Sony Vaio overheating + won't turn back on

chaguri

Prominent
Sep 12, 2017
3
0
510
0
Hello all,

My SONY Vaio VPCSC ran flawlessly for 5 and a half years with Windows 7.
Just last night I was using it, when it started to overheat (more than the usual) and the screen froze.
I simply forced the shutdown by pressing and holding power button.
I waited a while to turn it back on, and to my surprise, the screen won't turn back on, the keyboard backlight lits only when a key is pressed, the battery led is on and it's charging, there's seems to be no sign of CPU activity (battery led is off) and the fan is working but it get faster as computer stays on.

I have tried removing the battery, pressing power for 60 secs and turning on without the battery: no success on that.

Any ideas from the folks what that might be? And what can I try to do to save the laptop?

Thank you in advance.
 
The fact that you've tested it on AC and battery eliminates most of the usual power-related failures (AC adapter, power socket).

You can try to remove the battery AND unplug the laptop from AC (so it has no source of power at all), and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to discharge any capacitors. Hit the power button a few times too as if you're trying to start it, to drain any residual charge. Sometimes that gets it going again.

Laptops also have the equivalent of a CMOS battery. It can produce symptoms similar to yours when it dies. You could try disconnecting that for a few minutes or replacing it, though it's not always user-serviceable on laptops.

http://www.laptopparts101.com/cmos-rtc-battery/

If you're correct that it started to overheat just before it failed (but the fan still spins), then that suggests a CPU or thermostat failure.

There's a chance the thermal paste has dried out and the cooling system is no longer able to extract heat quickly enough to run the laptop. Re-pasting would fix it. But this isn't something that happens suddenly. You should have noticed it gradually running hotter over the years.

Unless you use it in a very clean environment, 2 years is too long between cleanings. I suggest 3-6 months.
 

Blas

Distinguished
May 18, 2007
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Maybe the cooling system has failed, hence the overheating. Laptops like VAIOs are difficult to service, and expensive. I would turn to Sony for official diagnostics and support. Sorry for not being of more help!
 
Have you ever cleaned out the fan and heatsink? After 5 years, there's probably a ton of dust and crud built up inside it, probably enough to prevent the fan from spinning if you've never cleaned it.

Take the laptop outside, and use a can of compressed air to blast the vents and fan. A large plume of dust should billow out. If you hear the fan spinning up when you blast it with air, that's a good sign (but don't let it spin too quickly). If you don't hear it spinning, you're going to have to open up the laptop. The dust has probably formed a solid cake which is preventing the fans from spinning, and will have to be removed by hand.

You probably don't want to use Sony Service. They sold their laptop business a few years back, and from what I can tell they just direct you to third party repair shops now. And with a laptop this old, you can probably find a replacement on eBay for less than their repair fee. That would give you two laptops to salvage for parts should something else break in the future.

Edit: Looks like the CPU in this laptop came in both socketed and soldered versions. It's probably soldered, but there's a small chance it's socketed and can be replaced if the CPU has fried. If that's the case though, I'd probably consider just getting a newer laptop. 5 years is a pretty good lifetime for a laptop.
 

chaguri

Prominent
Sep 12, 2017
3
0
510
0


Thank you for your reply, Blas.

I'll try to contact Sony support, though I don't think they'll be much of help. The computer is fairly old and Sony doesn't have their laptop business anymore.

Thank you again.
 

chaguri

Prominent
Sep 12, 2017
3
0
510
0


Hello Solandri,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I have done a full clean up about 2 years ago. I know this computer lasted for a long time.
Do you think the motherboard has fried? Or could be something more simple?
If that's the case, I too agree the easiest solution is to get a new computer, unfortunately, it has served me so well.
It would be very hard to find this specific component model and I wouldn't trust this kind of service to anyone.
Even if I get the service done, there's no way of telling how much longer it would last in these conditions.

I'll confirm if that's the case.
 
The fact that you've tested it on AC and battery eliminates most of the usual power-related failures (AC adapter, power socket).

You can try to remove the battery AND unplug the laptop from AC (so it has no source of power at all), and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to discharge any capacitors. Hit the power button a few times too as if you're trying to start it, to drain any residual charge. Sometimes that gets it going again.

Laptops also have the equivalent of a CMOS battery. It can produce symptoms similar to yours when it dies. You could try disconnecting that for a few minutes or replacing it, though it's not always user-serviceable on laptops.

http://www.laptopparts101.com/cmos-rtc-battery/

If you're correct that it started to overheat just before it failed (but the fan still spins), then that suggests a CPU or thermostat failure.

There's a chance the thermal paste has dried out and the cooling system is no longer able to extract heat quickly enough to run the laptop. Re-pasting would fix it. But this isn't something that happens suddenly. You should have noticed it gradually running hotter over the years.

Unless you use it in a very clean environment, 2 years is too long between cleanings. I suggest 3-6 months.
 
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