putting the adapter at "pci to pci" or whaterver, but they are not entirely gone. Damn.


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