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Sony laptop crashes, may or may not reboot

by eeamisconline / May 25, 2005 8:52 AM PDT

I have a Sony PCG-FX240 notebook that's almost 4 years old, running on Windows ME. It worked without fail until this particular problem started. Here's a rundown of the symptoms and what I've already tried:

- It started rebooting by itself. There have been previous posts about rebooting, but the suggested fixes either did not apply or work for my computer.
- Sometimes it won't reboot anymore. But the green light indicating power is lit. I'll shut down completely by pressing the power button for a few seconds. Then I'll retry several times and on my 10th attempt, maybe it will boot up. Lots of times, it'll just hang with the screen black or ''SONY'' on it.
- I ran scandisk and defrag repeatedly.
- I've already reformatted my harddrive and re-installed the software using the System Recovery CD. Didn't fix the problem.
- The longer I don't power up my computer, the longer I'm able to use it the next time before it reboots.
- I've also removed/reattached the RAM and made sure it's securely in its slot.
- In case it's the battery (still using the one that came with the computer), I removed it and tried runnning on just AC power. No change, still reboots.
- I tried doing a manual format of the harddrive from the C> and D> prompt, but all the text on the screen turned into gibberish.

Would greatly appreciate any help.

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Try this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2005 8:56 AM PDT

1. Use just one stick of ram or none if the machine has onboard ram. Try one slot, then the other. Why? knows about the sockets may need the solder reflowed. It's worth doing.

2. How long since you used the compressed air to clean off the heatsinks?

Best of luck, but my bet is item 1.


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The Ingredients...
by server / May 25, 2005 10:28 AM PDT

The ingredients for a spontaneous reboot
are the following:

- Worm/Virus infection - Blaster
- Excessive HEAT (poor ventilation)
ie. running the machine on CARPET!! Ahem...
- Defective RAM or non-compatible RAM
- Extremely low system resources
- IRQs and Device driver conflicts
- Windows ME operating system Wink
- Lunar phase (if machine is TwinHead)

Once you have checked off those things,
and still can't come to terms with the cause
then I would say you have 3 options.

1. ebay the laptop off...
2. $ervice (out of warranty)
3. UPPPPPPPP-grade Grin

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Same problem to my GRX570
by bigrain / May 25, 2005 10:46 AM PDT
In reply to: The Ingredients...

And I can tell you the solution I'm going to take... EBAY the good parts. Get another laptop. Preferably NOT sony since their notebook suck. (I do like their S480 though... looks great) However, for the same spec and $100 cheaper, you can actually get an IBM T43 w/ 2.0Ghz. Happy Good luck.

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Bob is right....
by ikenfixit / May 25, 2005 11:20 PM PDT

Your issue does sound like it has the memory slot problem and its prevelant on more than Sonys. One good this the FX series as opposed to the GRX/GRV is a simple repair in comparison.(More space between the contacts so less chance of a washover short)FX usually lose the rear slot, Pull power and battery, Remove the RAM cover and pull the memory from slot 2. Hit the reset button and retry. Let us know how it goes and if you need help.

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It worked!
by eeamisconline / June 6, 2005 7:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Bob is right....

Bob was definitely right. I removed the second memory and my computer ran for over 24 hours continuously without rebooting.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Now my question is what to do with the second memory slot. Right now I'm left with 128 MB of RAM and I need more than that. I'm not sure what the simple repair entails and whether I can do it myself. If I have to pay someone to do it, I'm thinking I might as well replace the remaining memory with a larger one which I can do myself. Any thoughts?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2005 7:08 AM PDT
In reply to: It worked!

Have it done by those that have done it too many times.


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Can Be done..
by ikenfixit / June 7, 2005 7:52 AM PDT
In reply to: It worked!

Glad to hear the issue is basically narrowed down to the slot. If you are capable of soldering, And arent afraid of damage you can do this yourself. (The FX are easy to do if you have any inclination of whats going on). Pull Battery, Power, RAM, Set the unit on a hard surface as in Kitchen table, Basement floor or other.. (Means dont wear pink fuzzy bunny slippers and drag yourself along deep shag carpet).. Try to at least touch a fridge or stove before removing the RAM. (Generally the most sensitive component for discharge in a laptop).. pick the individual pin's that are on the inside of Slot 2. When you find the 6-8 pins along the board that will move sideways, Usually on the inside, NOT Rear of the holder and to the Short end divided.. I_____l__I (Visual). Just reflow the existing solder. Theres usually enough here to work fine for another year or so. (I have the wife do these and she re-connects each individual pin, Adds solder and she's metitculous at it)! Any more info needed just yell.

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by eeamisconline / May 27, 2005 9:50 AM PDT

I'll try your suggestions (except junking my computer--I'm not at that point yet). I'll let you know how it goes.

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Never junk and one mans trash??
by ikenfixit / June 9, 2005 6:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks...

The thing will bring 250.00 - 300.00 on ebay with RAM slot issues...Never throw one out.. If you need help reworking the slots just call.. Good luck! (You can run 256 in each slot also)..

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by jboisseau / June 11, 2005 3:32 AM PDT

I see from a later post that you narrowed the problem to a memory slot. Glad you found it. However, being a 4 year old laptop, you may be having heat problems as well. I have a 3 year old Thinkpad that started behaving erratically. I tried everything, but in the end, it was the fan. The fan was running but had slowed down considerably over the years. Once replaced, my laptop sprung back to life and has been very stable.

Just a thought.

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This was great help
by wei_c25 / July 23, 2005 6:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Heat

Guys, I have the same problem, thanks for posting your advice. I have a Sony PCG-FXA36, had worked great for 4 years up until a few days ago.

How do I get to the heatsinks to clean with compressed air?

How do I replace the fan?


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One screw....
by ikenfixit / July 23, 2005 10:59 PM PDT
In reply to: This was great help

Left hand edge of the power button bar.. slide it right and lift up slowly.. Ribbon cable just pulls out of board.. Fan and heatsink are on the left after you get the keyboard out.. (One screw here as well)..PULL BATTERY FIRST.. **THERE ARE LIVE CIRCUITS EVEN OFF**

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