Oh Dear :(

DaGaffer

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I've got a BIG problem with one of my home PC's; (Sony Vaio PCV-RX5146). I was trying to upgrade RAM from 512Mb to a gig - checked the specs I needed, toddled off to PC World :( (wouldn't normally go there but it was a Sunday), got what i needed, plugged the new modules in...and all hell broke loose. The operating system (XP) booted up, threw a hissy fit and shut down. I then made the fatal mistake of trying to reboot and it got worse. The PC now won't boot up at all, just gets to the Sony screen when I switch on and nothing happens. I've put the original RAM back in, but to no avail, my PC's effectively paralysed. I've tried the Sony helpline, but effectively, upgrading the RAM voids the warranty! So I'm stuck. I can't reinstall or use the the restore disks coz the boot up doesn't even get that far. Ideas?

(NB. I WILL be kicking PC World's ass, but I know what fun that's going to be, so I want to know if there's anything practical I can do to resurrect my machine in the meantime).
 

RandomBastard

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Sounds like youve done some damage to your hardware, possibly the motherboard. If it now wont go past a sony screen, which i assume is your screens default on screen (tft? i know my olds tft says dell while it waits for bios info) or it coulld be its a graphical hide for the post. So first things first.

Do you normally see the post. If you dont, can you get it to display?

Are there any pc speaker beebs/ flashing leds on the motherboard.

Is the motherboard or ram module overtly damaged in any way now?

In my limited experience you quite likly have seriously damaged something :(
 

Shovel

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Sony screen? Does that have some kind of "Press a button to see POST" or something? If so, press that button and see if there are any error messages waiting for you.

Have you tried taking the offending RAM stick and rebooting?
 

TdC

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can you re-seat your gfx card? sounds silly, I know :(
 

DaGaffer

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RandomBastard said:
Sounds like youve done some damage to your hardware, possibly the motherboard. If it now wont go past a sony screen, which i assume is your screens default on screen (tft? i know my olds tft says dell while it waits for bios info) or it coulld be its a graphical hide for the post. So first things first.

Do you normally see the post. If you dont, can you get it to display?

Are there any pc speaker beebs/ flashing leds on the motherboard.

Is the motherboard or ram module overtly damaged in any way now?

In my limited experience you quite likly have seriously damaged something :(
Can't get anything to display. Yes, the 'Sony' message is just the default screen while it's waiting for the BIOS, normally it would be up for about a second, now it just stops, and I don't know of any way to try to force the BIOS into action.

There's one beep when I switch on, then nothing.

There's no obvious damage I can see to the motherboard, and I've put the original RAM back in; the upgrade ones I took back out look OK too.

In my limited experience, I'm pretty sure you're right :(
 

DaGaffer

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Shovel said:
Sony screen? Does that have some kind of "Press a button to see POST" or something? If so, press that button and see if there are any error messages waiting for you.

Have you tried taking the offending RAM stick and rebooting?
The Sony screen has nothing, and no key pressing seems to work, it just sits there.

Yes, I've taken out the RAM and put the old modules back in.
 

DaGaffer

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Xavier said:
What speed/spec DIMM did you insert?

Xav
PC-2100 DDR SDRAM DIMM - just what the Vaio website told me to get. I've actually done a RAM upgrade before on this machine (from 256 to 512) with absolutely no problems. I think the RAM I've been given by PC World is the wrong type (e.g. mislabelled).
 

DaGaffer

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TdC said:
can you re-seat your gfx card? sounds silly, I know :(
Can't hurt. I did have to remove the gfx card to get to the second RAM slot so maybe its not seated properly. Shouldn't the PC boot without a card anyway though?
 

fatbusinessman

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Nope, it needs a graphics card to boot. However, if it doesn't detect one it'll usually make some kind of beeping noise to tell you.
 

RandomBastard

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It sounds like the sony screen is part of your display and not the post routine. If your bios isnt loading it suggests the motherboard is broken, although i had a similar experience with a blown processor, so my advice is too check the cpu for damage i.e. brown marks on the underside, its unlikly i know but check anyway, and failing that bludgeon pc world for money and replace the motherboard.
 

Jupitus

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Suggestion: Try a complete reset of the mobo bios using the old remove a jumper thingy.... ?
 

smurkin

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Theres alot of suggestions there...I wouldn't crap yourself just yet...I have had similar problems in the past & it worked out in the end.

First off....does it get past the sony screen without RAM in it?...you should get a new (black screen) screen with text complaining...if not...well there maybe some damage elsewhere..

The other thing....check that the RAM is in properly...sometimes, even when the clips are in place, the RAM may not sit perfectly...they can be really stiff when trying to get them in (ooh err)...I would also try the old RAM on its own in all the other slots.

Resetting the bios is another good suggestion, if al else fails (or maybe just do it anyway)

Good Luck
 

RandomBastard

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smurkin said:
snip

First off....does it get past the sony screen without RAM in it?...you should get a new (black screen) screen with text complaining...if not...well there maybe some damage elsewhere..

snip

Resetting the bios is another good suggestion, if al else fails (or maybe just do it anyway)

Good Luck
Its not posting, so reseating the ram isnt going to help. The sony screen sounds like an inbuilt monitor splashback from his description, hence the board isnt booting anything hence somethings wrong with the bios at a minimum.

I suppose resetting the bios might help if it was a settings conflict, but it sounds like something worse in my opinion.

Although of course trying every option is always a good idea providing it doesnt damage anything else.
 

smurkin

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RandomBastard said:
Its not posting, so reseating the ram isnt going to help. The sony screen sounds like an inbuilt monitor splashback from his description, hence the board isnt booting anything hence somethings wrong with the bios at a minimum.
I hear ya, RB..seriously, memory errors can totally stop the post, fans, beeps, everything....tbh, it sounds like a yogic RAM insertion...bend over & watch those pins ;)
 

DaGaffer

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Update

Somehow the RAM was mislabelled (it was 2700 not 2100 they gave me), the subsequent effect was that it simply didn't work, but somehow my repeat attempts to restart made it worse and it fritzed the MoBo (no one seems to be sure how). To be fair, PCW have been very good about it and I now have my (free) fixed PC and they gave me the memory upgrade for free.
 

Danya

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smurkin said:
I hear ya, RB..seriously, memory errors can totally stop the post, fans, beeps, everything....tbh, it sounds like a yogic RAM insertion...bend over & watch those pins ;)
Dodgy memory is usually one long beep on startup and that's all you get. The other common one is one long then two short beeps which is bad/missing gfx card.
 

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