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  Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often 
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Dean Romagnoli Aug 17, 2003, 04:49pm EDT Report Abuse
I have a Sony Vaio PCG-FX220 that is exactly 2 years old. On Friday, I used it all day at work without any problems. When I came home, I turned it on and it appeared to boot correctly. I entered my password for XP and it started to load my preferences... then the disk stopped accessing and the screen turned off, but the power light and fan stayed on. I was able to turn it off and back on, but it would not boot ... only the power light would come on and the fan would run, but no disk activity. This happened each time I tried to turn it on. At first, when I unplugged it for about 30 minutes and then tried it, it would start up, but shut down shortly after Windows loaded. Once it even ran for several hours (I thought it was 'working' again), then it shut down. However, most of the time it doesn't even start. I had it unplugged last night, yet this morning it wouldn't boot.
I have done the following to troubleshoot:
1. Opened unit and confirmed that fan is running
2. Unplugged unit and removed batteries.
3. Removed and reinserted CMOS battery
4. Attempted to boot from Windows Installation CD (did not boot)
5. Ran CHKDSK /F with no errors found (when it did boot)
6. Ran Norton Virus Scan with no viruses found
The one time after it started, when it crashed, the hard drive light stayed on. Another time, I got the blue screen stating that a problem has occured and Windows is shutting down to avoid damage to the computer. And most of the time, it just shuts down.
Oh, when I turn it on, I don't even get the Sony logo on the screen when it fails.
Does anyone have any suggestions to a cause?

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Burt Jurgens Sep 05, 2003, 06:04am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Hi Dean,

I have a Sony VAIO PCG-GRZ660 which is only 6 months old but heavily used and I am having the exact same problem that you describe. Unfortunately, I have no suggestions to offer but am seeking a solution also. If you have any updates to your situation, if you could post more info or reply to me off-line, I would greatly appreciate it.


Burt Jurgens Sep 05, 2003, 06:24am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
This topic should be cross-referenced with this one:

Wagner Sartori Junior Sep 24, 2003, 01:51pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
I have a pcg-grx520 and the same damn problem... Any tip, please help!

Tough Guy Sep 30, 2003, 06:17pm EDT Report Abuse
>> 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.

Oguz Ileri Oct 11, 2003, 02:43am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Guys,sorry to hear your problems but after many hours and days of research work for the same approximate problem;the closest Icame to was:
Board ground contact problem,the area that gets effected is the blower fan cage,that is torqued by(probably inch pounds)or turns .I'm sure any of you that have been below the keyboard might have noticed the holes where the mounting screws go in have numbers indicating so.
My "Sony" which I passionetly hate now,did the same thing in one year to be exact.Ofcourse through telephone conversations thru tech help all I got was main Board or the usual $300 or $700 answer.
After obtaining another motherboard (which was extremly hard for a good price),I had the same exact problem.You guys are lucky cause your computer comes on intermittenly.Mine went blank as I was working on it,tried to turn it back on came on with blank screen,(power led on/fan on\though no post)hd whirs then shuts down,cd/dvd will spin.
By the way mine is aPCG FX 270.I even talked one of the technical support guys to okay for a shop manul purchase through Sony Parts after explaning to him the all the trouble shooting I did including display,inverter,power board etc,only trouble was after I received the shop manual finding out that there is a diagnostic software to be acquired thru Sony for their use which ofcourse they would not sell me. Back to "0"
The info I gathered about the ground fault was thru a tech friend working at a very busy downtown shop.If any body has gone far enough you will notice each screw has a brass mounting bushing and a different spring tension.The harness connector to display,ground cable also mounts on the fan cage,if ground faulty there with no load from display,will also cause power problems.My theory is that with time and usage,as rinky dink as the cooling system is the screws with spring tension,back off,or cause intermitten ground disconnects.Feel free to add your comments please.I too use to be a Sony fan till I opened the inside,as far as I'm concerned there is nothing worth $700.

L Lema Oct 13, 2003, 02:28pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Add another Sony VAIO (about 2 years old) with the same problem. Mine is a PCG-FX170.

Hope someone has a solution that's a lot less than $700

Ben Z Oct 13, 2003, 09:04pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Has anyone tried this solution?

My Vaio has the same problem.. it's been a month. But read this solution, taken from another thread:

My laptop was showing the same signs by simply freezing and needing a reboot but it would always come back up - just with half the ram that I paid Sony for. Went through their tech support BS (which was of NO help whatsoever) All of this happened 2 months outside my warranty......BOTTOM LINE FIX: Open the bottom cover with a small phillips screwdriver - it seems that the majority of the failures are coming from memory slot #2 (the one closest to the back of the computer) - buy a short length of heat-shrink wrap ( the kind you would use on about 12ga wire) - cut 3 short lengths of it and place it in between each of the memory chips (the theory is that when you put the cover back on - it pushes the chip down) I did this and it shows my full amount of ram again.......Don't spend the $600 that sony wants to fix it......Actually.....don't ever buy Sony again.......

L Lema Oct 15, 2003, 06:48pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Tried the "padding" the memory as suggested - didn't work. Tried removing memory from slot#2 - that didn't work either.

Daniel Castillo Oct 26, 2003, 05:15pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area and/or possibly want to sell your GRX series laptop. Please contact me.

I will also give you some helpful advice if you so desire.


Nick van Wieren Oct 27, 2003, 06:21am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ...
Hello ppl :),

Through this forum I found the solution to the socket #2 problem and would like to thank all that came up with this solution.
I'm from the Netherlands and bought my VAIO in the United States.

So asking for support in Europe is one thing that's totally out of the question and I would have to pay EURO 40,- to even get somebody
to talk to me. So I just removed one of two 256mB chips.

Here comes the second problem; I'm now missing 256 of 512mB and beleive me, that's a big difference in performance. So I was searching for a 512mB memory chip, and that's the only part of the GRX laptop that's not sold in Europe. So that would mean I would have to buy the chip from the US. I'm not very pleased about the service Sony Corp. delivers to it's customers. I'm now putting up a boycot campaign, also because I have been seeing alot of complaints about Sony, during the search for the solve of my problem. I will be contacting this forum soon, and hope some people will help me, get Sony to do a refund or a solution that's in the same context.


Nick van Wieren

Tough Guy Oct 31, 2003, 03:46pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Me too, this problem on my PCGFX370 was solved when removing 256 from socket#2.
Nick, let's try a 512 from

C T CHEUNG Oct 31, 2003, 09:55pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Not only your Sony VAIO, my two IBM notebooks A22m (Pentium 800mhz) and A20m (Celeron 500mhz) have the same problem in the last two months. I just found the A20m probem four days ago. The symptom is intermittent. My A22m works perfectly but suddenly with battery or AC power, the screen suddenly black out and sometimes with colour lines like waterfall all over the LCD, all things stop and only the power light is on. I then unplugged the AC power, and the CDROM and the power light flashing. I then had to press the power switch for 4 seconds to turn it off but unsuccessful. I then had to plug the AC power on and then press the power switch 4 second to turn it off. After a day or next morning, all the things back to normal. Some days after, the problem come back again.
My A20m problem similar to the A22m but cant boot up the machine with only the powerlight on, hd whirl, fan ok, beep normal as the AC power plug or unplug, but nothing on the screen or floppy or hd or booting. I press the power switch to turn it off. After a few seconds I turn it on again, same problem. I then wait it for a few minutes, it is the same. I then wait it longer time for half of an hour, it is ok. After working for sometime, it will then automatically reboot and hanged.
Thinking that the cmos battery is old and drained, I have replace it. Same symptom.
I have replaced the hard disk, same symptom.
I have replaced the ram using different combination and memory size and different brand of RAM. same symptom.
I open the notebook and add the heat shink grease between the CPU and the heat sink. same symptom.
I have tried to adjust the power management setting, same symptom.
The same symptom appear even when I changed the bios setting immediately it boots up. So the hard disk and the windows ME/98/2000 system didn't involved and is not the reason.
I perform every checking using the IBM PC Doctor Windows Diagnosis and everything OK.
The notebook problem puzzle me for nearly three months, sometimes good and somethimes sick. It works perfectly good when I showed it to the notebook repair technician and he said it is nothing wrong. I become sick when it is single with me in the office or at home.
Are there anyone have the same problem with your notebook? Not particular the Sony VIAO or IBM Thinkpad. MyIBM Thinkpad all are 15" LCD. My 14" IBM Thinkpad A22e works perfectly with no problem.

Bill Robert Nov 05, 2003, 08:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
I also had the same problem. Thanks to they serviced and sent me back my vaio in just 1 week.

Robert +:

Joel Log Dec 14, 2003, 11:07pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Hi I recently had my fx220 start to respond very slowly and I managed to figure out that only 128 of the 256 megs of ram were there,thinking bad chip I swapped them and the problem was still there,booting from slot 1 was fine,slot 2 no go,low and behold I find sony wants to pork me 600 for a new mb,I find this site and try the propping of the memory tighter in the socket and now I have all my ram back.I was a video camera tech a few years back and sony was notorious for bad soldering and sockets,I should have known :( Kudos to the guy with the shrink wrap idea,I Fixed mine with a post it note:)
Take Care

Iain Tuddenham Mar 08, 2004, 08:45am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Oct 27, 2003, 06:21 AM, Nick van Wieren wrote:

> So I was searching for a 512mB memory chip, and that's the only part of the GRX laptop that's not sold in
> Europe.;cat=RAM works fine in my PCG-GRX316MP (which I think I remember is the European equivalent of the US PCG-GRX570.
is the link for US customers).

Iain Tuddenham Mar 08, 2004, 08:50am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often

Joe Higgins Mar 18, 2004, 03:25pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
Another sob story...

I have a PCG-NV170 which worked fine for about
18 months. Then the display stopped working and
I spent a ridiculous amount of money replacing
the inverter. It worked fine for another 3 months.
yesterday it would "freeze" when using it (display
freezes, no activity visible from the outside in
XP or in Linux). Then it would boot intermittently
and then halt as soon as I touched the mouse
or keyboard.

I removed the screws on the base and gently
pressed the ram & other stuff and it booted,
but same problem when I touched the keyboard
(albeit if I was VERY gentle, it would keep running,
and I mean VERY gentle).

Obviously I can't use it as a laptop anymore. I
run vnc so I can bckup, etc., without disturbing it.

I think Sony designs hardware as fashion accessories
rather than as units that should last beyond some short
planned obsolescence period.


Geoff Urbaniak Mar 29, 2004, 11:36pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
I am amazed to see this forum! I just wish I had found it a few months ago.

I was having the same problem and could not get a successful resolution. (Also didn't want to give Sony an extra $700.) I eventually took the whole computer apart and started putting it back together again piece by piece to try to isolate the problem. Eventually narrowed it down to what I thought was a faulty memory chip!. I am now just running with the original 128MB chip. Also had to re-format my C drive as it appeared to have gotten fried. Computer still has some problems, mainly with the power supply connector now being loose.
Probably just a matter of time before the whole thing dies.

I can't believe this is such a prevalent problem affecting a variety of models, yet you can't find anything about it on Sony's support pages. Their support has been HORRIBLE the whole time I have owned this PC. Although I've always liked Sony products, I will never buy another Sony computer.

Anyone want to go further and file a class-action lawsuit???? Don't know if this is something even possible, but if someone wants to spearhead it, I'd gladly tag along...

I'm p**sed.

Justin Cummings Apr 01, 2004, 11:27am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
I'm interested in a class-action. Sue the hell out of'em! I'm having the same problem.

Digerati Prime Apr 07, 2004, 01:07am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony VAIO Notebook won't start ... often
I have an VAIO FX220, I bought it in August 2001. Two weeks ago the screen started "flickering" after a day of this the entire screen went VERY dim, almost pitch black. If i look at it at an angle i can barely see what is on the screen. It displays fine on an external CRT, so I believe it is either a backlight or inverter. Not sure though. Someone said that since the entire screen was black likely it was the inverter, that is if this model has 2 backlights: top and bottom. This is ridiculous, it sounds like a manufacturing flaw, I have never heard of a laptop malfunctioning so early, I guess I have been fortunate though with 2+ years. :( I will never buy another Sony laptop again, that is for sure.

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