I have a Sony VAIO VGN-SZ740 (N7) laptop, and recently it had some catastrophic issues. At first, it seemed as if the hard drive was dying, and it was replaced (I was able to back it up first). However, it seems as if that isn't the issue, but rather something more problematic. After replacing the hard drive, it worked fine for a short while, and then started booting up with no hard drive found. Going into the BIOS showed that the system wasn't detecting any hard drive. I tried swapping in another hard drive but it wouldn't see that one either. I then attempted to replace the SATA cable between the motherboard and the hard drive, but that didn't solve the problem.
At present, it seems as if the motherboard is damaged. Unfortunately, the unit is just out of warranty, and Sony wants $800 + to repair it. Even to buy a motherboard and replace it myself would be $500 or more. Anyone have any suggestions about anything I can do so that this machine can work again without spending an exorbitant amount?
Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.