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Sony VAIO won't start up, black screen only


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#1
sitnah

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Hi,
I have a Sony VGN-CR507E that turns on but screen is black. No beeping or sound when started. Absolutley nothing else happens, power light is on, it didn't show any screens on starting, just the black one and that's it.

Power light is on, battery is charged.

Power pack is lit and appears to be working (it gets warm).

Connected to external monitor, still black screen.

Turned off, removed battery, plugged in, same results.

Computer is still "as came from factory" except a year ago upgraded to "fresh install" Windows 7 from Windows Vista., ran fine after Win7 install.

Tried recovery disks (2 sets) and Windows 7 install disk, nothing happens, black screen only.

Removed RAM and reseated, no change.

Original Hard Drive:
Capacity: 160GB
Speed: 5400rpm
Interface: Serial ATA

Not a complete computer novice, but not a tech either (-:
On a whim, I put the hard drive in another laptop we have, and the of course the other laptop wouldn't start up correctly, but it did let me do some kind of "scan and fix errors" routine on the hard drive, and from what I could tell of the scan results log, the hard drive seems to be OK. There was no message about bad sectors or such, and after it was done it went on to try and start Windows again.

Installed a new hard drive on Sony anyway just to see what would happen, no joy, black screen.
Can't get to BIOS - Tried every combo of keystrokes to try to get to BIOS to check if set to boot from CD, that didn't work either. New hard drive was 320GB, 7200 SATA.


SONY VGN-CR507E - INTEL MOTHERBOARD SYSTEMBOARD A1496672A
I'm thinking this board has everything combined on it, no seperate graphics card(s)? So I may need a new total board ? UGH !

Or is there something else that might be causing this? Help !
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi sitnah

Possible causes include a bad video chip, MB, CPU, Ram or possibly a combination.

Good trouble shooting on your behalf already carried out :thumbsup:

Can I ask you to remove all of the Ram and power up the notebook to see if you get any error beeps.

Let us know the results please.
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#3
sitnah

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Hi,
Thanks for the reply.
RAM out, battery out, no sounds, tried restarting 2 times.
Only indication of life is power button is green, battery light goes on when holding power button to shut down. And a sort of "vanity" light? that goes on under the middle front of computer when turning on or off.

It it at all possible that the battery that keeps the clock set (CMOS?) has anything to do with it? grasping at straws, lol.
I've seen online that it only maintains the clock/date, but on some sites it also says it keeps the BIOS settings?

I have no idea where they have hidden the battery in this computer, so far I've seen no sign of it and others have said Sony won't tell them where it's at. Grrr!

I wondered about what the internal battery powers because I hadn't used the laptop in a while, maybe a month or two, and it wasn't plugged in. When I first slid it off the shelf to use it, I noticed the big external battery was unlocked on one end, and hanging out of the space a bit on that side. I clipped it back in before I started it. It's possible the slipping out happened when I took it off the shelf, so I'm not sure if it was sitting up there the whole time like that or not.
I tried starting it like that today today and it didn't turn on all.

Edited by sitnah, 22 July 2012 - 09:12 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Before this issue occurred did the notebook beep when you booted up.

When you previously attached the notebook to an external screen did you press the Fn + the F7 key to toggle between screens.

I do not believe that this is a CMOS battery issue but stranger things have happened.

A good CMOS battery is not only required to keep the RTC (real time clock) accurate it is also responsible for storing the boot sequence neither of which will prevent you from at least getting a BIOS screen.

Just a FYI, the RTC also relies on the CMOS battery to keep it accurate because if it is off it will interfere with Windows updates.
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#5
sitnah

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I'm not positive, but I don't think it ever beeped when started.

Yes, I did click the Fn + the F7, several times waiting a little bit to see if it was just slow to respond.
While connected to the external monitor, I also clicked the Display off button on the laptop several times.

Tried the numbers lock button today also, it doesn't light up either.

Odd thing probably doesn't mean anything? - the monitor was on when I unplugged it from laptop, and the monitor gave a "check cable" message when I unplugged it. So the monitor knew when it was plugged into the laptop and when it wasn't.
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#6
phillpower2

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Thanks for the additional information, I am sorry to say though that it does not sound good for the motherboard or one of the associated components such as the CPU or video chip.

Best suggestion I can make at present is to see if you can find a tech who will do a free inspection of the machine and then advise you of the repair cost which will allow you to decide the way to proceed, unfortunately though if it is a MB problem they are often not financially viable to repair or replace.

Worth a mention is the battery issue that you described as in that it may have damaged something inside the case - possibly causing a short circuit when power was applied.
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#7
sitnah

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Dumb question - what exactly would a new motherboard include? I'm not sure what is pre-attached and what does come off and can be changed later. For instance, I know now the video chip is permanently attached (in a manner of speaking) but is the processor, etc, a part that can be removed by simply unplugging it ? And might not be included in a new one? Or does it differ with different ones?

Just wondering in case I could find a motherboard at a reasonable price.

I know this is silly, but I really like this little pink computer <smile> but at this point I would never get another Sony. I didn't use it a ton, and it was never mis-handled. And they seem to be the only company that makes a truely ALL pink (with silver keyboard) computer.
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#8
phillpower2

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High end notebooks may have interchangeable video chips but the standard type do not, most do have removable CPUs and I would say with almost certainty that yours does.

As I suggested earlier find a reputable tech who will look at it for you without it costing the earth (free is better) as it may be a loose connection inside the case - possibly a bent battery terminal shorting out from when the battery became detached.


FWIW there is no such thing as a dumb question so please ask away, we are here to help if we can.
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#9
sitnah

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Happy day :) ! I managed to get a reconditioned mother board at a reasonable price and something like 12 hours later I am up & running. I am pretty familiar with desktop upgrading, etc. But laptop disassembly is a whole different world, and as you probably know, I don't recommend it for the faint hearted :)
I marked everything I could, and the insides of the computer now look like grafitti boards, thanks to magic markers, lol.

Tips for those who have never done this: have some small paper cups ready for holding the screws from each section, and label each cup as to where the screws go. Make copious notes and take pictures every step of the way.

I have no doubt it was the video chip, because the board I got had that chip replaced. Plus when I was done, it started right up and did one of those special scans, no doubt because it had been turned off like 100 times by holding the power button for 10 seconds. After the scan, which the log seems to say didn't find any errors, it shut down. The next start, it started up with no problems.
And yes, the processor and the wi-fi card were the only chip/card that were removable.

Thanks for all your help ! I recommend geekstogo to all my friends !

Edited by sitnah, 31 July 2012 - 05:49 PM.

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#10
phillpower2

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Great news and a job well done :thumbsup:

Yes you are correct repairing notebooks can be a daunting task for the average user.
Thank you for posting the tips so that they may help others, as you were obviously aware keeping the various screw types separate is vital as one slightly longer screw in the wrong place can short out and ruin the MB and other hardware.

You are most welcome BTW :yes: :thumbsup:
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#11
topgazza

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Hope you don't me ressurecting this thread as I have the same problem...exactly the same problem. Mine is slightly different in that sometimes...only sometimes....if the laptop is left turned off it will boot up properly. When it is dead the only light on is the power one. No HHD light or wifi on the front just like sitnah.

Normally I would blame a heat related solder problem but as I say sometimes it boots up after a nights rest and others it doesn't. It will suddenly die at random times if it does start working. I suspect a motherboard as I have stripped laptop down applied new CPU and video chip thermal paste. Checked connections, replaced memory. there are very few components in these things of course so I guess i am looking at a motherboard as well ?

Just out of warranty with John Lewis and i am discussing with them...under the SOGA about a repair. But any advice appreciated even ifs its just to confirm my fears :thumbsup:
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#12
phillpower2

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Hello topgazza

We will be happy to help if we can but can you please start a new topic so that sitnah does not receive unwanted notifications, please include the brand and model name or number of your notebook in your OP, thank you.
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#13
cashalley

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I had the same problem for my VPCEE43FX.

The steps that I took that seemed to have fixed the problem are as follows:

1. Open the CD Rom
2. Turn off the computer
3. Load a random disk into the CD Rom
4. Boot up the computer
5. Download the Sony Bios Update Utility driver from the Sony eSupport website that resolves the blank screen during start-up issue

http://esupport.sony...5&os_group_id=6

This seems to jump start the computer.

If the first disk doesn't work, try a couple of different disks.
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