Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

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Dear All,

I have a VAIO PCG-K115S laptop running XP Home and yesterday, shortly
after installing a Nikon Digital camera, it blue screened advising
that a serious error had occurred.

Each time I power it displays ’SMART Failure Predicted on Hard Disk 0,
immediately backup your data, a failure may be imminent.

Proceeding, leads to unbearably slow boot up (30 minutes to get to XP
logon) and then after password entry, it never logs in (just displays
the occasional disk writing error message)

I can press F8 and have tried all the available options of Safe Mode
(with/without Networking and Command Line) but it always hangs when it
tries to load a ’atisgkaf’ driver.

I have all my photos and music collection on the C: partition, the
same as the OS (stupid I know) and 10GB spare on the D: partition.  

I have tried the Sony recovery disk but the only option is to system
restore disk is to replace the OS over the C: partition.  Does anyone
know how I could possibly access the drive at any level and copy the
files on to onto CD or via LAN/Wifi.  If it’s of interest, the PC has
3 weeks left under warranty but Sony advised they aren’t responsible.

Any help hugely appreciated.



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Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!


I've recently been going through the same thing with a 1yr old Sony. I
believe I had it fixed about a month ago, then all of a sudden I
started getting the message again. When I called Sony the first time,
they didn't seem to know anything about it. I'll repost once I have it


Kev2005 wrote:
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Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

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Sounds as tho` your in it  up to your neck but,, everyone talks about a
linux based software called Knoppix (on CD or DVD). in fact I downloaded it
yesterday and DVD`d it. You stick it in the drive and boot to a KDE
(linux), it`s a complete OS on disc. From there you can access your drives
move files. I hope now I`ve joined this thread that the linux boys will come
and take over, `cos I`m no linux expert. best wishes..J

Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

old jon wrote:

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No support for NTFS files systems though, unfortunately.


Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

Robert Heiling wrote:

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Let me correct myself. The Knoppix version of Linux apparently can read NTFS and
can write NTFS if the appropriate additions are made. Should have double-checked
before shooting my mouth off. Sorry!


Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

Thanks fo the apol. Bob. No probs. Goodnight and God bless. ..J

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Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

ilushn wrote:
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I'm curious, what drive is installed?  BTW, the usual advice is to
remove the drive and install as slave on a desktop to recover files.
You might need an adapter, depending on what Sony uses.


Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

Yes, that actually was my plan.

I went and picked up a Seagate hard drive model: ST9100823AKEY for
$199. Sony wants over $200 for the drive, and either way most companies
will suggest professional installation - I got a quote of $130 for the

You may already know how to replace the drive - in which case you can
skip the rest of my message. If not, read on.

If you choose to replace the drive yourself get a computer toolkit
first and grounding wrist band to avoid electrical problems that could
damage the drives.

Make sure you have on the wrist band or can touch something that will
diffuse the electrical static etc.

1. Turn the computer off, take out the battery and disconnect the power
cord. Give the computer time for the drive to stop spinning - 30
seconds or so.

2. Flip the computer over and remove the left hand rectangular cover
above the Sony sticker. You'll need to unscrew the one screw first, and
then simply pop open.

3. Remove all of the small screws. Be sure you know where they each
came from - or you could run into problems!

4. Remove the drive by pulling it directly out away from the plugs. Do
not try to bend it upwards, sideways etc. If you bend a pin, you may
not be able to restore the info off the old drive.

5. Remove the two metal strips on each side of the old drive.

6. Open the bag to the new drive. Put the old drive into the bag, and
secure the two metal strips onto the new drive.

7. Put the new drive into the computer by lining up the pins and holes
and pushing the drive directly in. Once the drive is secure, screw in
the metal strips as they were on the old drive.

8. Turn on the computer. You may need to access the BIOS when starting
the computer and change the boot up order to boot from the CD. Place
your Operating System CD into the drive, in my case it was Win XP. You
will want to boot from the disk.

9. The new drive will need to be partitioned and formatted before the
operating system can be loaded. According to Seagate, you can use the
partition set up on the Win XP disk.

10. First, set up your partitions. Most computer technicians will agree
that you are best to partition for at least 2 sections: i.e. C: & D:. I
run some heavy programs, so I partitioned mine 50% each. The drive I
bought allows partitioning a total of 95,368MB, so there is 47,693MB
each. You can choose less for one of the drives if needed; you just
don't want to choose to small of a number on C.

11. After the partitions are complete, go ahead with the operation
system install. If you are using the Win XP disk, the computer will
format the drive automatically prior to installation. Once the
installation is complete, Windows will install - and you can begin set
up as normal.

Be sure to store your old drive in the bag that the new drive came in.
The information from the old drive might be restorable by a company who
specializes in restoring data. You can take it to a retail location
like: Micro Center, CompUSA, Best Buy or contact the distributor of
your new drive and ask it they provide data recovery from a bad drive.
Seagate has information on this located at: /

On a last note, I have already successfully installed my new hard drive
and Windows XP.

I'll guarantee Sony will be getting a letter from me though. A company
who has heard this complaint so many times within the first year of
release should have recalled these drives!

Good Luck! :-)

Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

ilushn wrote:
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Sony, from history, is completely impervious to criticism.  They are the
quintessential "take it or leave it" company.  They make excellent
laptops, but several have design and manufacturing problems that Sony
refuses to acknowledge.  The GRi series (i = T, X, V) are notable for
cooling failures, solder failures - both early in life.


Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

After loading windows you will need to go to: .
Download all of the files to a CD, and load them onto your Vaio.

On a side note (I haven't tried this yet). My brother is a computer
tech, he called me this morning and said to try putting the old hard
drive into the anti-static bag that the new drive came in. Then put it
into the freezer for 4 to 5 hours and reboot it in the computer to get
the informormation off the old drive. I'm not sure if it will work (I'm
really skeptical), but I'll give it a try tonight and find out. If you
try it, have CDs handy to burn your info on. Sounds like the method
doesn't last very long.

Re: Sony Vaio hard-drive failure: Please help!

Just another follow-up to my last post. I went out and bought a Norwood
Micro 2.5" USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure for $24. Came home and
took my old hard drive (still in the bag) and put it into the freezer
for 2 hours. I set up the old hard drive in the new USB Hard Drive
Enclosure, and booted up the computer - it's copying my files from the
old drive as I type!

You can count me as one happy camper for being able to save the
information. :-)

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