Sony Vaio Laptop Problem

Robert Ehinger
Robert Ehinger used Ask the Experts™
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I recently repaired a Sony Vaio Laptop. I added RAM, installed a new battery and purchased a new power supply. The problem the owner of this laptop was having was that it wouldn't boot. After I performed the above repairs and upgrades I kept the laptop for several days, ran it on the battery until the battery ran down, recharged the battery, ran the system for hours on end, rebooted it several time, shut it down periodically, closed the lid to put it in standby, brought it out of standby etc. The only time I had a problem was when I tried to run it from just the power supply and I plugged in the old one. Once I plugged in the new power supply it fired up again. The problem is, I returned it to the owner and she took it home and now it won't boot. The power indicator and battery light flash and go off but the computer does not boot. Any ideas what the problem could be? Any suggestions as to what I should be looking at to solve this problem.

Thank you!!

Robert
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Commented:
Hi can you post the model of the sony vaio, I had similar problems with Sony Vaio-Z model and I had to replace the power board, also did you upgrade the BIOS?
Timothy McCartneySYS ADMINISTR I INFRAS

Commented:
If the battery is completely dead, it's possible that it draws too much power initially and trips a 'breaker' in the power supply. I recommend that maybe they try plugging the power adapter into a different outlet, then plugging in the adapter to the laptop to see if the same issue occurs.

Also, they may try to power it from the adapter alone (no battery installed) to see if that makes any difference.

Unfortunately I may be inclined to believe the issue is with the power board as suggested by ce1000. It's not uncommon for bad/faulty adapters to cause problems on the board as well.
Robert,
I've seen the same behaviour when the battery was not properly seated. I've also had issues with clients plugging the laptop into outlets or power strips that had problems. Those were easy enough to troubleshoot as I would ask them to power the laptop from a different wall socket (not in the same room as where the problem occured). If it's working fine in your shop for days on end the only thing that is changing is location (i.e. different power sources and physical movement of the laptop (lose battery).
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Robert EhingerIT specialist

Author

Commented:
OK, some clarification - I wasn't trying to say the battery is dead just that I ran the computer on battery until the battery was drained as part of the testing process. I got over six hours life from the battery. I then recharged the battery with no problem, ran on battery or AC power with no issues until the owner took it home. It is a new battery that functions as it should.
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
did your customer bring back the laptop to you or did she just call you and say the laptop is not working. If you are getting the same results as the customer when you are testing it then you are probably looking at replacing the power board.
Robert EhingerIT specialist

Author

Commented:
She called and told me of the problem. I will be going to her house this evening to see if I can recreate the problem. I did not have the problem she is describing when I had the computer.
Robert EhingerIT specialist

Author

Commented:
I replaced the power board and the first time I tried to boot the computer it started right up. I shut it down and tried to boot it again and the same problem arose. I did notice that the fan is not running and I will replace that as well to see if that helps.
Robert RComputer Service Technician
Commented:
Yeah a dirty fan or clogged heat sink can definitely cause the problem she is having. To prevent overheating of the cpu the computer will automatically shutdown when it reaches a certain temp. I have often serviced laptops when I could pull out a clump of dust between the fan and the heatsink, similar to lint you pull out of the clothes drier. This dust prevents the fan from sucking in enough air to cool the system. You could try replacing the fan, but if you service it yourself by cleaning the fan and heatsink, as well as oiling the fan you can reassemble the fan in about ten minutes without having to replace the fan. Of course you would have to add the time to reassemble the rest of the laptop, but you would still have to do that when replacing the fan.
Robert EhingerIT specialist

Author

Commented:
OK, I replaced the fan and the power board. I reassembled everything except putting the bottom casing back on and the laptop booted into Windows. I then replaced the bottom cover and it wouldn't boot. I took the bottom off again and it booted. I then put the cover back on without any screws and it booted. I installed one screw at a time and it booted after each one. I have returned it to its owner and am awaiting feedback from her.
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
Hmm, maybe you were tightening the screws too tightly. If the screws especially in the fan area are tightened too much it may put too much pressure on the fan housing preventing the fan from turning. This may happen on some models of laptops.

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