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Sony Vaio, shutting off randomly

This is a discussion on Sony Vaio, shutting off randomly within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi everyone. I've been battling this issue for awhile now. My Sony Vaio (SVE151190X) is 1.5 years old. In the


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Old 01-27-2014, 06:05 PM   #1
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Hi everyone. I've been battling this issue for awhile now.

My Sony Vaio (SVE151190X) is 1.5 years old. In the last few months, it would occasionally shut itself off without warning. It seemed to mostly occur when I would plug it in to charge, and I tried to develop a habit of only charging it when it was off, but that wasn't always possible.

This began happening with more frequency until finally one day it would hardly turn on at all. I left it alone, unplugged, shut down properly, etc., overnight. I plugged it in and left it alone during the day to charge. It worked again and seemed alright.

Then occasionally it would still shut off on its own or when I plugged it in.

In the last month, it did this again but refuses to charge. No matter how long I simply leave it alone, it will not charge. All the lights work -- when the battery is at critical it shows the charging light to come on, sort of blinking, so that's not the issue. The battery is in excellent condition. I have no reason to believe anything is wrong with the charger -- and in any case, the laptop will shut itself off even when it's not hooked up to the charger.

So, I went to work and got down and took apart my laptop. It's already past warranty anyway, naturally. I bought some canned air, dusted it, cleaned up the fan... to no avail.

The next day I ordered some thermal paste. I took it apart again today, removed the old thermal paste (which was still somewhat squishy, but seemed kind of spread off and lifting off with the copper piece connected to the rest of the cooling system; there was very little contact between them and the CPU, it seemed).

I was absolutely certain this would fix my problem. I cleaned off the old thermal paste with isopropyl. My first application was not very smooth so I removed that and did it again, which went much better. I screwed everything down. I put everything back together. I plugged in my laptop -- no light for charging. My hopes were already dashed but I tried turning my laptop on. It came on for maybe 10 or 15 seconds, didn't even make it to the log on screen (but it did show the Windows symbol and loading) before it did its little "click" and shut off again.

I honestly don't know what it is that has gone wrong with my computer. I know overheating is a very common issue with Vaios and I feel that I've made a terrible mistake purchasing this laptop. I don't know what my other options are. I cannot turn on my laptop to determine any other issues, but I had no reason to believe that, say, the fan wasn't working (and even if it wasn't, why would that keep it from charging?).

I don't know what I did or what I've done or where I can go from here, but I really rather not have to deal with not only buying a new laptop, but having to deal with Windows 8.

Please let me know your ideas.

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Old 01-27-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Hi Inkling:

And welcome to TSF Forums. I will be helping you this evening.

I repair Computers for a living and have worked on numerous Vaio laptops and I have a high end one of my own for personal use.

That being said, there are 2 things which usually cause laptops to shut off like that, besides the Charger/Battery issue which you think you have a handle on. It also sounds like you know a little bit about computers since you were able to take yours apart and get it back together again (no missing screws??).

The number 1 cause of failure in laptops that are 2 yrs. old and older is the hard drive. If that's been damaged due to dropping your laptop or overtemped, it's quite likely to be the cause of your problem. You just need to diagnose it, and if that's the case, replace it which would be a simple matter for you since you had to remove it in order to get to the processor paste removal/reapplication step. After replacing it you find it fixes your problem, reinstall your Win8 and restore your data and you're good to go!

Of course, prior to replacing your hard drive you'll need to ensure you have all your personal information backed up to an external hard drive, flash drive, cd/dvd discs or a Cloud Storage account.

If you go through those steps, and it still shuts off, most likely you are looking at a faulty Motherboard and a much more expensive replacement. The hard drive replace will cost you about $75-$100 depending on the exact capacity. A new Mobo will run you about $90-$300 depending on availability which should be good since it's less than 2 yrs. old and replacement parts would be readily available in the after-market channel such as eBay and Amazon.

To aid you in narrowing down which problem it is, I'm providing you with an excellent troubleshooting guide authored by one of our Senior Moderators, Night_Shift here: Black Screen Issues and Troubleshooting

I've had a dozen or so laptops with the exact problem you have, and have fixed them all except in cases where it was a faulty Mobo and the customer chose not to spend the $$ on a new one, but rather put that $$ towards a new laptop as you suggest *by the way, there is a low-cost fix to make Win8 easier to use I can help you with, if it turns out you have to go that route*. Win8 is a pain, but with this little program, it makes it much more user friendly.

These are my ideas to start with. From a Technicians point of view, I woudn't have taken apart the laptop until you decided what the faulty component was. But, the cow is already out of the barn on that one, and there is no warranty issue to worry about at this point as you mentioned.

You mentioned the Charger was ok; based on empirical evidence, but did you actually put a Multimeter on it and measure the output voltage and verify it was outputting something close to what your Vaio requires? Most laptops today use 18.5-19.5Vdc for input. Is that Charger a factory charger that came with the laptop or is it an aftermarket replacement? Your model shows the following: Output: 19.5V-4.74A 90W. If you are using an aftermarket charger and the amperage rating is less than the 4.74A rating; say 3.1A; it will not have enough juice to properly charge the battery, and even though the battery will show it's charging, it will never get much closer than 40% of Max and will run out in minutes instead of hours--wham! it shuts off on you. So, look at the label on the Charger and make sure it meets the specs above AND on the label of the inside of the battery compartment (that's where the voltage specs are on newer Win8 laptops).

Letting you know that if you were to have the hard drive replaced by a reputable computer shop it's $100-$160. If it's a Mobo; it's about $175-$460 typically. As stated above, it's coniderably cheaper if you buy the part and change it out yourself, as you save the labor. That will most likely enter in the "buy-versus-replace" conversation you'll have with yourself once you narrow down what part needs to be replaced to revive the laptop.

My money is on the hard drive. Even if I'm wrong, it's much cheaper to buy a new hard drive and swap it out, reinstall Windows8 and try it than to buy the Mobo first and then still encounter the problem, only to find that the hard drive still seems to be the culprit. I did this on a Customer computer last year; and I replaced the Mobo first, as all my tests indicated it was the faulty part. Turned out new Mobo didn't fix the problem; it wasn't until I replaced the hard drive that it finally resolved the problem after 3 tries.

Post back what you find after following the troubleshooting document, and voltage information, and one of us will help you through the diagnosis stage when you get stuck or if you get stuck.

We are here.

Best of luck,
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:16 PM   #3
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Oh my! Okay, breaking this down.

I'm actually on Windows 7, not sure if I said that.

I took it apart because when it died, it had very little battery life left. I struggled to turn it on and figure out a way to diagnose the issue in tandem with my desktop, but before I was able to accomplish anything, I had 1% left. I really had no other choice. I wish I had figured something out sooner, but I had no reason to believe anything was severely wrong with my laptop, considering I only bought it in July 2012 and had never dropped it or really done anything with it. I went off of what others had encountered with Vaios with this same problem and tried what they did.

My charger is the charger it came with. It never says it's charging anymore. I haven't tested its output but the wires appear to be fine, the green light comes on, etc. Should I find a way to test it?

I just tried switching out RAM sticks to eliminate that as a factor as well. This also did not work. Before trying this, I attempted to turn my laptop on again and it didn't even get as far as the loading screen this time. After switching RAM sticks, it wouldn't turn on at all, with either.

I went through the troubleshooting guide and started with step three, since I have tried the rest. With the HDD removed, the laptop will not start unplugged. I plugged it in. The lights began, it made its start-up noises, then click, promptly turned off again. It hasn't turned on while plugged in a couple weeks, so that was neat, but it didn't work again. I unplugged it, waited awhile, tried starting it still unplugged. It turned on! "No operating system found!" Hooray! ... And then it clicked and shut off again.

According to the guide, that brings me back to the RAM and CPU. I haven't tested the RAM with RAM sticks that aren't my own, so I'll see if someone has some around, if you think it's possible that they are both bad, considering everything else.

I know Vaios are known for overheating issues and crappy thermal paste. Is it possible that is still the issue and I just did a faulty job applying the paste? (Nothing squished out or anything?)

Thank you for your help! And the cute emoticons throughout your response, hehe.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkling View Post
Oh my! Okay, breaking this down.

I'm actually on Windows 7, not sure if I said that.
>>>Yes, it's on your Profile. I was responding to the comment you made about having to buy a new laptop with Windows8 installed on it. And yes, retailers are blowing out their Windows7 laptops now, so prices are better than Win8 laptops. Unless you really WANT Win8!<<<<


I took it apart because when it died, it had very little battery life left. I struggled to turn it on and figure out a way to diagnose the issue in tandem with my desktop, but before I was able to accomplish anything, I had 1% left. I really had no other choice. I wish I had figured something out sooner, but I had no reason to believe anything was severely wrong with my laptop, considering I only bought it in July 2012 and had never dropped it or really done anything with it. I went off of what others had encountered with Vaios with this same problem and tried what they did.

>>>Shutting off like that is an indication that something IS seriously wrong with your laptop<<<

My charger is the charger it came with. It never says it's charging anymore. I haven't tested its output but the wires appear to be fine, the green light comes on, etc. Should I find a way to test it?

>>>Thanks for that. That's a really important point many people miss. Factory Chargers are only good for 2-3 yrs. and many crap out before that. If you haven't tested the DC voltage output with a Multimeter, it's not conclusive to me it's working properly. Here's the link that shows pictorially how to test your Charger: How to Test a Laptop Power Supply | eHow
Also, the fact that the lights are showing doesn't mean the right voltages at the right amperages are getting to the laptop Motherboard and other components such as the hard drive and RAM. My Guess is that your Charger is kaput and needs to be replaced. That's like $35-$65. If you do the test I gave you a link to you could save that $$. If you are lazy, just replace the Charger and if it solves your shutoff problem--you are fixed! <<<



I just tried switching out RAM sticks to eliminate that as a factor as well. This also did not work. Before trying this, I attempted to turn my laptop on again and it didn't even get as far as the loading screen this time. After switching RAM sticks, it wouldn't turn on at all, with either.

>>>This is an indicator something is really wrong with your laptop--many laptops will still turn on with ALL RAM REMOVED and spin your dvd & hard drives momentarily at least and then spin down. Some will even let you get into the BIOS and then indicate you have no RAM installed. Others have a power sensor wired to the RAM slots and if no RAM; you get NOTHING--no lights, no sounds like drives spinning up, no FANS. <<<


I went through the troubleshooting guide and started with step three, since I have tried the rest. With the HDD removed, the laptop will not start unplugged. I plugged it in. The lights began, it made its start-up noises, then click, promptly turned off again. It hasn't turned on while plugged in a couple weeks, so that was neat, but it didn't work again. I unplugged it, waited awhile, tried starting it still unplugged. It turned on! "No operating system found!" Hooray! ... And then it clicked and shut off again.

>>>With your Hard Drive removed, that bodes ill for your Motherboard at this point! <<<


According to the guide, that brings me back to the RAM and CPU. I haven't tested the RAM with RAM sticks that aren't my own, so I'll see if someone has some around, if you think it's possible that they are both bad, considering everything else.

>>> It's possible, but unlikely, as most laptops still turn on and STAY ON even without RAM installed. Per the Troubleshooting guide it's a lot more likely that it's your AC Charger, the internal Charging Circuit on the Mobo, the CPU, or the GPU chip. >>>

I know Vaios are known for overheating issues and crappy thermal paste. Is it possible that is still the issue and I just did a faulty job applying the paste? (Nothing squished out or anything?)

>>>Don't know where you got that information about Vaio's but I would question that source and where they got their Computer Engineering degrees. Wow! Vaio's are very high-end laptops, and with 3 other brands are the best of the best. They rarely overheat from the ones I've repaired, and having replaced the Thermal Paste on Vaio's doing a Mobo replacement, their Paste is as good on par with the other top brands. They use good stuff. I did one last year that was over 8 yrs. old and the Paste was still intact--the only reason I replaced, was due to the Age and that's just standard procedure. BTW, I had about 35 Vaio's I maintained for 1 of the 4 law firms I worked for; all the laptops were being used by Attorneys. I didn't see any evidence of that claim. Also, that 8 yr. old Vaio DID turn on without the RAM installed. <<<<

Thank you for your help! And the cute emoticons throughout your response, hehe.
>>>Sure thing. Keep us posted on your progress and post back the Multimeter readings on your AC Charger.<<<



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Old 01-27-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
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VAIO's are indeed very high quality I have serviced them also. If I was not privy to a huge discount on top tier HP Elite books and had to buy a laptop outright for cost would be a VAIO.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Well, I don't feel so terrible for buying a Vaio, then! Everyone I've mentioned it to in person, or read about on forums, are just doom and gloom about Vaios and that Sony doesn't make quality laptops (in particular that they use very low quality thermal paste?). I don't know.

The laptop seems to be very back and forth or unsure of when it will turn on or not. I will probably give the RAM another shot after having it rest all day. Each test isn't always easily reproducible? Sometimes it will turn on with something removed, sometimes it won't. It's very unreliable in general.

I will test my charger this evening. I should be able to get my hands on an Ohm meter either from a department on campus or from a friend.

Between that and trying the RAM one more time, I'll give you guys an update.

If it is the motherboard - how would something like that happen? I'm used to laptops lasting easily 4 years before I have any issues. Is that a thing of the past or was I just lucky?

Thank you guys for all your help.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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To understand the issue, your computer is not "Shutting down" it's "losing power".
When your computer shuts down, do you see any lights ?
I would recommend that you test with an alternate Battery and Charger you don't have to buy them, just take it to a store and test it.
Boot the computer to the bios and keep it there, see what happens, repeat the same with and without the hard drive (if there is a short on the HDD it will help you find out)
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:15 PM   #8
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Okay, here's what I did over today.

I removed all the RAM cards at once, which I hadn't done yesterday, and attempted to turn it on. It did not. With them back in, it still doesn't turn on. The battery charge that was left was very low, and after it flickering on and off yesterday, could it be that the battery is totally dead and it's unable to turn on at all for that reason? In any case, I tried with the charger plugged in, but that often triggers it to shut off anyway. I tried and still no luck, it did not start in any way whatsoever.

I tested the charger's output and it comes right out to 19.5 V unless I wiggle my fingers! A friend suggested testing where you plug the charger in, which they did for me, and it gave a low output. They told me it also seemed to waver (not sure if they were just unsteady or not). I don't know if this could be due to the battery being almost out of juice.

In any case, it won't turn on whatsoever at this point.

I'm guessing it's the motherboard?
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:37 AM   #9
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Do not jump to a conclusion (in the interest of expenditure), try a replacement Battery and charger first and that should give you a clear picture.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:05 AM   #10
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Hi have you checked the DC jack where the power cord plugs into is it loose or damaged
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:25 AM   #11
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I appreciate the help, but please read the entire thread before offering advice.

I have checked the charger, it is in perfect working condition. There is no reason for me to try another one. The issue is separate from the charger. It occurs whether it is plugged in or not.

I have checked the battery, and unless the diagnostics was also incorrect, it is in excellent condition. There is no reason for me to try another.

I have checked the jack as well, which I stated in my last post.

Please read my whole thread. Thank you.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:35 AM   #12
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I asked did you check the DC jack was it loose or damaged, I know you did a multimeter test now I am asking to look for physical damage, please read the posted replies as carefully as you wish us to read yours.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #13
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The jack is physically absolutely fine. I would not have bothered to check it with a multimeter otherwise (or I would have included that information when I did go to check it with a multimeter), just as I checked the physical condition of the charger first, which I included, but did not detail when it came to the jack.

If it were loose, however, would that cause the computer to shut itself off when fully charged? Could it prevent the laptop from turning on?
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:03 PM   #14
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In short yes some jacks are soldered some are a clip in or slide in you did mention a variance in the voltage that gave me a concern to the condition.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeten View Post
In short yes some jacks are soldered some are a clip in or slide in you did mention a variance in the voltage that gave me a concern to the condition.
Hi Joeten,
I am experience the same issue. The jack is a little loose due to a tripped :-/ but that happened years ago. The problem started last month.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The jack is physically absolutely fine. I would not have bothered to check it with a multimeter otherwise (or I would have included that information when I did go to check it with a multimeter), just as I checked the physical condition of the charger first, which I included, but did not detail when it came to the jack.

If it were loose, however, would that cause the computer to shut itself off when fully charged? Could it prevent the laptop from turning on?
Hi Inkling,

I am also running Windows 7 64 Bit and having the same issue you are currently describing. Did you ever fix it? I feel that we have gone through the same troubleshooting steps and still no clear answer to this issue.

Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #17
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Hi Everyone!

Please to join and share my computer issue :) All forums that I have come across has still yet to have any resolution to this.

I've had this Sony Vaio random shut off problem for quite sometime.
I'm currently running Windows 7 Home Premium.
I ran Malwareybytes System Scan and cleaned everything out.
I then ran through a complete system restore (so it's like I just bought the computer) and sure enough it does this issue.
I believe I narrowed it down to when the AC adapter is plugged in.
I ran a system stress test with HW Monitor and SpeedFan on and everything seems to check out okay (Voltage, Temp) so it's not a over heating issue.
I just replaced the fan so that can't be the problem.
Not sure what else I can do. I yelled at Sony because their rep convinced me to so a complete system restore, now they say that I need a new motherboard (eeehhh no thanks).

Anyone else have this issue and fix it?

Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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Hi when it happened is of less concern that fact, it is loose warrants having it attended to.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:35 AM   #19
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@ChristopherLee: As you no doubt gathered, Inkling has disappeared and not answered us further as to the status of his laptop or whether or not it's been fixed--for 5 months. Experience tells us that he either fixed his problem, and has been to busy to post the solution back, or just moved on. That happens--people solve their problems and forget to share what did the trick for them. That's life. I've encountered numerous people like this in the last 27 yrs. of doing this who are like this. Other possibility is he just gave up, and junked the laptop and replaced it with a new one or a used one or maybe switched to a Mac...

If you would like help with your Vaio; post back some more specifics and we'll try to advise you. You did complete ALL the steps in the TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE, correct?

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Old 06-19-2014, 01:48 AM   #20
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2 threads merged.

The new thread - post #17 - Sony Vaio, shutting off randomly

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