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Computer Trama! Help Please!!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am here to plea for assistance.

My workhorse for the last 4 years today decided it wanted to croak (or pretty close). My laptop has been having this issue where it will freeze, a complete lock-up where the only way to proceed is to do a hard reset via holding the power button. While it has been happening for about ~3 years the issue has become crippling (so much so I had to drop my final project this past semester School computer don't have Trapcode suite)

It'll freeze pretty much any and everywhere, from normal use, browsing the web. I could be going strong for weeks or months doing anything from gaming to editing in premier to experimenting in After Effects and suddenly it locks up! most famously it will freeze at the log-in, just past the log-in screen, going into safe mode, and as of today at the 'Starting Windows' logo. Also as of today a new synptom! it'll get to the log-in screen hang a few minutes and blu screen, followed by automatic restart which ultimately ends at a screen saying "Operiating system not found" (WTF) I can then go into safe mode afterward but restart and here we go again (literally have to boot and hard reset 10-20 50 times before it fially loads stably. at that point I cring if I have to restart for anything, INCLUDING it freezing during use. Literally came home today and found the thing frozen in the screen saver, ala the start of todays episode)

I come here because naturally the web's answers are usually useless. The closest thing I can find to a probable cause were a few places where a buch of people with similar issue have pinpointed the problem being an issue with the gpu driver (those have been istalled and re-installed to no avail)

Windows 8 rc was the last place I didn't have the issue, along with Mint and Ubuntu, but I'll jump off a cliff befor I use 8, and I need the Adobe suit among other things that simply work in Windows. (Also a new OS is out of the budget, let alone a new computer, especially the upgrade I need for my work)


Sony Vaio VGN-FW490J
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Intel Penryn T9600 2.80GHz Processor
4 gigs ram
750GbB 7200rpm HDD

ATi Radeon 4650
(the only driver I wont update at this point is the realtek driver since the latest fw mess-up my sound system other wise EVERYTHING is up to date)


Edited by D3Seeker - 10/11/13 at 6:47pm
post #2 of 13
Arrgh - a Sony Vaio. We've had tons of issues with the Sony Vaio laptops at work. Not as bad as yours, but then again, we don't let them get that bad either - we replace them when they start getting flaky. We really don't know what is causing the issues, but I have always suspect heat is one of the primary contributors. If you got 4 years out of your Sony Vaio, then you have done better than most of the 25+ Vaios we have had. The executives love the Vaio because it's small, light and sexy - but the IT staff HATES the Vaio...
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Interesting. I can totally see heat becoming a problem, especially as hard as I've pushed this thing (hows 4 years in film school, yikes)

 

In my other forum they seem to feel it's a bad HDD since memory testing show nothing, The errors in event log don't hold up, and to be honest I've changes the HDD before, and still had this problem before (and the PS3 seems perfectly happy with the hand-me-down HDD). but I'm questioning if this may ultimately be a Sony-Vaio Issue that I've just managed to push through.


Edited by D3Seeker - 10/12/13 at 8:39pm
post #4 of 13

Any blue screens?

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3Seeker View Post
 

The errors in event log don't hold up

If you don't mind, perhaps paste the actual logs?

 

If it's working with Mint, compare the logs with dmesg output, and see what they're doing differently?

 

It'd be awfully funny (awful for you, funny for me) if it was actually just the GPU (though the restart part makes it sound unlikely, I've heard it happen before), and the only reason 8/Mint work is because of awful crippled drivers restricting that set of functionality borking it. You won't believe my Radeon driver stories...

 it'll get to the log-in screen hang a few minutes and blu screen, followed by automatic restart which ultimately ends at a screen saying "Operiating system not found" (WTF) I can then go into safe mode afterward but restart and here we go again (literally have to boot and hard reset 10-20 50 times before it fially loads stably. at that point I cring if I have to restart for anything, INCLUDING it freezing during use. Literally came home today and found the thing frozen in the screen saver, ala the start of todays episode)

Those parts make me think that it might be worth pursuing. I know you've reinstalled the drivers, but often that means squat.

 

And of course the most benign, patronizing, ill-sought advice, feared by all of the technophiles and technophobes alike - have you tried seeing if it's just the install's fault by backing the whole disk up, wiping it, reinstalling whatever version you had, and seeing if the problem persists? Or are you absolutely sure at this point that it's hardware-based?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post
 

Any blue screens?

Simple fix would be to paint it a nice mahogany instead. Easier on the eyes, no need to change the desktop background anymore.

post #6 of 13
 
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post
 

Simple fix would be to paint it a nice mahogany instead. Easier on the eyes, no need to change the desktop background anymore.

 

Mmmmm, mahogany.

 

I didn't catch the part about you blue screening. Upload the minidump somewhere, or analyse it with the windows debugging tools if you know how to, you'll find them at C:\Windows\Minidump.

 

Lets be realistic, there's only so much you can do to service a laptop, so if it's not the memory, HDD, software or overheating, it's gone. Don't waste any time and effort trying to ascertain what the problem may be, since there'll be nothing you can do to rectify it.

 

From the information posted so far, it *could* be a software issue, try a fresh install of Windows, it'll cost you nothing. But if you've already done that, then you're totally boned.

post #7 of 13

I've had this problem on my desktop, my solution was to do a clean format and reinstall my OSes.

For me anyway I was messing with the temporary file folder (as in changing the destination) and that caused all my problems. Reversing it did not help so i formatted instead

post #8 of 13
Quote:
And of course the most benign, patronizing, ill-sought advice, feared by all of the technophiles and technophobes alike - have you tried seeing if it's just the install's fault by backing the whole disk up, wiping it, reinstalling whatever version you had, and seeing if the problem persists?

It's fascinating how I can predict computer answers within one parsec of one another. Must be the LSD-laced catnip.

 

It's good advice though, for good reason. Back up what you can, OP. It's painfully easy to reinstall nowadays.

post #9 of 13
Yeah, the dual GPU (one Intel & one Radeon) in the Vaio has also caused us issues - sometimes we just force it to ignore the Radeon and that seems to stabilize the issues - sometimes not...
We've also had issues with the dual SSD drives in a RAID 0 set that is used in some of the Vaios. One laptop will work fine, the next will have nothing but trouble, then we replace both SSD drives and the issues go away.

I'll also add that in my experience once you get past 3 years, the reliability of any laptop (that is actually used as a mobile computer) drops dramatically. After 4 years, you're living on borrowed time. Of course, if you baby it, never travel with it and never want to install new SW, then the HW will last much, much longer - but who except your Grandma does that?? tongue.gif
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Yeah, the dual GPU (one Intel & one Radeon) in the Vaio has also caused us issues - sometimes we just force it to ignore the Radeon and that seems to stabilize the issues - sometimes not...

Goodness, do try and swap drivers then! Heck if he didn't use the Radeon driver with Mint - it'd explain everything.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sadly this problem isn't new. I've clean installed windows over the uears to the point I now have to phone ms to activate my key tongue.gif

once it finish this disk check I'll get that minidump looked into.
Quote:
Yeah, the dual GPU (one Intel & one Radeon) in the Vaio has also caused us issues - sometimes we just force it to ignore the Radeon and that seems to stabilize the issues - sometimes not...
We've also had issues with the dual SSD drives in a RAID 0 set that is used in some of the Vaios. One laptop will work fine, the next will have nothing but trouble, then we replace both SSD drives and the issues go away.

I'll also add that in my experience once you get past 3 years, the reliability of any laptop (that is actually used as a mobile computer) drops dramatically. After 4 years, you're living on borrowed time. Of course, if you baby it, never travel with it and never want to install new SW, then the HW will last much, much longer - but who except your Grandma does that??
Interesting. I know the drivers in mint weren't official, May have to play around with that and just use MS drivers and see what that does.

And yeah this thing has been push a lot farther than what it was made for. It was meant as an entertainment machine, not a entertainment creating machine, but it is my baby, and has to keep puttin' along a little longer if I can help it.
Edited by D3Seeker - 10/12/13 at 11:03pm
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

OK, so I'm using this program called BlueScreenView to read the minidump and took some screenshots

 

 

 

If the viewer is to be believed. ntoskrl.exe could be corrupt (from what I found) and classpnp.sys is a lost cause? I'm still looking but a chkdsk might be necessary.


Edited by D3Seeker - 10/13/13 at 9:14am
post #13 of 13
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