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Sony VAIO Laptop failing to start up

This is a discussion on Sony VAIO Laptop failing to start up within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Sony VAIO laptop PCG-K115B When I push the on button the green power on light illuminates but nothing else happens,


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Old 08-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #1
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Sony VAIO laptop PCG-K115B
When I push the on button the green power on light illuminates but nothing else happens, but after several attempts the laptop does power up. Is there any idea how to resolve this intermittent problem.

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:19 PM   #2
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When you push the ON button and LEDs light up, do you hear the HDD and the CD/DVD drives starting (any signs of life from these 2)? Have you tried hooking up an external monitor?

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Old 08-21-2008, 11:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for looking at this Trigger

There is sound from the cd drive when button pushed, but I dont believe that there is any HDD activity i.e. We dont hear it and the HDD activity light doesnt flash. The sound from the CD drive is the only sound that you hear, the cooling fan does not startup.

We have considered that it maybe the HDD failing to spin up, but were unsure that this would cause absolutely no output from the laptop. Experience with desktop PCs is that this would get a report from the bios on startup.

We have not tried an external monitor. The screen did not seem a likely issue.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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I hope you try the suggestions or as advised. Please understand that they are supposed to help rule out a lot of things.

At a minimum (no CD or HDD drive installed) you should see it POST or at least the logo splash but since you did not test it with an external monitor, we have no idea right now if it is the LCD, the video card or the motherboard.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:36 AM   #5
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Thank you for your interest. This long running intermittent problem is currently OK, stating up first time. I expect it to return, and when it does, will take your advice and get back in touch. Thank you
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:02 AM   #6
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The problem has returned. We have connected an external monitor to the laptop when attempting a startup.

When the machine starts up ok the external monitor shows same as what is on the laptop screen.

Similarly when it fails to startup there is nothing on either screen.

I hope this helps to diagnose the problem.

I don't know if its an indication of the situation getting worse, as it is still intermittent, but it took more attempts before the machine would startup, around 10.

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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Please detail your description... when you get a screen or no screen in both laptop and monitor. Do you hear any HDD and CD drive activities in each of the instances? Any lights that come up or beeps that you hear in both cases.

I am asking to very detailed in your description because based on your post I suspect an intermittent power button problem. That when it works, everything in the laptop works and boots well. But when it fails, (obviously) it will not show anything on the screens as it is not booting at all.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:28 AM   #8
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Trigger,
When it starts up successfully the following happens.
i. The green power light comes on and remains on.
ii. The yellow scroll, num, caps lock lights flash once and go off.
iii. The CD rom drive can be heard 'clunking' a couple of times then quiet.
iv. The vaio splash screen comes up.
v. The yellow hard drive light starts flashing, hdd avctivity heard.
vi. windows startsup.
vii. cooling fan can be heard.

When it fails to start you get only the following.
i. The green power light comes on and remains on.
ii. The yellow scroll, num, caps lock lights flash once and go off.
iii. The CD rom drive can be heard 'clunking' a couple of times then quiet.

The events are in in the order they happen.

no HDD can be heard at all on a failed startup.

I hope that is enough detail. Let us know if there is any more information you need.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:15 AM   #9
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Thank you for that.

As I compare the 2 instances, I cannot help but notice that they behave the same until they both go past the CD (clunking sound) stage. After this stage they go separate ways... one just stops there and the other one shows logo splash and continues until Windows.

For the one that stops with the CD activity, do you notice if the power lights are still ON? Does the laptop shutOFF or freeze? Does it reboot or show any error?
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:51 AM   #10
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There is no other activity after the cd sounds. The green power light remains on. It does not shutdown or restart. The screen is blank and there are no sounds.

We shutdown the PC between attempts by holding the power button down, so it seems the power button is working.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:43 AM   #11
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Have you tried using linux live CD? Try Knoppix. In another/separate PC, d/load Knoppix and burn image into a blank CD.

Remove first the HDD, physically away from the laptop. Set BIOS to be able to boot from CD/DVD drive. With the Knoppix CD in the drive, reboot/power ON. Observe and note down what happens. Do several tries if possible.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:51 AM   #12
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I haved tried knoppix. With the following results.
When the machine is starting up, with HDD still attached: Knoppix boots fine
When the machine is starting up, with HDD removed: knoppix boots fine

When the machine is not starting up, with HDD still attached: the cd spins up then stops after a few seconds. The machine is then dead as before, except for the power lights of course.
When the machine is not starting up, with the HDD removed: as before the cd spins up then stops and then no further activity from the machine.

As far as I can tell when it does boot up linux does not report any issues. Each of the test situations were done at least a couple of times.
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for the update.

Now given the above, I think you need to test the hard drive. What is the brand of HDD you got anyway? Get the appropriate diagnostic tool from the HDD Diags link on my sig. If possible get the CD (ISO) or floppy version, which ever is applicable in your case. I say this because you should run this outside Windows (so you can rule out hardware).

If the hard drive diags show no errors, pop in your XP install CD (retail and not the restore/recovery CD) and boot into recovery console. In Recovey Console mode run CHKDSK /R

Post back any results.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:03 AM   #14
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The Drive is Hitachi Travelstar 40gb IC25N040ATMR04-0

Hitachi drive diagnostic program reported no problems when running quick and advanced tests.

Check disk ran succesfully, reporting 'one or more errors corrected'.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:55 AM   #15
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Trigger, it has been over a week since the last update. You usually have replied withing 24 hours, so was wondering if you had missed the update.

At this point we still dont know what is sometimes stopping the laptop from booting up. We would appreciate you continued help with working out what the cause is.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:52 AM   #16
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So sorry..

Did CHKDSK fix anything? I cannot recall but if you have windows XP installed try doing a repair (steps here: http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=189400897). If fixing does not work, may be you should consider a fresh install.

Also just for curiosity, run Memtest86+ to diagnose your RAM.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:10 AM   #17
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Trigger, chkdsk did do corrections, but gave no indication of what it did. It's likely it restored missing links to file fragments as that is what it does.

I don't believe the OS or software on HD is an issue. I don't think the PC gets as far as trying to access the OS. This is kind of indicated by the fact that when testing the PC with knoppix CD the machine just stops without loading knoppix. Also the Sony oem software CD doesn't allow the process indicated in the article. So would be faced with full reinstall.

I downloaded memtest86+ and ran that and true to form it came back with no errors.

My own conclusion from what we are seeing through all of these tests is that the BIOS is just stopping at some point. My assumption this is because a piece of hardware is returning the wrong signals during the bios start up routine.

Is there a way that the bios can be made to indicate what is happening? My experience with desktop motherboards is that you get beeps at boot up to let you know something is wrong.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhamer4270 View Post
Trigger, chkdsk did do corrections, but gave no indication of what it did. It's likely it restored missing links to file fragments as that is what it does.

I don't believe the OS or software on HD is an issue. - Have your run HDD diagnostic already? Sorry if I have to ask again.

I don't think the PC gets as far as trying to access the OS. This is kind of indicated by the fact that when testing the PC with knoppix CD the machine just stops without loading knoppix. -- Have you tested this Knoppix CD anywhere else to say this is a good burn? If not I suggest you use ImgBurn or Nero to burn the image into a blank CD. Copying it to a blank CD using Windows 'Write these files to CD' would not make a bootable CD... thus the error. Also when you say it stops... there should be a message on the screen unless you mean 'stop' as in freeze/hang or shut off.

Also the Sony oem software CD doesn't allow the process indicated in the article. So would be faced with full reinstall. -- if you attempted the repair using the XP CD from Sony (usually this is just a recovery CD), this would not work too. You need a retail version of XP. The XP install CD version should match that one installed in your laptop (i.e. XP Home or XP Pro).

I downloaded memtest86+ and ran that and true to form it came back with no errors.

My own conclusion from what we are seeing through all of these tests is that the BIOS is just stopping at some point. My assumption this is because a piece of hardware is returning the wrong signals during the bios start up routine.

Is there a way that the bios can be made to indicate what is happening? My experience with desktop motherboards is that you get beeps at boot up to let you know something is wrong.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:43 AM   #19
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Two previous messages cover the 1st two questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhamer4270 View Post
The Drive is Hitachi Travelstar 40gb IC25N040ATMR04-0

Hitachi drive diagnostic program reported no problems when running quick and advanced tests.

Check disk ran succesfully, reporting 'one or more errors corrected'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhamer4270 View Post
I haved tried knoppix. With the following results.
When the machine is starting up, with HDD still attached: Knoppix boots fine
When the machine is starting up, with HDD removed: knoppix boots fine

When the machine is not starting up, with HDD still attached: the cd spins up then stops after a few seconds. The machine is then dead as before, except for the power lights of course.
When the machine is not starting up, with the HDD removed: as before the cd spins up then stops and then no further activity from the machine.

As far as I can tell when it does boot up linux does not report any issues. Each of the test situations were done at least a couple of times.
The 3rd question, we don't have an XP Home disk which is what the laptop is using. So we can't attempt a repair.
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:00 AM   #20
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Thanks for the clarification..

Now it is clear to me that you have intermittent problems booting up regardless on HDD or CD drive. This may sound far fetched but test boot to BIOS only. Try it several times and see if there is a problem going into BIOS.

Again sorry to ask this but have you run Memtest86+ already?

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