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  Sony Vaio laptop wont boot? 
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Joe K Dec 21, 2004, 09:01pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello Everyone,

Many new visitors to this thread will not read the whole thread, so what I'm going to do is explain how to simply tell if you have a RAM slot issue. Also I'm going to address what models have shown the "RAM Slot" problem and what Sony Vaio models have not. These two issues should cover most of you coming here searching for a solution or thinking you have a RAM problem when you may not.

The RAM slot problem has surfaced (and we've repaired) in the following models:

PCG-FX100, 200 (not FX210/215) and 300 series (One Slot ONLY toward rear of system)
PCG-GR300 series (both slots)
PCG-GRZ500 / 600 Series (both slots)
PCG-GRV500 / 600 Series (both slots)
PCG-GRX500 / 600 Series (both slots)
PCG-NV Series (both slots)
PCG-GRT Series (very few models) (both slots)

The RAM Slot problem has NOT surfaced in the following models:

PCG-FX210 / 215
PCG-FXA Series
PCG-FRV (so far no cases claimed)
PCG-F series


How can you tell if your system has a RAM Slot problem? Try this test:

Open the screen just as you would if you were going to use it normally. Now, lay the laptop on it's side. This allows you to gain access to both the bottom of the laptop and the power button and the screen area to see the results.

Next, remove the memory bay access door (on the bottom of the laptop). Then remove one stick of RAM (If two are installed) to leave only one stick of RAM installed. Now, apply gentle pressure to each end of the populated RAM slot (the beige wide body portion of the slot and NOT THE RAM CHIP or retention clip) with your thumb and index finger. With the pressure still applied, hit the power button to power on the system. Do you get a Sony logo on the screen? If not, Hold the power button in for 5 seconds. After the system powers off, remove the RAM from the slot and re-insert it into the other slot and do the same thing.

If you get a Sony Logo on the screen with either slot, then you have a RAM slot problem and it is repairable. If you do not get any image or response from the system, this does not necessarily mean that you don't have a RAM slot problem. The RAM slot leads may be too far from the pads on the motherboard to make contact. You also may have a completely different problem. Proper troubleshooting and diagnosis needs to be performed.


Joe Kabalan
AQS Computer Services
2572 Sheridan Drive
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Toll Free: 1-866-204-4677
Local: 716-832-2473

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
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Karl Burgin Dec 22, 2004, 03:04pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I have a Sony VAIO PCG 350 and it has almost the same problems as described above. I think it is a Windows/ hardware conflict issue- i think. I have successfully been able to run the computer in DOS mode for extended periods of time running SCANDISK, formatting the hard drive or just leaving it on to see what happens. I formatted the drive 3 times; twice in FAT32 and once in NTFS format. When i used the NTFS format, the computer refused to continue beyond the inital startup BIOS screen. I had to reformat it again in FAT32 to get anywhere. The system originally had WIN98 but it would only go to a certain point and then cease to run save the fan (sometimes). I also tried using Win98 in 'Safe Mode' but it syill wouldn't go. I tried installing Win98 again in another directory- believing that it was a hard drive problem that the original windows there was a bad sector and that an important file couldn't load; same result as before. There was once a couple of times i got the blue-screen telling me that Windows had halted due to failure and it mentioned something about 'VFAT' in there somewhere. I then tried WinME in which was also a failure but made the most progress. The icons and everything loaded but 5 seconds after that, it would shut down. I tried booting Win ME in safe mode and it would last for 20 seconds and then shut down. Also, whenever i tried to get the Task Manager using ALT-CTRL-DEL before any of the drivers were loaded in WIN ME, it would shut down as well; I didn't have this problem when i tried it with Win98 but the most windows would actually load in that case was 'RUNDLL' and 'Explorer'. I then tried using WINXP but when it restarted after copying the files to continue with the installation, the computer would stop running. I thought if i format the HARD DRive to NTFS format, it would work but it only made things worse by shutting down right ater the BIOS start-up. I toyed around the BIOS settings, manipulating the power management settings to see if would have any effect but it had none. There was an option in the settings though called 'Throttle Control' in which you had the option of having the computer run at 25%, 50%, 75%, Full Speed, or Automated. At 25%, the computer shut down right after the BIOS startup and the Automated option barely made it past the Windows Startup screen. The only option that allowed me to operate the computer was the Full Speed option. I have tried just about everything under the sun, in the older computer repair books i have, and have tried to look back on experience to help but I'm just about at wits end. The laptop seems to run fine, heck it can run for hours in full dos mode but as soon as I attempt to load a Windows environment, it would shut off. Memory has not been an issue in this case in which it has remained consistent through all the attempts i have made to make the thing work. The only other interesting development I had was that after I tried to startup WinMe again and it shut down (Save the fan), I left it on all night and this morning i got the blue-screen again saying that the system had halted due to some unknown error and gave me the option of pressing 'any key to continue' or using the ALT-CTRL-Delete option. I'm still at it, but at the moment, i am in dire need of options since i'm out of ideas. Your contribution would be greatly appreciated- thnx.

Amy Rosenfeld Dec 22, 2004, 05:08pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Just had my Sony Vaio TR2A crash 13 days past the warranty.

Sent it to Joe Kabalan on the advice of this message thread and cannot praise him and his service enough.

He replaced the motherboard for less than the base charge from Sony and got it back to me in a 2 day turnaround.

He really is the greatest and has given me confidence that I can trudge on with my Vaio without having to ever deal with Sony.

Mynystry R Dec 23, 2004, 08:25am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
hello again :(

i have been running my computer for two months since it showed up the RAM memory slot problem, using a trick similar to the carton board. I placed small pieces of isolation, not above the card itself but above the cheap plastic slots, and then i closed it, holding the pressure with tape around the cover.

i has 512 mb RAM back for around two months and not problem booting, but lately the problem is coming back and now i am back to 256 RAM and i have the feeling that soon this piece of crap will not work at all if i don't send it to repair...

the problem is that i live in berlin, germany and cannot afford the shipping cost to USA. could someone tell me if there someone that can deal with this problem around here??

are there someone from germany in this forum that sent the laptop to Joe in USA? which shipping company did u hire? how much does it cost?? :((

please prevent others for having problems like this! At least five people that go my advice before buying a laptop changed their mind after hearing my story... ban sony computers!!

Joe K Dec 23, 2004, 03:53pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Sounds like the old F series shutdown problem to me. The capacitors on the CPU card need to be replaced. If you're not comfortable doing the repair, we can take care of it for you for $99.00 plus shipping.

Replace them with 6 volt 220UF Caps.

Amy, thank you for the kind words.


Joe Kabalan
AQS Computer Services
2572 Sheridan Drive
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Toll Free: 1-866-204-4677
Local: 716-832-2473

Joe Kabalan
Laptop / Notebook BIOS Repair
Motherboard Defect Solutions
ikosium ikosium Dec 28, 2004, 02:16pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi all,

I admit that when I had a similar problem to the ones described in the lengthy thread, I thought I was among a few who were unfortunate enough to have this hardware fault. Unfortunately, finding this forums made me realise that a lot of people have suffered from it. My laptop is about less than two years old model is the PCG-GRZ615G (so a bit different from the Vaio FX and GRX series, but still similar problem!). The laptop had 256MB to which I've added another RAM chip of 256MB when I bought the computer. I left my computer off for a couple of months and when I went to start it I noticed a drop in performance and longer loading time for window. So I checked the system info, which indicated 256MB instead of the expected 512MB...I opened the cover to check the ram chips, eerything was OK, so I closed the lid and restared the machine and I got my 512MB back! The next morning I switched on the computer and I got back the 256MB figure. This time, I wanted to verify which of the memory chip or memory slot was my surprise, I found that slot 2 was the one creating problems, as suggested by most of the messages in the forum. I tried to clean the pins, pressing on the chip, or on the grey central plastic part, but none brought back slot no 2.

So, I read through most of the thread and I found few other remidies, some diy tricks and others involving a change of motherboard (!). Since I live in the uk, it is was reasonable to ship to the states to get it repaired. So I decided to carry reading the thread until I read this message by Eddy S, who explained how to solve the problem by simply not "clipping" the DIMM in and relying on the cover to hold it in its slot, while maintainig the contacts between the pins. That was a cleaver trick to relax the motherboad from the pressure of plastic cover.

I wonder how long this method will work for me, but for now I am happy to recover my MB's of ram for free ;-)

Thanks all for your support. I hope that Sony will acknolwdge this fault (I have already send them a request by email).

Merry Christmad and Happy new year.


PS: One last questions to andy s (and others): how do you clean the cpu fan? is it any different from the fan at the back of the laptop that makes all this noise?

t langmann Dec 29, 2004, 03:11am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

installed point to point usb gps (from Costco). got it up and running 5 minutes later the computer shut off. Upon reboot message "os not found". No HD found in bios or when attempting a disc recovery from cd.

Sony will only help in exchange for big bucks. there are lots of common complaints but I find no solution or explanation of problem

I purchased laptop at Costco in California prior to there 6 month return policy. I just dont like to return it with my data still on the drive.

I have a lot of sony stuff and was a big fan but the last couple years I have had a lot of problems T-610, NZ-90 and know the Vaio.

Mynystry R Dec 29, 2004, 08:46am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I tried the trick posted by Eddy S some posts before and it worked... but not with the two slots... it seems that in my computer the two of them are defective, but the one closer to the back of the computer i think is less damaged, because it is the only one that works while applying pressure or making the "eddy's" trick. hopefully this will last for a while, i think this trick should be better to avoid making further damage to the motherboard... anyway i am getting hopeless about getting my 512 back :((

thanks a lot to all of you that post and help us, if you get to know about a place where to fix this problem in Germany or Europe, please let me know!


James Burton Dec 31, 2004, 09:09am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Have a Vaio laptop PCG-FR315S that is just over a year old that has the same kind of problems as previous threads except that i get three beeps, one long one and two shorter ones. The screen then goes blank and nothing happens... the fan starts about 15 seconds later. It seems that if i leave the laptop on in this state for about 10 mins then switch off, the laptop will boot up just fine. I've tried removing and replacing the RAM to no effect. Any Ideas?
My flat seems to create alot of dust...could this be a factor. Also, this problem seemed to start and the system seemed to slow down after installing wondows service pack 2, which I have now removed. Any coincedence?

alex pan Jan 02, 2005, 12:20pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi all,

Allthough I have read pages 1-10 and 32-34 of this topic I have not found a solid trend with my flavor of laptop ( Sony Vaio PCG-FXA53 ). I tried the 'ram push down thing' with the laptop on the side but to no avail (perhaps I pushed too hard). Bascially the symptons were in order:

1. worked fine
2. intermittant crashes with blue screen of death:


Stop: 0x0000000A

3. Restarting at first resulted with a repeat of #2 above, then a black screen for good from then on. I removed the battery and hard drive, same results. The 3 LED's on the right do start up and turn off, but now when I tried the 'push in ram thing'

Any ideas? I will post this on the forum as well, in case anyone else has had simmilar issues with my specific model, allthough someone else said that the FXA series tended to not have ram slot issues in the way the other models did. I signed one of the 2 petitions as well. My laptop is just 2 years old...

Not gonna buy Sony again... I had (HAD) another one that had a very screwy touchpad, it would move the opposite direction half the time, or not move, or jump around and double click for you all the time (deleting typed text some times!) and allthough EVENTUALLY I found a fix in the form of some obscure driver, it never worked 100%...

I will not buy a Sony again I don't think...

Chris DeVitto Jan 05, 2005, 06:00pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hello all I am new here and I am greatfull for all of you that have posted, I was given a Sony Vaio GRX560 from a friend who just gave up on the thing. Well it powers up but stays black and won't post, I have tried all of the tricks and fixes all of you good people have suggested to no avail so I E mailed Joe K, and sent the thing off to him and it sounds like he will be able to fix or tell me what is wrong.

So Thanks to all for the valuable info, I will give the laptop back to her if it can be repaired. Or part the darn thing out on E bay..

Sarah Fightmaster Jan 06, 2005, 11:45am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I purchased a Sony Vaio vgn-s260 in October of 2004 (yes that's less than four months ago) for ~$2000. A month after a purchased the notebook it started to have a problem. I would press the power button but the notebook would not turn on. After numerous internet chats, phone conversations, etc with Sony Customer Service - when the computer would not turn on AT ALL - I was forced to send my NEW notebook to Sony in CA for them to "repair" it. I was not given a replacement model and a week later I was emailed a bill for $1500 for repairs. The computer was still under warranty - yet Sony claims there was "water" damage to the motherboard.

I'm in law school and there have been 5 people at my school who have experienced the same problems with their vaio notebooks! I would highly recommend that you look to another company (Dell, Gateway, or Apple).

Anyone interested in a class action against sony please contact me!! (
Handing over $2000+ for computers that DO NOT WORK is crazy - especially when still under warranty and the company refuses to repair or replace at their cost!!

Best of Luck ;o) Sarah

Winston Rodgers Jan 06, 2005, 12:08pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
No more Sony laptops for me!! I purchased a PCG-GRV680 for approximately $2,500.00 in July of 2002. I purchased the computer because it would address 1 GB of memory. Sony ships the machines with 2 x 256 which leaves no slot for a memory upgrade unless you replace both 256 sticks with 512's. Sony should ship the systems with 1 x 512 so that you do not lose your investment in the 2 X 256 sticks that you are stuck with if you do upgrade. Sony support's position is that you are on your own if you want to upgrade to 1 GB. To add insult to injury, the laptop stopped booting in December of 2004 and Sony has informed me that my problem is " an isolated occurance " and that I will have to send the laptop to California for service at my expense. They did not even kiss me when they deliverd the bad news (I like getting kissed when I get phucked). Never again will I or any of my family purchase a Sony product. Lets get that class action suite going!

Mike Cunningham Jan 06, 2005, 05:21pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I got a VGN-s260 about 3 1/2 weeks ago and it is already having these problems. I bought it at Best Buy, and luckily got a 3 year warranty with them as well(so any problem I have will be taken care of at best buy as well as Sony). I brought my notebook into the guys at my local Best Buy and after looking at it for a while they told me I would have to send it in to Sony and it would take 3 weeks to get back. I'm not sure exactly what to do...I'm sure as hell not going to pay for a new motherboard because I've done nothing to my computer but use it normally. This kind of thing should not happen to a BRAND NEW computer.

Frustratedly yours

Nick Dhunnoo Jan 07, 2005, 04:45am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Hi Folks,


I found this topic quite interesting but believe me wat is happening to my PCG-GRX516MD isn't that interesting. Its a second hand one n when i received it, it had a password on the BIOS, could not access it at all, i tried to contact the person from whom it was bought but that chap was in some corner in australia n was not accessible at all, i waited for 2 months but in vain, that guy did not turned up. The sole solution left was to reset the BIOS by unplugging n replugging the CMOS Battery. But hee hee after doing this the laptop did not boot up again. The Screen always remain black whether the laptop is on or off,the CDRW/DVD drive seems to work if a bootable cd is in but what's the use!!! the hard disks turns off after some mins n that's it.

Any Suggestions?

stilbene @ Jan 13, 2005, 11:02pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
I've recently had a similar problem with my 5-week old VAIO PCG-K86P (Australia - US version may have a different model number).

Was doing some graphics work in Adobe Illustrator when suddenly I heard the hard drive shut down, then about 20 sec later the thing froze, then got the blue screen of death saying "physical memory dump". Upon reboot got the message "operating system not found" and there is no power to either the HDD or the DVD-RW.

I took it in to be repaired under warranty, and the guy who looked at it tested the HDD and it seems to be ok. He suspected a problem with either the IDE controller or the motherboard, but I didn't get an opportunity to try removing the number 2 memory card.

A question: if they replace either the whole motherboard or the IDE controller, will the HDD be recognized as is (i.e. with the current files and OS installation) or will I need to do a re-install?

Markie Mark Jan 13, 2005, 11:09pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?

Abit NF7-S mobo
Athlon 2500+ XP-M OC @ 204x12.5 2550MHz
1G Patriot DDR400
40GB Seagate - SimplyMEPIS
Ultra X-Connect Black
CD-RW/DVD combo
ATI Radeon 9800Pro 256
X-Navigator Alu case
lights and fans!!!!!!!!
Jonathan kane Jan 16, 2005, 03:02pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Wow, i thought my pcg-fxa36 was just a lemon, i guess i am not alone. Fortunately i bought it at best buy and got their three year extended service plan. So far under this plan i have received 2 new batteries, had my memory slots re-soldered, had the HD replaced, had the dvd/cd drive replaced, and had various cosmetic stuff repaired. And the computer is even now off having yet another cd drive installed.

Has anybody out there had issues with their ati rage mobility m1 graphics card crashing? I had originally thought that it was probably a software issue but after several reformats the problem keeps coming back keeps coming back. What happens is sometimes when i go to play a game or watch a DVD i get the blue screen of death.

Jeff [] Jan 18, 2005, 03:44am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
My grv-670 is one more case of exactly the same problem. I fixed the boot issue and got my 256MB of memory back by inserting some padding between the memory card and the back cover. Sure beats paying Sony $700. If anybody pursues class action please contact me -

Tom Pappas Jan 18, 2005, 11:11pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Sony Vaio laptop wont boot?
Stuffing something in between the memory socket and the cover isn't likely to fix it for long, because although it may temporarily alleviate the symptom, it doesn't address the cause of the problem, which is faulty solder joints between the mother board and the sockets. With time, they will loosen further.

Furthermore, there is a substantial risk that the pressure created by the additional material will warp the mother board, causing further problems down the road.

The correct solution is to have the sockets resoldered or, in extreme cases, replaced. We have done this repair many, many times.

Tom Pappas

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