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Hardware kicked the bucket?

by burnmw / May 27, 2007 2:39 AM PDT

Hey all,

I'm having some problems with my brothers Sony Vaio laptop (PCG-GR370), and have finally reached the end of my tether. I have not got a clue what the problem is and hoped someone else may be able to help, so here goes!

Originally the laptop took to randomly shutting itself down and blue screening left right and center. Next it decided that it didn't like AVG being turned on, and no matter what I did it wouldn't turn back on. So I uninstalled it and tried to reinstall, but it wouldn't have it. Having tried as many different approaches as I could think of (including several other anti-virus packages) I decided to wipe it and do a completely fresh install.

Having finally managed to get all of his files off, and virus checked them all on my own machine, (between BSOD's!!(on the Vaio)) I managed to reinstall XP (Home). Then, to my utter dismay it started all over again. So I fresh installed a different copy of XP, hoping that it was a clash with some of the preinstalled Sony software.

I now have a system which runs, but try to download anything (MSN Messenger/AVG/Java plug-ins) and it tells me there is something wrong with the download. Every single time. This can not be a software issue. Can someone else tell me if it sounds like the memory/and or/ hard drive may have reached the end of their life spans?

The machine specs are: 1.13Ghz P3, 512 Ram, 40Gb HDD and XP Home.

Sorry it's such a long post, just wanted to provide as much info as possible to help someone else point me in the right direction!

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks in advance,

Martin

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Or it needs cleaning.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 3:16 AM PDT

This 1.13-GHz Pentium III based machine is not as bad as the lap scorching Pentium 4 units but still requires a yearly checkup of the heatsinks and fans. For mine I just clean out the vents and pop the keyboard off (or flip over) to give the compressed air can a clear shot at getting the dust off the heatsinks. I check the heatsink is firmly on the CPU and then button it up. One last check of the fans and I'm good for another year.

What's your yearly cleaning schedule look like?

Bob

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R.E. Cleaning
by burnmw / May 27, 2007 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Or it needs cleaning.

Thanks for the quick response! Well as I say, it's not mine it's my brothers, but as usual I get the moaned at because it doesn't work! I can't remember the last time it would have been cleaned out (or even if it has been!). I shall give it a try and let you know what the result is.

Cheers,

Martin

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R.E. R.E. Cleaning
by burnmw / May 27, 2007 4:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Or it needs cleaning.

Nope, that hasn't done anything for it I'm afraid! Every time I download a file it comes back and tells me it isn't digitally signed and the publisher can not be verified even though it's MSN Messenger that I'm downloading! And that there are errors in crucial .cab files. I get the .cab file error no matter what downloaded file I use.

Cheers,

Martin

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So the heatsink is on firmly without
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: R.E. R.E. Cleaning
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Dust Free!
by burnmw / May 27, 2007 5:17 AM PDT

Nope, no dust at all. In fact, a very clean laptop! And I can hear the fan so I know that's working too.

Unfortunately this machine doesn't have an FDD but I have used that before on this machine. The results all came back failed. But I wasn't quite sure what was going on. It also seemed to take a long time to do.

Cheers,

Martin

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"The results all came back failed." = you found the problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 6:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Dust Free!

Now try it with one stick of RAM. If that fails, try just the other stick.

Bob

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Result! Thankyou!
by burnmw / May 27, 2007 8:42 PM PDT

Well, that appears to have cured it! Took out one of the sticks of RAM and it passed all of the tests and when booted in to Windows it has no problems what so ever!

Have managed to download/install MSN Messenger and Java without any problems!

Thankyou so very much, you've been a wonderful help!

Martin

P.S. The stick which has given up the ghost was a brand new stick from Crucial about 18months back! Just goes to show they aren't always the most reliable!

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Great news. Now exercise their great warranty.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Result! Thankyou!

You can pan them if you wish but they'll back up their product.

Bob

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