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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
 
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Joe K May 20, 2005, 11:47pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
David,

Thank you for the positive feedback. We all appreciate it here.

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
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Joe K May 20, 2005, 11:52pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Todd,

The fresh install is a good idea. I haven't seen or heard or any GRX owners complain about that ATI driver loop problem. Usually when there is a video chip problem with a GRX, the video will distort or have fuzzy lines (like radio noise) appear on the screen.


Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Denis Luzin May 21, 2005, 12:29am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Joe,

I have one GRX550 with problem same as Todd's. When I'm applying slight pressure to one corner of south bridge chip it starts to work normally. I can't resolder it yet because I'm waiting for underboard preheater to arrive. What I can see is few solder balls near to the corner of the south bridge chip that looks not as mirror. This means that soldering have been done using temperature below needed (cold soldering effect) and contact lost after overheating and slight skewing (vertical shifting about 2 mm from side to side of whole board) of the motherboard. I can assume that there are some poor contacts between south bridge and ATI video chip that causes problems with video initialization at high speed communication. Temporary solution is to manually change ATI driver to standard SVGA driver.
This should work, but you will have a very, very slow video.
GRX550 that I have in repair had been overheated twice. After first time problems with SODIMM slots appeared. After second time laptop started to loop on ATI driver. Now it works only with SVGA driver or under slight pressure to south bridge.

Best regards,
Dennis

Val Sant May 21, 2005, 01:19am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Message for Tom P and/or Joe K:

My GRZ660 has a clean fan (I finally got in there myself) but still runs hot. I downloaded Speedfan to monitor it so I don't run it too hot (I am trying to squeeze out a couple more months).

Since it still runs hot, is fixing the DIMM socket going to help me at all? Can these machines ever run normally? Of course, I know that you really need to see it to diagnose it ... I'm just trying to determine if its worth fixing; I may just sell it for parts. It has a great screen & DVD writer!!

Todd Flink May 21, 2005, 04:25am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Ok now if only i can find the southbridge chip..... lol

Damn if these things arent china dolls..... look and dont touch...

I have 2 - Toshiba Portege 7140 and 7120.... both over 6 years old and almost bulletproof..... the slower one goes with me in my truck everyday... runs my gps and mapping software.... plus have an orinoco wireless network card with an external higain antennea so I can netstumble. It gets hot enough to fry an egg on and still works like a trooper..............

I dont understand these heat issues with the Vaio's

Joe K May 21, 2005, 11:34am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi Val,

Can you please explain to me in detail exactly what you did to clean the fan?

Thanks,

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Val Sant May 21, 2005, 02:31pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi Joe,

You asked me how I cleaned my fan, exactly.

I removed the speaker panel from the top of the keyboard; then moved the keyboard; then the metal panel which covers 1/2 the fan (and holds the keyboard in place, I suppose). I removed the fan cover (2 or 3 screws) and manually cleaned the entire fan with small pieces of antistatic wipe wrapped around a thin plastic stick. I also held the fan in place while I used condensed air to blow out any excess dust - there wasn't as much as I expected to find. I did not proceed to the heat sink because I had reached my limit of tiny screws to keep track of (!) I did blow off minor amounts of dust from the portions of exposed motherboard I could reach at that point. I also blew out the dust from other removable items, the DVD/CD drive, hard drive, battery and their bays as well (just to see how much there was).

I hope there is still something else that can curb the overheating. I am fine for a while unless I run something more intensive than my internet browser. For that, I have to start fresh the next morning, at about 45C degrees. Running SpyBot S& D is an activity that raises my heat level to 70C degrees almost instantly. Perhaps the heat is related to other damage at this point?

Thanks again for your interest.



Tom Pappas May 21, 2005, 02:53pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Val -

I didn't see you mention the radiator. Most cooling inefficiency is due to dust/dirt/hair buildup that restricts the airflow. Make sure you can see all the way through the fins from inside to out.

Meanwhile, you might be able to squeeze a few more hours out of it by killing any programs that run automatically. The best way to do this is to copy off your critical files and load the recovery CDs. Then stay off the internet until you have installed ZoneAlarm. Download the installation file to your backup medium before you flush the configuration.

Tom

http://www.vaioshutdown.com

p.s. You can use a muffin tin to keep track of parts. Label each compartment as you remove an assembly: 1) speaker panel 2) keyboard 3) shield 4) fan etc.

Frank Hudson May 21, 2005, 04:19pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Joe,

I fully understand the model differences but according to Sony the PCG model line was altered with chip upgrades and minor repositioning . My contention as with many others is that Sony knew about the heat issues long ago and did nothing to correct the problem. I understand your reluctance to condemn Sony but the truth is that the Electrical Engineers and Computer Engineers I've spoken with acknowledge that there is an unwritten rule at Sony that their products are purposefully designed to fail.

I base my assertion is on the FACT that Extended service policies are determined from statistics compiled from product testing that determines a product's time to failure... i.e. the lifetime of the product. A life-time warranty is a very misleading concept. I know this all very well. I used to work for The Sharper Image and I was numero UNO in the chain for selling Extended Warranties. Statistics back then gave Sony portable players a " LIFETIME " of six months. SIX MONTHS ! That was a statistic I found INCREDIBLE... but that statistic was a key issue in a lawsuit which was quietly shuffled away and settled by Sony that their products were purposefully being designed to fail. Whereas Sony began it's life as a ROBUST quality driven company, they found that by making large scale production of NON durable products that they could increase product turnover and drive sales ever higher.

Now they've taken their hijinks to a new level peddling products that cost well over a thousand hard earned dollars to buy. There was a time when if your walkman failed you would go out and buy a new one with only minimal grumbling. Well, none of us are JUST grumbling about these laptop failures.

In accounting terms a washing machine is considered a DURABLE product and they cost ALOT less than a Sony Vaio. Don't take it from me ... the statistics to which I refer are available to the public though the FTC and other consumer agencies.

You repair laptops for a living but access to microwelders isn't that easy to come by for the rest of us. As for me not understanding the differences in the various models, I do, BUT the manual which came with my unit covered TWELVE different models. Here's and excerpt ( models PCG- FX 300 / 310 / 340 / 350 / 370 / 390 (K) (P) ). I call that pretty broad ranging... don't you ? Each model number would be different appended only by a K or a P... which adds up to TWELVE !

Also Joe, I am not insulting or questioning your knowledge of the problems nor am I doubting your understanding of the technologies involved. Please don't impune mine. The thermal aspects of Pentium and Celeron based processors is something I understand quite well. The Pentium M processors are only part of Intel's acknowledgement of their complacency which allowed AMD to overtake Intel's processor performance because of their superior chip integrity and layered architecture. Pentium M chips run cooler because unlike their predecessors ( pentiums 1, 2, 3, 4 and 4 hyper threading) the Pentium M doesn't run at an all out speed but rather it has intelligent switching witch monitors and controls CPU activity. The Pentium M does suffer from latency and caching issues but they are still an IDEAL alternative to Celeron and Pentium 4's because of the decreased energy consumption and heat dissipation.

The history of all of this is that even in my FX-310 there were already heat issues but Sony's zeal for more flashy and faster computers which could process video capture ( VERY CPU INTENSIVE ) and then their subsequent integration of ATI's radeon video sets, they very negligently and purposefully did NOT increase the PCG's onboard cooling. It is also noteworthy that their marketing of these units often touted them as IDEAL companions to sony digital video cameras. While the motherboards may actually have different layouts and chips, the basic configuration and chipset locations are the same, whether they were newer models or not.

A few items to note.
1. My PCG FX-310 runs a Celeron 890 mgz processor not actually 900. That slight indistinction is yet another MARKETING GIMMICK. (for those who want to check for yourselves go to START choose RUN and type dxdiag <grin> just don't mess with any of the settings

2. The only difference between a laptop dubbed a Centrino and a laptop with a Pentium M processor is that the Centrino unit actually has wireless integrated into the motherboard. My Inspiron 6000 IS dubbed a Centrino largely because it was part of a decent package BUT, I could have gotten the exact same laptop with an internal wireless network card (not built into the motherboard) and it would NOT have been dubbed a Centrino unit. Usually units with Pentium M's are cheaper. If you buy Centrino you're probably looking at quite a price increase

3. Joe is quite right about treating non Sony notebooks with Pentium 4's that have overheated. If you buy a laptop that runs a Pentium 4 , KNOW WELL that it will be running very HOT and that it will quite likely have issues sooner than laptops with Pentium M's

4. Lastly, It is MY firm belief that SONY was well aware of theses issues as far back as the FX series. Joe you said yourself you've repaired hundreds of FX-310 units.

Here is a link to the FIRM handling the class-action suit.

Hapner v. Sony Corporation

http://leflaw.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op...AGE_id=276

Listen UP !

If we, the consumers, continue to put up with companies that do this sort of thing we will deserve what we get. A recent noteworthy case similar to this is one that accounted SAMSUNG for poor manufacturing of its plasma televisions and the virtual impossibility of repairing a unit that cost 5k. It would be quite easy for companies to make circuit modules which would greatly increase repairability of products but instead what do you do when your Television goes on the fritz or when your DVD player stops working ? YOU GO BUY ANOTHER ONE.

No one even considers repairing electronics anymore. WHY ? Because those of us who have, get OUTRAGEOUS price quotes e.g. Sony telling US that it will cost close to 1k to fix our units. These problems are only going to get WORSE. Another symptom of all of this is that Cars are becoming less and less serviceable and the manufacturers are witholding technical schematics as PROPRIETARY information. It has gotten so bad that most corner mechanics can't do anything but say " Take it to the Dealer" . If we don't stand up to big corporations soon, we will all be at the MERCY of their substandard products and the outrageous cost of repairs by the manufacturer who sold us the piece of crap in the first place.

Corporate GREED is what's running AMERICA and the White House whether there is a Democrat OR Republican in residence.

I strongly URGE anyone who has a unit with memory failure or problems related to overheating etc... to JOIN the Class Action against SONY. Someone has got to start telling these companies that the MIDDLE CLASS is a dying Cash Cow.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE !

http://leflaw.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op...AGE_id=276

Your Outraged Friend,

Frank



David Kessler May 21, 2005, 06:22pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Just to pick up on one point in Frank's piece above. Joe's price to repair my machine was VERY reasonable -- $149. Adding shipping (FedEx Ground which took 2 days each way) from Massachusetts to NY state increased the cost by $27. So for about $175 and losing my machine for a week I have my system working again and don't need to worry about crashing other bad things. I installed SpeedFan and my system's temperature is between 30 & 38C. I will visit the class action suit page and might join the class, but I don't want to continue to sink time into this issue that has now been solved (for me at least). If my machine lasts another year, I can say that I got 3 years from it and get a new machine (not a Sony). If my machine is still going strong after another year, I'll be pleased and will probably wait longer before getting a new machine. Of course since I've been doing more photography work, I'm finding the disk to be too small. And for graphics applications, more CPU speed is always welcome. Except that the mobile processors haven't really gotten any faster in the last few years. (Mine is a 1.6--well, 1.59 actually but I can't complain about Sony for exaggerating the speed on this.)
David

Joe K May 21, 2005, 10:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Val,

You need to either go one step further in removing the CPU fan and assembly or get high pressure air and blow out the cooling fins sitting right behind the fan housing (as Tom mentioned) This is the area of debris buildup. You cannot see this area looking directly at the fan with the system apart.

You have to either remove the fan assembly from the laptop and then remove the heat sink from the fan assembly to see the build up. Our compressor regulator is set to about 60 PSI and that is usually good enough to blow it out. Canned air from an office store may or may not do the trick without disassembly.

Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Joe K May 21, 2005, 11:05pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: May 21, 2005, 11:11pm EDT

 
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
"I fully understand the model differences but according to Sony the PCG model line was altered with chip upgrades and minor repositioning . My contention as with many others is that Sony knew about the heat issues long ago and did nothing to correct the problem."

----> As far as I'm concerned, the only people that should be complaining about heat issues with a Sony Vaio notebook are the GRX / GRZ / GRV / FR / FRV owners. You cannot expect a laptop to run clean with no debris buildup for 2 or 3 years without problems. It's not going to happen in the real world.

"I understand your reluctance to condemn Sony but the truth is that the Electrical Engineers and Computer Engineers I've spoken with acknowledge that there is an unwritten rule at Sony that their products are purposefully designed to fail. "

---->I'm not trying to stand behind Sony by any means. I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. I'm just speaking the truth of what I've found over the past 5 or 6 years.


"You repair laptops for a living but access to microwelders isn't that easy to come by for the rest of us. As for me not understanding the differences in the various models, I do, BUT the manual which came with my unit covered TWELVE different models. Here's and excerpt ( models PCG- FX 300 / 310 / 340 / 350 / 370 / 390 (K) (P) ). I call that pretty broad ranging... don't you ? Each model number would be different appended only by a K or a P... which adds up to TWELVE !"

-----> Frank, all the models you just mentioned are ONE series. They are all the same laptop with different features and OS options. You forgot to mention:

PCG - 505, PCG-800 series, PCG-700 Series, PCG-GRX series, PCG-GRV series, PCG-NV series, PCG-FR series, PCG-FRV Series, PCG-R505 Series, PCG-V505 Series, PCG-K series. PCG-Z1 Series, PCG-XG series, PCG-SR series, PCG-VX series, PCG-F series, PCG-TR series, PCG-GRT, PCG-FXA, PCG-GRZ series etc, etc..

----> Many of these above model series DO NOT have a faulty cooling systems, but once again, in the real world ALL laptops will have problems with debris buildup within a year or two depending on the operating environment. It's simply the nature of the beast. The reason I mention specific models have a cooling problem is because of "Run Time" of the CPU fan. That is what makes or breaks the laptop. When a cooling system of the laptop is insufficient, the cooling system is constantly running, when it's constantly running, it builds up debris much faster than a more efficient system. Also, when you add in the fact that many of these laptops pull air in from the bottom (where dust and debris are maximum) the clogging effect happens much quicker.

"Also Joe, I am not insulting or questioning your knowledge of the problems nor am I doubting your understanding of the technologies involved. Please don't impune mine. The thermal aspects of Pentium and Celeron based processors is something I understand quite well. The Pentium M processors are only part of Intel's acknowledgement of their complacency which allowed AMD to overtake Intel's processor performance because of their superior chip integrity and layered architecture. Pentium M chips run cooler because unlike their predecessors ( pentiums 1, 2, 3, 4 and 4 hyper threading) the Pentium M doesn't run at an all out speed but rather it has intelligent switching witch monitors and controls CPU activity. The Pentium M does suffer from latency and caching issues but they are still an IDEAL alternative to Celeron and Pentium 4's because of the decreased energy consumption and heat dissipation. "

-----> Great! So we agree on why your Dell runs cooler than your Sony. :)

A few items to note.
"1. My PCG FX-310 runs a Celeron 890 mgz processor not actually 900. That slight indistinction is yet another MARKETING GIMMICK. (for those who want to check for yourselves go to START choose RUN and type dxdiag <grin> just don't mess with any of the settings"

------> 900 Mhz is stamped on your CPU, we're not re-inventing the wheel here.

Frank, best of luck in your quest to dethrone Sony. I'm actually quite disgusted with the whole thing really, a large company like Sony should not be taking this position on such a wide spread problem. ...and you'll be seeing Dell in the courts in the near future as well.




Joe Kabalan
http://www.AQSTech.com
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
J S May 22, 2005, 12:58am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Frank, thanks for that link. Any idea if the other models will be included in the same lawsuit? The short description only lists the GRX series.

Val, the radiator and fan looked clean on my GRZ530 when it was overheating. I had to remove the fan and pull out a large clump of dust from way in the back left up against the radiator.

Frank Hudson May 22, 2005, 04:54am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Joe,

You may not agree that PCG - FX owners have a stake in the complaints here but I do. BUT what carries more weight is the fact that the lawyers in the class action suit agree with me.

But, Don't you find it strange that Sony ( a company that goes to great lengths to retain what is termed PROPRIETARY INFORMATION ) . Also, I note you said that you replaced many BURNED out CPU's in the FX series, so were they running hot as well ? And lastly, WHY IN THE HELL are replacement parts for an older model like the FX 310 so expensive, even as salvage components ?

I know you've seen the innards of these systems 100 times more than I have but I haven't heard anything other than the fact that I shouldn't complain because my vents were probably dirty and that my unit's model number doesen't start PCG -GRX . The very first thing I looked at when I opened up my laptop was the fan and the vents for signs of internal dirt or particle build-up. There was none other than the minute amounts that had adhered to the fan blades themselves. The regular air-flow was unobstructed.

Another thing is that way back on this thread, a gentlemen with an FX-370 was having the same problems as GRX owners. The following excerpt is from page ONE of this thread:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Tough Guy Oct 01, 2003, 01:36 AM Message - Profile - Add Buddy - Alert Moderators



Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?-
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.

Once again, thank for your information.

TG.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Another interesting problem I would like to bring up is sony's recall of FX units which had a modem defect (the onboard modem) which could cause a potential electrical shock. The problem was tied to the modem and was discovered as an after effect (supposedly) after complaints regarding slow connects.

Sucky Battery Life, Electrocution, Memory Problems, etc... YUP... seems like FX customers have little to complain about...

I strongly URGE anyone with a Vaio which has manifested the problems discussed throughout this thread to contact the lawyers conducting the class action SUIT against Sony. There is no reason why anyone with these problems should NOT contact them.... the very least they can tell us is NO but somehow I don't think they will.

Hapner v. Sony

http://leflaw.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op...AGE_id=276

POWER TO THE PEOPLE !!

Frank

Tom Pappas May 22, 2005, 11:53am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
"The very first thing I looked at when I opened up my laptop was the fan and the vents for signs of internal dirt or particle build-up. There was none other than the minute amounts that had adhered to the fan blades themselves. The regular air-flow was unobstructed." - Frank Hudson

Just a side note here: the issue is not entirely whether the "regular air-flow" is obstructed, but how much heat the air stream can remove from the heat sink. If there are even "minute amounts" of dust or dirt adhering to the fan blades, then the same amount is adhering to the heat sink, acting as a thermal insulating layer.

The entire air path must be kept scrupulously clean, or its (already marginal) ability to cool the CPU will be pushed into the "inadequate" range.

Tom

http://www.vaioshutdown.com

David Kessler May 22, 2005, 12:51pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
So Tom, according to what you're saying, I should get out my sink sprayer, turn the water pressure up and spray the heat sink on my computer.

I'm only joking of course, but I like the image and I think the tone here could benefit from being lightened up a little.

It's worth keeping in mind here that nobody on this list is an adversary.

Just my humble opinion.
David

Tom Pappas May 22, 2005, 01:53pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
From "Heat Transfer Fundamentals" on the Chomerics site:

[QUOTE]
The objective of thermal management programs in electronic packaging is the efficient removal of heat from the semiconductor junction to the ambient environment. This process can be separated into three major phases:

1) Heat transfer within the semiconductor package
2) Heat transfer from the package to a heat dissipator (the initial heat sink)
3) Heat transfer from the heat dissipator to the ambient environment (the ultimate heat sink)
[END QUOTE]

Anything that increases thermal impedance at any step of the process will diminish the cooling efficiency of the system. End users cannot affect the first two phases, but can exercise some control over the third. Thus it is important that the metal-to-air interface be kept as free of contamination as possible.

Hope this helps.

Tom

http://www.vaioshutdown.com

Val Sant May 22, 2005, 05:04pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Thanks Joe & Tom,

You each mentioned that I may not be able to complete the "radiator" or fin cleaning with a can of compressed air, which is what I used, initially. I opened the unit back up to shine a flashlight in from the outside to get a closer inspection (it's not that easy). There is no visible blockage but since it's no longer "shiny new" I presume there is a buildup on the fins that the canned air doesn't get. Also, I presume there are other areas around the heat sink that I would have to disassemble to get at the entire air flow that I probably missed.

So, all I have to do is send it in for cleaning & soldering and then followup with the spray can on a weekly basis to get it to run as well as my Toshiba (or my older Presario)?

Val

Michael Robb May 22, 2005, 08:28pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello,
I hope someone in the UK can help with the following problem:

The hard disk drive (Hitachi 80XN - 60 Gigabytes) of my Sony laptop (PCG-GRT916V) has apparently died. The BIOS returns an error '0200 IDE hard drive 0 not found' and will not even return the make of the drive. I have tried the Sony recovery CD-ROM but that just bails out.

I am considering sending the laptop back to Sony to be repaired, but after calling their customer service, the customer service agent informed me that their contract stipulates that they reserve the right to reformat disk drive, which is definitely *NOT* what I want.

I've looked at various data recovery companies, but they charge on the order of 1500 pounds to recover the data off such drives. As I have the recovery disk, I can get a new drive for less than 60 pounds, I can easily reinstall a new OS. But 1500 pounds is way too much to recover 1 weeks work.

Tom Pappas May 22, 2005, 08:55pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> You don't have a BACKUP?
Gee, that's a shame.


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