My laptop does not boot
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Thread: My laptop does not boot

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  1. #1
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    My laptop does not boot

    Following information is about: VAIO VGN-Z650N Windows Vista Business 64bit

    So last night I ran the system restore. The laptop shut down and didn't boot up.

    Now when I turn it on, after the black page with "VAIO" logo shows up, the next thing is a totally black screen with a cursor at its top left corner blinking.

    None of the F-keys work. Pressing them ends up to the same black screen I described.

    When I press F10, instead of the blinking cursor I see what you can have a look at in the attachment.

    Just had a 15min chat with a VAIO analyst and she said it seems that the recovery partition within the hard drive has been corrupted so I need to call 1-800-488-7669 to buy the recovery disks.

    Now my question is that first, can you guys think of any other solution? and secondly, what if the first boot device is not set to the CD-Rom! Will the recovery disks work in that case too?

    Please help.
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  2. #2
    HYBR|D
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    You will need to set the BIOS so that the 1st boot drive is set to CDROM 2nd to HDD.

    Personally though if you have the serial sticker on the bottom of the laptop and no physical media and a corrupted restore partition. Just download the relevant .iso burn to disc then install. Or if you happen to know someone whom has that V of Vista then borrow there CD and install using your serial key

    are you able to boot up with a linux liveCD and use gparted to view the recovery partition?

    sounds like the mbr may be corrupted.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Hybrid

    well a couple of hours ago I used the Visa recovery CD from my friend's DELL laptop. It had a repair option but it said that since the installed version is different with the version of Visa in the CD, I must use a compatible one so I just installed the new DELL Vista.

    Now I have all the files in my C drive that I already had in addition to this "Windows.old" file containing the old files from my original windows.

    Right now, the resolution is wrong and I can't fix it. Also none of the drivers have been installed so I can't for example use internet in any ways.

    I don't know if what I did was the best thing to do but considering my current situation, what is your suggestion to get me through this?

    Is there anyway I can kind of trick the windows to boot up using the Windows.old folder?

    If it helps, in the C drive there is this file BOOTSECT.BAk that when I open it using notepad, besides with a bunch of unknown characters there are 3 English sentences I can understand:
    A disk read error occurred
    BOOTMGR is missing
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    I don't know when this file has been created or what it is related to but figured it might be of some help.

    PS. or is there anyway now that I have access to all the old files that I can make a recovery CD or something myself?
    Last edited by boyboy400; June 11th, 2011 at 08:29 AM.

  4. #4
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    By the way, can I download these recovery CDs anywhere online? I couldn't find anything...Do you mind telling me the address of the ISO file you just mentioned please? I appreciate...and will it work just like the original windows including drivers and stuff? and yes I have the green label on my laptop and it shows the product key.
    Last edited by boyboy400; June 11th, 2011 at 08:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi there boyboy400,

    And just when I thought that the gods of computing must be smiling on you, this goes and happens!

    1. The black screen with a white blinking cursor in the top left hand corner means that the BIOS cannot find an operating system to boot. Some BIOSes will give you a text message as well, but the blinking cursor has been pretty standard since Win 95 days IIRC.

    2. With a proprietary laptop the normal sequence is internal CD/DVD, internal HDD, then external USB and network devices. Obviously, with a corporate machine, the admins might have changed this. As HYBR¦D suggests; you can check and change this in the BIOS settings.

    3.
    well a couple of hours ago I used the Visa recovery CD from my friend's DELL laptop. It had a repair option but it said that since the installed version is different with the version of Visa in the CD, I must use a compatible one so I just installed the new DELL Vista.
    Not such a good idea, as each OEM has their own particular version and tend to be very anal about it. You are supposed to create your own recovery CDs when you get the machine. My HP needed 3 of them in a set

    4. No, I don't think that you would be able to get trustworthy recovery CDs on the internet. They tend to be specific to your particular version of that model of that laptop. This is why you are usually asked to create them yourself.

    5. I can't remember about Vista but what you would be best off with would be a 64 bit version of the Vista Ultimate DVD. IIRC that has all the 64 bit versions on it and will select depending on the product code that you enter.

    6. The DELL stuff won't work properly as it only has drivers & firmware for that DELL laptop, which are obviously different from your own.

    There are three basic approaches that I would use:


    [A] Get a copy of a DVD with the appropriate OS on it and reinstall. Use your product code to activate it, and create your own backup/recovery DVD/CD(s).

    [B] Go with what you have, and reinstall the appropriate drivers for your kit. You can start with the Sony site and then go to the chipset manufacturers if you have to.

    A good starting point is device manager and note down the devices with a yellow circle ............ those are the ones you will have to sort out.

    Please let me know what you decide to do, and I can point you towards some apps that will help.

    [C] Get a copy of Windows 7 Business edition.............this will be supported until 2020 OK, I know I only run Vista on 32bit single core, and my Win 7s are 64bit multicore.......... but I am totally confident that they will keep me going until Windows 8

    Cheers,
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    [A] Get a copy of a DVD with the appropriate OS on it and reinstall. Use your product code to activate it, and create your own backup/recovery DVD/CD(s).

    [C] Get a copy of Windows 7 Business edition.............this will be supported until 2020
    Thank you Nihil. I guess your first suggestion (A) sounds best to me since I doubt if I will be able to get all the drivers and stuff more easily. But I have two questions.
    1- Am I right that the Ultimate DVD contains all the other stuff including my Business version?
    I found this:
    https://servicesales.sel.sony.com/ec...t5AYDuJTSV1Mgi

    Do you know any less pricy one? Is it OK? of course if there was a less pricy one, that'd be awesome

    2- Actually getting the win7 sounds also pretty good to me unless it's much more pricy than the recovery DVD.
    So is that like model-specific like how you said about Vista? and where should I get it? apparently they have a "windows 7 upgrade advisor"......!!!!!!!!!


    Thank you so much
    Last edited by boyboy400; June 12th, 2011 at 02:50 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi,

    1- Am I right that the Ultimate DVD contains all the other stuff including my Business version?

    Microsoft sells four different Vista DVDs in non-emerging markets: Retail/OEM 32-bit, Retail/OEM 64-bit, VL (Volume Licensing) 32-bit and VL 64-bit. The Retail/OEM DVD contains all editions of Windows Vista except Enterprise. The license-key purchased determines which version will get installed; the VL DVD can only install Business or Enterprise edition. Users can "unlock" the features of the Home Premium and Ultimate editions at any time by purchasing a one-time upgrade license through a Control Panel tool called Windows Anytime Upgrade. Similarly one can upgrade the Business edition to Vista Ultimate. End-users purchase such licenses from Microsoft's partners and OEMs, not directly from Microsoft.
    So the answer is "YES". The only two variants are the 32bit and 64bit versions.

    Source: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Windows_Vista_editions

    I only have a 32bit copy that says "Vista Home Premium", but the actual DVD has the others (32bit) on it.

    It is difficult to sensibly talk pricing with you, as I am in the UK and I believe that you are in the US? Over here we get ripped off, but I was able to buy Vista for less than 1/3 of the Microsoft shop price (70% discount) and have recently bought the Windows 7 retail 2 DVD set (32 & 64bit) Ultimate edition for 25% of MS's price (75% discount). I also got a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 professional plus for 13% of their price (87% discount), licenced for one desktop and one laptop installation. Straight price.....no mail-ins involved.

    I shop through Amazon, so the transactions are guaranteed.

    As far as I am aware, when you buy a recovery disk or set from the OEM, you get the version of Windows and all the drivers that were originally shipped with that machine. It will also reinstall all the help and update utilities and recreate the recovery partition. Basically it resets the machine to ex-factory condition.

    From what I can see you actually have a copy of Vista Business, you just don't have the right drivers for your machine. In theory you should just have to go to the Sony support site and get a copy of all the drivers and it "should" work.

    The only time I would expect problems would be if you were updating to Windows 7 or downgrading to Windows XP. The downgrade would not be a problem for you as Sony supported it with XP drivers, and the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is an excellent tool to let you prepare the updated drivers before you tranfer over (remember to save your Vista drivers in case you have to go back).

    My earlier comment was based on the fact that I have just fixed a laptop from another manufacturer. It should have been easy, as it was supplied with 32bit Vista. Problem was that the sticker with the product code was unreadable (I don't have CSI/NCIS capabilities ), so I downgraded it to XP. The problem with that was the OEM did not support XP for that model, so I had to hunt around a bit for the correct drivers/firmware on the chipset and component manufacturers' sites. It now works perfectly.

    In this case you should not have an issue as you have the product code, and Sony support Vista for that model.

    At worst you will probably lose the Sony recovery partition and utilities, but they didn't exactly cover themselves with glory when you needed them, did they? You would probably be better off creating your own ghost/image anyway, as that would work even if you had to replace the HDD. Otherwise check out vLite and slipstreaming...........you need a retail or small OEM edition, the service packs and your drivers folder.

    2- Actually getting the win7 sounds also pretty good to me unless it's much more pricy than the recovery DVD.
    So is that like model-specific like how you said about Vista? and where should I get it? apparently they have a "windows 7 upgrade advisor"......!!!!!!!!!


    I have touched on this a little already.

    1. Download the MS upgrade advisor and see what might be a problem.
    2. Shop around for what is available.............you can get some real bargains once a service pack has come out and the retailers' shelf versions are now obsolete
    3. It won't be model specific, and, as it is a private customer's OEM or retail version it will have a wide variety of drivers. The upgrade advisor will tell you what you will need to have ready. Also, if you check their website, you should see if Sony support Windows 7 for this model?

    [NB.The basic difference between a private OEM and a retail boxed version is that the OEM is for one, new computer and the licence dies if the computer dies..........that is it becomes irreparable. The retail version can be ported from one machine to another (old or new) so long as it is only on one machine at once if you only have a single use licence]

    Sorry for ranting on..............I guess the preacher set a bad example this morning
    Last edited by nihil; June 12th, 2011 at 11:46 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Some more thoughts?

    Hi again, I have been giving this some more thought and tried a few experiments (OK not similar kit, but could have generic implications?).

    Now when I turn it on, after the black page with "VAIO" logo shows up,
    That suggests to me that your video chipset is at least partially functional. So it would seem that the driver is not suitable? Otherwise can you find out who "deals" for your video chipset, as it is obviously good gear, going by the screenshot

    What happens if you try to boot into SAFE MODE?..........that should load minimalistic, generic Windows drivers.

    Do Sony update stuff in the recovery partition? If so, I think that they have a cheek in asking you to pay them to rectify what is "obviously one of their shortcomings".............we still remember Sony BMG DRM security compromise fiasco, don't we

    If they don't, then I would run HDD diagnostics, as it doesn't sound too good. Something causes corruption, and that is not an area that anything you do on a day-to-day basis will write to?

    Have you tried attaching an external video monitor? if so, was it the same?

    Can you get into a visible form of the BIOS setup?

    Just a few thoughts........................
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    It is difficult to sensibly talk pricing with you, as I am in the UK and I believe that you are in the US?
    Canada...I contacted the Sony guys with the number I said and they said we don't ship to Canada and she gave me the number of their Canadian partner or something and I would need to wait until tomorrow to contact them but honestly I doubt if they have the DVDs in Canada especially because the Z series was only made for the states as far as I'm concerned....

    I shop through Amazon, so the transactions are guaranteed.
    Amazon is too pricy Nihil..the recovery DVDs that I was going to buy were 30$ including shipment but in Amazon I didn't find anything less than like 100$....

    From what I can see you actually have a copy of Vista Business, you just don't have the right drivers for your machine. In theory you should just have to go to the Sony support site and get a copy of all the drivers and it "should" work.
    Nope..the DELL version is not Business...it's either home premium or something I don't remember...I tried to install the drivers but not quite successful...my wireless and network do not work...after installing one of the drivers, I'm getting this message constantly:

    "The installed battery may not be properly connected to the computer or may not be compatible with the computer.
    Click "OK" to enter Hibernate mode,and remove and reinsert the battery.
    See the VAIO(R) User Guide for more information about using the battery."

    and still the resolution is wrong...

    The downgrade would not be a problem for you as Sony supported it with XP drivers
    I actually have the original XP recovery SP3 DVDs. They were in the package when I got the laptop. But if I use them, I won't have the Vista anymore and I'm more comfortable with Vista and 7 so I don't like to downgrade unless I have to....

    Sorry for ranting on..............I guess the preacher set a bad example this morning
    Not at all you always such a help...I appreciate it.
    Last edited by boyboy400; June 13th, 2011 at 02:10 AM.

  10. #10
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    In case what I talked about in above message does not work....

    Hermanelectronics does have the recovery DVDs and it ships them to me. The fee without shipment is 52.7$.

    I also found the following link:
    http://recovery-disks.com/catalogsea...+z650n&x=0&y=0
    for 30$. In your opinion is this link trustworthy? Please let me know what you think.

    PS. Update: I guess I'm managing to get the Ultimate version

    PS2: So I don't know what happened! I tried to install drivers for the DELL windows but didn't work. I found an Ultimate Vista and it accepted the product code and asked me where I wanted to install the windows. So I figured it will make another folder in the C drive so first selected to format the C drive. After that I noticed it does not allow me to install the windows in any partition. I don't remember the message but it was like "the driver format is mwm? the windows can only be installed in ... drives?" or something? I don't know. So desperately I restarted the computer and pushed the F10 button. So went through the recovery process and this time selected the "restore C drive to its factory setting" and it did the job and now the lappy is just fine
    I don't know the answer to my last question about who this "recovery page" belongs to but I guess it belonged to the original Vista because all I did after not being able to run the windows from the Ultimate disk was to follow instructions and now I have a "Business" Vista not "Home Premium" which was the version of Dell thing...

    Anyways thanks Nihil and Hybrid again....BTW the first thing now I managed to do was to make 2 DL recovery DVDs (if it wasn't DL it'd need 3 DVDs like what you said Nihil) you guys saved me about 50 bucks..let's go out and have a pizza
    Last edited by boyboy400; June 15th, 2011 at 08:10 AM.

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