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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
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Ron Stubblefield Feb 24, 2004, 12:23am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I like the idea of contacting the media. I'm actually trying to find out if TechTV will feature an article somewhere in thier program lineup. They don't seem to mind calling a bad apple for what it is. And with all the techies that tune in....I'm sure Phony Sony won't like the negative exposure.

Still checking.......


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Clint Dover Feb 24, 2004, 01:13am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
A horror story with my PCG-GRX570!

I was in my last semester at Clemson doing my design projects with team members, and my laptop suddenly stopped working! All the data that we had done was on my computer because I was the only one with a laptop. So basically, my crappy Sony cost two of my teams weeks of work. I had to use the computers at school for the second half of the semester and they were 15 minutes away and 15 minutes to find a parking space. I sent it to Circuit City, where I bought it and they sent it to the repair shop. A month later, I get a call about it being a mother board problem. I spoke with the guy who did the service (who apparently remembered my computer by some of my projects that were stored in the computer!) and he said it was a bad mother board! He said he had to send it to Sony because they couldn't repair it, but it would cost around $1200!!!! Needless to say, this was totally out of the question.

We tried sending it to an independent repair shop, but the repairs would have cost somewhere around $700, so I decided it was probably a problem with having a notebook computer and swore them off. Hell, a new desktop would cost less than that for much better equipment. Later, I got a new computer so I wouldn't lose my ability with industry software. YOU KNOW IT WASN'T A SONY!!

So, I'm surfing the internet looking to see if I can turn my LCD into a TV screen. You know, seeing if I can make any usage out of the old thing. Coming across this thread, I heard about putting pressure on the memory card. So I tried one card with pressure and the thing came on!!! I tried putting the other back in with the same technique and both of them now work!!! I doubt it will last, but at least I can back up my data now before it messes up again. Thanks for the tips guys! I will take it up to the local repair man and see if he can work with it now that I know the problem. I filed with or whatever it was just so we could add another signiture and make Sony think. I will make sure I don't let a friend buy a Sony, too. Over the last 5 years, I had developed a loyalty. I had two digi. cams, a camcorder, a phone, two computers (this one and a VAIO slimtop), my stereo reciever, speakers, CD player, and a DVD player. They are going to miss my business for sure!



Kate Hindle Feb 24, 2004, 04:28am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Scotty Scott Feb 24, 2004, 08:35am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I can understand your frustrations as I sent 3 e-mails to Sony Europe as Sony USA (where my laptop originated) would not accept my complaint as I do not have a US address.
I only received a useless reply after I contacted a well-known UK PC magazine journalist who kindly followed up my problem with Sony.
The PC magazine has printed the following article in the News section of their April 2004 issue.

TITLE: "Sony notebooks lose their memory"
Sony has admitted that some laptops sold in Europe may develop a problem with their memory slots - an issue that has been the subject of numerous complaints in the US.
But a spokeswoman said the company had no reports of issues with the two models from the affected range that have been sold in the UK. These are the GRX 516SP and 516MD. The range was launched late in 2002.
British expatriate Keith Scott says Sony quoted him UKP 700 to repair the the US-sourced PCG-GRX 550 that he had bought in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 18 months ago.
After searching on the web he found that many other uses had been complaining of the same problem, apparently caused by poor soldering around the Sodimm memory slots.
Symptoms, varying from boot failure to disappearing memory, usually arose after extra memory was installed, but sometimes spontaneously.
An online petition asking Sony to acknowledge the problem had more than 50 signatures as we went to press.
A New York laptop specialist. who did not wish to be named, said the problem seemed to affect the GRX-550 series and he had been sent a number to repair.
A Sony statement, referring only to the GRX-550, said that its quality-control procedures did not show any problem for the "equivalent European model".
The statement went on: "A few units may show such a problem after installing additional memory. Sony Europe agrees to offer a free-of-charge repair during the warranty period of the units.
Sony said it would charge a flat fee of UKP 90 outside the warranty period. Scott said that he had sent three e-mails to Sony Europe without a reply and that the Sony US site would not accept a European address. He had now sent his laptop to the New York firm for repair at a cost of $500 (UKP 280) including shipping.

I am still persuing whatever channels I can to achieve some redress, including repeating my mantra, "Don't buy a Sony" to all and sundry. What a mess of a company to act in such a manner and then even try to make a huge profit out of peoples' misfortunes in buying what is supposed to be one of the world's best laptop ranges

My sympathies, Kate, and don't give up.

Best Regards

Meghal C Feb 28, 2004, 05:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I am wondering if i can install FXA53 or FXA59 motherboard into my fx310 laptop? Is this possible, i dont see any differance between these laptops except the processor types? what u all think?

Joe K Feb 28, 2004, 02:05pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

In order to use a FXA motherboard in a FX310 case you'll need to get a DC Charging board for an FXA and a hard drive caddy for an FXA.

You will also need the CPU fan assembly for the FXA.

Your restore CDs will no longer work. Thats about it...

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Scotty Scott Feb 29, 2004, 09:52am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
To all and sundry,
In pursuit of "justice" I have also followed Kate Hindle's path and sent the following message to BBC Watchdog :

Dear Watchdog,
I am British resident living in Spain. This e-mail was prompted by a message from Kate Hindle who has lodged the same or similar complaint with BBC Watchdog against Sony. She also placed a message on the forum "" on page 10. My comments are also appended there re. my own experience c/w an article from Personal Computer World, March 2004 issue, which mentions my involvement.
I have repeatedly contacted Sony about my laptop, a PCG-GRX550, which had a memory Slot 2 fault introduced during manufacture. This was caused by poor soldering and bad QC practices. Sony denies this but the number of similar complaints against Sony outlined on the above forum show the fault is Sonys. We are trying to get a class-action suit going against Sony but so far this has not materialised. If you are intending to air this matter on BBC I would appreciate knowing when as I watch BBC-1 and BBC-2 here in Spain.
I would also appreciate a reply to this e-mail, that is if you do one-on-one replies.
My Very Best Regards,
Keith Scott
cc: Kate Hindle

Michael Peak Mar 03, 2004, 10:20pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
My Sony Vaio PCGGRX570 started having memory dumps daily. Then would not stay booted for longer than an hour at the time. 14 months after buying it and of course only got the 1 yr factory warrantee. Called Sony and the tech deserves a grammy for the act he did going through several lame attempts to fix the laptop. Actually said that this was the very first call he had got about this unit having this kind of problem and that it was just a one in a million chance of bad luck. How can he sleep at night??? I am also a person that thought very highly of Sony products until now. I still would be if they would have at least admitted the problem and gave me a small break in repair price. But to add insult to injury they gave me the same $700 replace motherboard spill. I actually was going to go for it untill I asked them if they were going to replace it with the exact same motherboard and they said yes. After reading these posts till my eyes bulged out I at least feel a little better knowing that I'm not alone. Now my butthole whistles when the wind blows right but I know to never.......ever... buy anything with the Sony logo on it again the rest of my life. I will tell every person I know and ask them to tell every person they know about this. It might take ten years but Sony will pay in the end for thier lies.

Lexa Pravda Mar 04, 2004, 02:02am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi 'lucky' SONY customers,

... I am kind of glad and mad at the same time that I found this forum... but as you can guess I am also in the same boat as you guys are. I am an owner of PCG-FXA63 model, nice notebook. All-in-one light comfee... but 14 month from day of purchase i.e. 2+ month passed the warranty I decided it is time to upgrade memory by adding second module 256Mb PC133 module... and 3 weeks later.. I tried to boot it and guess what.. blank/black screen and fans are on and reads CD but .. no luck... in other words very very same simptoms as described by others.. LIke BSDs a number of times prior to complete failure.

OK... no extended warranty Sony turned me down ... and kicked me in the butt like a homeless dog...

I am strongly agree that this is their full responsebility and they should repair it at no cost to the customer.. but this is USA and it is new business model for many manufacturers these days... to insure that product work great within the manuf. warranty period and after that... who cares.... new models are out so the customer will be tempted to buy a new anyways... I guess :) I could be wrong.

Anyways, if anybody need any help or any kind of support for like taking Sony to court let me know. I am all for it.

Good luck all,


Shaun Opp Mar 04, 2004, 03:44am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have a PCG-GRX580 that was bought in Aug 2002 and in late March 2003 it lost 256 of 512K, etc ..... until it wouldn't boot. Called SONY and after a few hours it was shipped back to their San Diego Office to fix and returned. Great!!! I thought no more problems. WRONG!!! Yesterday it started to no longer boot: the power light (green on) then the cd-rom would whirl and thats it. So I will now pull the 2nd memory chip and see if it will boot. I have followed the links and signed the petition, bigclassaction, Lonney's class action on Page 2, and the California prig.

Thanks for the assistance as I was just about to send it to SONY for a new motherboard. Will check with a friend who has a computer shop about soldering and if he can't do it then I will send it to Joe K.

hon yau Mar 04, 2004, 04:02am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I had a vaio z505 and it started to have this sudden shutdown problem about a month past the warranty. Until it finally died a few months later. I now uses a toshiba (over 3 years now), and never had any problems with it.

After stumbling across this forum, I don't think I'll buy sony computers ever again!

Martin Hapner Mar 04, 2004, 08:24am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I contacted the ABC news station in San Francisco, several months ago, which has a segment on consumer issues, but, alas, they have not responded that they would focus on this issue....
I have a block of time, and will be sending my laptop to Joe K for piece of mind...

Richard Cottier Mar 05, 2004, 01:55am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hey all,

After finding this forum and understanding what the problem was with my Sony Vaio Laptop GRX-560P,
I immediately contacted Sony only to be jerked around. As of right now they will not admit the soldering
problem with the memory sockets. I spent 2 days calling repeatedly and complaining. I will be a part of any class action suit I can find against them. In the mean time I have sent my laptop for repair to Joe K. at AQS Computer Services. He received it on 3-4-04 at 3:00 pm and had it repaired in a couple hours. These people have the knowledge and the equipment to make the soldering repairs. Some advice to all, if you have put something in the memory compartment to apply pressure to the chip this will fail over a period of time. This could also cause more damage to the mainboard as well as the cpu. Joe will verify this. The flat rate of 149.00 was well worth the repair. At least now I can use the laptop and not worry about this problem any longer. Sooner or later Sony will have to make good on this problem. At that time I will ask them to reimburse the repair cost.

Take care all.

Joe K Mar 06, 2004, 10:00am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Yes, I do believe it's time to make an official statement regarding the adverse effects of the "pressure" fix.

Although I cannot give in depth detail of each condition, I will certainly make you aware of the possibilities. Thus far we've had about 12 cases of the CPU becoming damaged due to the lack of proper lead contact with the motherboard pads. Once again, at both ends of the DDR SODIMM socket there are vital Vpp and Ground contact that HAVE to be made.

There is a part of me that is like everyone else... cheap fix, lets do it! But I would like to make you aware of all the possibilities... do this pressure fix for a short period of time. If you need to get the system up and running for a business meeting and or enough to pull data off the system or get a job done, by all means, go for it. I have heard reports of this pressure fix lasting anywhere from one week up to 2 months. All resulting in "system won't POST" even with pressure on the sockets.

What else could happen...

If too much pressure is applied to the DIMM socket you could end up with a damaged socket, you may also end up with damaged pads under the socket from the Socket pin grinding against the pad as movement of the laptop (general usage) occurs.

You may also end up with lifted solder pads under the CPU host controller chip located adjacent to the DIMM sockets on the "top side" of the motherboard. When you're applying pressure to the bottom of the board, I don't know if you realize it or not, but your also bowing up the top side of the board, the CPU HOST controller BGA chip is there and also bowing up. It's package design being "Ball Grid Array" means that the solder balls are "under" the chip, if these balls lift up with the chip as normal operating heat is applied to the whole surface and chip, you can end up with lifted balls, broken pads, and or a damaged chip internally.

We can and have repaired all these conditions.

Once again, this is all the detail I can give, we spend a lot of time and money researching these conditions and the resolutions to them. I'm only offering this type of information because you folks deserve to know and from the way it looks, you won't be getting any details from anywhere else.

Thank you,

Joe Kabalan

AQS Computer Services
Tonawanda, NY

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
William Scott Mar 07, 2004, 04:27pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello all,

Add another Vaio owner with this problem. I have a GRX500 (CTO) that I got in August of 2002. Four months ago I began having this problem, and called Sony support only to have them tell me to reset the BIOS. This fixed the problem for a few days. I called again they gave me the ship it to our repair center line. So I basically put the laptop to the side and began using my desktop. A few days ago, I began researching the problem, and found this post. I immediately unscrewed the bottom plate and applied pressure with my fingers to the ram chips and turned it on. It booted up fine. I haven't tried to fix it by putting something to permanalty applying pressure to the chips because I read Joe K.'s post. I too would be interested in participating in a suit against Sony if it were persued.

Thanks for some answers.

-William Scott

Kate Hindle Mar 08, 2004, 10:53am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Aaron Lizarraga Mar 08, 2004, 06:33pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have a Sony Vaio PCGGRX-500 which I've had for 1year 7 months and have the same exact problem. It won't boot at all. Not even to a bootable disk. There's no video, the SONY logo doesn't even come up. The power light and the fan come up, but that's about it. There is a blank screen and no disk activity. There are so many postings in this site with the same problem and I think Sony should take responsiblity of recalling their defective product. I would definitely support a lawsuit against Sony. Where do I get the lawsuit info?

Aaron Lizarraga Mar 08, 2004, 10:11pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I went ahead and unscrewed the bottom plate and applied pressure to the ram chips and sure enough my computer boots now . It ran fine for about 20 minutes then shutdown on me. I went ahead and removed the memory closest to the back of the computer and it seems to be a little bit more stable now. No problems yet....... But if I install the other memory on module 2 I start having problems again. Thanks to this forum I am able to start my computer retrieve my data. My memory module is still defective and Sony should replace it without cost. I will take this matter further as I will file a case at I encourage anyone who is experiencing the same problem to do the same.

curt doug Mar 09, 2004, 01:11am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I'm very disappointed in the SONY CORPORATION. My SONY VAIO PCG GRX 650 was no more than one month pass the warranty when the booting problem started. I called tech support. In their coded language, they basically told me to go Fu%k myself. In turn, I translate it to mean " DUDE GO BUY A DELL". So, I did. I still have the sony and I think SONY should step-up and DO THE RIGHT THING. I would hate to go through lawyers but I will.

Shante Adam Mar 10, 2004, 08:01pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hey guys,

Add another to the casualty list. GRX550. I have removed one of my chips and gotten my comp running. I filed with big class action. But ive had a different idea about what to demand from sony. I was thinking that technically (legally anyway) their products dont have to work longer than they guarantee. However, they are responsible for selling all of us an extra RAM module because technically our hardware only supports one RAM chip. (Only one of the RAM sockets actually works properly). Sony should refund the cost of the extra RAM chip or provide the user a replacement RAM chip that has the initial total value of RAM purchased. So using my notebook as an example. It came with 2 256 RAM chips. Sony should either refund me for a 256 chip (at the price of when i bought it) or give me a new 512 RAM chip. I bring this up because i believe this argument would be more likely to work in a legal case.

- Shante -

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