Sony VAIO dying?

By ishilicious
Nov 17, 2008
  1. Hey there,
    So last week i was watching season 1 of Supernatural again on my Laptop (a Sony VAIO vgn-fj270. Its got 100GB HDD, 1GB DDR2 RAM (512x2), a pentium M processor clocked at 1.86 GHz) when all of a sudden it just froze up on me. The HDD sensor light stopped blinking and remained on continuously.
    I thought that it might have been a virus or something, so i tried to get into the start menu so that i could turn on kaspersky and check it for viruses. But it never turned on. It would go to the Windows XP screen with the scrolling bar and after a minute or two, i'd get the blue 'fatal error' screen. i then tried to log into it under safe mode and with the last working configuration but to no avail. The laptop just kept going into a continuous loop and the blue screen would not stay on long enough for me to see the exact message. Now heres the worst part. I'm living temporarily in Bangladesh, and i dont trust the service people here. I can take the RAM and the HDD out of it but thats about all im willing to do by myself.
    I then inserted the recovery disks i made when i first bought the laptop and reinstalled windows and all the drivers. the lost data was pretty useless, i had just copied the important stuff into my PC a few days before. So after installing nothing more than the OS (XP Home) and the drivers from Sony, i restarted it. It took 12 minutes (i counted with a stopwatch) from the moment i pressed the 'on' button to get to the desktop. After a few more restarts, i got the fatal error again. I then took it to a computer shop as i didnt have any other option. They kept pushing me to buy a new HDD but their approach seemed pretty sleazy to me. Later i found out that they usually dont know whats really wrong and are in it to rip people off.
    I went home and decided that i would try a few things before i decided that i would need to buy anything. So i borrowed an XP Professional cd from a friend. i installed XP on a 12 Gb partition (out of the total 93 Gb) and it ran fine. XP loading times were very short and it seemed to me that the problem was solved. i then went on to downloading the sony drivers and installing them. everything was going fine until i started to install some other software. I made the partition in the first place because i wanted the OS to remain on its own partition to see if anything went wrong then. Until then the only problem was that chkdsk kept on appearing at startup and if i let it start the scan it would hang at '0 percent completed' and stay that way indefinitely. I could otherwise run it without allowing the scan to continue. i was installing Microsoft Office 07 on the second partition but it kept on encountering an error and wouldn't finish the install. Later, windows media player stopped working, with the encountered an error and must be shut down dialog box. So then i installed KMPlayer (another media player) but nothing would run on it. It froze again so i manually rebooted it. Again it got stuck in a fatal error boot cycle.
    So i tried the same format and install thing again, this time with a 20 Gb partition for the OS. This time it ran much faster and everything seemed to be fixed. The chkdsk problem remained but it went to about 92 percent then hung. so again i had to run without letting the chkdsk scan the hardrive at startup. It wanted to scan everytime i turned it on. Otherwise it ran fine. i even went as far as putting some of my old music into it and playing it while doing other work. I installed office and it worked perfectly. then i tried installing a Vista Inspirat theme i downloaded and had used before. after the install, i rebooted the pc, and the welcome screen was gone. it instead looked like the welcome screen from windows 2000. so i uninstalled it and rebooted the pc. Again, the blue screen cycle started. Till then, i havent tried anything else. the only thing i noticed was that occasionally, there would be a pretty loud click from the HDD area, but it didnt happen all the time and it definitely wasn't predictable. it just seemed like xp started to corrupt all by itself. So if anyone can help me with this problem id really appreciate it since u cant return anything to the store after u buy it, and i dont want want to buy something and then later on find out that its something else. If anyone can point me in the direction of the problem which by now is probably something hardware related, id really appreciate it.
  2. lamo

    lamo TS Rookie

    it seems that, your HDD needs to be checked for errors. and don't forget to check the RAM too. for HDD, you can use the MHDD tool, and for RAM, use memtest.
  3. ishilicious

    ishilicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Which versions?

    Hey thanks, i downloaded the MHDD tool, and am in the process of burning it so that i can boot it from the image. Do i just burn the ISO file as is onto a blank cd or do something else with it before burning?

    Also, im looking for the memtest that you suggested. Two versions come up, one is memtest by HCL and the other one is memtest86. Which one should i use??

    Thanks again!
  4. lamo

    lamo TS Rookie

    it'll be better to use memtest86.
  5. ishilicious

    ishilicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hmm, i have yet to run the tests since my exams are taking place. Umm, could it be ANYTHING else other than the HDD and the RAM?? I'm just asking because my instincts say that its either the RAM or the HDD. But just in case, if its not, then what can it possibly be and how would i find out??

    Oh and btw, how do i use the memtest86 and the MHDD tool to check for and how do i interpret the results??

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