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Replace VAIO HD trouble

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August 9, 2005 7:43:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi,

I have a two-year-old Vaio PCGGRT-100P whose hard drive gave up
yesterday.

I bought a new drive and got out the Vaio Recovery disks that I made two
years ago and haven't touched since, but the 8-CD recovery process fails
on the second CD. I think it's having problems with the new drive either
being unformatted or a slightly larger size, because the recovery
program it shows the wrong disk size (Only 8GB; the new drive is 40GB;
the old drive was 30GB) before it tries to partition, and then gives up
part-way through the partition ("Error 4," I think).

I also tried installing a new OEM XP Pro SP2, but that failed also.

Do VAIO notebooks come with a proprietary BIOS that is rejecting my new
drive? Is it possible to completely start over from scratch,
reinstalling a fresh BIOS? I don't think simple boot disks are allowed
in XP Pro, or I'd try to format the drive first using FDISK like I used
to do.

More to the point, is it possible to do these things on a computer with
no existing OS, booting off a CD? Where can I download the contents to
make such a CD?

My machine is out of warranty and Vaio doesn't support replacing hard
drives, so I'm hardly inclined to pay them $20 to tell me that over the
phone.

Any ideas? I thought replacing the drive would fairly simple, if
tedious. Wrong.

More about : replace vaio trouble

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 9, 2005 10:17:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Byron wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have a two-year-old Vaio PCGGRT-100P whose hard drive gave up
> yesterday.
>
> I bought a new drive and got out the Vaio Recovery disks that I made
> two years ago and haven't touched since, but the 8-CD recovery
> process fails on the second CD. I think it's having problems with the
> new drive either being unformatted or a slightly larger size, because
> the recovery program it shows the wrong disk size (Only 8GB; the new
> drive is 40GB; the old drive was 30GB) before it tries to partition,
> and then gives up part-way through the partition ("Error 4," I think).
>
> I also tried installing a new OEM XP Pro SP2, but that failed also.
>
> Do VAIO notebooks come with a proprietary BIOS that is rejecting my
> new drive? Is it possible to completely start over from scratch,
> reinstalling a fresh BIOS? I don't think simple boot disks are allowed
> in XP Pro, or I'd try to format the drive first using FDISK like I
> used to do.
>
> More to the point, is it possible to do these things on a computer
> with no existing OS, booting off a CD? Where can I download the
> contents to make such a CD?
>
> My machine is out of warranty and Vaio doesn't support replacing hard
> drives, so I'm hardly inclined to pay them $20 to tell me that over
> the phone.
>
> Any ideas? I thought replacing the drive would fairly simple, if
> tedious. Wrong.

The GRT series should accept the new drive without problems. There is
no BIOS limitation up to the maximum size of laptop drive available
today which is 100MB (or maybe more). Several GRT series owners have
reportedly installed the Hitachi 7K60 successfully.

I'm wondering though, if you somehow initially formatted the drive FAT32
which would set a partition of 32MB (the max size XP can format FAT32
partitions), then tried the recovery set that wants to see an
unformatted or NTFS partion, i.e., the remaining 8GB?

....or something along those lines.

I would do two things: first, using a boot floppy or CD, boot in to BIOS
setup with F2 at boot. Check that the drive type is Auto, although I
don't think the Sony/Phoenix BIOSes even have a type option. Then using
the boot CD, fdisk and format the drive as NTFS and try the recovery
disk set again.

Q
August 10, 2005 12:55:38 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> I'm wondering though, if you somehow initially formatted the drive FAT32
> which would set a partition of 32MB (the max size XP can format FAT32
> partitions), then tried the recovery set that wants to see an
> unformatted or NTFS partion, i.e., the remaining 8GB?

AFAIK, the drive is totally unformatted. I took it, brand new, out of
the wrapper today.

>
> I would do two things: first, using a boot floppy or CD, boot in to BIOS
> setup with F2 at boot. Check that the drive type is Auto, although I
> don't think the Sony/Phoenix BIOSes even have a type option. Then using
> the boot CD, fdisk and format the drive as NTFS and try the recovery
> disk set again.


I can get into the BIOS even without a boot disk, and there's no such
setting.

Thanks for the help.
Related resources
August 10, 2005 3:40:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Byron <spamagnet@dorrk.com> wrote:
: Hi,

: I have a two-year-old Vaio PCGGRT-100P whose hard drive gave up
: yesterday.

: I bought a new drive and got out the Vaio Recovery disks that I made two
: years ago and haven't touched since, but the 8-CD recovery process fails
: on the second CD. I think it's having problems with the new drive either
: being unformatted or a slightly larger size, because the recovery
: program it shows the wrong disk size (Only 8GB; the new drive is 40GB;
: the old drive was 30GB) before it tries to partition, and then gives up
: part-way through the partition ("Error 4," I think).

Did you check on the Sony website to see if there is any
troubleshooting info for your laptop? If there is a newer BIOS, I
would install that first (VERY CAREFULLY, FOLLOW THE
INSTRUCTIONS!!!!). That could fix drive problems.

: Is it possible to completely start over from scratch,
: reinstalling a fresh BIOS? I don't think simple boot disks are allowed
: in XP Pro, or I'd try to format the drive first using FDISK like I used
: to do.

: More to the point, is it possible to do these things on a computer with
: no existing OS, booting off a CD? Where can I download the contents to
: make such a CD?

Yep. Try the Ultimate Boot CD:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

but I'm not sure it's going to help you to fdisk if the real conflict
is with the Sony's BIOS not liking the hard drive.

: My machine is out of warranty and Vaio doesn't support replacing hard
: drives, so I'm hardly inclined to pay them $20 to tell me that over the
: phone.

: Any ideas? I thought replacing the drive would fairly simple, if
: tedious. Wrong.

It should be, but it depends on how old the computer is. I just
replaced the hard drive on my 2-year-old Toshiba going from a 30GB to
a 60GB drive and it worked flawlessly, though I started with an image
of my old drive not any recovery CDs or stuff like that, so I didn't
have to deal with partitions and such.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
August 10, 2005 3:40:08 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Thanks for the advice, Andrew.

>
> Did you check on the Sony website to see if there is any
> troubleshooting info for your laptop? If there is a newer BIOS, I
> would install that first (VERY CAREFULLY, FOLLOW THE
> INSTRUCTIONS!!!!). That could fix drive problems.


I did, but all the instructions assume that you are updating from a
working OS, and I have nothing but BIOS and a blank drive. I could
install from a CD and the command prompt, but I can't find a DOS prompt
to begin with.

> Yep. Try the Ultimate Boot CD:
>
> http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/


Thanks, I'll give it a shot. Mostly, I just want to know that the new
drive is formattable and not part of the problem.
August 10, 2005 8:09:28 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Byron <spamagnet@dorrk.com> wrote:
: Thanks for the advice, Andrew.

: >
: > Did you check on the Sony website to see if there is any
: > troubleshooting info for your laptop? If there is a newer BIOS, I
: > would install that first (VERY CAREFULLY, FOLLOW THE
: > INSTRUCTIONS!!!!). That could fix drive problems.

: I did, but all the instructions assume that you are updating from a
: working OS, and I have nothing but BIOS and a blank drive. I could
: install from a CD and the command prompt, but I can't find a DOS prompt
: to begin with.

Sony probably has some wrappers around the BIOS update utility to
allow it to run in Windows. But, you should be able to find a way to
flash the BIOS by burning it onto a boot disk or floppy. I would go
to this trouble only if you have a hint that an updated BIOS
specifically addresses larger hard drives or if the BIOS you have has
known serious problems.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
August 10, 2005 6:34:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hey, thanks for your help everyone.

I discovered today that it was the new hard drive that was bad, so I've
exchanged it and seem to be getting on OK (no errors yet).

Thanks for your help.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 11, 2005 2:14:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Byron wrote:
> Hey, thanks for your help everyone.
>
> I discovered today that it was the new hard drive that was bad, so
> I've exchanged it and seem to be getting on OK (no errors yet).
>
> Thanks for your help.

For some reason, out of the box component failure is becoming more
important in debugging new equipment. Maybe that is because it's
becoming the only common failure left with the improvements in device
handling in both XP and Linux.

Q
!