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Windows 7: Sony VAIO laptop, S series, Windows 7 won't boot

4 Weeks Ago   #41

windows 7 pro 64

Ok, Here's the current status of everything:

I recently found and bought a near-mint identical laptop with Windows 10 installed onto a SSD, one product-letter away from mine (SVS13A1DGXB instead of SVS13A1EGXB).
After checking that the computer worked, I installed my 2017 clone HDD, which is my total environment back in Sept 2017, with W7 Pro 64 and all apps functioning and tested. The laptop booted up to Windows Login, I entered my PW, and it worked fine. It spent the first ten minutes occasionally updating hardware drivers, for the various small things that are different about this 'new' environment. Everything works fine, all apps, etc.

So I then installed my original current 2018 HDD from the original laptop, and it worked fine, also updating some hardware-related drivers.

At that point, the eBay seller had another identical laptop for sale, with some subtle physical damages, so I bought and received that one as well. I switched out the SSD for my 2017 clone, it worked, and I did an Acronis WD clone of my 'current' 2018 HDD onto it. The second laptop 'argued' a bit, but eventually I threw in my Sony Install disc, it found a repair to do, and did it. So the second laptop boots normally to my 2018 current environment on its newly-cloned HDD.

So now I have 2 fresh laptops:
The first one appears completely new, with original unworn palm-panel stickers, and the keyboard looks unused. There is no scratch anywhere. It literally appears to be a store demo model which was packed up, and stored sealed on a shelf for the last 6 years, then had a cheap 128GB SSD drive thrown in (they lost the HDD mounting brackets and screws - I found some on eBay) and put up for sale on eBay.

The second one has the same physical characteristics as the above one, but with a bunch of light scratch marks across the embossed gold "Vaio" label on the outer face cover (outer side of the screen). It needed some additional 'convincing' before it ran my 2017 clone, but the Sony repair disk accomplished what needed to be done (no notes to pass on). It now also runs my 2018 HDD.

Some notable observations for anyone still working on/with these W7 laptops:

The 'F2' key is to be pressed repeatedly from power-on, until it goes into the BIOS screen.

The following notes refer to the Boot tab/screen in the BIOS:

The booting order should reflect the priority you need for the immediate work to be done, ie, if you need the HDD to boot reliably for doing system repair, etc, place it at the top of the booting order. It makes a HUGE difference in getting stuff done.

The Boot-Mode MUST match what you are dealing with at that moment: To find and boot into W7 on the HDD, it must be in UEFI mode. To sense the presence of my Acronis 2016 cloning 'rescue' USB stick, the boot-mode needed to be in the "Legacy" mode (and the boot order should have "External Device" at the top).

Also make sure that External Device Boot is Enabled.

I clone using Acronis clone sw on the external stick, with the source-drive going into a USB3 port via a SATA to USB cable (cheap and available), and the blank HDD residing INSIDE the laptop where it will be parked and used. It can be removed and used elsewhere if desired, but all works better if you clone it in the environment in which you want to use it.

In the future, I may try cloning my system and settings onto a SSD, and just keeping all my work out on an external pair of HDDs (or SSD's?). Booting up in 5 seconds can spoil you for SSD's.

As to the original laptop, I am planning to replace the motherboard with the '100%-tested' eBay-purchased motherboard. If it brings the computer back up, then I'd have my original and 2 as-new spare laptops (a dream for someone who has 15 years/16,000 hours of expertise on Adobe Audition 3.01, and other costly audio/video softwares that run on W7, and a major distaste for MS Windows 10. If I can find both the schematic (wiring) diagram PLUS the parts/board layout diagram for this model, I will try and diagnose the problem at the component level, and then employ a competently-equipped repair lab to do the SMT solder work. I'd hate to throw away a all-but-working motherboard just for one bad resistor, cap, or chip.

Regarding the "CMOS cell" battery, I opened up the spare eBay-sourced one, and it is a Maxell L1220 3-Volt cell with pre-welded tabs (so yes, 2.8V is dead). I've ordered several from Digikey and they should be here shortly to help service the original laptop when I open it to replace the motherboard.

Regarding the possibility of a virus, I've had zero problems under Kasperky's protection for 6 years of continuous operation. The now-spare laptops are working fine with recent clones of the original HDD. I don't believe at all that I've got a virus or other bug in here.

I would like to thank ALL of the participants on this thread for all of their helpful suggestions and information links. This thread contains links to W7 repair disc making, plus all of the details by which W7 boots from power-on.

I'll stand by for any discussions from all the others here, and if I ever find the docs, maybe we'll have fun diagnosing the hardware.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #42

W7 HP 64 bit

Glad you got sorted. Would be interested to hear how the original laptop does with the replacement motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #43

Windows 7 HP 64

Normally computers has a CR2032, 3V, non rechargeable battery for clock and BIOS.
If the Maxell L1220 3-Volt cell is a rechargeable battery and has only 2.8V it may be discharged and not bad.

The best thing you can do is to replace the ODD with a HDD caddy. Then you'll have a SSD for Windows and programs and a HDD for data.
VANTEC MRK-HC127A-BK SSD/HDD Aluminum Caddy for 12.7mm ODD Laptop Drive Bay -
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Sony VAIO laptop, S series, Windows 7 won't boot

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