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Vaio C-140G Mystery

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Hi Folks,

First I'd like to thank anyone who can help with my problem in advance. I don't want to make matters worse, so I figured I would come here.

I recently bought a C-140G off eBay, from a reputable seller, etc. It had first had Windows XP installed, and the previous owner had upgraded it to Windows 7.

For the first two days the computer worked fine, booted and powered down flawlessly.

I then began the arduous process of ripping my iPod to the new computer with a software I've used several times. I had left the iPod plugged into the USB, and forgot to unplug it before booting the computer up. From previous experience I've known PC's to be temperamental when booting with anything plugged into it, and sure enough, the laptop wouldn't go past the VAIO title screen.

I forced a shutdown, unplugged the iPod, and rebooted. This is where my trouble began, as the boot went past the VAIO screen, to the blinking " - " screen, which blinked methodically three times, and then fluttered.

The computer then went black, with the backlight still lit. CTRL+ALT+Delete didnt work, so I forced another shutdown.

I then rebooted and attempted to bring the computer to safe mode by pressing F8, and it only produced several high pitched computer-y beeps. When I stopped pressing F8, it proceeded in the same fashion to the black screen.

Then I tried MSCONFIG, and things get even STRANGER. I type in MSCONFIG at the blinking " - ", and it brings me to GRUB's prompt! I had never even seen that before in my life, and only knew what it was because I went online to search for it. I had no idea what to do at the point, and decided to try to reinstall XP with a reinstallation disk I had.

That seemed to be going fine, until the installation of XP required a reboot, and then got even further still, to the XP logo and loading bar, and then produced the same black screen. On the next reboot, F8 finally worked, but when I try to run the computer in Safe Mode to do a System Restore, it too produces the black screen.

So now the Computer has XP installed, but can't bring itself past the black screen, in a regular start up or in Safe Mode.

Besides questions like "did my stupid iPod do this to me" and "why is GRUB on there at all?", can anyone out there lend their expertise? I am truly at a loss, and will truly be very upset if I purchased a dead computer.

Again, thanks for any help in advance.

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I asked about the operating systems history on the computer, and the seller said that the computer came with XP, and he purchased and upgraded to Windows 7. He has sold several computers with eBay in the past, and has nothing but good reviews.

When the computer was running, for those fleeting hours, there was one Windows Update that was applied to Windows 7. I thought I had at least one successful boot following the update, but it may be the case that this all happened on the very next boot. Could the update have caused a corruption in something?

Not sure how much that matters now, I've installed XP and don't have a Windows 7 disc to get back to. I'm just frustrated that I can't even do a system restore, the computer won't get past the black screen...

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Sorry I misread (in some haste) your description. I would guess that downgrading to XP doesn't work - I recall the 7 beta did something funny to my MBR and both XP and partition magic absolutely refused to recognise this partition which I had used to boot from.

You are in a mess, and probably your XP reinstall disk will never work with this computer (unless it was for this machine, supplied by the original owner and Sony). Time to call Microsoft.

If you can't do that for some reason, you're going to have to diagnose it yourself. Start by hitting F8 and creating a Boot Log. See what the last thing that loads is...... (if you're not familiar with this you will have to reboot again to see the log from a command prompt)

.... (a little later)

I note that this model apparently comes with Windows (XP) MCE (Media Centre Edition). Wouldn't expect bogstandard XP to be anything other than confused trying to install over an upgrade of MCE to 7. The good news: all the drivers are there on Sony's support website.


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Ok, so a friend of mine who is pretty knowledgeable pointed out that my Vaio is running with 3 GB of RAM, when Sony says it should only run with 2. He said he encountered a similar problem in the past where removing a stick of RAM helped the operating system load.

The computer booted past the windows loading screen, to the XP installation screen.

There are two popups at the moment, one asking for the installation disk, which is not the problem.

The other is an error box, "lsass.exe - System Error: Object Name not found."

The only option to click is ok, and when I click ok the computer restarts itself and gets to the same screen with the same error message.

Now what did I do? Can I reinstall XP, or Windows 7 (I bought it the other day), or will this new error message delay me even further.

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lsass is the security system (kerberos). Without it, Windows dies.

Yes indeed, XP never supported 3GB properly; it may well be that you can put the last 1GB back in AFTER you finished a new install. I had not realised you were running the install when the crash occurred.

If you have the proper Sony disk with valid XP license (and activation code), you are ok. Otherwise get ready to hand over shekels, zlotys, forints to Microsoft. Note: with any generic version you will have to install all the drivers from that website I posted the link to. There's got to be an easier way, though I've done that with an IBM Thinkpad many a time.

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If drivers are seperately available via sony website ,then in my opinion do a clean install of Windows 7 ,but before that make sure you have backed up everything from the hdd.If you haven't ,then remove the hdd from the laptop and plug into the pc sata port ,then you can easily back up all the stuff you want .

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