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No hard drive, no start?


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#1 allrcomputers

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

I have received from a family member a used Sony Vaio laptop that is missing its hard drive. I wanted to test it out, booting up with a CD boot disk, but the power won't come on. Is it possible to start up the computer without a hard disk installed or does that some how prevent it? The only thing that went wrong with the computer was that the hard drive had crashed, but the rest of the computer had been working OK. Thanks.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:41 AM

All computer systems will boot without a hard drive, the hard drive is a device that would contain a bootable medium, such as an operating system.

The computer's BIOS is the first thing that boots up the computer and displays the text on the screen.

Without a hard drive, the BIOS would simply report in text on the screen, NO SYSTEM DISK or NO BOOTABLE SYSTEM DISK.

But the BIOS will still start the computer regardless of whether there is a bootable disk or not.

If your system is not starting up, there is another issue, such as a power supply problem that needs to be addressed.

Hope this helps clear up the mystery.

Bruce.
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#3 allrcomputers

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:45 AM

Thanks Bruce,I thought that would be the case, but not having much experience with laptops, I wasn't completely sure. I appreciate your response. Maybe with all the work on the computer and removing the hard drive, something else got disconnected or messed up. Now I know where to look next.

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:56 PM

A few suggestions are to check those flip type connectors that the flat ribbon wires go into, they call those FPC connectors and they can sometimes un-clip and cause issues with a non-working circuit.

Make sure the power jack connections to the power module board are secure, there is a lot of stress on this jack at times and can cause one of the solder lugs of the power jack to break loose from the circuit board.

Using a VOM multi-meter can help diagnose this issue by checking for continuity between the jack's outside connection to the circuit board inside the laptop.

You can also do a physical inspection, by gently rocking the power jack to see if you see one of the lugs moving up and down on the module board.

Bruce.
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