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Sony Vaio/xp will not start


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#1
jdajos

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Hello,

I have a Sony Vaio laptop that will not start. The sony screen comes up then the screen goes blank (black) and stays that way. It will not boot in any mode at all. I can get into the BIOS screen and the troubleshooting / startup screen but I can't find a way to get the machine running.

I haven't tried the System Restore disk yet because there are some important files on the computer. I would like, if at all possible, to be able to get the machine running without having to wipe evrything out. The computer will recognize a disk in the cd rom drive.

Any ideas?
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#2
djgotee

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Hello Im steve. Many things can cause a computer not to boot. Without any CD type software tools at your disposal (I imagine?) You are stuck with guessing your problem. When you come down to it, it can either be software (your operating system in this case or a software conflict) or a hardware problem preventing your computer from starting.
One thing you might want to check first is your MBR. Is it there and not corrupt? If you dont know how to check this, let me know and ill direct you to a site where you can download a little software tool that will tell you if your MBR is ok....steve
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#3
djgotee

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Oh, and i forgot to ask.....I think your saying the computer does not even P.O.S.T?
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#4
jdajos

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I think there is no P.O.S.T. Is that the screen that shows the Windows logo as the colored bar moves back and forth?

The Sony logo comes on and then the screen stays black. The hard drive makes a little bit of noise but doesn't seem to be running up like it should.

I am not sure how to check the master boot record. Any troubleshooting tools would be great.

-Jeff

Edited by jdajos, 23 May 2005 - 04:57 PM.

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#5
djgotee

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Hello this is steve back from work and such. If you see the windows screen with the progress indicator, yes youve achived P.O.S.T. , at least. After P.O.S.T. the computer has now sent itself to the windows OS and is trying to boot from it. In other words, you probably got past the MBR.
If you only see the Sony logo and then the screen stays black, youll have to confirm that post is actually completing. How to do this? youll have to enter CMOS (bios) settings and change the parameter that allows the computer to show you post as it occurs. It may be set to "cover up" post as it is happening. In other words, post might be happening quite ok, however the computer is set to not showpost is occurring. Some computers can enter into cmos settings by pressing the delete button over and over again while booting from "off". have you ever entered the cmos settings b4? if you have not, be careful, one wrong setting and your computer will not boot, however theres a way around that also like restting the cmos settings. I can tell you how to do that if you mess somthing up, but be careful. If you know how to enter cmos, do it and find the parameter that shows you post so you can then see the post as it progresses or does not....steve

Edited by djgotee, 23 May 2005 - 06:11 PM.

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#6
djgotee

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Also, you may still want to try checking the MBR. heres the link to my website that has a utility to do this. http://www.advancedc...action=download
Download bootpa25.zip. Create a windows boot floppy (MOS DOS startup disk). Incorporate onto this boot floppy the bootpart.exe. Start the computer with this floppy and when at the a: prompt, write bootpart.exe. it will show you the partitions and the sizes and the file system.
(In XP, To create a MOS DOS startup disk, put a floppy into the floppy drive, right click the floppy drive and select "create a MOS DOS startup disk.")
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#7
jdajos

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System Ram Passed
Extended Ram Passed
Cashe Ram Passed
System BIOS Shadowed
Video BIOS Shadowed...


...are the items I was able to see on a self test.

I can't find a selection in the CMOS settings to show the self test. I am only able to glimpse it when entering the BIOS menu. The BIOS menu and CMOS menu are the same thing, right?

I made the disk with your file on it. It works on my Compaq but not on the Vaio. The Vaio checks the floppy drive but then leaves it alone and goes to the black screen.

Does this tell you anything? Thank you for all the help so far.

-Jeff

My girlfeind wanted me to put this on here but I didn't want to scare you away. :tazz:
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#8
djgotee

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Im wondering if on the sony that its floppy drive is not operating correctly? It should boot off this disk, if you are finnishing the post. thats the million dollar question now. Let me ask,...what do you mean "The Vaio checks the floppy drive but then leaves it alone and goes to the black screen"?

In other answers,
The BIOS menu and CMOS menu are the same thing, right? yes, cmos refers to the physical hardware on the motherboard that holds the program for basic input / output services. bios refers to the actual small program that performs this bootup "look" at some of your hardware.

I can't find a selection in the CMOS settings to show the self test.
Sometimes its hard to find and sometimes its not even available. I was just assuming that thats what was happening, that you wernt "seeing" the post because the bios made it invisible, this may not be the case.
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#9
djgotee

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jdajos, somhow you are going to have to find if you are completeing post. You might assume you are not at this time, barring any problems with the floppy drive which would not allow you to boot off of it like you can in the other computer.
Assuming you have post problems, youll have to be comfortable in opening the case and starting to do things in there like pulling oput some of the cards and such to try to use a process of elimination to narrow down your search to the culprit hardware proble. Are you wanting to do this?
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#10
djgotee

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Oh and also, in looking back at your first post, i see you considered booting off your restore disk? Try to, you have nothing to lose, if it boots, it will just stop on a menu and you can exit out of this proceedure not affecting anything on your computer. It will just verify if the computer is finnishing post. Do you know how to set the boot priority for the CD drive , so you can boot off the cd?
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#11
djgotee

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Also, see this post http://www.geekstogo..._Up-t28243.html
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#12
jdajos

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I'll pull cards out of the computer. That's what I'm good at. I'm a hardware guy.

The floppy drive is a USB external drive that works properly on my Compaq so I know that it should work on the Vaio.

The computer will start up if the reconfigure disk (boot disk? I don't know what this is called) is installed. I checked this first. I guess that means that it passes POST? I have to talk to my girlfreind but if she can stand to lose all of her files I might just try to reinstal everything.

Is it possible there is a problem with the BIOS? I have the tools to flash just about any CMOS chip at home. I don't want to mess with it if you don't think it's an issue though. Also, I'm not sure about the availability of the file to flash into it.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check the link you posted. I have to work all day then go to dinner with the bosses tonight.

Is there a way to check the hard drive (C:) if I pull it out? Maybe a service shop can verify if it's good or bad for me?


Thanks again for your help.

Jeff
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#13
djgotee

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The computer will start up if the reconfigure disk (boot disk? I don't know what this is called) is installed. I checked this first. I guess that means that it passes POST?

Ok the computer starts, but try to be a little more specific in describing things. For instance, when you start the other computer with this floppy boot disk, I take it you see the info i talked about above? (the system file types, the sizes and all the partitions? So do you see the same on the affected computer?
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#14
djgotee

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Oh, and jdajos, dont jump to conclusions or look too far ahead just yet. We have not even established if your post is completeing properly. Lets do this first ok? Dont remove your cards yet or do anything with the hardware until we find the post is ok...ok? Its too easy to get confused if you dont follow a step by step proceedure, ok guy?
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#15
jdajos

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When I try to boot the affected computer with the floppy disk you instructed me to make I get the same problem as before. It shows the Sony logo and then goes black forever.

On the good computer I am using I can boot with this disk and see all of the info you mention above.
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