Pre Repair Visit... Any ideas?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by LaFemmeMichele, Jun 16, 2010.

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  1. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Hello!

    Last week, over an unimportant issue regarding transferring photos from my handheld to the pc, my Sony Vaio notebook XPsp3 & Blackberry got toasted. RIM walked me through the steps to their demise. New phone on the way, but I'm out of warranty on the notebook purchased in 2007.

    These are the events:

    I went to blackberry.com, via Chrome, & dl/d a new Blackberry Desktop Manager. That's all it took! During/or upon completion of the d/l the screen resolution & color ate it. Now when I logon I go to Display Properties>settings where it shows Display: Plug & Play Monitor on NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400, Screen resolution 1280 by 800 pixels (slider all the way toward More) & Color Quality at Lowest... I move this to Highest [32 bit] each time--it will not hold its setting. But it makes it appear quasi normal. While pc is on--don't have to be touching it--it intermittently flashes black, then the appearance prior to setting it to Highest, back to black, then quasi normal appearance. It just keeps recycling through this sequence. This is what I would like input on. I tried the other option Default Monitor, but it held neither the Screen resolution or the Color Quality at all.​

    will not stay at highest_cr.jpg


    The notebook has an inherent issue with the touchpad & the aluminum palm rest. You lose control over the cursor. I've talked them once before into fixing it out of warranty--lasts 10 mos or so & returns. You never know when it will happen. Needs another touchpad part & the fix won't last-- only for another several mos time period. I told them, Sony & the outsourced technician they sent me, what to do from reading online. No recall. There is a lemon law in this state after 3 fixes. I think it would apply to this. It's only 1 fix so far! I'm prepared to engage the folks at Sony on this issue.

    I assumed repairs would be cost prohibitive. And was simply going to just buy new. I now think a diagnosis of the display issue is worth getting. His fee is high. I might be less at his mercy if I had your savvy insight. So.... As I type it's going black etc., so I hope I have made sense & have given you needed information. The cursor hasn't acted up! :)

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  2. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    I assume your devices were not toasted literally. To sum it up, after you installed some Blackberry software you lost control over the graphics parameters. Or was your phone actually fried by your computer?

    And you also had some touchpad problems along the side.

    You want to repair this lappy? I'm sorry, not all is clear to me :(. Maybe b/c it's 11:37 here on the east coast :p.

    ----

    If the screen issues set in after you installed the Blackberry software, try system restore. If that isn't possible (you turned it off, or simply can't restore) then maybe you could try a Linux Live CD to see if this issue holds even in a different OS?

    Or possibly your gfx card is fried - I think many nVidia cards were recalled due to overheating problems and boosting the color resolution puts stress on any gfx card. Try GPU-Z to look at the temperatures - normal temperatures should not exceed 80 to 90 C for this card.

    ----

    I've never repaired a computer - well - I haven't have many break and the one time a computer of mine did Dell actually replaced it out of warranty. I guess it depends on the rep.

    Repairs are questionable, I doubt the tech can do much. Every computer is unique and to go in there and figure out what's wrong and then fix it is quite a feat - especially for a lappy - considering there aren't many swap-in parts for lappys, unlike desktops.

    I'd just get a new one, maybe a 500 - 600 dollar system and buy an extended service plan - e.g. Geek Squad's Black Tie plan. Sure, Geek Squad might suck according to some, but at least you have someone to rightfully pester long after your manufacture's warranty has expired ;). Or try SquareTrade - I think they have very affordable plans for like 30 to 40 dollars :eek:.
     
  3. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    That's right, I lost the graphics parameter. The phone via the cable to the pc lost all the ringtones, the contacts combined & triplicated.. But I can use the phone.

    I tried System Restore 3 times. It wouldn't restore! I don't know how to install Linux. I may be able to check out the gfx card.

    If laptops are difficult to repair, I think I'll hold off until I get a recommendation. This man charges a lot & hourly. I just think that I could get Sony to take responsibility for its touchpad issue. Perhaps I can find a flat rate fellow.

    Thank you for your response. Get some sleep!

    M
     
  4. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Linux Live CD makes no changes to your computer. It uses your RAM for temporary storage and doesn't install unless you want it to.

    Almost all Linux .iso you can download for free (legally from official site) can be burned into a disc, or even flash drive. They usually have Live CD included, or on the site. I recommend Ubuntu for maximum compatibility (it's very easy as well).
     
  5. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi Michele :)

    to me it seems more like an OS corruption than a hardware problem. If you have the cd of the windows or a good image try to reinstall/restore windows (after saving the important data).

    Do not send it to the repear shop. If it is really a gpu problem they will have to replace the motherboard of the laptop and is pretty expensive (around 50-60% of the price of the laptop plus the handwork).

    Panagiotis
     
  6. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    As for the phone, try resetting to factory defaults. Be warned that this may erase your personal data - e.g. contacts - as it does on my phone (not a Blackberry though).

    http://www.ubuntu.com/

    Try burning a Ubuntu live CD and booting from it to see if problems exist.
     
  7. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Panagiotis,

    This notebook has a feature that restores it back to it's out of the box state. One of the "F" keys. Could that fix it? The graphics component part, not the touchpad issue.

    This will sound dumb, but will making a backup now result in bringing corruption along to the new environment?

    It occurred to me that when the new phone arrives, maybe today, I should not use any backup from the computer and wondered if having the provider's store techs transfer the contacts, etc is the better way? Or entering them in manually? :(

    TechOutsider,

    You seem like an insider to me! New phone is on its way.

    Best Regards,

    M
     
  8. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    J L,

    I didn't see your post (the graphics!). Good to know about this Linux Live.

    Thank you,

    M
     
  9. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    Could also be a driver corruption.....check here to get the latest drivers for your graphics card,remove the old and install the new ones...
    Code:
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook_drivers.html
     
  10. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    roady,

    Thanks. My "certified pre-owned" replacement phone just arrived with a warning about an ominous $350 fee to cancel my contract. Gotta love 'em! Wonder which phone is actually in better shape?

    Will check out the drivers. Not sure how to remove the old ones? Doesn't Sony alter the drivers?

    M
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Michele,

    Don't worry, take a backup and then use the F key to restore it to the factory settings. Then you will restore the contacts etc. They will not corrupt the OS. :)

    But first take the root of reinstalling the drivers as roady suggested. Use the drivers provided from sony support site. In some laptops the official gpu drivers do not work as intended. There is no need to uninstall them but in case you want to use Driver Sweeper (even nvidia support recommend this program)

    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  12. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    In case of a driver corruption,I beg to differ,sir! :)
    A driver update doesn't replace or update every previous installed file,it only searches for updatable components.....on the other hand,a fresh install has to start from scratch..;)
     
  13. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    I thought it was all fixed until just now as I was logging into Wilders to tell you! And it just flashed black again!

    I went to Sony site & d/l both of the two drivers under "video". Then I went into the device manager & deleted under Display adapter, NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400.

    I installed one of the d/l from Sony, NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 Graphics Driver. Success!

    But the other d/l from Sony, Intel 945GM Express Video Driver for XP, I don't know what to delete before installing it. It gives an error message of failure to update, so I feel I must delete something prior to installing it.

    Should I delete one of these under System devices in the device manager?

    Look at the two different "Mobile Intel 955XM/945GM/PM/GMS/940GML express" options listed.

    1. PCI Express Root Port 27A1 or 2. Processor to DRAM Controller 27A0.

    Sorry, unable to post the screenshot I made.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  14. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    No,you don't have to delete anything.that Intel 945GM driver is for laptops which use an integrated Intel graphics chip....useless on your system,as you have a Nvidia chip.You're set with the Nvidia driver....
     
  15. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Well I tried updating the driver(s), I' don't know why Sony has both of those listed for my model, when you put one on the other disappears. I tried each, NVIDIA GeForce Go & Mobile Intel 945 GM Express Chipset, and the graphics parameter is still shot!

    I d/l the Alps touchpad driver, it seems to have been effective, for the time being.

    Thank you for your help. Will try next step later.

    M
     
  16. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    I'm calling it quits on this repair. Time to do some shopping!



    failed harware.JPG
     
  17. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

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    A) find out what video test. Oine me and

    And maskings as backup now will noit resul tin coirrup tion unless you basjup everything include ing s esteem files. Just sods would be fine.
     
  18. roady

    roady Registered Member

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    Any logfiles available for this test?
     
  19. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    TechOutsider,

    I wish you could see your post through my graphics! :) So I should attempt to find out exactly what this test was. Good point. Techs at Sony won't talk to me... out of warranty. Maybe it could be googled.

    roady,

    I've forgotten where log files would be found. I don't think I knew how to interpret them. Will look.

    Thanks!

    M

    Addendum: Went to Event Viewer>Applications and also System & nothing was logged ( I reran test prior to this.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  20. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Michele,

    If that test is made from your OS enviroment do not take it in account. If the problem is caused by OS corruption or Driver corruption the dxdiag tests "3D Acceleration" and "AGP Texture Acceleration" will fail (I suspect, Vaio tests use those).

    Only after you restore your pc at the factory state, this test will have some value. If even then it gives you the same errors then the gpu is toasted. But before restoring you cannot be sure either way.

    Panagiotis
     
  21. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Thank you Panagiotis! It's great to have a connection to your bright and generous mind. :)

    I have a gut feeling, I know-- not empirical, that it's time to replace the notebook. I felt this way before the graphics issue. I've been swimming in specs/stats on various options.

    I have to weigh everything, an exasperating process! I've been getting caught up on threads on Wilder's so I have as much information as I need to make a choice. I forgot how much I liked reading here. It saddens me to read how MS has screwed up third party security software developers. I wish there were pc reviews I believed weren't interest-influenced. and on & on...

    Thank goodness I know of this forum.

    M
     
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