Sony Vaio crash issues

Illgresi

Estimable
Oct 22, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
Hi guys

Just after a bit of advice here.

A little over 3 years ago I purchased a Sony Vaio VPCEH18FG. It's been great and I haven't had a problem with it that I wasn't able to solve.. Until now.

The first time it started acting up was early last year when I got a boot volume error. I booted Knoppix and PartedMagic from a disk and managed to get all my stuff off of the hard drive before wiping it, repartitioning it and reinstalling Windows (7). It worked perfectly again after that until around May this year when, after taking it to uni to work on a group project, it started randomly shutting down when I was in the middle of things (and by shutting down, I mean completely cutting out - computer just full on turning itself off with no warning out of nowhere). The longer I left it off, the longer it would stay on for before it shut down again, but it was never more than maybe 15 minutes. I got home and on a whim I removed and replaced the RAM (4GB DDR3, room for 8GB) and that solved the problem. Interestingly, readjusting the RAM also got my touchpad working again after it had stopped functioning a few months prior (I didn't think much of it as I use a mouse all the time anyway). The touchpad stopped working again randomly some time later.

Fast forward to yesterday when, admittedly, I was careless for the first time with my baby. It was fully powered off and placed kind of haphazardly atop a cooling fan. Cue my genius cat bounding across the desk and it toppled to the ground. I picked it up and cosmetically it had no damage (it wasn't a massive fall and the ground was carpeted and pretty soft). I didn't turn it on until 8 hours later when I got home for the day and it worked fine for about 15 minutes until it cut out. At this point I figured the fall had probably screwed something up, so I tried doing the RAM thing again, including using multiple different sticks of it, considering the problem seemed to be the same as it was last time. This, again, started my touchpad working (??) but it did not solve the crashes. I then dismantled my other laptop to replace the fan but haven't put it back together yet due to lacking a certain screwdriver, so now I'm down 2 computers and am having to use my partner's which is preeeetty inconvenient.

I suspect that my hard drive was damaged in the fall but I'm not entirely sure. This morning I have managed to keep the laptop on long enough to copy out my university notes (thank god) along with some other documents, and I am going to wait a while and then try to get my pictures out too (I already have games, music and other media stored on an external). My question is, is there any way for me to effectively isolate which piece of hardware is causing the crashes? I know how to replace the hard drive and I would probably happily do it if I knew for sure that it was the problem, because I don't doubt that drives are much cheaper than new computers (and as a student, frugality is a necessity haha), but I don't want to commit to that and still have it not work. I do not have any bootable disks at the moment but I could try to make a bootable USB if that will help to figure out what the problem is. Additionally, I can disassemble the computer if you guys think that it's worth checking to see if anything has come loose or something.

Oh, also - I have tried w/ battery and w/ power source, w/ battery w/o power source, w/o battery and w/ power source and all yield the same results.

Thank you in advance,
Keri
 

turkey3_scratch

Estimable
Herald
Jul 15, 2014
571
0
5,210
89
Maybe instead of the battery it is the power supply that transfers the power to the actual components. I do not know much about laptop power supplies, but that could be the problem. To my knowledge it goes:

Wall > Battery Or if not battery just go to next step > power supply (tones down power for usage) > motherboard
 

Illgresi

Estimable
Oct 22, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
It's funny you say that turkey because to me it does kinda sound like a circuit shorting out when it turns off, like the power has just suddenly been cut. I also thought it might have something to do with heat or power supply due to the variable amounts of time that it stays on depending on how long it was off for (usually). Unfortunately I know nothing about power supplies either and after examining the screws it looks like it will be a bloody tough case to open. Will google some stuff about power supplies, though. Thanks.