Brief Blue Screen then went to black screen

June 27, 2011 at 07:38:35
Specs: Windows XP
I was online with my Sony Vaio laptop when all the sudden a blue screen popped up with some written words on it, was so quick I couldn't even read what it said and then the laptop shut down and then came back on with just Sony Viao/Phoenix screen with sound and then it goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor in upper left corner. I tried to start up in safe mode but no luck. I tried taking battery out and just having it plugged into electricity via wall plug, no luck. Any suggestions? The laptop was bought in Dec. 2005 so it's almost 5 years old and I think it the Operating system is Windows XP. I don't have any recovery discs either as none came with it and didn't know I might ever need any! I think it might be a virus of some sort even though I have up to date virus protection and malware protection that is updated daily and ran daily!
Any help would be appreciated. At this point if I can't fix it myself I will be going to buy a new one. Last time I took it in with a problem they had to wipe it and it cost me $300 and they had it in the shop a week. At this point, it's not worth fixing if it is going to cost me $300 since I can buy a new laptop for that price nowdays.
I have looked at the Sony webpage for help and no luck.
Thanks so much!

See More: Brief Blue Screen then went to black screen

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 08:12:36
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

If you still get
"a blue screen popped up with some written words on it, was so quick I couldn't even read what it said "

Remove any bootable CDs or DVDs you have in drives.

Boot the computer and starting very early, press F8 repeatedly, do not hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears, choose
Disable automatic restart on system failure.
That will attempt to load Windows normally.

It's a one time thing - it only disables Restarting on system failure when you have selected it.

If a blue screen appears it will stay on the screen.

Copy down the things that are unique in the message and post them here.


STOP: 0Xx00000xx (we don't need the stuff in brackets beside that)


There may be a problem file named at the end of the text.

There may be a link to More info or similar - if so, click on it to see if it names a problem file.

There may be a mention of a MINIDUMP file having been made - if so, copy down the name and location of it - you may need to click on a link to find that. That MINIDUMP file can be analyzed.

"Last time I took it in with a problem they had to wipe it and it cost me $300 "

If all they did was wipe it and re-install Windows or the original brand name software installation from scratch, you paid way too much.
For that price they should have at least copied all your personal files that you added after you got the computer to elsewhere, and re-installed them after re-installing Windows or the original brand name software installation.

"I don't have any recovery discs either as none came with it ...."

If it didn't come with Recovery disks, then either

- there was a program on the hard drive provided by Sony that you were supposed to use to make the Recovery disks yourself, while Windows is still working properly.
E..g. My sister had a Sony desktop computer about the same age as yours and it had that - however that set could only replace the original software installation - it was a multi-disk archive- there was no disk in it that could be used as a Windows disk
- and /or
You could order a Recovery disk set for your model from the Sony web site. However,brand name web sites often only offer than option for alimited time, often for no more than 5 years from when your computer was made.

You MAY still be able to get the Recovery disk set from the Sony web site. If not, there are a small number of web sites that have collected Recovery disk sets for brand name computer models,and if they have the ones for your model, you can buy them online.

In either case, buying a Recovery disk set if it's available is usually relatively cheap - typically you pay less than half what it would cost you to buy, including shipping, a new OEM XP Home CD, the cheapest version of Windows XP that's available.

If it would be sufficient to just re-install Windows, the Product Key on the official Microsoft label on the outside of your computer case,i f you can still read it, can be used along with a regular official Microsoft OEM XP CD of the same version - Home or Pro - as on the label, to re-install Windows, or to run a Repair installation of Windows, which MAY fix your problems without you losing the personal data that you have added since the hard drive was last re-loaded.

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 08:21:42
"I don't have any recovery discs either as none came with it"

Manufacturers haven't been supplying physical recovery disks for a long time. What they do instead is put all the necessary files on the hard drive, then supply a utility so that you can create the disks yourself. I'm sure the instructions are in the documentation that came with your laptop. I know that doesn't help now, it's more FYI.

Have a look at this. It seems that temporarily disabling the HDD, then re-enabling it may solve the problem:

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 09:19:09
I read about unpluging the hard drive from the laptop. I will try to do that if I can. I have no idea how to do it but I am sure on the Sony website it will tell me. I know I printed off the owners manual when I first bought it and if I can find it I will look in there too.
If the hard drive has already been "wiped" by pc repair shop about a 1 1/2 years ago will I still be able to find the utility to do the restore/repair discs myself. I do have stuff backed up to external hard drive also, would it be in those files somewhere?
I am not very computer savy, sorry!

Report •

Related Solutions

June 27, 2011 at 09:20:32
Thanks I have printed your information out and will try to work on this. I am not very computer savy. I tried to figure out the solution over the weekend using my Droid phone to look up stuff but after so long I had to give up, I was getting frustrated. At least here at work I can look for help while I do my work too!

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 12:08:17
I did run home on my lunch hour and was able to get to the bios screen by hitting F2 when the Sony/Phoenix screen was up. Is there anything in that area that I could do that would help? I tried hitting the F8 key more than once and nothing happened. I will try to work on the other suggestions tonight I guess. I found the Sony laptop owners manual I printed off and there wasn't anything in it to help me at all. Tried to find where or how to removed the HDD but didn't see anything in the owners manual nor the Sony website but I will google it and see what I can find.

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 12:37:20
"Thanks I have printed your information out ...."

NOTE that this site uses software that automatically shortens links that are longer than a certain length to save visual space in the posts - the shortened link has 3 dots at the end of the line and is a link to the actual full length link.
When you copy the text in posts on this site, the highlighted links included in them that have 3 dots at the end will NOT work in the copy, and the shortened links are incomplete !

E.g. the link to Seatools

To fix that in the copy, RIGHT click on each highlighted link that has three dots on the right in the posts on this site that you copied, and (in IE) choose Copy shortcut, place the cursor where the shortened link is in the copy, and RIGHT click and Paste that full length link into your copy - you might as well delete the useless shortened link in the copy at the same time.

Continuing with the last part of response 1....

If you know someone who has a regular Microsoft OEM XP CD of the same version - Home or Pro - you could borrow it, or use a copy of it (use "disk at once"or similar to copy it), and use that, along with your own Product Key, to install Windows from scratch (that will delete your personal data), or to do a Repair installation of XP, which if it is a success will NOT delete your personal data on the drive.

A regular Microsoft OEM XP CD has the Microsoft holograms on it, and "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on it.

If no one you know has one, you MAY be able to buy a used one cheap on the web.
In order to be used with your Product Key, it must be OEM and be for the same version - Home or Pro - as on the Microsoft label.
(Do not buy or use an XP re-installation CD that came with a different model of brand name computer - it's an OEM CD too, but they will usually refuse to install Windows or run a Repair installation of XP unless the computer is the model the disk came with.)
Or - if it comes with a valid Product Key (on the official label) , you can use that key, however, if you want the option of doing a Repair installation of XP and possibly NOT losing your personal data, it MUST be the same version - Home or Pro - as on the label on your computer.

You can access files on the hard drive even if the operating system will not work properly, if the hard drive itself is not failing,
- in any case, by removing the drive and connecting it, one way or another, to another working computer with an operating system, and not attempting to boot from your drive on that computer
- if your computer is otherwise okay, by booting the computer from something with an operating system that can read XP's NTFS partitions, such as a CD with Linux installed on it.

You don't need to recover standard Windows files if you can install Windows, or the original Sony software, again, or any data that you can easily install again. You only need to attempt to recover your personal files that can't be replaced.

In XP, most of, if not all of, those personal files are here.....
C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name)\(the sub-folders and files of that)

"If the hard drive has already been "wiped" by pc repair shop about a 1 1/2 years ago will I still be able to find the utility to do the restore/repair discs myself."

Whether it was there on the hard drive after they did that depends on whether they just installed Windows or your original Sony software installation - if they didn't do the latter, it probably wasn't there after they wiped it and installed the software,and isn't there now on the hard drive.
Even if it is there on your hard drive,.I don't think it can be used unless you get Windows to work properly again on your own computer.
If it did or does have that on the hard drive, it requires data that is on a second partition on the hard drive - if the hard drive is failing, or if that data on that partition is damaged, or if the guys that wiped your drive deleted that second partition, the program cannot make Recovery disks.
The second partition on the hard drive may or may not have been visible to you in Windows - some brand names hide it from Windows, some show you it in Windows but it' labelled Recovery partition or similar and you are discouraged via messages from altering the data on it when you attempt to.

If you have a Recovery disk set, you can restore the original contents of the hard drive that Sony had on it even if there's something wrong with the original hard drive and you must install another hard drive.

Your User's or Owner's manual may or may not have info in it about removing the hard drive.

Usually the hard drive is accessed by removing screws in a plastic cover on the bottom of the laptop It's often a rectangle a little less than 3"x 5".

You must unplug the AC adapter, and remove the main battery, BEFORE you remove the hard drive.

The hard drive is usually in a metal bracket -one end of the hard drive plugs into a connector connected to the motherboard.There are usually no more than two screws that hold the bracket the hard drive is in down, often on the end opposite where the hard drive plugs in.

You will probably need a screwdriver with a tiny Phillips (cross) tip. If you don't have that, "dollar" stores, or Radio Shack if you're in the US, or The Source if you're in the US or Canada, often have sets of tiny "jeweler's" screwdrivers that have those tiny Phillips tips on some of them.

If you tell us the model "number" found on the label on the bottom of your laptop, we MAY be able to find a Service Manual for your model series. That would have specific info in it about how to remove your hard drive.

Your hard drive may be IDE (EIDE), or it may be SATA.

If it is IDE, if has a connector with 44 ? pins.
Note that there MAY be an adapter plugged into those pins -that adapter is specific to connecting it to your laptop - you must remove that adapter to connect the drive to another computer or if you want to install the drive in an external drive enclosure (for 2.5" EIDE drives).

If you don't install the drive in an external drive enclosure, you will need an inexpensive adapter to connect to an IDE data cable connection on another desktop computer, or an adaspter that costs a bit more to adapt it to connect via a USB connection to any computer.

If the hard drive is SATA, it has two connector sockets, one for power, the other for data, that are identical to the sockets on other laptop SATA drives and to the ones on the physically larger desktop SATA drives - it can be connected internally to any desktop computer that has SATA data headers via a standard SATA data cable and spare SATA power connectors from the power supply.

Or your could install it in an external drive enclosure for 2.5" SATA drives and connect via USB to any computer.

Assuming the hard drive itself it still okay...

NOTE that if you can no longer read the Product Key on the official Microsoft label on the laptop, if you connect the drive to another computer with the same operating system - it probably doesn't matter whether it's XP Home, Pro, or (XP) MCE, you can download and run Keyfinder (search for it on the web - it's free ), and use the Load Hive available in the top menu selections topoint it to your drive's Windows installtion, it will find the Product Key your Windows installation was using.It may not be the same as on the label but it will work to install the same version of Windows - Home or Pro -or to run a Repair installation of Windows.

You say you are able to get into the bios Setup.Can you see there that the hard drive is being recognized.

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 14:44:51
When I got off work this afternoon, I went home and removed the hard drive from laptop. I made sure to remove the battery and not have it plugged into power also. now when I start it up, a black screen comes up and says "operating system not found".
I can still get into BIOS but I don't think anything is helping under the boot page it list in this order:
Optical drive
floppy disk drive
hard disc drive
I don't have a floppy drive on this thing! I'm confused is this the correct order? It won't let me change the order or I am just not doing it correct.
On the advance page of BIOS it lust network boot as disabled. Is this correct?
I'm at a loss as to what else I can do? I was going to just go out and buy a new laptop after work tonight but thought I would try these things to see if it got the old one up and running.
I still can't open it up on safe mode. I don't have any other computer to hook the hard drive up to to see if that's the problem.
Pam G

Report •

June 27, 2011 at 14:58:14
if you are going to buy a new one and, you don't mine wiping the drive, then download this and burn a bootable cd:

see if you can boot the cd to the desktop. Post back results.


Report •

June 27, 2011 at 16:06:08
Before you removed the hard drive, could you see in the bios Setup that it was being recognized ?

Fixing your problem, assuming there's nothing else wrong with the laptop, will cost you as little as nothing moneywise,or in any case a lot less than $300, even if you need to buy a new hard drive because this one is failing, and/or a Windows CD or Recovery disk set, and/or an adapter of whatever sort to connect the drive to another computer. However it DOES take time and effort on your part.

Did you determine what type of hard drive you have that was in the laptop ? See my previous post if you didn't.
Or quote the model number on it.

You mentioned you have an external hard drive.

Possible no cost external (hard drive) enclosure....

External drives that have 2.5" drives inside of them are often called "Portable" drives or similar, and they do not come with a power adapter that must be plugged into the external enclosure.
If it's got a 2.5" (laptop sized) hard inside of it, if that hard drive enclosure is for the same type of drive - SATA or EIDE - you could remove the hard drive inside of it and install your laptop drive and connect it via a USB connection to any computer with USB ports.


It doesn't matter if a floppy drive is in the boot order list if you don't have one, for nearly all computers, the only exception I know of being some Dell laptop models with oddball bios versions (in those you have to change a setting to inform the bios that the computer does not have a floppy drive).

There's nothing wrong with the boot order list it has, although, if you did have a conventional (legacy) floppy drive it should be first in the list in most cases - many bioses won't recognize a bootable floppy disk in a floppy drive while booting if it isn't listed first.

floppy disk drive
Optical drive
hard disc drive

Most laptops have what's called boot rom installed on their built in network adapter(s) so that they can boot the computer from a network if required.
(On most desktop computers, the network adapter(s) does(do) not have boot rom, unless it's a workstation computer.)

When the laptop model does come with a network adapter with boot rom, network or similar is available in the bios's boot order or similar list.
( A desktop computer may or may not have that.)

You don't list network or similar before hard drive unless you're booting the computer from a business or institutional or other network connection and the computer is connected via a network cable or via a wireless network adapter to it.

People often suggest listing the optical drive or similar first when you want to be able to boot from a bootable CD or DVD, but it does NOT have to be first, it just has to be before hard drive or similar (or whatever you're booting the computer from if it's not the hard drive).

Safe mode is a mode of the 2000 and up operating system, not the bios version of the mboard.
You can't access Safe mode unless there is a hard drive installed on the computer that has 2000 or up installed on it and the operating system is intact enough for it to work.
It sounds like you operating system wasn't intact enough for Safe mode to work when the hard drive was installed

Report •

June 28, 2011 at 07:57:35
Thanks for everyone's advice and trying to help. I gave up on it and just went out and bought a new laptop last night. Like I said, I am not very computer savy/tecky so after trying for 3-4 days and it still not working I just thought the less stressful thing to do was to buy a new one. Thanks again!

Report •

Ask Question