So about a month ago I dropped half a cup of hot chocolate on my XPS Gen 2. I didn't immediately get it fixed/replaced because I had an old Sony Viao that I could use for my paperwork in the interim. The work I do requires me to use Explorer.
That being said it only took a few weeks for pop-ups to overwhelm my Vaio. I tried to run Ad-Aware and Search & Destroy every day. But one day the screen went black and that was it.
So I pulled out the choco-laptop and gave it a whirl. Aside from a couple of sticky keys it was working fine. One week of Explorer use and I'm down again.
Last night I was browsing using Firefox and suddenly my screen became pixelated. I rebooted and nothing it remained the same. Eventually the screen turned white and started flashing. The unit seemed to be running hotter than usual, so it crossed my mind that maybe a fan went out or something and I was overheating.
So I let it cool overnight and this morning I tried to turn it on. The pixels were fuzzy again and then it went to the blue screen. It told me to reboot and run a hardware diagnostics, in particular a memory scan.
Any ideas as to what happened? Virus, hardware, etc?
Originally posted by Captaincuba I'm just trying to fix this without having to shell out some cash before I buy my new laptop next year.
Not happening, CC. And by "not happening" I mean if it ever works properly again without cash you need to buy a lottery ticket and ask Alicia Silverstone out on a date.
Don't bother calling tech support. If the warranty is expired (Gen2, so it probably is) you're easily pushing $300 - $500 for the repairs, with $299 likely being the price just for them to pull it into the depot (that's before parts/labour). And the work is only covered by 90 days.
CC, this may get lost through being a text based medium, however this question is not designed to be mean-spirited whatsoever. But have you considered changing your computer habbits/usage? According to your first post, you've now gone through two laptops with one through a spill, the other possibly through a UIP. Perhaps a change of how you use the systems and the enviroment aroudn them may help you out some.
(edited by El Nastio on 22.12.08 1437) You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
Oh, I'm not annoyed. I just figured it should be pretty clear that the failure of the first machine was due to the cocoa inside of it most likely.
Ok, so your options...
You can get a drive sled to put your HD into and mount it on a different machine. The odds are your files are there.
I would say that the liquid doomed laptop is probably not going to work well if had any sort of sugar / cocoa still inside it when you turned it on.
On the VAIO - did it go black because you had a pirated copy of Vista on it? Do you still have the VAIO?
A software install or OS issue on the VAIO should not make it unusable. You should be able to boot it with the restore CD and reapply the OS. This will in most cases destroy any files you had saved to the computer, so don't do this if it is the only copy of your work.
Also, there is probably goop on your motherboard either on the RAM or in the guts of it. I really wouldn't recommend trying to use it again unless you are sure that it has been thoroughly cleaned inside.
It would be logical to assume that chocolate and sugar could make a fan stop working. If it did overheat, you could have lost your RAM or video.
If you are convinced you should keep using this machine, open it up and pull out anything that can be removed and look at what is left for remnants of goop.
Your best bet is to pull the hard drive out to save your work, and then stop going to questionable websites on your main PC. I never have pop-up, adware, spyware, or trojan problems - but then again I don't go to warez sites, myspace profiles, WoW gold buying websites, etc.
Don't install software you find on the internet unless it is from a major site. Buy applications instead of pirating them.
This is general advice and not necessarily aimed at you. I hear porn sites are pretty sketchy too.
Do you have an Ubuntu boot CD you could put in the VAIO to see if it works with that?
Even cleaning it thoroughly may not make it work. In all honesty I'm of the belief the system is a write off. I would pull out the hard drive, throw it into an enclosure, and try to pull as much data as possible.
Based on what you mentioned about the Vaio, it certainly sounds software related, and it's nothing a OSRI wouldn't fix.
For the future, Guru has some very solid advice worth following. Specifically the portion regarding the websites one visits and programs people download. While doing tech support with Dell I lost track with that amount of consumers who messed up their systems visiting certain sites and trying to pirate programs (specially porn sites). If you DO visit sites of ill-refute, do it right. By/obtain a cheap little computer to be a download farm. Download/surf stuff and wipe the system clean every couple of months, and make sure the files are clean before you transfer them over. Even then, you run the risk of stuff happening. Always remember that more often than not, there's a cost for everything. Even if it is free.
Windows is not Linux. With Windows you get what you pay for. Don't pirate it, buy it. You'll save yourself hassles in the end.
Make sure you use a reuputable virus scanner, and also ensure that you run malware sweeps. Avoid things like registry cleaners, as a few of them do more harm than good.
It goes without saying perform frequent back ups. Also, keep food and drink a safe distance away from your systems. Clean out the system fans regularly with compressed air.
Little things like the above (and with what Guru said) can go a long way.
(edited by El Nastio on 22.12.08 1631) You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
I appreciate the feedback. I will say that I don't go to any questionable sites. I know, I know, it's hard to believe but I don't fileshare, don't download or view questionable content, or any of the above mentioned behaviors. The worst I can see is when I get tricked into looking at a silly video on the Opie and Anthony message board.
I exclusively use Firefox to browse, and only use Explorer for my work data-collecting and even those sites are State & County Sheriff pages.
The pop-ups began as soon as I opened Explorer for the first time in months. I knew this was going to happen and began running ad-aware and S&D daily on the Vaio until one day when it just stopped booting.
The Vaio was purchased 3 years ago and was our "back-up" laptop that we hadnt used in 6 months or so. It had never had a single issue in all its years of usage. Until I started using Explorer to visit the work sites. We still run XP on all of our PCs.
As far as the spill goes, it was the first time Ive ever spilled a single thing on a keyboard in all my years of PC/Laptop use. Many a game of Counter Strike, WoW, Gold Box D&D games, and online Poker have been played with drinks in vicinity with no incident...I guess I tempted fate one too many times.
I even download my music from my paid Napster membership. I did notice Guru mentioned MySpace profiles...I do use Facebook but am FAR from a heavy user.
I'm a gamer and online poker player. My units are well taken care of and noone uses them, not even my wife, she has her Mac. I sold my 4 year old Alienware Area 51 to my friend last year, never an issue in all the years I used it. It was on from the day I purchased it until the day I unplugged it. Then he started downloading porn and within a month he had issues.
Thank you for the data retrieval info, I'll need it. And you're right the price to fix is a third of what I was going to spend on my new laptop any way so I guess I'll need to purchase earlier that I wanted.
Your "work related" sites may be hacked. If they are publically accessible sites, send me a PM with links. The O&A site might actually be part of your problem, though.
The problem is with sites (like this one, even) where people can link to their sites. If you are following people's links, they may have an infected site. Someone might even be trying a cross site scripting vulnerability using a picture icon on the O&A board. It's possible someone has done that here, but I would think we would have gotten other complaints.
The MS thing was probably due to Windows Updates not being applied to the machine prior to you surfing with IE. You probably had a Trojan or Virus on your PC. I'm not sure why that would cause it to black screen, though.
Your best bet is to get a LiveCD of some operating system (WindowsPE, BartPE boot disc, Linux of some flavor) and put it in the VAIO to see if it boots.
If the PC booted fine for a while, and still does but just has bad video, you probably have a good hard drive still. Enclosures are like $50 or less and you just put the drive in and plug it into a new computer via a USB cable. It's pretty easy.
My new 13" MacBook Pro (with 3-year AppleCare) came in a little cheaper than a Sony Viao with similar specs. Apple just doesn't make a $450 laptop, so there's a misbelief that Mac hardware is more expensive.