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Sony Vaio laptop randomly shutting down


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#1
cosine25

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Hi, I hope someone can help to shed some light on the following issue. A couple of weeks ago I was reading an ebook on my Sony Vaio TX2XP laptop when it suddenly shut down. Since then it might stay on for 8+ hours, 5 seconds or anywhere in between before it turns itself off. I'm not getting any error messages and it doesn't go into hibernation, it just instantly switches off.

I've had some previous problems with the power cable running between the on button and the motherboard, so I took it apart and found that one of the metal pins on the ribbon cable was bent back. I got a replacement cable and all worked fine for a couple of days and then the shutting down issue started happening again.

Thinking it was overheating, I cleaned out the fan and casing with compressed air/cotton buds and replaced the thermal compound on the heatsink. It helped a little bit but the laptop is still turning itself off randomly, sometimes as soon as I try to move it and sometimes when I'm not even touching it or using it for anything.

In addition to the above, the laptop has got very slow, especially on Firefox, and frequently crashes. I took the second RAM chip out of the laptop to see if it made a difference (it didn't) but when I put it back the laptop now refuses to boot up with the second chip inserted. The power button lights up but I just get a black screen. It boots up fine without the second chip but I'm still having the other issues.

Next, I reformatted the laptop and now the laptop is faster but I'm still having the RAM chip and shutdown problem. I'm using Windows XP Pro.

Is there anything else I can try, or does this sound like the motherboard has had it?
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi cosine25
Couple of possible culprits may be a faulty fan or MB thermal sensor causing the system to shut down to protect itself or a damaged part of the printed circuit which when it gets hot expands and breaks the power supply.
Does the issue occur both with the AC adapter connected and charging the battery and whilst running off the battery alone?
Have you tried putting the 2nd stick of Ram in the 1st slot to see what happens, what XP SP do you have installed 2 or 3? See the attached link for some causes of laptop issues and how they can be repaired;
http://www.laptoprep...replacement.htm
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#3
cosine25

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Hi, thanks for the reply. My battery currently needs replacing, so this is all based on just using the AC adaptor. I have two adaptors though and it's happening on both of them. I'm pretty sure the power jack isn't the problem, as it's been recently replaced and a good wiggle of the DC jack doesn't reveal any intermittant problems.

I was running XP SP3 before the re-format but now it's back on SP2 until I update all the software. The problem is happening on both service packs.

Unfortunately, as far as I can see, the first stick of RAM is part of the main motherboard, so I'm unable to swap the sticks over. I did wonder if the problem might be a faulty fan, but I'm not sure if that would cause the RAM issue in addition to the overheating.

Thanks for the link, I'll take it apart again and check the solder connections on the motherboard to see if any are loose. I hope it turns out to be that simple!
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#4
phillpower2

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It would be helpful if you could loan a known good battery to try as it could be the AC circuit that is the issue.
If you were to replace the battery stick with the correct Sony one more expensive unfortunately but cheap replacements can trash your system.

I was running XP SP3 before the re-format but now it's back on SP2 until I update all the software. The problem is happening on both service packs.

I asked this more to do with the system performance issue/s driver updates and available hot fixes etc.

Unfortunately, as far as I can see, the first stick of RAM is part of the main motherboard,

I will look for some info on your MB and post back.

I hope it turns out to be that simple!

Me too.

Edit: The MB has an integrated 512MB Ram chip which cannot be removed, this could point to the additional stick or the slot being bad, any dust in the slot and can you get another stick of Ram to try.

Edited by phillpower2, 22 January 2011 - 10:30 AM.

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#5
cosine25

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Thanks for the suggestions, here's an update on the current situation. I managed to borrow a battery from someone and the problem is still happening, so that eliminates one thing, at least. I can't see any obvious solder problems or blown capacitors on the motherboard, but I have cleaned the RAM slots out which hasn't worked. Unfortunately I can't find anyone with a compatible RAM stick which I can borrow, but it seems unlikely that the second one is the cause of the issue anyway since the shutdown problem is happening even with it taken out.

Interestingly, I've noticed that I can use Internet Explorer all day and get hardly any problems, but I only seem to be able to use Firefox for a few minutes before the laptop shuts down. As an experiment I tried using/backing up Firefox while the laptop was sat in the fridge (got some funny looks from the family!) and had it running for over an hour and a half, so it definitely looks like Firefox in particular is causing the processor to overheat. I've done a google search and it seems a lot of other people have experienced this, although no one seems to have found a viable solution.

Another weird issue I've discovered is that even though I've set the power options to do nothing when the lid is closed, the laptop will still go into hibernation mode. At this point I'm considering buying a new one, this is so frustrating!
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