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Sony Vaio Laptop booting issues ..blinking cursor or blank screen


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#1
darrenultra

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Hi,

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF laptop. A few months ago it started having difficulty booting up. It would usually just display a blank screen with a blinking cursor. This problem was intermittent.

I discovered that if I removed the hard drive and then re-inserted it, this would usually fix the problem. My laptop would then boot.

However the problem happenned more and more frequently and eventually the hard drive removal and reinsertion trick no longer worked. I was no longer even presented with the blinking cursor. I put this down to a hard drive failure and bought a new laptop (I use one for work and so needed a quick fix).

Recently I decided to get my Vaio back up and running. I bought a SSD, installed it, loaded Windows 7, and everything seemed to work fine. However, I am now running into the same issue again. After installing some Windows updates I was asked to restart my computer, however I just ended up back at the blinking cursor screen. I have tried removing and reinserting the hard drive, and it has worked a couple of times, but this time when trying to power up I am just getting a blank screen. The light at the front of the computer (which usually does a bit of flashing ...which I understand indicates that the hard drive is doing stuff) does not light up.

I can only assume that my new hard drive is fine, and so I guess my laptop is having trouble communicating with during the booting process. If anyone can educate me as to what is going on and suggest a solution I would be very grateful.
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#2
darrenultra

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Update:

After leaving my computer for a while, so it was completely cool, I tried removing and reinserting the hard drive again. My computer then booted as normal. A little while later I put it into sleep mode. I immediately tried waking it, but had no joy. The hard drive light at the front was not flashing. I then held the power button down to turn it off. When I tried to reboot it I was greeted by the blinking cursor.
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#3
phillpower2

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:welcome: darrenultra

The blinking cursor issue can be caused by a damaged OS and the damage can/will often occur if the computer is not shutdown correctly and especially if updates were being installed at the time.

The physical problems that the HDD and SSD are having could be the result of bad internal contacts, heat and/or possibly a mixture of both, when if ever was the inside of the notebook cleaned out of heat trapping dust.

Can I ask what type of OS disk it is that you have as in a full retail, brand name OEM, down loaded ISO or a burned copy.
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#4
darrenultra

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Hi,

I thought I should write a reply as my laptop is now back up and running without any start-up issues.

The operating system is Windows 7. I was originally using a pre-installed copy, however after the first (presumed) HDD failure I downloaded another copy from digitalriver, which I burned onto a dvd for the install.

When I installed my SSD I thoroughly cleaned the internals of the laptop using a paintbrush and vacuum cleaner.

After my first message I tried removing and re-inserting my 2 sticks of RAM and to my surprise this seemed to have a similar effect to doing the same with the SSD. It allowed me, most of the time, to get my laptop to boot up again. It also seemed that start up would be more likely with just the one stick installed. However, this had not solved my problem, it still seemed to be a temporary and intermittent fix.

I noticed that even though my computer was usually starting up (from shutdown) fine after jiggling the RAM, it would never do so if I put it to sleep. After looking into this I found that my laptop hardware was setup for S3 hybrid sleep. S1 and S2 type sleep apparently should not work on my system. I therefore went to the control panel and changed the advanced power settings to allow hybrid sleep. All of a sudden my laptop no longer had any problems waking from sleep, and i have not had any other booting issues since.

I cannot be sure that my problems were not fixed by removing and re-inserting the RAM a few times, however it seems to me that the changes to the sleep settings did the trick. Why this should make any difference to normal booting is beyond me.
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#5
phillpower2

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Hello darrenultra

Thank you for your comprehensive update which may help others with a similar issue :thumbsup:

Digital River is a great resource and has been a savior to many people thankfully :)

Tip: Please do not use a hoover to clean out the notebook or any other computer as the static that they create can damage your hardware, the USB powered mini hoovers that are available are at best a gimmick and for want of a better phrase are not worth a blow on a ragman`s trumpet. Canned compressed air is always best http://www.walmart.c...indingMethod=rr twin pack costs $5.89 http://www.walmart.c...indingMethod=rr
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#6
darrenultra

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...looks like I spoke too soon!

Although sleep works flawlessly on my laptop now, I just tried a restart and was presented with the blinking cursor again. I turned it off and then attempted to start it again, but this time was presented with a blank page with no cursor. I then left it for half and hour and tried again, and this time it booted ok.

Therefore it does seem that messing about with the RAM was what breathed life back into the restart of my computer last time round (in much the same way as taking out and reinserting the SDD has done). However, I'm not really any closer to finding the underlying problem.

I am having the same start up issues as I was before I replaced my hard drive. Being as I have re-installed the operating system (windows 7 home premium) from a different source then I guess we can rule out operating system (as well as damage to the hard drive) as problem areas.
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#7
phillpower2

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Does the issue occur when the battery is removed and you are using the AC adapter to power the notebook.

Have you tried restoring the MBs default factory settings in the BIOS.
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#8
bkm1224

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I know this is an old thread. I am having a similar problem. At one time it said OS not found. Now it goes to a blank screen (a greenish color, not black) with a cursor showing. I am stuck and looking for ideas and help. It is a Sony Viao FW-245-J (VGN FW 200, PCG-3D4L) has windows Vista 64bit (came installed). We have recovery disks we made. A little new to this, but have learned a little having children and family that is hard on computers. (or maybe we just buy the wrong ones). Any advice would be helpful.


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