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Sony Viao Question

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posted on May, 23 2008 @ 03:58 PM
I just bought this Laptop, it is used (Of Course) and in pretty good shape..

It is a Sony Viao PCG-R505EL

Nice and small. Pent. 3, running XP

Now I got it really cheap because the Monitor is dim. Not too bad in a dark room, but still pretty dark.

Now the Laptop has the "Function" key and "F" 5 is supposed to adjust the brightness of the monitor.. Well it does nothing..

The "F5" key works normally, but nothing when I push function. I can't get any of the functions to work. The key looks fine, no damage or anything.

When hooked to an external monitor, it is wonderful...

Any ideas on how to get the screen to brighten up?


posted on May, 23 2008 @ 04:53 PM
reply to post by semperfortis

1) All lcd monitors/tv's are lit by a light source behind the screen.
2) After a while this light will dim then fail (this could be why laptop was so cheap).
3) Is the laptop set up for max battery life? Part of that is diming the screen.
4) I need to get my hands on an xp laptop to find the settings from control pannel.

more info as I find it

posted on May, 23 2008 @ 06:40 PM
Its called a backlight inverter Semper. Its a common component that goes out. Its the cheaper of the 2 things that are the screen. The other being the LCD itself.

A quick search found them from 59 to 99 bux.

Hope this helps


posted on May, 23 2008 @ 11:11 PM
If it is a part, can it be replaced?

If so, can I do it?

mrmonsoon and S1LV3R4DO I appreciate the help.

I picked it up for 125.00, complete with the docking station and the battery still holds a nice charge, so if I have to use an external monitor, it will be inconvenient, but well worth the money...


posted on May, 24 2008 @ 12:13 AM
Oh yes. Its a part that i replace on laptops weekly. Along with AC plugs on the motherboard. Man people are hard on their laptops.

Im trying to find some disassembly instructions for that model of laptop for ya semper. Usually its 4-8 screws around the perimeter of the screen, usually under rubber bump stops. One wire plugs into one side, one wire plugs into the other.

Heres a pic of what it looks like

You may have to take off the button bezel to get to the hinges of the screen itself. Then the 2 parts of the screen should seperate with a little effort. But again, i will try to find you some disassembly instructions to follow to help you out.


posted on May, 25 2008 @ 12:41 PM

Originally posted by semperfortis
I just bought this Laptop, it is used (Of Course) and in pretty good shape..

It is a Sony Viao PCG-R505EL

the Laptop has the "Function" key and "F" 5 is supposed to adjust the brightness of the monitor.. Well it does nothing..

To clarify, you mean that when you press both the Fn and the F5 keys at the same time, nothing happens, right?

I can't get any of the functions to work.

Hold on a minute. If none of the functions work, you may be missing the Sony hotkey application that makes them work. (I think thats the right one)

You may want to start a Chat session with their support staff to verify that.

Best of Luck

[edit on 5/25/08 by makeitso]

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 03:45 PM
reply to post by makeitso


I downloaded the application and I'll try that before replacing anything...

Let you know...


posted on May, 25 2008 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by makeitso

That DID IT!!!!!

Here I am on my Sony Viao with my BRIGHT screen... Thank you so much!!!

I guess that sometimes it is the simple solutions after all...


posted on May, 25 2008 @ 06:08 PM
Whoop Whoop


Glad it worked.

posted on May, 25 2008 @ 07:56 PM
Nice one makeitso. I guess i couldnt see the forest cuz the trees were in the way. Ima hardware guy so thats my automatic assumption. Glad to see he gotcha up and workin Semper.


posted on May, 26 2008 @ 12:11 AM
Well now I discovered another issue..

Apparently the Vaio is known to suffer from this issue.

Random shutting down.

After a period of time it just shuts down. And not like it is supposed to, it just goes "Blink" and it's off.

I googled it and apparently there are some issues with the capacitors around the CPU getting hot.. Here is the site explaining it.

Sony Problem

The problem is I am not sure I'm up to the task of completely disassembling this laptop. I'm thinking of taking it to a shop and see what they will charge me..

What do you all think?

(Anyone want to buy a laptop?)


posted on May, 26 2008 @ 07:56 AM
I've never had that problem with my similar Vaio. Yours may be new enough that it does not have these problems the older ones have.

My thinking is that someone wiped the harddrive and installed xp from scratch prior to selling it. Thats why you didnt have the app for the function keys. The only things that are working came from the xp cd installation. Following that logic, one can assume that there are other propriatary apps that are not installed. Like the software that controls the fan speed when the cpu starts to get hot.

I guess the first thing I would do instead of taking it to a shop and spending money, is go to Sony's support site and install all the correct library's/drivers/apps/bios updates.

If that fails I would probably go to the cpu mfg website and install their updated drivers for the cpu.

At the same time I would review the event logs for a clue to the exact cause of the shutdown.

Reviewing the bios setting wouldn't hurt either. Maybe disable the ACPI either in the bios, or windows.

If the time/date is incorrect after restart, it is probably your cmos battery.

Buy a can of compressed air and blast it thru the air vent to help clean the fan. Best to disassemble and do it, but they are a bit of a pain to get apart. Dont unplug the keyboard cables they're fragile.

If that fails I would go start a chat session with Sony Support.

This site says they repair the problem for $150. But they don't specifically list your model as one of the problem ones. They do give you a way to test if its a hardware problem though.

To make sure that you don't have a software problem, boot a copy of the Linux BBC and type MEMTEST. If it runs longer without croaking than Windows did, your computer is probably all right, and you need to find a misbehaving program. If it shuts down after running for the same as with Windows, you probably have a hardware issue.

If it is a hardware problem, it could be either the cpu, or capacitors. These are known issues on some models, with only a few workarounds. (pdf)

Only after all that would I consider spending money on it.

[edit on 5/26/08 by makeitso]

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