JKay

Laptop Not Booting

23 posts in this topic

Had a request for some help with a Sony Vaio (think thats it).

It is not booting up, it appears to be stuck in a loop also does not respond to attepts to get into Safe mode. It comes with no restore disk, anyone know how to access the Partition that contains the OS (I think its Windows7) or have any idea to kick into life?

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I know someone who loves their VAIO and I've been trying to get hold of one on ebay for over a year!!! They're fantastic machines from what I've seen!!! Will ask and get back to you :)

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Hi JKay

In the old days, one could simply load a working operating system from the "a drive".

With modern laptops, I think a similar technique is available with cd-roms. If your cd drive is still working you simply load an o/s from the cdrom.

If it boots successfully, you use a dos command to go to C: (your main drive) If you cannot access your hard drive, the hard disk is (most likely) fried. (The boot sector is damaged). Unfortunately, this means you've lost all your data and o/s files. :(

Sony is a very good company, so if it's still under warranty, best to take back to the store, so the techs can have a look at it. If not, you'll need a "bootup" cdrom disk to see it you can access the main drive.

These can be downloaded online (and made) if you have a spare cdrom disk and a spare working machine with internet access.

Kind Regards,

DrSex

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Try the control and F keys in turn, on start up, control and F7 worked on a Dell lap top I was trying to fix.

If Sony is like Dell they will charge you for a restore disc, it cost my daughter nearly £50.

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Try the control and F keys in turn, on start up, control and F7 worked on a Dell lap top I was trying to fix.

If Sony is like Dell they will charge you for a restore disc, it cost my daughter nearly £50.

yes. may be cheaper to go to a small computer store with guys who knowwhat they are doing, who will already have the disk. Ask around to find a good one near you.

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Have a look at this site:- http://www.ubcd4win.com/

It may help. It runs a slimmed down version of windows from your laptop drive. You will need another PC to download & create the disc for you.

Good luck.

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see if any f key options are available on boot -- such as last known good config.

Edited by busencumen

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Went to see the laptop today, it was running Vista not 7.

Hit F12 and got it to run safe mode, well almost it starts to load the files then stops......think the last file was AVG or something like that, I left it to chug but after 5 minutes it shut down, does not boot in "last good configuration" the a few minutes ago it shutdown and now will not respond to the on button, battery has charge but no life at all, no lights or noise, dead. Hard drive gone tits up I guess, is it worth trying to get hold of a replacement drive and tackle it myself? or bin it?

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depends on age and value of data i suppose; otherwise bin it ....unless new hdd will indeed solve all probs.

Edited by busencumen

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Hi JKay,

"No lights" on a laptop or PC points to PSU failure (the HDD drive may still be salvageable) PSU stands for Power Supply Unit.

From what you describe, the HDD attempted to boot, found it could not (almost certainly due to a corrupt boot sector) then caused overheating in the PSU. Sometimes, with low voltage devices like laptops, simply leaving it to cool down will result in a recovery. As other posters suggest, unless you find a means of accessing your faulty HDD, you will never recover its data, or repair the current o/s.

For some reason, many retailers now don't ship the original System Disk with new laptops. Even though O/S are an integral part of a modern computer. I just don't buy from retailers who don't ship a System Disk. Simple reason. One cannot install an o/s again if the cd drive works, but the hard drive is corrupt, unless you have a System Disk or Recovery Disk.

Kind Regards,

DrSex

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Hit the button this morning an nothing happens, no HD activaty, no lights nothing, I know the owner is skint and I was hoping it was just a OS error which I could get around and when Safe mode was loading its files I thought I could crack it but it just hung then shut down abruptly and I think this may have been the HD eating its selve. Bit gutted as I've always been able to solve things, I remember a while back one of my PC's went tits up, HD was still running and nothing I did would get it to run but one of our members posted a link to Testdisk, what a bit of kit that is! Load it onto a good PC, I then removed the dodgy HD that had stuff on I could not aford to lose, moved the jumper to slave stuck it into a USB caddy and I was able to locate each file I needed to save, it took some time because its one file at a time but I saved every thing! also once I had my stuff I had a play about and it repaired the HD and over a year later its been running this PC as smooth as!

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Hi JKay....

I think you've just posted your own solution. :P Mind you, I can't remember if laptop units use the same IDE interface as PCs?

I'm no big fan of laptops - The manufacturers design them to be almost impregnable. They're a pain to work on, easily damaged and (as you've discovered) prone to overheating or parts failure. They use "micro architecture" which, yes, saves space, but amounts to a technician's nightmare.

Never used a "USB caddy", but its possible you could retrieve the data by slotting the laptop harddrive into a spare chassis with the appropriate interface. (Thats if you can open the laptop without damaging its casing! There are guides online for correct parts removal from laptops - Since you have a Sony, you maybe in luck with manuals and guides. (They're easily one of the best electronics companies in the world).

Kind Regards,

DrSex

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I asked a techie at the computer fair yesterday and he recons its over heated, thats why it shut down, I have my doubts because it did not get fully booted, infact it shut down while loading (or trying) safe mode, anyhow he said he could fix it for £45 and would take 20 minutes. I had a look around the web and found a site that said that the air filter for the CPU blower get clogged up with fluff (picture), they charge £75 to fix this. Something I could takle so I did a search for manuals, found stuff that was same model but the pictures of the screw positions were different so I'm not going to take it apart untill I have the correct info.

I recon its a hard drive problem and he said he could put in a new 160G unit and a OS for £65 which I think is bloody good but as its not mine I shall have to contact the owner.

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I think you should really post this on a forum dedicated to computers, rather than a forum for punters & ho's. My personal go-to forum is overclockers.co.uk forum - there are many knowledgeable people there.

I have experienced similar problems to what you've described in the past. In one case it was poorly seated RAM. In another it was an overheating CPU compounded by clogged air vents. However I doubt that clogged vents alone would ever cause overheating to the point of shutdown so soon after startup.

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Hi Jkay,

Your new post reminded me that "fan vents" on laptops are usually located beneath the unit (backside). This is okay when the lappy's on a hard surface (a gap is created by the little rubber feet). But alot of folks rest lappys on soft-furnishings, not realizing this is blocking their vents! :eek:

But yeh, Jimmy Bond's point about overclocker forum is sound- there's some real boffins on that site ;)

Kind Regards,

DrSex

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Hi Jkay,

Your new post reminded me that "fan vents" on laptops are usually located beneath the unit (backside). This is okay when the lappy's on a hard surface (a gap is created by the little rubber feet). But alot of folks rest lappys on soft-furnishings, not realizing this is blocking their vents! :eek:

But yeh, Jimmy Bond's point about overclocker forum is sound- there's some real boffins on that site ;)

Kind Regards,

DrSex

I am a member their in real life, should have posted there first but PN had come up trumps for me before. So posting this problem there now would out my real identity.

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Went to see the laptop today, it was running Vista not 7.

Hit F12 and got it to run safe mode, well almost it starts to load the files then stops......think the last file was AVG or something like that,

Had virtually the same problem yesterday and it was a bugger to sort out.

I was recommended to try a new anti-virus program, which I duly loaded in and let it do what it does, then nothing at all would work. I ended up having to click on the icon for the AV in the tray, pretty smartish, and closing all of its operations, which then allowed the pc to boot up properly and allow removal of the AV program.

Before giving up hope, try disabling and then removing the AVG program.

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Had virtually the same problem yesterday and it was a bugger to sort out.

I was recommended to try a new anti-virus program, which I duly loaded in and let it do what it does, then nothing at all would work. I ended up having to click on the icon for the AV in the tray, pretty smartish, and closing all of its operations, which then allowed the pc to boot up properly and allow removal of the AV program.

Before giving up hope, try disabling and then removing the AVG program.

I would if the start button worked, its dead, not lights when charger is plugged in, no post bleeps or any sign of life, shop recons they can fix it for a max of £120, looks like it has 2 problems, when it did try to start, which is an easy fix but it then developed a faulty switch on the MB, waiting for phonecall for reults of the strip down.

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Update, at last got laptop back from shop, one problem solved, the charger was faulty, the voltage was correct but the amp output was wrong, so he supplied a new one for £20 and asked if I wanted to fix the software/boot problem myself to save money, so thats what I did. I went over to the Stratford computer fair and bought a Windows 7 Pro product key for £30, handed over the 30 and he promptly gave me back a tenner change, well thats a result! So I used my copy of W7 install disk and it booted up fine first time, connected to internet first time and loaded MS updates and servce pack 1 and validated the product key, I then installed my copy of Driver Genius 11 and it found and updated all the drivers in just a few minutes, spent sometime loading up some free software to cover the families needs and handed it over last night, job done!

As a challenge I would have liked to have resserected the installed copy of Vista but nothing I tried was able to access the recovery partition, so W7 was the fastest and cheapest route.

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I went over to the Stratford computer fair and bought a Windows 7 Pro product key for £30, handed over the 30 and he promptly gave me back a tenner change, well thats a result! So I used my copy of W7 install disk and it booted up fine first time, connected to internet first time and loaded MS updates and servce pack 1 and validated the product key

I am confused by this. If you bought the laptop with Windows 7 preinstalled on there then there should be sticker on the laptop with the product key for windows 7 on the bottom of the laptop

If not you could have just used a Linux Live CD. Fired up Wine. And got the Product key via using a third party registry tool inside Wine.

But anyway if you had the product key on a sticker. All you need to do is go to MSDN or Technet and get the MD5/SHA1 hash of the genuine Windows 7 32bit/64bit with SP1 preinstalled.

Then google the SHA1/MD5 hash and find somewhere offering downloads of it. download it, burn it to a disk and then boot with this and the product key on the sticker.

When you purchase windows you only purchase the product key so there is nothing wrong with downloading windows ISOs and using a genuine product key to register it.

Personally however With Windows 8 Release candidate out I would have just installed this. you can use it free for a year and its very stable.

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I am confused by this. If you bought the laptop with Windows 7 preinstalled on there then there should be sticker on the laptop with the product key for windows 7 on the bottom of the laptop

The laptop was bought with Vista pre-installed, not Windows 7.

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The laptop was bought with Vista pre-installed, not Windows 7.

Indeed it was, the owner of laptop did not have instalation disk for vista but wanted to upgrade anyway to W7. Nothing could get Vista to run, emergency boot software was tried at the shop, I tried the rather good "test disk" but nothing happend. we left it a few days and out of frustration I stuck in my W7 disk and it loaded, I used driver genius to update drivers then £20 for the product key.

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