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  1. #1
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    Sony Vaio VGN FZ horror! - Doesn't start the system, strange colors.

    I have Sony Vaio VGN - FZ21S model. I have it for a year and a half. Unfortunately I bought it in Ireland where guarantee is only for a year.
    Everything was working fine until few days ago when monitor got some strange colors (like another layer what already was on, like a ghost screen). And after a second it froze. I rebooted, worked fine for couple of hours and this same happened over again. Every time the laptop was working for shorter amount of time. After rebooting I had blue vertical lines on the screen and some crazy pixel on vaio system start up screen.
    I run system restore from vaio 3 restore disks. Worked fine for couple of hours and this same. I run format from command prompt, installed system and when it finished and windows tried to start a message that it couldn't finish the installisation came up. And it froze.

    I removed hard drive - still this same strange colors. I have removed memory, nothing (as learned from other forums). I don't think that the hdd or memory or screen is the problem. Laptop works fine when formatting or installing system from Vaio Recovery Disks. In Bios or during reinstallation I don't see any strange colors and laptop doesn't freeze. It's only when it tries to run windows. If that would be only hard drive error why this strange colors and blue bars appear when I turn it on without hard drive in it?

    I have Windows Vista Home, 200gb, 2gb ram. Also pretty often when I turn it or try to install Windows XP (I know I don't have Sata drivers so it won't work) the screen gets filled with scattered "į" letters.

    Even when I format the entire hd and i turn laptop on and start up Vaio comes up with strange pixels around. So maybe the problem is in the installed vaio drivers? I don't know.

    I run check disk, system diagnostics and nothing. No errors. I managed to back up all my important files when it was still working. I have external 1tb hard drive and I was thinking about installing windows there (if possible), but the "į" letters and strange pixels are there despite the hd is connected or not. Also when I tried to install XP the installation instructions got totally unreadable - most of the letters change into strange signs.

    Back on the beginning when I could reinstall it it worked but only in safe mode (then I copied my files).

    Any ideas? Please help.
    Last edited by herrzeba; May 6th, 2009 at 06:12 AM. Reason: new info

  2. #2
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    Ok. So I managed to install the system again from recovery discs and it seems to be working now. Although it happened before and after couple of hours it crashed. Now I'm just using it and waiting with hope than something unexpected won't happen.

    Why it worked this time? I formatted the entire hd again but this time when Vaio asked do I want extra 15 gb for Vaio system restore I said yes. Hmm...

  3. #3
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    Thumbs down Same problem Sony Vaio VGN - FZ21S

    I have the same issue have you found a fix?



    Quote Originally Posted by herrzeba View Post
    I have Sony Vaio VGN - FZ21S model. I have it for a year and a half. Unfortunately I bought it in Ireland where guarantee is only for a year.
    Everything was working fine until few days ago when monitor got some strange colors (like another layer what already was on, like a ghost screen). And after a second it froze. I rebooted, worked fine for couple of hours and this same happened over again. Every time the laptop was working for shorter amount of time. After rebooting I had blue vertical lines on the screen and some crazy pixel on vaio system start up screen.
    I run system restore from vaio 3 restore disks. Worked fine for couple of hours and this same. I run format from command prompt, installed system and when it finished and windows tried to start a message that it couldn't finish the installisation came up. And it froze.

    I removed hard drive - still this same strange colors. I have removed memory, nothing (as learned from other forums). I don't think that the hdd or memory or screen is the problem. Laptop works fine when formatting or installing system from Vaio Recovery Disks. In Bios or during reinstallation I don't see any strange colors and laptop doesn't freeze. It's only when it tries to run windows. If that would be only hard drive error why this strange colors and blue bars appear when I turn it on without hard drive in it?

    I have Windows Vista Home, 200gb, 2gb ram. Also pretty often when I turn it or try to install Windows XP (I know I don't have Sata drivers so it won't work) the screen gets filled with scattered "į" letters.

    Even when I format the entire hd and i turn laptop on and start up Vaio comes up with strange pixels around. So maybe the problem is in the installed vaio drivers? I don't know.

    I run check disk, system diagnostics and nothing. No errors. I managed to back up all my important files when it was still working. I have external 1tb hard drive and I was thinking about installing windows there (if possible), but the "į" letters and strange pixels are there despite the hd is connected or not. Also when I tried to install XP the installation instructions got totally unreadable - most of the letters change into strange signs.

    Back on the beginning when I could reinstall it it worked but only in safe mode (then I copied my files).

    Any ideas? Please help.

  4. #4
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    Same issue

    Having the exact same issue. I need to know what to do. I have restore the factory settings but it is still acting up. The vertical lines and the horrible pixelation with enlarged icons is driving me insane! It works on rare occassions but can relapse at any moment. Does anyone know the exact cause of the issue and more importantly how to mend it?

  5. #5
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    I think I have sourced the answer from an alternative forum:

    "My warranty has expired, so I am on my own with this problem and decided to hand my laptop into a specialised Sony laptop repair shop.

    They diagnosed the problem, they said that the overheating caused the graphics chip to come away from the motherboard. Using thermal paste, they soldered it back on again. The man showed me an array of laptops waiting to be fixed and there was a bunch of Sony Vaio's with the exact same problem! I requested that he fit a cooling unit as well so that it prevents it from happening again. Sony Vaio's are notorious for overheating, had I known this, I would have had the Cooling Unit put in a long time ago."

  6. #6
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    hi have any of you fixed this problem?

  7. #7
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    Cooler

    Hi,

    This indicates mainoard fault. I have my FZ with broken screen and caseing and would be happy to buy your FZ to asamble one unit from 2 faulty ones.
    If you are interested in sellng your vaio or if you want to send that to me so I would fix the mainboard please send me an e-mail to potugi@yahoo.com
    Thanx

  8. #8
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    Chipset

    Quote Originally Posted by herrzeba View Post
    I have Sony Vaio VGN - FZ21S model. I have it for a year and a half. Unfortunately I bought it in Ireland where guarantee is only for a year.
    Everything was working fine until few days ago when monitor got some strange colors (like another layer what already was on, like a ghost screen). And after a second it froze. I rebooted, worked fine for couple of hours and this same happened over again. Every time the laptop was working for shorter amount of time. After rebooting I had blue vertical lines on the screen and some crazy pixel on vaio system start up screen.
    I run system restore from vaio 3 restore disks. Worked fine for couple of hours and this same. I run format from command prompt, installed system and when it finished and windows tried to start a message that it couldn't finish the installisation came up. And it froze.

    I removed hard drive - still this same strange colors. I have removed memory, nothing (as learned from other forums). I don't think that the hdd or memory or screen is the problem. Laptop works fine when formatting or installing system from Vaio Recovery Disks. In Bios or during reinstallation I don't see any strange colors and laptop doesn't freeze. It's only when it tries to run windows. If that would be only hard drive error why this strange colors and blue bars appear when I turn it on without hard drive in it?

    I have Windows Vista Home, 200gb, 2gb ram. Also pretty often when I turn it or try to install Windows XP (I know I don't have Sata drivers so it won't work) the screen gets filled with scattered "į" letters.

    Even when I format the entire hd and i turn laptop on and start up Vaio comes up with strange pixels around. So maybe the problem is in the installed vaio drivers? I don't know.

    I run check disk, system diagnostics and nothing. No errors. I managed to back up all my important files when it was still working. I have external 1tb hard drive and I was thinking about installing windows there (if possible), but the "į" letters and strange pixels are there despite the hd is connected or not. Also when I tried to install XP the installation instructions got totally unreadable - most of the letters change into strange signs.

    Back on the beginning when I could reinstall it it worked but only in safe mode (then I copied my files).

    Any ideas? Please help.

    Hi, i had the same problem on FZ11Z and what i found out it was its the chipset thats faulty, Sony will fix this for nothing even if its out of warranty......hope this helps

  9. #9
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    Unhappy MG

    Hi, I have a sony vaio vgn fz 21s for a year and a half now and the same thing happend to me!640 by 480 pixels resolution and massive icons-it looks like the graphic card is gone!Can you please say how it can be fixed-how did you contacted sony etc?Much apreciated,thank you!

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Good News!! Free repairs by Sony

    Hi guys

    I faced similar issue 2 days back....and made up my mind for a costly repair.....but bingo!!

    Sony offers free repairs for qualifying models with this issue.

    If you made this repair out of your pocket, they will pay you back!!

    If some of you already knew this, gr8!! But if not follow this link for Sony Support Website

    Sony eSupport - VGN-FZ190 - News & Alerts
    Last edited by laly.patil; February 11th, 2010 at 06:06 PM.

  11. #11
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    Restore disks

    Hi
    I recently tried to restore my Sony vaio vgn-fz11s from the disks only to find that it had not correctly writen to the disks.
    does anyone have a copy of the restore disks that they could send to me???
    If you do and would be willing to help please email me at dudecardude. At. Gmail. Com.

    Thanks

  12. #12
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    Im using a VFG-FZ18E and my GPU started acting up like this a while ago; at the time it was well over a year past its warranty, but after some research I found out Sony got into alot of trouble over heat issues with the GPU on a range of models..

    As said above, they should repair this free of charge for you (like they did with mine) even if its past its warranty
    ---
    ???

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bongo69 View Post
    Hi, i had the same problem on FZ11Z and what i found out it was its the chipset thats faulty, Sony will fix this for nothing even if its out of warranty......hope this helps
    HI, could you please provide the number to call sony on? as I have the same issue..
    Thanks,
    James

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pencheven View Post
    Im using a VFG-FZ18E and my GPU started acting up like this a while ago; at the time it was well over a year past its warranty, but after some research I found out Sony got into alot of trouble over heat issues with the GPU on a range of models..

    As said above, they should repair this free of charge for you (like they did with mine) even if its past its warranty
    Hi, would you be able to provide me with the number to call sony on? Or point me in the right direction? I'm having this same problem
    Thanks,
    James

  15. #15
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    Mate I can get this fixed for u!

    there is a temporary fix and also permanent fix

    temp fix: reflow process: get it done for £50 or google it and do yourself

    More perm fix: resoldering of BGA config £100

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesf12 View Post
    Hi, would you be able to provide me with the number to call sony on? Or point me in the right direction? I'm having this same problem
    Thanks,
    James
    Hi, sorry for the belated reply, don't visit these forums too often atm..

    I looked around trying to remember how I got mine fixed, im pretty sure I followed VAIO, laptop, Notebook PC : Sony and used the vaio support system (which then got me in touch with the right people)..

    I also did some digging in my emails, I think you will need a case number, but this could come in handy (bearing in mind this is from the UK)

    VAIO in warranty: 0870 240 2408
    VAIO out of warranty: 0905 031 0006
    Time-frame: 08:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday

    Good Luck
    ---
    ???

  17. #17
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    Red face It's the Nvidia graphics card chip.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibaG View Post
    Hi, I have a sony vaio vgn fz 21s for a year and a half now and the same thing happend to me!640 by 480 pixels resolution and massive icons-it looks like the graphic card is gone!Can you please say how it can be fixed-how did you contacted sony etc?Much apreciated,thank you!
    Sony will send a repair tech out to replace the graphics chip. Known issue. Call 1-888-868-7402 from the U.S.

  18. #18
    Ultimate Member bigBonehead's Avatar
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    It's a safe bet that the Sony Tech won't be there anytime soon... the post was made over two years ago...

  19. #19
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    does that mean sony will fix it for free?

    I still have this laptop but its sitting on the side as it doesn't work

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigBonehead View Post
    It's a safe bet that the Sony Tech won't be there anytime soon... the post was made over two years ago...
    Actually, they will. The Sony solution to this problem was to extend the warranty for the graphics card issue by three years (for a total of four). I just had mine repaired about 3 weeks ago, right before I hit the four year mark.

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