Sony Vaio 13 Pro dead after wrong BIOS update

Hi everybody
this is my first post and I’ll use it to present myself (I hope this is the right way to approch this Forum, if not I’m sorry in advance - I have looked into a place to make a greetings message but couldn’t find it).
I type from Italy and I’m sorry for my broken english.
I want to briefly tell you my story and see if there is anything we can do :frowning: to say I’m desperate is says nothing
I have a Sony Vaio 13 pro model SVP1321C5E
I have tried to flash the bios installing the modified ROM file in order to make the notebook recognize the new Samsung SSD M.2 970EVO 500GB and I have tried to follow the @pcfist at the page to this link
I have succesfully downloaded the BIOS and modified it into a new file ROM as the post says but when I tried to flash it (using AFUWINGUI Aptio4) I have got an error as the BIOS, I guess, is locked (see the picture below)


Then what I did? Since I couldn’t make it work with any of the option explained in the above post, I had the brilliant idea to try the RECOVERY checkbox (under the setup as shown in the pic below) and the system rebooted, updated and… died! :’(((


When I push the start botton, it turns on the light but the fan is not moving and the screen is black. Nothing really happens.

Not sure if removing the battery of the CMOS something will happen or perhaps I have to desoldering the BIOS and put a new one on…
Any advise is truly appreciated.

Beside the bad adventure, I’m still interested in knowing if the Samsung 970EVO m.2 SSD is compatible with my model. This SSD fits perfectly into the module and is perfectly recognized if I try to install Windows 10, I think it’s just the BIOS that is giving me hard time.

Thank you again and deeply sorry if this is not the right way to introduce myself in this community.
Have a great day

Sounds like your BIOS modifications were possibly not good, or it could be due to something in that flasher/method used. Did you open the BIOS after modifications in many programs to verify it opened correctly without errors?

Clearing CMOS wont help. You will need CH341A BIOS programmer and either soldering skills or a jumper type cable (SOIC SOP8 Flash Chip IC Test Clips). Cables are $2-3, and programmers are cheap usually only $3-6. Jumper cable do not always work though.
If you can solder good, you only need CH341A programmer and either remove BIOS and reprogram with stock BIOS, or also get 1x new blank chip to program and put in place of old one after removing, or you can buy pre-programmed one on ebay.

If you can’t solder, I can show you a little bit more expensive option if you want? It has better/good programmer with solderless option to jump over BIOS with another spare BIOS on adapter.
It’s on ebay, cost is around $20 total I believe, shipped from Korea but he’s fast shipper usually only 10-15 days maybe less for you since you are closer.

Ciao Lost_N_BIOS I truly appreciated your answer.
Before I comment your answer let me tell you something.
I’ve made the biggest mistake ever! I have sent the VAIO to the Sony support laboratory in Italy (in Naples and this says all). They were supposed to give me a feed-back on the problem and the cost to adjust it. I have pointed out about the wrong BIOS update just to help them understanding the problem. They said something in the mainboard is gone, we have to replace it entirely and the cost was over 1K euro. Then I told them no problem, I can get it back and I will manage the problem some other way. The VAIO has got back home yesterday and I have disassembled just to see if everything was ok (I have took a picture before sending to assistence just in case…). All seems ok but when I try to turn it on, the green led doesn’t come on. Before I sent this to the assistance, as I said in my first post, only the green led was wokring. Then I have called them and they told me they took the BIOS out of it and soldered again after trying to re-program it… :frowning: I’m 101% sure they have broken something while desoldering the BIOS. Or perhaps, could be that the green light doesn’t come on because they just compromised the BIOS much more than it was already compromised?
I want to show you the picture before I sent it and the zoom in of the BIOS after I have got this back from VAIO assistance.

Before sending

Before Sending.JPG

After VAIO Assistance (BIOS zoom in)





I’m not super expert on the hardware but I believe this is the BIOS, is it?

It really looks like they desoldered it and I don’t understand why these fool people had to do that since I have only required a price quotation to adjust it (truly stupid!)
Now I don’t even know if your kind reply with interesting methods could work or not on my vaio :frowning: if I had a chance to adjust it, stupid Sony VAIO assistance took this away. They are truly unqualified people.

I hope you can find a way to help me. Perhaps I can try with that spare BIOS programmer but I need to make sure electricity gets to the bios…
Grazie mille!!!

Sorry to hear they did all that! Was this manufacturer? They could have reflashed BIOS with other methods and tools, did not need to desolder anything, they have ways around that which are much quicker and more convenient for them.
So yes, this makes no sense why the did what they did, and lied about other stuff too sounds like. What did they say is missing from the board?

That is VERY poor soldering job!!! Looks like all cold solder joints. A student just learning how to solder could do better, terrible mess they have there.

Yes, Green light should be coming on still like before, unless they broke something else, even with BIOS missing light should come on. What’s “Missing” they said, probably something they broke off, is why it’s not working like before now.
Not all boards are the same though, and with that bad solder job it’s possible not all pins making contact, so maybe this is why it does not light up now. Hard to know for sure.

Can you solder? If yes, lightly tin a tip and try to re-melt each of those pins so the solder flows properly, put good amount of flux first.
Or maybe don’t touch and demand they take it back and pay shipping both ways, to fix those terrible cold solder joints. They should have returned to you in exact same working or non-working order you sent it to them in, not worse (ie no LED lights coming on now)

Ciao Lost,
the place where I sent the VAIO is the official SONY assistance place in Italy. I have bought the vaio online years ago through the assembling program on vaio webspace. AS you know Sony is not supporting notebook anymore.
I don’t know why they desolder the BIOS and I’m astonished to the fact that they lied on the phone. I truly want to sue them and I will probably do that if I’m not able to fix it.
However they did not say much, they said the computer couldn’t turn on at all since the beginning and that something is compromised on the mainboard and so I had to change it.
What I’m supposing, being these people truly incompetent, they might have over heat the area around the BIOS or solded wrongly that, as you said, pins are not connecting each other properly. I truly hope they dind’t damaged the chips around that.

I wish I can solder however I’m open to buy the necessary and try to. I definitely don’t feel safe in sending this back to them.
If you are able to give me directions (where to buy staff or how to check if electricity arrives to the circuits with a voltage meter) I would feel safer than sending it back. What’s a flux? I don’t know that english word
Thank you again, you are my last chance

p.s. if you need more detailed pictures I can send you

Ciao Lost, I have tried to look for a schematic of the mainboard to see the differences with mine but couldn’t find anything in order of a schema but I have found a picture with pretty much high resolution and here below you can see the photo make up I have done on which you see the picture from the web on the left size (that I zoommed in) and the picture of my BIOS on the right side. Don’t you think something is missing? it seems the black chip is no longer there… could be possible? where I can find a schema of the mainboard? any clue?


Show that BIOS chip/board image to Sony, and this thread too if you want! All solder joints on the BIOS chip are “Cold Solder” joints, probably none make good physical or electrical contact.

Your middle arrow there is no resistor in the image on left from web, so that is as it should be, but the far left side arrow there is a resistor on the web image but not on your image on right. So they removed and left off that resistor.
You can even see it IS there on your original “before” sending to them image, so they can’t say you did that before giving to them either. It also looks like they cracked the single resistor on opposite side of that side shown in new images

Your original image, showing resistor in place on far left position


Cracked resistor opposite side, not cracked in your original image, only cracked in new images after receiving unit back from service


Also, see here, this is evidence of possible damaged trace, lifted or damaged trace pad, or both due to solder iron tip not hot enough to flow solder so pin and pad lifted from the board during removal, or held in place too long trying to make solder flow so it damaged the trace/pad.
This also confirms what I mentioned, all soldering on pins are "Cold Solder" joints, either tip not hot enough to flow solder, or not held in place long enough or properly, or not enough flux used etc.


All "Cold Solder" joints, quick and easy look at these for anyone looking later (@Sony)


Soldering like this is not something you can pickup a soldering iron and do, as you can tell from “Sony’s Service Center” work here. It’s too involved, has to be done properly on something this intricate, and it’s too easy to short since flash pins are close together.
You’ll have to find local shop to clean it up and reflow, or friend. Flux you’ll have to Google to read about, it’s usually made of rosin from pine trees, or other chemicals, feels like Vaseline, it helps solder flow freely and helps it quickly and properly connect to the intended metals.
The missing resistor is definitely something that cannot easily be done without soldering skills, this is very tiny 0402 resistor, usually placed with machine but can be done by had, it’s placed with solder paste and a hot air gun or other means of heat soldering.

Ciao Lost
thank you for your answer. I’m astonished! So basically they also placed the resistor in the wrong place? They were supposed to put back on the other missing place?
I can’t believe how messy the soldering is. I’m going to make a detailed email with pictures to show them their inability and I will call Sony as well to explain what happend and to advise another place to send my notebook to fix as, at this point, I’m truly scared of what they can do further on it. At the same time i will ask them for a refund (they’ve got 45€ to make the price quotation which price quotation was basically “change the mainboard” when they were the one to ruin it!!!).
As per now I truly thank you for your help and I’m going to keep you posted on the evolution of this story. Please let me know on the question above as it is a main point to show them up in the email.

You’re welcome! No, they didn’t place any resistors in wrong place, there is one missing now, and one is cracked.
The missing one is the first one on left in your image with the three arrows, and it’s shown as being there before you shipped the board to them in first image I posted above with an arrow pointing to where it should be, taken from your “before shipment” image
Yes, no resistors should be missing, and definitely none should be damaged. I would guess, the damaged one “Might” be OK, but the missing one is probably why you are not getting any reaction now like you had before sending it in, if the cold solder joints and possible pad/trace damage aren’t to blame for that.
Good solder rework should look smooth, sometimes it might not be shiny if unleaded solder is used, but it should always look smooth and not “Chunky” Look at the other similar flash roms on that board, you’ll see proper solder joints, two examples over by your USB 3 and HDMI side ports

Here is new labeled image, showing the missing resistor they removed and didn’t put back during the poor BIOS soldering rework. Also it points out the second resistor they cracked.


This image shows your "pre-shipment to Sony" image, updated with arrows showing "missing" resistor is in place before shipment and cracked resistor is not cracked.


Here’s a few pages showing examples of poor solder work, so you can see what “cold solder” joints look like, that way you know this should not be type of work expected from a world renowned manufacturer such as Sony…common-problems - first image shows good example of problem here, cold solder joint and cold w/ insufficent wetting (Ie not enough or no flux used)…oldering101.png…f946efb62fad8-c

Someone with proper soldering skills would not have touched any of the little resistors during this reqork, they aren’t really close enough to the BIOS chip to be a problem.
And really, I/anyone can update and reprogram BIOS at home with $6-8 worth of tools without needing to solder anything. A big brand manufacturer service center should be able to do the same and probably has much better tools suited to do the job

45€ is not a bad price for new motherboard, but I would make sure in your talks with them if you do buy a new one, to make sure it’s new and not used or worse a repaired/refurbished board from them.
But, due to he damage, and poor workmanship they did on your board without asking you if you wanted done, I agree they should give you a big discount at the very least on a replacement board
Or a free refurbished board, due to the fact that they broke your board far more than you did by BIOS flash mistake, they did physical damage and poor unsolicited repair

Ciao Lost
Than you so much for the detailed resume here, you did a wonderful job with the images and I’, truly thankful for the time you are spending on my post. I have already opened a ticket with Sony customer care and I’m waiting for them to call me tomorrow. I will explain the situation and I will try to figure out if possible to send somewhere else i/o to the same place. Of course I don’t want to pay a euro for shipping or fixing. I’m open to make a resume even in english to explain the situation and I’ll for sure (if you allow me) print this up and include in the package for them to read.

The 45€ they have made me paid already were just to diagnostic the problem which problem they have caused, unbeliavable. To change the motherboard they have asked me 1.200€, this is the case. I damn myself for not signing in here earlier and ask for help to the community :frowning: I’m sure I would have resolved the problem without any mainboard damage.

I will keep you updated Lost.
Thanks to everybody for helping people.
Together we stand, divided we fall

You’re very welcome! I hope Sony takes care of you on this, otherwise you’ll have to blast them on Facebook and Twitter since most companies care a lot about that these days.

Yes, no problem, to include what I wrote here and the images! Any good tech that sees what I mentioned, and the images of what they sent back to you, will immediately agree with the damage done and poor workmanship.

Ohh damn! 1.200€ for a new motherboard, no way! That is price of a entire new laptop. You can get used ones on ebay for $25-35-65 or so, depending on the actual motherboard model and if CPU included or not. What CPU does yours use?
You’d have to get the board out and read all labels to find the right board number to lookup on ebay, too many variants to be sure without that. At least for me, you may be able to look better since you have board in hand and find a match
Wait on that until you find what Sony will do, often they may deny any coverage if laptop is taken all the way apart like that, so this will be last resort

Ciao Lost
I have called Sony customer care number and they told me I have to resolve this thing with Paltek. They gave me a customer support email as well on which I have already sent everything in details including the pictures. Today I will call Paltek and I will ask to confirm me what they have done for the second time. Then I will try to explain that they have damaged the mainboard. If I have to go through a lawyer I will however, meanwhile, I need to try to fix it. I have tried to look for some soldering kit and video but if you can recommend something I would appreciate it. Perhaps a gun is really what I need but I might compromise the other area around the BIOS? so perhaps there’s something I can put as a cover for the area around? Please take a look at this video and let me know if this is the right way they should have used to remove it or for me to fix it
How can I remove the pond while it is still hot?
I have also looked into someone that could help me around in my hometown but cannot find anyone at the moment…

Last news: by the time I wrote this message above I have also called Paltek and recorded everything. They have admitted the fact that they should have advised before doing anything and that they did that to make ma a favour (beautiful favour, thanks!). They have also said (biggest lie ever) that Sony doesn’t allow the re-flashing of the BIOS but in these cases I have to change the motherboard completely. They said again that the computer didn’t turn on at all when they received it, but I could feel that was a lie also. At least the led was working, I’m 101% positive and I have also written it on the paper I included in the package. They have just ruined it and so claimed this thing. I have told them one resistor is also missing and the soldering is truly poor! They said you can send back the computer and they will adjust it putting back the resistor and fixing the soldering of the BIOS but they said it won’t resolve the problem. Now, beside the fact that I’m TRULY scared to send this back as they really don’t know where to put hands, I’m also afraid that they might compromise something else in order to show me they said it right about the motherboard to be changed. I should picture every single part of the notebook in order to feel secure but still I would have some fear.
I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, I really don’t know what to do. With the right guide I feel more secure in fixing it myself.
Can’t believe these people. I feel they have done it on purpose trying to make me change the motherboard. A bad feed-back will definitely go throuhg facebook, google any other place I can leave it…

Do not solder anything, or further take the laptop apart, otherwise they can legally void any service or repairs due to you. Unless you plan to not go that route, then it would be OK to try and make progress, but you need to find capable friend/relative, or local PC repair shop to do this work for you. Soldering BIOS chip can be done, once you’ve practiced plenty and know how to solder, but I would not advise it for someone that doesn’t know how to solder. You can see how the “Skilled” techs repaired it at Paltek first time around, and they should know what they are doing. I’m advising don’t do it yourself because damage comes easy and quick, and this is delicate work. You will not be able to replace the two 0402 resistors, a local shop or other person you know with correct skills and tools will need to do that.

Look in phone book for computer repair, and call and see if they do light solder rework, tell them 0402 resistors x2 and 200mm flash rom chip is all you need fixed (So they don’t think you need BGA replaced like video chip or NB/SB which it a lot more involved tool-wise)

Rubbish! Sony allows BIOS reflashing, otherwise they wouldn’t provide BIOS downloads, which I downloaded so of course they are publically available. Yes LED working when you sent in, not working now is obvious changes, aside from the actual damage they did. You could say just that if you hadn’t looked inside, same situation, only since you looked inside too you can see the damage they did that you have image of before you sent showing you didn’t do it. You are correct, they may have been trying to get you to buy a new board from them, they tried to advise you that before sending it back didn’t they? Didn’t you feel like they were making that your only viable option until you said no way, send it back? So that may have been their goal. But really, I think it’s just poor workmanship and they didn’t do on purpose, maybe new guy did the soldering that day?

Are you on any computer related forums, or facebook groups? If you are, you can probably ask around there and find someone local to help you do the rework.

Thanks Lost, I think you are right. To try and fix it myself should be really the very last thing to do. To give you an update, Sony customer care through email said the same thing, resolve it with Paltek as we cannot do anything with that. I hate these answers.
Thanks for the advise in explaining the things to do if I ever find someone for fixing it. They might get scared and run away but perhaps if I explain and show the pictures they might feel more comfortable in helping me.
I will try to look through facebook, that is a wise option.
And yes, they have tried to sold the mainboard twice, they even told me to leave the laptop over there and maybe they would have find an “occasion mainboard” to be substitued… and the guy who replaced the BIOS said he works there since many years so I’m more speechless than ever as he is supposed to know what he is doing.

I was actually thinking… how can I know if the mainboard is the one I have sent them? I mean, in the picture attached below you can see the serial number but can they remove it and put on any other mainboard? I remember they said: maybe we could find a second hand mainboard… so perhaps they are recycling things no matter what…
This is the pic after assistance. They have put this black tape on the battery as well, before I sent nothing was there…
Thanks for your inpection and opinion Lost

Dopo assistenza Paltek_LI.jpg

Yes, that’s best to not mess with it any physically! Until you have no other options. Even then, may be easier as I mentioned to get another board on ebay and transfer your stuff onto it.
Who is Paltek, is this a Sony Service center, or some 3rd party service center? I thought you sent to Sony, how is Paltek company in the mix?

You really want someone that knows how to solder this type of thing, not just knows how to solder a wire together or put a capacitor on a board, this is more delicate than that, especially the little 0402 resistors (Which you need to order if you ever do yourself, they’re cheap but you’ll never know original resistance, can only guess grab and get lucky)

Outstanding, that guy has worked there for years? Maybe it’s a lie, or maybe he didn’t do the actual soldering? If he did, maybe he worked there for years, but only started soldering this year?

Yes, they can switch stickers around if they wanted to be dirty, you could mark with UV marker somewhere special, but they might see and copy that mark too. That’s a tough one, and they maybe reading here too, so makes it more difficult.

That tape is for safety, probably should have been there by default and maybe missed on your laptop during production. At least they cleaned the fans out for you!
I was checking up close, to see if they maybe already switched out your board, but looks like same one to me from all imperfections and marks I can see

You’re welcome, hopefully they will sort this out nicely for you! If you were in my country I’d offer to fix for you if they end up denying you any satisfaction, but it would cost way too much and be huge hassle to ship around the globe.

Ciao Lost
I have called Sony and since they don’t sell notebook anymore and do not support anymore for this type of thing, they gave me the only place in Italy that is recognized as Sony support for them. After I sent the notebook I have read the worst thing on the web :frowning: they have got the worst feed-back, some good but many other very bad and soon after mine will be part of that collection.

That is right, I truly need someone who know what is doing. Speaking about this, where are you from? :slight_smile: my job takes me all around as I sell fabrics and next month I should be in USA and CANADA for business. That is why I’m depressed as the laptop is extremely important when I travel :frowning: as you might be my last chance, I hope you are not from Australia lol

I’m going to send them the email just to show the mess they did. I will tell them I cannot send back the laptop for the moment as I’m travelling and meanwhile I will think about it and try to find another solution. I would feel safer in shiping this to you and pay for it instead of sending back to them.

Thank you for inspecting the pictures. I have been playing “what doesn’t belong” between before and after picture and I have noticed the following

Before I sent

Before assistance.JPG

and after it’s back

After assistance gone.JPG

Also, what is that black cable? the electricity to the mainboard? don’t you think they have unplugged or done something? I can see more glue on the cable… or maybe I’m wrong

Thanks Lost, you are a great man!

It’s hard to say for sure about that cable, could be lighting or exposure differences, or it could be more glue? The glue itself does look “pulled out” more than the original, you can see more separation from the plastic holder.
If the full number on that label is 364-0001-1280 then it’s cable that goes to the LCD from the board. The label on that cable is definitely handled more, you can see in orig image it’s flat and crisp, in the after image it’s been squashed and is no longer flat and crisp/new looking.

The little spot on the board could be more glue, or white thermal paste if they redid your heatsinks. Since you found all these terrible reviews, you should check your CPU to make sure you still have same model as before you sent it in, you never know!
Post a link, or PM me link, to read the bad reviews, thanks!

Have you had this serviced previously somewhere? Or was it purchased used/refurbished? I ask because I wondered where all the little black felt tip marker marks came from, usually that’s not done during production.
Maybe one or two marks could be expected, but that is a lot and seemed like someone serviced before and was marking everything they checked for some reason.
That was one of the first things I noticed when comparing your before/after image previously, it stood out to me so I checked all of those one by one to see if they matched up exactly in before/after

I’ll reply more on other stuff in PM!

Ciao Lost, the cable seems to be the power dc/in now the LCD (but you mentioned this already in PM). The fact that the plastic of the label is wrinkled, now that I think about it, is because it is not far from the BIOS and they have used the gun heater to remove the BIOS and so the heat wrinkled the plastic… this means they have not disassembled the motherboard but they did locally after the case was opened.

The little spot not sure, there is no much relevant things around there. Maybe it was just a dirty spot. The bad review are made on google review, there are 24 (not many) and despite the fact they have 4 stars because most of the people left good impressions (mostly for sony camera and other things that are not notebook), there are a couple who says they don’t know to do their job, they do not resolve problems… and I do agree.

The laptop has never been in service before. and it was bought new and not refurbished. I think the signs are a garanty control that they did being this assembled through the web (see my PM explanation). But I’m not sure. And yes, I used those to compare the two pictures as well!

I’m every day more sure they have heat up too much and assembled the BIOS wrongly losing aside the resistor during the procedure. I wish I was there to watch them doing it! grrr!

Yes, it could be due to heat, or manhandling. I think they used hot air and solder gun too (Gun/pen too due to damage at one BIOS leg trace/pad/PCB) Unless that is leftover flux, which I doubt since it doesn’t look like they used enough to begin with and it’s cleaned afterward.

Yes, I think it’s a dirty spot, probably heat sink thermal paste it looks like to me, could have been on their finger or dropped off tool etc. Smudge it, and it will be gone Thanks for the info on the reviews, I will check and see if I can find that.

I think they used heat gun possibly to start, if that is what changed that cable appearance. Then maybe “Chip Quik” to remove the BIOS itself.
Otherwise if not using that in big blob, there’s no reason to move those side resistors, they aren’t really close enough to be in the way unless using chip quik or huge blob of other solder to remove BIOS.
Hot air would loosen or move them out of place, so they could have done that initially too, then moved to solder gun later trying to remove the chip itself (again @ damage done on that one leg/pad/trace, gun/pen was used at some point)

Hot air, or big blob of solder, could be how they lost the one resistor too, blew away or lost into big blob of solder.
How they didn’t notice and put back another is beyond me, almost everyone that does work like this takes images before and after to compare, especially if they know tiny items may move and need put back

Ciao Lost
there is no much words to identify these people… I don’t want to use any in order not to be rude on the forum.
However I have a question… do you think I should buy one of those items for re-flashing the bios (being the cost very cheap) and try to see if it works of if it is damaged? if it doesn’t respond at all we can marginalize this problem then.
Let me know what I should buy and I will (I think you mentioned in your first post)
Thanks so much!

I know what you mean, I try to not be nasty too. Yes, anyone on this forum, or thinking of using modified BIOS, or needing to fix BIOS should have these tools since they are so cheap.
Get both types of CH341A flashers and a cable, these are the cheapest I found the other day when looking - Choose “Blue” model, and if $$ is no issue, get black one below too, it’s cheaper than ordering same one from this seller. Or get both from same seller, add blue to cart, go back and add black from same seller, then checkout.

I suggest both types, because often people have issue with one or the other in various situations, and they’re so cheap everyone might as well get both.
If your BIOS is soldered to the board, grab one of these too