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Sony VAIO VGN-SZ260P Battery not recognized by computer

Discussion in 'Sony' started by pwaggs, Sep 7, 2006.

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  1. pwaggs

    pwaggs Notebook Consultant

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    I purchased a Sony Vaio VGN-SZ260P/C two weeks ago to replace my Vaio S-150 which died three times as a result of the motherboard/RAM/Video driver issue. I purchased it for the form factor. Despite the fact that I am leary about Sony support/service, hands down they make the lightest most useful laptops with the nicest screens. The VGN-SZ was fantastic. Fast, lots of power, lots of memory. The Bio reader worked like a charm. I was very pleased and despite buying a $400 service policy for an additional 3 years of service on the Sony, I was very happy with my purchase.

    Then after 5 days of use I slipped the battery back onto the unit after a prolonged use period with the computer plugged in and a warning popped up saying to press OK and the unit would go into hibernate and to remove and replace the battery with a genuine Sony battery. Well the computer was brand new so I assumed that the battery was loose so I removed it agan and rebooted. Bottom line is that no matter what I did, or how I started the computer, with the battery installed, after approximately 30 seconds the warning comes on the screen to remove the battery and press ok to go to hibernate (there is no cancel button).

    I finally removed the battery and went to the Sony support site and downloaded a BIOS update which I installed. No luck. I ran the Sony update tool and updated all of my drivers on the 5 day old computer. No luck. I interupted the POST on boot up and inspected the BIOS, there is no battery tab to inspect there as in some BIOS's. Finally I called Sony Support. After an initial wait on not more than 5 minutes I received my first technician. He suggested re-examining the BIOS and sent me a user bulletein on this. The second technician I called after the bulletein told me nothing created an event code for me and went through several powerdown procedures and re boot procedures with and without the battery installed. He claimed that it is common for the battery to not be recognized if it is removed while the computer is on. I told him that made no sense, but followed his instructions and after 20 minutes of various tests he admitted that it had to be a battery interface with the motherboard problem. So I was referred to another technician who was a specialist and could "authorize" the return of my computer if he could not help. We wnet through similar machinations with tech number 3, who finally said that motherboard problems were not uncommon and that the computer would have to be returned to sony for repair. He set up a return ticket and suthorided the repair under warranty.

    After I hung up with him I decided to try one last desperate act and I performed a clean install of Windows Vista RC-1. The install on AC power went very smoothly and very well. Once installed, I visited Sony Support, updated all of the hardware drivers. Everything worked like a charm and the "Vista" capable machine took to Vista like a duck to water with a Vista rating of 3.3 only due to Gaming potential I believe as a result of the installed 1 gig of RAM. All of the other scores were high 4's or 5. Annoyances include that Alps touchpad is not Vista capable and the Synaptics workaround does not have any of the nice scroll features or such. But a painful mouse aside the Vista machine worked very well. Network identification and installing was automatic (I did a clean install because of my battery issue and because Sony machines come with Norton now which is impossible to un install completely and is INCOMPATIBLE with Vista because of the firewall and other protections). I lost use of the TPM module and the Bio reader but I assume that I could have found software updates had I had time to search around. The camera warked immediately. However, the computer/battery issue did not go away. No surprise I suppose. Why would software fix a hardware problem, but it was worth a shot and I just wanted to be sure that it was not some software/driver recognition issue.

    I have no idea what the problem is. I think that there may be some sort of Sony proprietary circuit test that the computer does with the batter upon being installed in order to ferret out "genuine" Sony products, but I am not sure.

    What concerns me here is the fact that the computer was only five days old before it had its first "Sony Maint" call. Oh what does this bode for the future? I am very glad that I copped the $400 for the service plan even though that is not even a player now, but after being burned by warranty issues once before with Sony and their one price policies, I think that the $400 will be an investment in sanity. If nothing else I get two free Sony batteries with the warranty during the life of the warranty and we all know how fast Sony batteries die and how expensive they are.

    So, to make a long story short. I had to buy a new computer because my only Sony died with a well documented but unrecognized mallady by Sony. The new SZ model is very nice, extremely light and powerful, but may be prone to similar irksome motherboard issues as older Vaio's. I'll keep the board posted and if anybody has any other thoughts, please share.

    By the way, with this brand new computer, Sony Support and Tech service have been very polite and helpful and have not batted an eye yet at my odd questions. They sent the return box without delay via overnight FedEX and it had the appropriate return stickers. No problems yet. We will see what the Maint guys have to say, but so far, no problems and good service.
     
  2. bogart

    bogart Notebook Evangelist

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  3. pwaggs

    pwaggs Notebook Consultant

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    Hmmm...Thanks. I wish that I had not already sent my computer back. I'd give it a try. It certainly sounds more logical than anything I tried at the tech's advice. Thank you.
     
  4. pwaggs

    pwaggs Notebook Consultant

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    I heard back from Sony today and they were requesting permission to replace the hard drive with a new one as they said that part of the problem was a bad hard drive? Hmmm...I must admit to no being familiar with the VAIO harware setup, but I wonder what the hardrive has to do with the battery not working in the computer. I asked about the motherboard as that was what was replaced everytime I sent my old S-150 in and the support rep I was talking to did not know if it had been replaced, but she told me that typically anything connecting externally to the computer, connected to the motherboard and necessitated a motherboard replacement if there was a problem. Hmmm...??? I love my VAIO's, but I am really worried about the engineering outside of the form factor. Oh well, as of now, I must still say that Sony has done a good job servicing the unit, though I am not sure why they call asking about everything when I wrote them a letter that was enclosed with the unit and they have several support logs of conversations and notes from my phone calls with them. I just think it is funny when everytime somebody calls me they ask me to describe the problem.
     
  5. pwaggs

    pwaggs Notebook Consultant

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    In case anybody cares or is tracking these things. My computer ended up being repaired by Sony. It had to go back twice in the end, motherboard replaced, Hard Drive replaced and reimiged. I thought that this was a bit strange that a one week old computer spent two of its first three weeks at a Sony repair facility so I returned to CompUSA and asked them about an upgrade. CompUSA let me pay the price of the difference and upgraded me from my VGNSZ-260P/C to a VGNSZ-370P/C. About $140. So I think that I just had bad luck with my 260. It ran great when it was running, but it had to run on AC. It just did not like the battery. It was finally repaired by Sony and seemed as good as new when I returned to CompUSA. I just did not trust it. Thanks to Bogart and all for the battery help. And I know that we don't here this much around here, but thanks to Sony for authorizing the repairs quickly then effecting those repairs quickly, and thank you to CompUSA for having a Manager that stepped in, and skirted their own return policy to upgrade this computer after the initial return period had lapsed. I know that it was at Sony during that period, but we hear a great deal about Managers not helping customers out. CompUSA in Mission Viejo CA seemed to really understand me and try to come up with a fair solution that would keep a customer. Thank you CompUSA.
     
  6. sony1

    sony1 Notebook Geek

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    Compusa is a great place for your PC needs.Ive been very happy with there actions as well
     
  7. LeoMan319

    LeoMan319 Notebook Enthusiast

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    lol , what a waste of sending it in.. all you had to do was disable isbmgr.exe and it wouldve worked
     
  8. Misha_beginner

    Misha_beginner Newbie

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    Hi ya,
    I did what you posted which removing "isbmgr.exe" from the start-up list using msconfig, but my battery still won't recharge, the "orange light" blinks constantly instead of doing the double blinks... do you have any idea what could be went wrong?

    Thanks for the help
    Mishc
     
  9. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    How old is the battery? If it is a couple of years or more than it might just be dead.

    John
     
  10. Misha_beginner

    Misha_beginner Newbie

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    I just bought it.... it is brand new and if it is dead would the battery light keeps blinking??

    other question is the original battery has 5200mAh but the replacement has 4200mAh, would it cause any problem????

    Thanks
     
  11. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    It seems that you have a problem similar to the one discussed in this thread. However, I don't know if it is a hardware problem or a software problem.

    John
     
  12. Zapherix

    Zapherix Newbie

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    Hi - I'm having a somewhat similar problem to the one originally listed in this thread. I have had my Sony VAIO SZ260P for two years now and it has been working completely fine. During the last year, I didn't need to use it on the road as much so I left it plugged in for most of the day, but I periodically would unplug it and run the battery to make sure it still worked. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that when I did this, the laptop stopped working completely. Upon plugging it into power, it booted up as normal, but now when I go to check the power meter, the message indicates that the battery is "not present". Does anyone have any advice on what this might mean? Is the battery just dead or is it more of a problem with the motherboard?
     
  13. brh2102

    brh2102 Newbie

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    Zapherix, I'm having the exact same problem with my battery not being recognized. I am very frustrated (have a VGN-SZ240). Did you figure out how to fix it? Can anyone please help?! Thanks!
     
  14. gresiek

    gresiek Newbie

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    I know, this is an old thread but maybe someone will find my story useful...
    I had the very same problem as described above. But I was lucky enough, that it had happened one month before my warranty ran out. The battery was replaced after a nice talk on the help line and so far is so good... 29 month old VAIO SZ260P... :)
    So I guess that in most cases it would be the battery itself making the problems.
     
  15. dz2k

    dz2k Notebook Consultant

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    hi. i ran into this issue a couple months back when i upgraded my sz440 to 64bit OS. you have to follow the order of sony utilities so you dont run into this issue of "battery not recognized, push ok to go to standby." this is a great notebook, you shouldnt have problems w/ it. ive had mine for about 2 yrs and no issues!
     
  16. sumisu_san

    sumisu_san Notebook Enthusiast

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    even though this topic is old i want to stress the importance of buying genuine sony batteries. buying generic brand will cause these problems of battery not being recognized.
     
  17. levicki

    levicki Notebook Guru

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    Also greasy fingers touching the contacts may cause the same issue.
     
  18. oogoom

    oogoom Newbie

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    I have the same problem as described above. After 3 years, my battery suddenly stopped being recognized. The power manager states that a battery is "Not Present". I have the standard battery that came with it and the extended battery. I used the extended battery since day 1 and the standard battery was simply in storage. When the extended battery failed to work anymore, I tried using the standard battery but was unsuccessful.

    My theory is there is a problem with the motherboard connection. I don't think it's a battery issue since I have two genuine sony batteries and neither worked. It would be nice if it were just the battery and I could just replace it. I am obviously past warranty, and I never got the extended warranty so I am at a loss as to what to do. It works fine on AC, but the convenience of battery power is something I miss.

    I looked up sony support for the cost of repair and it starts at about $250 and increases rapidly based on what needs (or what they think) to be done. Battery issues aside, my cooling fan has since ceased to work. But that's a different thread I suppose.

    If anybody's got any clues on how to fix this battery problem without sending it in to sony, it'd be MUCH appreciated!!!!
     
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