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Old 12-25-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Notebook Tech Support

Tech help please!
I received a Sony VAIO notebook from my friend. I think it was given to him by his sister. He's never seen it work. What happens is when you turn the notebook on, the screen will power up and you will see "SONY" in white in the center of the screen. The SONY script disappears and the screen goes black again with a little flashing cursor at the very top left corner of the screen. It won't go any further than that. If you hit number lock or caps lock, you see the corresponding light come on at the top of the keyboard. If you hit any of the alphanumerics, the computer beeps at you. The power and battery charging lights both work. But the hard drive activity light does not ever come on. If I open and close the DVD bay door, it flashes the DVD player activity light, and I believe that I heard it whine and come to life once.

My friend gave it to me and said that it needs a hard drive. It looks like I can purchase a recovery disc from Sony for $23 + shipping. I'm sure I can get the actual hard drive for cheap enough. Here's my stumbling block. I've added hard drives before, but I've never replaced a main hard drive. Actually, the times I added a drive were all on desktops, but I'm handy with a screwdriver so I'm sure I'm capable of the physical part of the job. Essentially, is all I have to do is physically replace the hard drive, put the recovery disc in the dvd player, and let it go?

If it means anything, the model is PCG-V505AX. Overall, it seems like a pretty decent laptop. P4m/1.8GHz/512/CDRW-DVD/no serial, but it does have a couple USB's and a firewire.

Mike, or other computer geniuses, can you offer an opinion/advise?
Thx
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:53 PM   #2
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on my laptop, the HD just has a couple of screws and its out. also see if there is a sony tech forum. i used to have an old dell and the dell tech forum was a big help on a charging issue i had
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:00 PM   #3
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Thanks. I see the HD plate on the bottom of the notebook. it's just philips screws, but they're super small, and even my small/fine tip screwdriver won't bite. I'll have to see if I can borrow a jeweler's kit. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:04 PM   #4
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Throw the harddrive in, put the cd in, reset, and it should boot from the cd.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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OK, I found my jeweler's screwdriver set and got the hd plate off, and took the hd out. 5 screws for the plate, and 2 for the hd. Very, very easy.

I'd like to test the busted HD theory. Could anything bad happen if I swap hard drives between this sony and a different (non sony) notebook? I don't care if the Sony doesn't boot up with a different hd in it, but I'd like to see the hd activity light flash. I can add RAM or a new video card and junk like that, but I really don't know **** about putting computers together, so sorry for the douche questions.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:15 PM   #6
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It should boot
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:31 PM   #7
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YUP
I put in the HD from my Dell (that I got from DropTopDrifter, thanks again bro), and the HD activity light came on and windows loaded. It got to the user log in screen, and a box came up, something like, "You must register your copy of windows before you can log on" or something. Awesome. I'll consider this a success. Anyone got a cheap notebook hard drive for me? The original drive was a 40gb hitachi travelstar ATE/IDE 5V 1.0A.

FWIW, these notebook drives are pretty neat. I had to switch the mounting brackets and a header adapter to make the dell drive work on the sony box.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:35 PM   #8
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You're definitely on the right track with the recovery CD: if you can boot from that, then you can start to do some diagnosis, such as "yep, this drive is dead". 2.5" drives are fairly cheap now - I'd just pick up the CD's from Sony, get a new drive, and call it a day myself (there's no data on that machine that your friend or his sister wants off it, yes?).

The only issue I can think of is if Sony gives you a hard time about getting the recovery CD for that machine, or re-activation of Windows after you've done your recovery - do you have the original manuals, or is there a Microsoft SN on the bottom of the machine?

EDIT: oops - I type too slow. Congrats on getting it to boot.

Cheers!

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Old 12-25-2007, 10:56 PM   #9
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Thanks Jeff. I believe all data on the hd is considered to be lost and gone, but I'll check with my friend and his sister.

There is indeed a windows xp coa sticker on the bottom of the machine with a 30 digit product key and a 14 digit serial number.

The donor hd is back in the Dell, and the Dell continues to work. Score!
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:57 AM   #10
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Check the ram. My computer was doing **** ive never seen before but it was because the ram had gotten loose.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:31 AM   #11
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pcpartsohio.com has some great prices and excellent service if you want to pick up a new drive
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Thanks Jeff. I believe all data on the hd is considered to be lost and gone, but I'll check with my friend and his sister.

There is indeed a windows xp coa sticker on the bottom of the machine with a 30 digit product key and a 14 digit serial number.

The donor hd is back in the Dell, and the Dell continues to work. Score!
that sticker will come in handy. often, an OEM reinstall of windows causes an activation error after the reinstall. A quick call to microsoft fixes this. the activation wizard gives you the number. you WILL be speaking to an Englsh as a Second Language individual. Just tell them you had to reload the OS.
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:26 AM   #13
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FWIW the factory sony/dell/any other company recovery discs have soo much junk even after u delete it, the laptop is still running slow, i would install fresh copy.... copy model # down, download on your dell laptop, and then install fresh drivers from the sony website.... but that's just me

as for the HD...

http://shop1.outpost.com/search;jses...pType=pDisplay
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:03 AM   #14
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i should have an extra 2.5" hd laying around. let me know if you want it and ill try to find it
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:07 AM   #15
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gok, what do you mean by "fresh copy"? as in go out and buy a new retail version of windows? No way I'm paying for that when the oem disc is only $23. I'd be willing to try Linux though.

urb, yeah man, hook it up. LMK what ya got.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:24 AM   #16
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yeah the drivers are available. make this really clear for me though please. where do I d/l the copy of xp home that I need? will it matter if it's sp1 or sp2--the machine was originally sp1, don't know if that will cause trouble with the reg numbers?
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:37 AM   #17
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**** you FIOS
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:49 AM   #18
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**** you FIOS
Why, Fios is great. I wish I had FIOS available to me. My GF had it in her old apartment, 15 bucks a month, her ul/dl was so fast it made my E-***** small.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:50 AM   #19
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It was more of a **** YOU, you have fios and im jealous sorta of a post.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
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It was more of a **** YOU, you have fios and im jealous sorta of a post.
Bandwidth Envy.. LOL
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