Sony VAIO VGN FW 34OD won't power on
April 18, 2014 8:05 AM   Subscribe

A few months ago a friend gave me a VGN FW34OD that had had coffee spilled on it. I took it apart, cleaned with rubbing alcohol, everything worked fine except the keyboard--some keys didn't work at all, some would just repeatedly fire. Annoying. But it worked and was fine for watching movies and tv and stuff.

I shelved it for a while, then a couple days ago decided to attack the keyboard problem as it was affecting usability. Once again I disassembled, unhooked the keyboard input ribbon from the motherboard (as recommended on another forum somewhere), reconnected everything (that was painstaking and Not Fun), put everything back together and turned the computer on.

It started up fine, everything seemed to be working, except the screen was totally blank. So I sighed, took it all apart again, and realized (what I think is) the screen ribbon had come loose from its mooring.

Fixed that.

Now the computer won't turn on at all. I've tried the usual: start up without battery, unplug CMOS battery for a while then try starting up again, nada.

I'd really quite like to be able to use this computer again (mostly because it's Win7 and my desktop is XP, and neither powerful enough nor affordable to upgrade). How do I troubleshoot this and what are my options?

Thanks in advance.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
(should add, if I can get this fixed I'm ordering a spare-parts keyboard from eBay or wherever so it's fully functional. Not in the Data sense.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:37 AM on April 18, 2014

Nobody will be able to answer this question without looking at the unit. There are too many variables (since you've been all over it). It could be a liquid issue, or something not put back right or something else.

However, there is still a good answer:

Throw this highly problematic unit away and put your excellent energy into something more worth it. You got it for free so there is no loss. Putting good energy into this problem is a waste. Consider purchasing a used super cheap fully working unit on Ebay. You'll have tons of options and save a lot of energy.

Avoiding failure is impossible. The key is to fail fast. The more time it takes you to realize it's not going to work, the more time is lost seeking new solutions. Realizing you're looking at a dead end is one of the most powerful moments in life.
posted by Murray M at 6:10 AM on April 23, 2014

Consider purchasing a used super cheap fully working unit on Ebay.

Unless that price is less than it would cost to replace the keyboard (about $15), that is so far out of my budget as to be a pipe dream. Thanks though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:34 AM on April 23, 2014

Alright, I'll accept your $15 challenge:
What about a thrift store. I know several (in Austin and in Dallas) that are "computer" thrift stores specializing in old computers.

Also, you seem very computer savvy, you might consider buying another broken laptop on ebay (which should be around the same money) that you bet are fixable by parts you have access to. For example, look for ones with HD trouble--and then just swap the drive.

Creativity can beat money problems (as long as you don't mind spending time too).
posted by Murray M at 4:25 PM on April 24, 2014

Also estate sales and garage sales
posted by Murray M at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2014

Ebay is a remote possibility. I'm not that computer savvy--it's not hard to unscrew screws and unplug things. It's plugging them back in when they're teeny tiny little pins and you have an inch of play on the cord and it goes on the underside of the motherboard that's the problem (and in fact is what I suspect my problem may be; something not seated right).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:14 AM on April 25, 2014

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