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Here's a good one - laptop won't boot but LED is on?

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August 2, 2012 1:12:17 AM

Hey guys.

So I have a Sony VAIO PCG-61611L laptop here that won't boot.

Symptoms:
- Press the power button, there's a small sound, like something inside is turning on, it sounds completely normal (not clicking or anything like that).
- The green LED on the power button stays on, meaning the laptop is on and running.
- Keeping a hand near the vent, the laptop starts to blow out hot air unusually fast. Not extremely hot, but for the first 20 seconds of booting (well, non-booting) it's warm enough to notice.
- The screen stays black, nothing at all through the entire process.
- No Windows sounds either, so it seems the screen may be fine, the laptop just isn't actually booting.

The past few weeks, the laptop has not been going to sleep properly (not all the time, but frequently enough). The power button would be pressed (to put it to sleep) and the screen would go black, but the LED would stay green (not turn orange) and the fan would keep blowing out hot air, forcing a hard shutdown by holding the power button (as the computer would become unresponsive).

I'm not saying that has to do with anything, but I find I feel it worth noting.

Plugging in the laptop produces the small orange light indicating it's charging. Took out the battery, held the power button down for 30 seconds (read that somewhere) - did nothing. Tried turning it on with and without the battery - nothing.

I'm kind of out of ideas. Anyone have anything?

Thanks for anything!

More about : good laptop boot led

August 2, 2012 1:29:07 AM

Try connect your laptop to an external display.
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August 2, 2012 1:35:55 AM

Thanks for the reply, but I don't think that'd work for two reasons. Firstly, like I said, no Windows sounds or anything, the computer just isn't turning on, not just the screen. Secondly, to connect to a second display, I need to enable it through Window's control panel or something.
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August 2, 2012 1:38:40 AM

The POST should show up on the external display.
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August 2, 2012 2:31:15 PM

Tried it just now, nothing displays on the external monitor, just "VGA No Signal". Makes sense I think, again, I don't think the screen is broken, so any information should show up on the laptop screen.

Anyway, thanks for the reply, but no luck. Any other ideas? There's literally nothing else I can think of besides opening it up, and even then I'd have no idea what to possibly expect.

Thanks for any help!
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August 2, 2012 3:28:00 PM

My guess is the GPU is fried, which typically means the mobo needs to be replaced. If your laptop is under warranty, get the process started asap.

It maybe something else, but these are the symptoms I saw on the last laptop repair I did. You can get it fixed sometimes by computer repair shops, but the fix doesn't always last; make sure they have a BGA reflow tool, because there are ways to fix it using a heatgun from the hardware store but they have the potential to damage other components.

Some laptops do have removable GPUs as well, but it's mostly higher end gaming laptops that do this.
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August 2, 2012 3:55:04 PM

Damn, that sucks. I figured as much. There can't be much else it can be that wouldn't warrant having to send it in for repairs.

The funny thing is, the symptoms that led up to this (putting the computer to sleep, but it not actually going to sleep and becoming unresponsive) just now started happening to my other 2-year older Vaio laptop. Oh boy.

Anyway, it looks like I'll have to send it in regardless. Thanks!
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August 2, 2012 5:28:09 PM

Usually GPU issues come from the GPU overheating to the point where it melts it's solder enough to weaken the contacts. If you game on your laptops, you may want to keep your settings at the minimum, or simply avoid taxing games on the laptop. Getting a cooling pad (the tables with

If you get it serviced by Sony out of warranty, it's going to cost 200-300$ or more probably; however if you get it repaired by someplace local, it's possible that the fix doesn't last very long. I fixed a laptop (given to me with this issue), and I was able to repair it using a BGA reflow tool we have where I work, however the fix only lasted a few months of very limited use before it died again.

There are a lot of things that can cause the unresponsive while going to sleep, hopefully it's just a coincidence.
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August 2, 2012 6:15:20 PM

Well, looks like the warranty is indeed expired, plus repairs start at $299 from Sony. I googled around and it doesn't appear to be too difficult to attempt to use a heat gun to reflow the solder. Might as well give it a shot before paying someone else to do it.

I'll report back my results probably Saturday.
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a b D Laptop
August 2, 2012 6:18:23 PM

before you call up sony. pull the battery and power. flip the laptop over and reseat the ram. the unit may have a lose stick of ram. if it still wont post. take the keyboard out and see if the cpu and heat sink are still installed ok. could be the heat sink fell off over time or the cpu could have walked out of the cpu slot. if it still wont post...check the unit model online..some laptop had nvidia video chipset recall and class action lawsuit. you had to have the right video card and ser#for the repair.
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August 2, 2012 8:28:23 PM

Good idea to check out the other possible causes, it's possible it's a less drastic hardware failure.

And if it isn't something else, definitely check into the class action suit. The broken one I received would have qualified for it (it's an older one, and had been sitting broken for a year or two I think, it wasn't mine originally); it would have meant a free out of warranty repair had the owner known about it when it failed.
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August 2, 2012 9:04:41 PM

It's actually an AMD card, so yeah ;) 

Definitely will check out the RAM, I'll check the CPU / heatsink too while I attempt to fix the soldering. Thanks!
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August 4, 2012 1:29:25 PM

So, reporting the results - a success!

Opened up the laptop (Vaio's make it convenient to get to the inside parts, you only have to remove 30 screws) and took a heat gun to the video card area for about 3 minutes, let it cool, put it back together, and turned it on to see the "Vaio" logo pop up and the computer begin to boot.

I was shocked that it actually worked. As I was sitting there with the heat gun this was practically me the whole time - http://i.imgur.com/kKFwS.jpg

But yeah, it worked.

Oh, but one caveat, though. Upon finally sitting down with the laptop after everything was said and done, I realized I overlooked one obvious issue. Apparently, the trackpad area is directly underneath the area I was blasting with heat, and I seem to have warped the mouse buttons pretty bad, as in, they're curled inward and don't work.

Oh well, you live and learn. Seems pretty obvious in hindsight...

Thanks for the help guys, gonna look into if its feasible to fix the trackpad area or just stick with a USB mouse from now on.
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August 5, 2012 8:12:17 PM

Oh wow, congrads man.
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August 6, 2012 4:05:27 PM

Thanks, but after a day it doesn't go on anymore, back to the same thing. However, after trying to turn it on a few times, it did go on eventually.

Oh well.
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August 6, 2012 4:33:50 PM

Well, at least you know what the problem is for sure. You can try contacting sony to see if they sell replacement parts to users, my guess is they don't though; see what the service fee is for the replacement of the mobo as well.

If you try getting service from Sony, I'm a little curious to know if they'll sell you the mobo, and/or what they charge for the rapair, since I recently got a Sony myself. Had a bad experience with Asus along the same lines, refused to sell parts, and wouldn't give prices on the repair until you sent them the laptop; kinda hopeful that Sony is different.

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a b D Laptop
August 9, 2012 3:18:36 AM

also check to see if the video card is part of the mb or is on a card of it own. if it a card of it own you should be able to replace the card. with mb you should be able to get another one from ebay or online sellers. all you need it to google the model of your laptop and look for service part number for the motherboard.
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March 15, 2013 6:30:28 PM

I've read that this problem exists because of a video chipset soldering problem. Find a place that can perform a "video reflow." Wish I had known about this before we had purchased a PCG-61611L for my father. Now it's just sitting until we can get it fixed. There's a company who have posted a video about the fix on youtube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne8LuH-JDzg

Good luck! I'm going to check with a local place to see if they can perform the repair. The poster of the video - www.itcomputerservices.net is out of California. I am in no way affiliated with them.
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March 15, 2013 9:13:51 PM

Recently had a similar problem with my Touchsmart Tx2z tablet pc. By going through the suggested diagnostics from HP's website I figured out that one of my memory slots is bad )<:
Check the manufacturer website for diagnostics based on the symptoms. Good luck.


Yajirobe said:
Tried it just now, nothing displays on the external monitor, just "VGA No Signal". Makes sense I think, again, I don't think the screen is broken, so any information should show up on the laptop screen.

Anyway, thanks for the reply, but no luck. Any other ideas? There's literally nothing else I can think of besides opening it up, and even then I'd have no idea what to possibly expect.

Thanks for any help!


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March 16, 2013 7:28:18 AM

Check your hdd :)  had the same problem and had to replace it. Worked fine after that
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July 1, 2014 8:50:35 AM

I've had a Sony E series laptop, when i turned it on then there is black screen (off black color) only power light is powered up and fan is working, no HDD light is powered up. In short, there is no POST. I can assure that there is no problem in motherboard as 2 or 3 out of 50 times system boots and POSTs successfully. Possible causes and solutions?

Thanks in advance
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