I have a year and a half old Sony Vaio notebook that just developed a problem. It boots up normally but then when you click on any app, the timer spins and spins and the program never comes up. Control-alt-delete doesn't work at that point; the hard drive LED doesn't show any sign of activity. I can, however, open apps if I click on them before the boot up process is completed. But once the boot up is complete nothing works. Any ideas?

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You could try starting your computer in Safe Mode. I am assuming you are running Windows Vista. If that works, we could be looking at something in the startup. If not, we could be looking at a possible virus.

Restart your computer. After the Sony Vaio screen goes away and the blinking cursor pops up, press F8. You should get a menu. You know what to do from here.

I am running Vista. I was able to start in Safe Mode but then PC shut down after boot up. I also was able to run Anti-virus program by starting it before boot up finished, but showed nothing.

Is it possible that dust collecting inside could be triggering a CPU shutdown because of overheating??

Is it possible that dust collecting inside could be triggering a CPU shutdown because of overheating??

Although rather unlikely, does your machine become hot?

Not terribly hot. What would you recommend if it is a virus. Wipe and reload??

Hmm, can you hear the fan?

Well, just to make sure your hardware is fine. Can you go to LinuxMint, Download and Burn the Iso.

When it boots it will ask what you want to do. Select the first option which will be to try LinuxMint.

It will then load up a Virtual Machine on your RAM, you will be able to use your machine completely.

Run it for a while to see if everything is stable. The longer you use it the more likely it is that it isn't a hardware fault.

Hi finito,
I have the computer running Linux now off the CD I burned. Seems to run well. Is there a way I can check the health of the harddrive, now that I'm able to run the PC?

if you goto Menu (where it usually says start in Windows) there is a little search bar on the botton in there type 'Disk Utility' It will show you all the drives on the computer from there click on your drive.

On the right Panel it will show you information on the drive. If Smart is enabled it will give you a light indicator of how your drive is doing.

You want to look for Smart Status for the indicator and right underneath it Click on Smart data for more information, like how long the drive is running, How many bad sectors, etc.


thanks for all your help. I was eventually able to fix my hard drive using Seagate DFT program, free on-line. Apparently the hard drive had a bad sector that the program was able to remap.
Now on to learn about ghosting a hard drive.
Thanks again !


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Ah. I had a similar problem with my laptop in that it would lock up randomly. I ran a check disk and it found 2 bad sectors. Glad it's solved :)