Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mr Fixit

As one of the office 'Computer Guys', I often get called upon to fix other people's computers. More often than not, they tend to be laptops.

This time it was a faulty Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M.

The fault was with the GPU, a nVidia 8400GT. This is a well known fault - Sony and nVidia admitted fault and extended the warranty to 4 years after purchase.

Of course many folks may just be encountering the fault (like this example - dashed lines across the screen with a failure to boot or get stuck in a restart cycle) and may be beyond even the extended warranty.

There are few, if any, guides for stripping down this particular VAIO on the internet.

So I decided to write my own, and it can be found here (PDF). File hosted by

The guide describes how I repaired the GPU with a paint stripper. Yes, a paint stripper. It was an all or nothing fix.

Rather incredibly, it worked. 

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