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I have a very old laptop, a Sony VGN BX760. When I turn it on, it shows me the "VAIO" screen and nothing happens.

If I press F2, system plays a beep and nothing happens again. I removed the hard disk and I could run a Ubuntu Live CD, but when I attached it again, nothing happened.

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Can you see the hard drive when you run the LiveCD with the hard drive attached? – iglvzx May 5 '12 at 20:36
@iglvzx If I attach hard drive, I can not boot from LiveCD:-( – undone May 5 '12 at 20:47
You most likely can. Try changing the boot order in the BIOS settings, so that the CD drive is before the hard drive. – iglvzx May 5 '12 at 20:48
@iglvzx I tried that, but when it hang at VAIO screen – undone May 5 '12 at 20:56
not necessarily. a bad hard drive can lock up a BIOS, regardless of any boot order. The BIOS has to get past the hard drive detection stage before it can boot to any device... and if the hard drive is faulty it can cause the BIOS to lock at that point. – Bon Gart May 5 '12 at 21:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

To be clear,

  • the system will boot "normally" if the drive you are using to test is not connected, meaning you can boot to a LiveCD or Memtest86, should you decide to test the RAM.

  • when you connect this test hard drive, the system hangs at the BIOS, and won't even allow you to enter the BIOS.

  • you have only tested this laptop with one hard drive.

These things being true, I would say that either the hard disc controller on the motherboard is faulty, or your test drive is faulty.

Test the unit with a different hard drive... one you know works. I don't mean one you believe strongly should work because it worked the last time you checked, or one that you pulled because it threw errors but you can still access data from when connected via USB converter. I mean a drive you know that works properly the way it should.

If the laptop continues to hang at the BIOS regardless of how many different hard drives you connect, then chances are the controller on the board is bad which would mean it needs a motherboard replacement... and barring getting a new motherboard cheap on eBay, probably means this laptop is relegated to testing and neat experiments with Linux LiveCDs.

If the laptop boots normally with a different hard drive, then you know the hard drive was the issue.

As a side note, eliminate RAM as a possible suspect. Yes, I know... it doesn't seem like Ram is the issue, and honestly, I doubt it is. But, it would not hurt to let it run for a while on a CD of Memtest86

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thanks for answer, I connected my hard drive to another laptop still nothing. Can I be sure it's hard drive? – undone May 7 '12 at 3:02
@Death reasonably sure. I'd still connect a good drive to the Sony to make sure it isn't the controller... but yeah... if that first drive doesn't work in any computer, then it's the drive. – Bon Gart May 7 '12 at 3:04
thanks for answer, Marked as answer :-) – undone May 7 '12 at 3:07

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