Afternoon, all. Sorry if any of the following is as clear as mud - this is my first post to the forum.
I was given this notebook by a friend as it keeps locking up. It started doing this a while ago, and not that often, but the problem has become steadily worse to the point where it's now unusable. Part of the problem seems to be caused by moving the machine, even slightly. Still, even if it's left untouched on one of those occasions when it manages to boot properly, it'll lock up after a few minutes.
The symptoms are: leave it standing, disconnected from the mains, for an hour or two, power it up, and it will probably boot into XP normally. It will then freeze after a few minutes, even if not moved. Try to restart it again immediately, and it won't even boot, though I can hear the hard drive turning and the DVD drive works.
Having read a lot of posts about other VAIOs, I made a few checks. There's no memory card in memory slot 2, so that ain't the cause. There's no dust in the heat sink (in fact, the innards are amazingly free from dust). On the other hand, once I worked out how to disassemble the note book and lifted the keyboard to check the processor fan, I found that it's not turning. I'll test it with another power supply and see if it's the fan that's dead, or its power supply on the mobo. Thing is, even when it boots and before it might lock up due to overheating, moving the machine will cause it to lock up anyway. I also used contact cleaner on all of the connectors I could get to without removing the mobo and any of the daughter boards, and that had no useful impact.
I'm wondering if the problem is perhaps a processor that has repeatedly locked up due to overheating, overheating which may have caused bad solder joints or tiny cracks in the PCB around the processor.
What do you guys reckon? If the fan is dead, I'd rather not spend too much cash on a replacement to find the machine still freezes because of a bad joint buried somewhere on the mobo.
BTW, is the processor in this computer soldered directly to the mobo or socketed?
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Sorry, I should have added that the power supply connector doesn't seem to be the problem, as wiggling that around doesn't freeze the machine. All the symptoms are the same running off battery power too.
There are several things that can cause lockup. Many of the same things that lockup a tower or desktop will lockup a laptop. Such as hard drive, memory, software and over heating CPU. This kind of problem is very hard to troubleshoot because you must try one thing at a time and wait to see if it is cured. You might try removing the HDD and booting into bios and let it sit or move it to see in the HDD is having problems. The CPU fan not working properly is also a cause of lockup but will normally cause shutdown as the CPU over heats and fails. You might also try reseating connections, as these will heat up and cause expanding and loss of contact. I would think that the most likely cause is a damaged CPU from what you tell us.
Just for a laugh, I thought I'd call up Sony and ask them how much it might cost to repair the Vaio. For overheating, the estimate was £228, for a more major motherboard problem, £559. Needless to say, I won't be posting them off the machine.
Thanks for the link to the asqtech page - I'd be interested to see what their reply is and what the repair involves.
I had another root around in the Vaio last night, and took out all the boards. The connectors on two of the ribbon cables had that sort of bluey-purple discoloration which looks like tarnishing due to heat, despite the fact they're not that close to the processor. Cleaning the connectors with contact cleaner didn't shift the tarnish, so I ended up very, very gently scraping it off with a precision screw driver. I couldn't get to the cable under the DVD drive as I'd forgotten to pop the drive open before I started the disassembly (doh!)
Once I'd put everything back together, despite the fact that the processor fan still wasn't turning, the Vaio seems less sensitive to being moved and ran for about an hour while it was defragging the hard drive, so I've obviosuly done something useful.
Now I need to find somewhere to buy a replacement fan (either identical or a suitable substitute), as Vaio-link don't sell spares, they just do repairs. The fan's a Toshiba MCF-513AMO5 (5V at 180mA). Has anybody had any experience of getting spares from Toshiba (I'm in the UK, in London)? Would I be right in thinking that Toshiba use a similar fan in some of their Portege machines?
Mmmm, looks as if getting the fan might take a while. I just called http://www.topazsupport.co.uk, who are Toshiba's authorised parts and repair people, and they can only help if I give them an actual Toshiba part number, rather than the product number on the fan (wow, great service). I'll see if I can put some pics of the fan (and the rest of the inside of my Vaio) up on the web soon.
Mmmm, that really doesn't sound good, though I'd wondered if it might be the case.
I opened my Vaio up again tonight and went through it thoroughly this time, cleaning all connectors with contact cleaner. I removed the fan and heatsink too, so I could get a picture to send to a Toshiba spares supplier to see if they do a suitable replacement. The fan's a Tosh, though I'm not sure if the heatsink asembly is as well. I might be able to open up the pins that hold the fan into the heatsink assembly if that's the only way to get a new fan in, but I'm starting to get the feeling that my Vaio might well end up on eBay soon as a 'spares/repairs' auction.
I have a Vaio PCG GR390 with the same shutdown problem. On mine, the problem seems to be the battery power connector (see my new topic post). How did you get your Vaio open?
I've tried removing screws and plastic pieces, but can only get so far before I'm in danger of breaking it.
The power connector seems to be an easier fix than all the other stuff you've described.
I also got my Vaio from a friend free for the same reason. When it works, it is a really sweet machine, but not when it dumps.
I tried running my Vaio straight off the power supply without the battery pack, but in my case, it didn't help. I'll see if I can post some of the pics I took while opening up the machine - it was a bit tricky. I've been a hi-fi anorak for years, with a soft spot for working on old cassette walkmans, so I'm used to working in tight spaces and finding bizarre clips and connectors.
My Vaio is now running and seems stable. My hubby made two shims to fit in the battery compartment, which keeps the battery from moving around. I am treating it as a desktop rather than a notebook, (i.e. not carrying it around with me as I used to).
The machine might require the battery to be in place in order to run, since it has a complex circuit for monitoring and charging the lithium-ion battery. Lithiums have to be closely monitored while charging and discharging. I haven't tried running my Vaio with the battery out, since it is now working with the shimmed battery and I don't want to mess it up.
Please post the pix, if you can, since I do want to fix this batt power connector.
Most electronic failures seem to be in connectors. I'm an electrical engineer and that's been my experience. Used to work for IBM. Best, CB
Can't believe I found this. Also have a VGN-T1XP with the exact same problem. I got given it as my friend believed it was broken; i did a clean reinstall with the recovery and it appeared to work fine for about a day.
For about a month now; the computer decides to shut down if I apparently move it, so if its sitting on a desk for a while its fine, if i put it on my lap it'll be fine until I move it. In fact sometimes it decides it won't shut down.
Any ideas or fixes yet? This is obviously a common problem with this laptop; particularly with age...
I was thinking it might be unseated RAM but I don't want to open it up unless I 100% have to...
All, I've sent my vgn 150p to the local tech shop and they informed me that I have a hard drive problem. My vaio was exhibiting the apparently same characteristics, now I'm waiting on getting it back from them so that I can do a hard drive swap. I hope it works cause these drives arent cheap, and its not easy to get inside the machine
We have started taking these in for repair again (no longer on hold) There are 3 possible causes for the freezing / no boot on the T series. One is not repairable and the other two are. None of which are related to the hard drive.
Please contact me for pricing and turn around time.
I have a similar problem with VGN-T1SP but it seems fan is not dead yet.
It is getting very hot and slow though. I just want to know dissemble to replace the hard drive.
It seems you are the expert.
I know how to open the keyboard and add addtional memory but couln't figure out to replace hard drive.
Could you point out where I can get that information or just steps how to do it?
Sorry I'm coming late into this discussion chaps but I'm trawling the web trying to find a fix for my memory upgrade issue with my t1xp.
There IS a major issue with these machines which, of course, sony refuse to acknowledge. I had the same freezing when moved issue when mine was about ten months old and sony replaced the motherboard. I told them that at any one time there are two or three on eBay with the same symptoms and asked them to acknowledge this and of course they denied it. It will make me think twice about buying sony again (that and the atrocious treatment new buyers are getting with vista installed and parts not working grrr!