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Computer will only boot in Safe Mode


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#1 jrwstevenson

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:30 AM

Hi all,


Hi, my Sony VAIO VGC-LA3 seems to have a problem. I recently did a clean install of windows 7, which was no problem and completely drama free. I then sourced all the relevant drivers and installed a few essential programs and updates to get the machine up and running. I was then prompted into doing a restart so the updates could be installed. Upon restart the machine came on, start up options flashed up as normal and proceeded to the windows loading screen. The screen then goes black and shows no sign of coming back on until I bet the 'blue screen of death' 5 minutes later. The HDD and WIFI light do flash during these 5 mins. Then the computer restarts after the BSOD and says that Windows wasn’t shut down correctly etc… I chose to start normally and the same thing happens again. I then chose to start in Safe Mode With Networking and the machine would go through the start up procedure as expected, loading the OS with only basic drivers. I have tried wiping the hard drive and doing another installation of 7, with no success, and have also tried Vista, with the same result.

Could it be that the GPU is on its way out? Or would it be a software and/or driver issue?

P.s. Some horizontal and vertical dotted checked lines appear during start up. Sometimes blue, red or green (only one colour at a time, never 2 or 3)

Thank You for reading, I look forward to reading your responses.

James

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#2 caperjac

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:32 PM

hi, did you follow a driver install sequence ,although not always a problem it sure can cause some problems if not followed on some computers .
this one is from a dell website ,but would be recommended for all driver installs . note #1 is not meant for all laptops/desktops
copy/paste .


1. Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling Windows or updating all drivers, it is important that this software be installed first. This is located under the System Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page. Note : NSS and DSS may not be available for all desktop and notebook products.


2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
5. Laptops Only: Dell Quickset or Dell Control Point Manager (DCP) - Controls power management, ambient light sensor, wireless profiles, and security features on laptops. This is located under the Applications on the Drivers and Downloads page.6. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
7. Modem - Allows dial-up capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
8. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
9. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Input Device Drivers Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
10. Other Devices
  • Intel vProTM or AMTTM - Enhances system manageability. This is located under the Chipset Category on on the Drivers and Downloads page.
  • Bluetooth ® Module located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
  • Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
  • PCMCIA/Smartcard controller located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
  • Touch Screen Digitizer Enables touch screen mouse control available on select Dell laptops. This is located under the Input Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

Edited by caperjac, 07 August 2012 - 06:34 PM.

My answers are my opinion only,usually


#3 jrwstevenson

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:10 AM

Hi caperjac,

Thank you for your surprisingly quick response.

After reading your response, I have done another clean install of my trusted Windows 7. I followed the suggested driver install sequence, but unfortunately it didn't help. The same problem has reared it ugly head.

Before I reinstalled 7, I turned on the machine to see if there was any difference. It actually started up normally, loading windows and being fully operational. Harare! A fairy has fixed it for me! However my celebrations of mystical fairy dust were short lived. It only lasted a few minutes before I got the Blue Screen Of Death again. After leaving my initial post I unplugged the machine and it stayed that was for a few days. I'm thinking that may have given time for all residual power to diminish and/or cooled down the PSU? I leaning towards the idea it a hardware problem. It could possibly be a cooling issue with the PSU/GPU or that it gives up the will to live under load?

Any ideas? I've now tried everything I can think of (apart from throwing it in the pool or putting it in the microwave!!!).

Thank You,

James

#4 Artrooks

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

Hello James,

1.) Since the most recent Windows 7 re-install are you able to boot into normal Windows or just Safe Mode?

2.) If you have any minidump files, can you zip them up and attach them to your next post.
  • C:\Windows\Minidump <=== inside this folder (i.e. Minixxxxx-01.dmp, Minixxxxxx-02.dmp, etc)
3.) To help us get a better look at your computer hardware, please follow the instructions below to "Publish a Snapshot" of your system using Speccy.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 (Note: this will not work in Safe Mode)

Regards,
Brooks



 


#5 jrwstevenson

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:49 AM

Good Morning,

During the most recent re-install of 7, I decided to stop all automatic updates. This has stop the problem so far. I then went through the Sony drivers and utilities pack for this machine installing the individual components one at a time. After installing the graphics drivers for the nVidia 7600 GO the screen went black and didn't come back on. I left the computer alone for at least 20 minutes to ensure that I wouldn't reset itself, and it didn't. I powered off and restarted the computer to its most recent known good configuration. It came back to life!

Since then I have looked through what is included in the windows automatic updates, and surprise surprise I found the nVidia drivers.

From this I can conclude the following:
1. The installation is without fault.
2. The computer starts and runs normally.
3. Windows will automatically download and install the nVidia drivers.
4. When the Nvidia drivers are installed the screen dies!

Thus, the computer will work if it doesn't address the nVidia card, but instead runs on the motherboards integrated graphics.

What do you think?

#6 jrwstevenson

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:15 AM

As requested, the Speccy Snapshot.

The forum wouldn't allow me to add it as an attachment so here's a link.

http://db.tt/ZEaxZUF7

Thank you.

#7 Artrooks

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:03 AM

Hi,

You've done a good job of narrowing down the problem. It would seem that whatever nVidia driver is generic to the Windows 7 installation, works.

Does the Sony website have any updates to your driver/utility disk?

What happens if you download and install the latest driver for the nVidia GeForce Go 7600 from the nVidia site?

The Speccy snapshot didn't work. It should produce a link that you can copy and paste into your post.

Regards,
Brooks



 


#8 jrwstevenson

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:46 AM

The Sony website offers all up to date drivers and utilities, which I have tried. But beyond that their website is as useful as a chocolate tea pot!

The graphics driver provided by Sony give the same result as the one provided by nvidia (a black screen).

I can only imagine that my next move is to replace the GPU. I live in Spain and the parts industry here is as useful as an ash tray on a motorbike! The machine is out of it 2 year warranty and sending it to Sony would cost an arm and a leg. I've glanced at google and haven't seen any Sony VGC-LA3 parts. Could any recommend a helpful distributer so I can repair it myself?

Thank you.

James.




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