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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
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Burt Jurgens Oct 22, 2003, 11:25am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
When I first had this problem, I determined that removing my #2 RAM chip solved the problem but of course left me with half the memory I paid for. I assumed that the RAM chip had failed and based on earlier postings on this site, I assumed that a defect in the #2 slot was causing the RAM to fail.

I was in Japan at the time and took my VAIO into a shop there to buy a new RAM chip. They insisted on testing the computer (at no charge) extensively before selling me a new chip and they determined that the RAM chip I had was fine but that the #2 slot was defective. Having had 2 256 MB chips, I ended up buying 1 512 chip for the #1 slot and that has resolved the problem. I may now try the "heat shrink" solution also with one of the 256 chips to see if that "fixes" the #2 slot.

Hope this helps someone else out there.

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Sergio Faura Oct 23, 2003, 01:49pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Ron Stubblefield Oct 24, 2003, 10:00am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Holy crap!!!! Amazing find. My 14-mo old GRX580 started freezing up and not booting yesterday. I FINALLY got it up and running, only to have it crap out again when I started being a technician I turned it off and got it running again by jarring it around a bit first. It came up, and as long as I was gentle with it there were no problems. I lightly smacked the top of the case and it froze again. The easiest way I could get it going again was to remove and re-install the memory modules.
Then I stumble across all of this info about mem mod. #2. I took mine out and now I'm able to use it again. What a bunch of turds they are giving everyone with this problem crap about replacing the MB. They need to replace our bad boards themselves.
How does one go about filing a class-action lawsuit? I will be MORE THAN HAPPY TO START IT!!!! Let's get 'em!!!! If you have any suggestions then email me, please.

Dave Osborne Oct 24, 2003, 12:05pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
FYI: I sent SONY an e-mail off their "support" site......basically told them that this is an issue and they need to step up to the plate and think about a a life-long Sony consumer, this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'm ready to stand at my local Circuit City and steer customers away from Sony......I'll let you guys know if/when Sony responds.

Dave Osborne Oct 24, 2003, 12:12pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Thank you for contacting SONY Online Support.

We regret the difficulties you are experiencing and that you are not satisfied with the assistance you have received from the SONY Customer Information Services Center. However, the SONY e-mail correspondence department is not involved in the resolution of Customer Service issues. We provide technical support and information only.

Customer Service issues such as these are handled by telephone. We therefore recommend that you contact one of our customer service representatives about your issue. Telephone representatives are available at 888-476-6972, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From outside the U.S./Canada you may contact us at 239-768-7676.

If you prefer to write to SONY National Customer Relations, please address your letter to:

SONY Electronics Inc.
ATTN: National Customer Relations
12451 Gateway Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33913
Fax: (239) 768-7730

NOTE: Contact with one of our customer service representatives is not a
promise or guarantee of favorable resolution, but only a point of
contact with the correct division of SONY for these issues. We
provide this contact information as a courtesy only. No warranty
policy alteration or promise of support is expressed or implied.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance.

The Sony Internet Support Team
Online Support and Services Center

Ron Stubblefield Oct 25, 2003, 08:02pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I'm ready to stand at my local CC too. Let me know and maybe others will do the same....all on the same day!! Like every Saturday during December. (hint-hint)

Wes Antczak Oct 26, 2003, 03:59am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello everyone,

My friend and I discovered this site yesterday as we were trying to rescusitate my FX220, which as it turns out, had this same problem. Thank to this forum, we were able to get my machine running again and I'm writing this note on it right now. So a big big thank you to all on this forum for helping me solve this.

I had contacted Sony before to no avail. They told me that there was probably dust in the socket or on the memory chip. Try cleaning it. End of story. Thank you for contacting Sony customer support.

I think we need to pursue this with Sony. I don't expect them to conduct expensive repairs. But I think at the very least they should provide us with a standard fabricated piece that we can install into our notebooks that would hold the chip down and make the unit function. A piece of heat resistant non-conductive plastic/rubber or whatever that would be tailored to fit into the space. This could be user-installed, or we should be given the option of being able to take it into a service center to have it installed.

The way I see it, in many cases we have all already lost money, be it through lost productivity, time spent travelling to repair centers to make inquiries, or money paid for actual repairs. We should NOT have to also spend additional time and effort trying to figure out ways how to jury-rig our computers to do what we paid for them to do in the first place. Putting in pieces of insulation, etc. - perhaps risking damaging our computers altogether, or worse injuring ourselves. Hey, when I bought this I thought it was a Sony, not a DIY kit.

I realize that in many cases our warranties have (conveniently) expired, but I think that would be a fair act of good will on their part and would help restore my faith in their products in the future. What do you all think?

I think such a thing would cost them less than full on repairs, and if it meant that our computers worked as intended for a little while longer we would all be happy, no? Such a thing would cost them probably pennies on the piece to manufacture considering the amount of computers this must eventually involve.

In looking at the computer, it seems that the problem is a faulty chip clip. On my computer just pressing on the one clip side is enough to fix it. I notice that the two sockets are different. Socket 1 seems sturdier and has metal reinforcements on the clips, while Socket 2 has plastic and seems flimsier. Is that how it is on everyone else's computers?

That is obviously by design. The question is... did they purposefully use an inferior socket 2 design (which they obviously did, e.g. it's obviously inferior to socket 1). Did they do this because they thought that perhaps fewer people would be likely to use socket 2? Would they really be that naive and think that people would only use one socket? Especially when at the time the largest sized chip that would fit in one socket would have been 256 megs? In the case of my FX220, that computer was being sold as a "video" computer. Would they honestly have thought then, that most people doing video editing would have no more than 256 megs and that they might not need use the second memory slot?

Did they perhaps use an inferior socket in slot 2 knowing that without the metal reinforcement, e.g. with just plastic, the pressure of holding the chip down would eventually cause the plastic clips to loosen up? And that this would happen just around the time that the owner was likely to be on the cusp of debating whether to upgrade to a higher powered computer?

That's what happened on my case. My machine is a 750 piii. Just old enough that when this problem occurred, my first thought was to try and get it fixed. My second thought was: I might as well replace the machine.

So I wonder if this was intentional?

A lot of electronic parts like transistors, etc., and even computer parts like hds have ratings as to how long they are expected to last. I would be surprised if the memory sockets that were used did not also have some sort of rating that Sony knew what the expected life expectancy of these sockets was. I think that when they were designing these they probably knew full well what the life expectancy of the parts was.

When you're buying new tires for your car for example, the tires have expected mileage ratings too. You wouldn't buy a set of tires rated at 75000 miles if you already had an old car that you knew was only going to last maybe 30000 more miles, etc.

On the other hand, if you were building a new car, why would you put tires rated at 75000 miles on two of the wheels, and tires rated at only 30000 miles on the other two?

I believe that Sony is at fault either way. Either they knew about this design flaw going into production and chose to ignore it, or - with the resources and experience they have they SHOULD have known about it.

Either way... warranty or no warranty, etc. I think they should work with us to help rectify this in a reasonable way. Perhaps they SHOULD pay for a full repair. Or at the very least provide a stop-gap fix as I described. Or perhaps they should provide a stop-gap fix AND some sort of rebate or other allowance in consideration of time and productivity lost.

I can't fault Sony for wanting to be cost effective. It's a competitive market. And besides, they needed to save up money so they could buy up the video software companies like Sonic Foundry. So I can understand that maybe they made a mistake with the design of the secondary memory socket on the Vaio notebooks. When car manufacturers discover this sort of flaw, the cars are recalled.

Granted, in this case these computers didn't cost as much as a car, and the consequences were not as grave as say causing a car accident because of a failed part. But is not our time and aggravation worth something too? The $1500 or whatever I paid for my computer is a LOT of money to me. I could just as easily have spent it on another brand.

What do you guys think?

I would support a class action suit, website, or any other legal and reasonable means that might help resolve this issue. I think it's up to Sony to determine what might be necessary on our part. I also think that as Sony customers (I also have spent my fair share on Sony tvs, stereo equipment, software, etc)... as Sony customers it is our responsibility to share our experience with other potential Sony customers. If Sony handles this appropriately, it would be a good reflection on their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. If they blow this off and we all wind up with useless computers and a lost investment, then I think people need to know about that too.

At our disposal we have the internet, newspaper ads, and word of mouth.

The Sony 'logo' used to be (I think it still is): It's a Sony.

It's a Sony

I think that used to appear on the boxes of all of their products.

It's a Sony.

I think the idea was that if you were buying a Sony you knew it was going to be a good product.

It's a Sony.

That can either be a very good thing or a very bad thing too. I mean...

Can you picture?

Person A: Wow, cool! My notebook doesn't do that!
Person B: <smiling> It's a Sony.


Person A: Man, my computer didn't start today.
Person B: <smiling> What did you expect? It's a Sony.

In this day and age of people being well informed I think a large corporation such as Sony cannot afford NOT to listen to their customers. KMart learned that lesson. Other companies like Venture stores did not. Sometimes it takes time for the word to get out... but it ALWAYS gets out in the end.

It's a Sony.

What will that mean in five or ten years?

Something as little as a faulty memory socket can have a great impact on that answer. If Sony has forgotten this, let's help them remember.

Joshua Baker Oct 28, 2003, 01:22am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have unfortunately stumbled across this website one day too late, as I sent my barely-one-year-old Sony Viao PGV 170 to San Diego for a fix. The symptoms I was experiencing are identical to those described above. Unfortunately, I know nothing about computers and thus am at the mercy of Sony and their technicians.

I am currently a second year law students, and while I may not know computers, I do know how class-action lawsuits work (trust me). What we need is someone with initiative to take this idea to an attorney (printing out all of these postings from just the past two months should be enough to make a good class-action lawyer's mouth water). Unfortunately, I do not have the time nor the money to take on such a project. Whoever is willing to take one for the team would have to have both these characteristics. Whoever were to do so would be known as the class representative (in fact, we could have more than one person representing the class). Forming the class pursuant to law would be no problem, as there seems to already be enough people here with the same exact problem to satisfy the requirements. But, like I said, we need someone to take the initiative.

If it is true that Sony has known about this problem and has refused to fix it, it would be detrimental to them. Although a cost-benefit analysis, with a subsequent choice not to fix the seemingly fixable problem (if the above postings are correct), may have been a good business judgment on Sony's behalf, it would not have been a good legal judgment. Knowledge of a problem with one's product, along with knowledge of an easy way to fix it, without going ahead with fixing it could very well be a perfect formula for punitive damages. In a competitive market for laptops, Sony likely would not want to deal with the ramifications of a major lawsuit challenging the quality of its name.

Please, if anyone is truly interested in taking this on, find a good lawyer. Also, if you want to contact me about any questions, please do so. I am only a lawstudent, but trust me, I have already learned all about class actions. They are not tough, but just require at least one person to start the ball. It would not be difficult at all to form a class large enough to make Sony's ears pop up. Like I said, just with these postings we should have enough people to make the class. If a lawsuit were to truly start, we could then have access to all of Sony's records indicating past repairs they have done with similar problems, which would show that Sony was aware of the problem and refused to fix it. Knowing that information such as that could get into plaintiff's hands could very well make Sony unwilling to actually go to trial, and thus make them more willing to settle.

Tough Guy Oct 31, 2003, 08:53pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Per Dave Osborne solution, I put the 256 back to the socket#2 with a piece of business card that help to push it down. My FX370 now back to work with 512 (so far).

It's a SONY!

Thanks Dave.

Ron Stubblefield Nov 01, 2003, 10:09am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I also performed the band-aid repair by stacking up layers of electrical tape (non-conductive), on the back side of the memory cover, one layer at a time until I got it about 1/8" thick.. It's been running again with 512 for a week now. But I STILL want Sony to resolve this issue. Who knows how long our get-me-by fixes will last.


Dave Osborne Nov 03, 2003, 12:54pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I've talked with a lawyer. Unfortunately, it sounds like we may be spitting in the wind on this one......A company like Sony has a bunch of lawyers who are paid to bend customers over when trying to seek justice. HOWEVER, I've been told that anyone can sue anyone for anything.....point being......what if Sony were to have a bunch of small claims actions against them in many different cities......I've been told that it's cheaper for them to just settle than it is to send their law staff out to defend themselves. Thoughts???

John Munro Nov 07, 2003, 07:25am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Just found this forum 5 mins after ordering a new 250 meg memory chip.!!! I have just tried the insulating tape trick on the back of the cover and everything is working fine. Oh well I can bin the 64 meg chip and have 500 meg now. Slot 2 on these machines are of poor built quality. The chips are quite slack in them compared to slot 1. Any one know of a better/more permanant cure than the insulating tape??

Claudia Tynes Nov 07, 2003, 09:22am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Well, you can feed that Vaio as many memory chips as you can afford. My experience after trying the various solutions is it will damage the memory chip after about 30 days and you are right back where you started. Good Luck.

Joe K Nov 08, 2003, 11:26pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello everyone,

I've or we've been dealing with the GRX memory issue for some time now. It appears to be a problem within the GRX500 series only (for the most part).

The problem is that during the manufacturing stage of the MBX-65 motherboard for the 500 series, the solder dispensing machine that was used did not apply enough solder to the SODIMM pins/Pads.

What happens is the pins start to lift and result in the condition all of you are aware of. With the DDR SODIMM design you're dealing with 200 pins 100 each side. The reason you're destroying RAM is because the "lifting" happens at pins 1 - 10 and pins 190 - 200, these pins supply Vdd voltage and vital ground for the memory module as well as Signal data and voltage for the SPD.

These pins have to be soldered to properly remedy the condition.

In some rare cases, it helps to clean the gold contacts of the RAM Module with an alcohol wipe. You may not have a DIMM socket problem, in some cases the contacts have built up corrosion that you cannot see.

Joe K

Anyone needing to contact me via email please use this address

"" is not working properly at the moment.

Thank you,

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Claudia Tynes Nov 09, 2003, 07:55am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
So, is Sony actually doing this solder repair when the Vaio's are sent to them? I'm so doubtful. I only met but one hardware tech that could use a soldering iron and that was 25 years ago for IBM!

I've held on to my Vaio even though I got a Dell for work. I hoped that a solution would be presented that would resurrect this machine. So, I'm saving your response and am on the search for someone who can use a soldering iron!

Thanks Joe

Gerald May Nov 09, 2003, 10:08am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have a PCG-GRX550 and it will not boot. Nothing on LCD. Cant get to Bios. I removed the 2nd 256meg chip with no results. After reading the many messages on this board I can only assume that the memory chips may be faulty due to the improper souldering of the interface. Is there any other way to check to see if the memory chips are the problem?

Joe K Nov 09, 2003, 12:09pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

What I meant by "we've been dealing with this issue" is that we've repaired well over 150 MBX-65 (GRX) motherboards with this condition.

Contact me if you would like detailed information.

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Joe K Nov 09, 2003, 12:18pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

before powering on the unit, stand it on it's side and remove the memory cover, then remove the second RAM Module and only leave one. Preferably the one closest to the rear of the system.

Then, with the unit on it's side and the RAM cover off and only one RAM module installed, apply light pressure on both ends of the RAM connector and power on while keeping pressure on. If it produces a POST then you have a memory slot issue. In some severe cases you may still have a memory slot issue, but still not get a POST.

9 time out of ten, if you apply pressure on the Main RAM connector and still not get a POST you then need to clean the connector and RAM (gold) pads. Or in some cases you may have a faulty CPU.

Also, if it's severe enough, the second "expansion" slot may be fine but appear not to work, this is because the second slot NEEDS the first slot to have a minimum amount of leads properly soldered to work.

It gets kinda confusing,

Joe K

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
Amit Shaligram Nov 13, 2003, 09:08am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello all,
I have a Vaio GRX520 and ran into a similar problem a couple of days back. My laptop is 15 months old and heavily used.
I was able to boot the laptop and get it to work for 15-20 mins yesterday but it does not boot up at all today. I tried the suggestion of tigthening the memory slots.
GRX520 has two slots for 256MB each and I have only 256MB (factory installed).
Has anyone had any success in fixing this issue for GRX520 ?

Thanks in advance.


eckart schadt Nov 14, 2003, 05:00am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

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