Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Don't lose those screws...
kevm14
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by kevm14 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:29 am

Not a single glitch yet. Even did another Google Hangouts with the webcam (video and audio). Fixed forever.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by kevm14 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:43 am

Still zero issues. None of the issues I mentioned in this post have returned and it is used daily, for most of the day. It spends most of the day with the CPU fan cranked as you'd expect.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 12, 2020 6:10 pm

kevm14 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:17 pm
I grabbed the chassis a certain way to put some flex on it and the screen goes all rainbow colors and it locks up. Also if I put it down too hard it does it. So I took it all apart and reseated all the things I could find (not the RAM and not the CPU but lots of the ribbon and other connectors). That may actually have fixed it though I've been more careful.
Zero issues being used heavily 5 days a week. Except until right now. I went to turn it on and it never came out of sleep. Black screen. Powered down, powered on, wouldn't POST. Uh oh. Powered down, powered on, no POST. Removed battery, reinstalled, powered on, no POST. Yikes.

I banged it on the table a few times (not too hard but enough to rattle it) and then it POSTed. Yeah. Here we go again.

I got into the BIOS so I could experiment and not corrupt Windows with a sudden shutdown. Banging it made the screen go all wonky as it was doing before. OK. Powered down, back to BIOS. This time I tried some pressure points again. Ah ha. It seemed like if I pressed firmly on one part of the bottom cover, I could not only invoke the screen issue, but repeated bending/pressure would cause it to shift to different wonkiness.

So I powered it off and lay it upside down. The closest thing to where I was pressing was the RAM cover, held on by just 2 screws. It's a simple magnesium cover and the two modules are right there. Could it be?? Do I just need to reseat the RAM? I remember NOT doing it last time for some reason (see the quote of myself above).

Off with the cover, removed both RAM modules, and swapped their positions just for the hell of it. Powered back on, into the BIOS, and I couldn't believe it - fixed. Banging does nothing, pressing on that spot does nothing.

This thing is so old the RAM had to be reseated. Man. That's awesome. Anyway, back in business. It is my personal mission to avoid replacing this with some low end Chromebook. Challenge accepted.

Adam
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by Adam » Tue May 12, 2020 6:17 pm

For the price of a new low end Chromebook you can buy a used something awesome and install chrome on it. Also run through these drills again with a newer machine.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 12, 2020 6:48 pm

Yeah that's a good point I guess. I guess for an actual school machine I liked the idea of an off the shelf thing that runs the latest Chrome OS out of the box that I could just let Ian do what he wants with.

But again you make a good point - for that money I could get a real machine, and have it be dual purpose (for him for this school year and an upgrade from the VAIO, in which case I wouldn't install Chrome OS on it).

That said, I'm just going to see how long I can keep this Sony....VAIO-able. Ha.

And I just think it's cool that I don't have a pile of dead $500 laptops. My next oldest laptop is a Pentium III-M Dell that runs XP for tuning my Caprice and LT1s.

Adam
Posts: 2179
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Sony Vaio VGN-SZ280P: stripped to the chassis

Post by Adam » Wed May 13, 2020 7:07 am

A former co-worker of Jenn's needed another machine to enable more effective distance learning for her kids. We took Jenn's old Lenovo T61p (14", C2D, Nvidia Quadro) and installed Chromium OS on it (Neverware maintains a free-for-home-use x86 port: https://guide.neverware.com/build-insta ... cloudready). Even with a platter drive, it ran Chromium great and was more than sufficient for Google Classroom and such.

More modern machines are practically free and way more powerful than a CoreDuo:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPa ... 3343281033

The above can be fitted with a half a dozen 4th gen i5/i7 processors and 16GB of RAM and, as you can see, start off pretty cheap. You can get them with an Nvidia chip and a 1080p screen too. There's also literally the entire history of every laptop ever as an option.

I've been considering one of the above to replace my W510 (17", 1st gen i7, Nvidia Quadro) as a more powerful and portable workstation-y machine.

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