Canvas no longer charging

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by Andrew Knight, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Andrew Knight

    Andrew Knight Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey folks, long time reader, first time writer. As the title suggests, I'm having an issue where my Canvas is no longer charging. I've read others having similar issues on these forums, but so far none of the fixes have worked for me.

    I was using it and it gave me a low battery warning. I thought I'd have enough time to quickly finish what I was doing before plugging it in but alas instead the unit powered down on me. When I plugged it in and tried to turn it on I realised the AC indicator light next to the power plug was not illuminating and the Canvas was not charging. Whenever I pressed the power button, the screen would light up for a couple of seconds with an empty battery graphic on screen before powering off again.

    I read on these forums to try the battery reset button under the stand which I did and then plugged back in, but still no charging. After pressing power again however it booted up! And in Windows it said I had 8% battery remaining. This seemed a bit fishy to me since I'd set the battery charge limit to 80%, and thought maybe it had bugged out and was preventing it from charging over 8% instead. So I disabled the battery charge limiter in VAIO Control Panel and shut it down, hoping to save that last bit of battery I had remaining for whatever fix I could find next.

    Unfortunately this was late at night and I reattached the keyboard cover to it before going to bed. I think the keyboard charging function drained what little juice the Canvas had left because now it is completely non functional. No charging LED, so response at all when I press the power button, and hitting the battery reset button has not changed anything this time.

    As these aren't for sale anymore I bought this second hand from eBay. So I won't have any warranty. The other thing I noticed is it was shipped to me with a replacement non VIAO branded power brick. It's rated at 90W 19.5V 4.7A where as the official VAIO one is 65W with less amps. But that shouldn't matter in my understanding of electronics.

    Is it worth ordering an official VAIO charger for this? Seems like the problem is the Canvas, not the charger. Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated as I have a gig coming up I need to use this for.
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Hello, Andrew. Not sure that I can fix your problem for you, but let's start by checking a few things.
    • Have you been routinely discharging your ZC's battery down to low levels? Repeated discharges like this aren't good for your battery life. Typically, at what battery % would you plug it in to recharge?
    • There is a chance that your AC adapter has developed a defect. Can you measure the output voltage to ensure that it is close to 19 V?
    • How long did you hold the Battery Reset down? Try 30 seconds. Also try 30 seconds with the power button also held down. The idea here is to completely discharge any voltage on the motherboard.
    • Finally, I would definitely fire off a note to US.VAIO Service to ask them for any advice. We already know that battery replacement is very expensive and probably not worth the cost for someone in your situation, but maybe they can provide other help.
    Good luck, and let us know what happens...
     
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  3. Andrew Knight

    Andrew Knight Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your swift response. It's so nice to know there is a community out there to help with this situation. In answer to your questions:

    - The Canvas has mostly been used as a desktop machine, plugged into AC most of it's life, which was why I enabled the 80% charge limiter to try and help it's battery life. There have been occasions where I've used it on a train or bus or just watching a movie in bed but I don't think I've ever let it run flat before this first time, and would typically be plugging it in when it still has 30-40% remaining.

    - Unfortunately I don't have a multi-meter to chack the voltage of the power adapter

    - Things didn't go so well with the reset. I've been using a paper clip to press the reset button and perhaps I was pressing too hard, I don't know. I held the power button and pressed the reset button with a paper clip for 40 secs as per your suggestion. Then plugged it back in but it would not show the AC LED indicator light, nor respond then I pressed the power button. I unplugged it again to try pressing the reset button for 30 seconds without holding the power button and noticed the reset button wasn't pressing down. I thought it might be stuck down so I removed the back panel to have a look.
    I had assumed the reset button would be a plastic tactile switch but in fact it is a paper thin metal disk that sits above the reset component which pops up and down. It seems by attacking it with the paper clip I have scratched off the adhesive holding the disk over the button deeming it unusable. Presumably I can just put something metal to the two areas of the reset component to serve the same function as the disk if I want to reset, but from the first attempt I don't think the reset will fix it.

    My next step is to take it to a laptop repair place that will undoubtedly have a power supply of their own they can test it with, to at least rule out if the power adaptor is the problem or if it's something inside the canvas. I really hope it's just a bad adaptor.

    I will get in touch with VAIO support in case they can offer any advice. Thanks again

    Pictures below

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zsyhquf28c59t03/IMAG1235.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pu3j6bnurkqau7l/IMAG1234.jpg?dl=0
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I have scratched off the adhesive holding the disk over the button deeming it unusable...>>

    Andrew: A funny thought. Take a short piece of wire and short the two reset contacts together. Maybe the little disk was so broken that it wasn't working...
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    A couple more comments.

    <<...The Canvas has mostly been used as a desktop machine, plugged into AC most of it's life...>>

    ...See this discussion thread, Posts # 54 and 57:

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/how-to-replace-swollen-battery-on-vaio-z-canvas.72519/page-2

    <<...I don't have a multi-meter to chack the voltage of the power adapter...>>

    ...Just a thought. People who own electrical gadgets should also make it a point to own a few simple tools. Pliars, wire cutter, screwdrivers... and an inexpensive multi-meter. It's sort of like when you need a can opener, nothing else will do. Multimeters can cost as little as $9. They won't be great quality, but most times all you need is a rough measurement or be able to discover that there is no voltage at all! An example:

    http://www.sears.com/craftsman-mult...gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMy5luz31tkCFeO5swod8PAP7Q

    <<...My next step is to take it to a laptop repair place that will undoubtedly have a power supply of their own they can test it with, to at least rule out if the power adaptor is the problem...>>

    ...That sounds like a logical next step. Good luck.
     
  6. Andrew Knight

    Andrew Knight Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks Steve. I stripped some copper wire out of an old power cable and pressed it against the reset contacts with a piece of rubber and then did the same whilst also holding down the power button, but still I can't seem to get the unit to turn on or charge. Still no LED lighting up next to the DC socket.

    Yes you're right, I should buy a multimeter, will do.

    I have to say I'm a bit staggered by this idea of not leaving it plugged in. As I understand it, when it is running off the battery the CPU runs at a lower clock speed. I do very processor intensive work so I need all the performance I can get. It's the reason I chose the Canvas, because of it's CPU. This idea that such an expensive laptop will be damaged if it is left plugged into the wall is such a massive design flaw that could easily have been resolved by having a removable battery. Reading about these other users with similar issues just because they left their laptop plugged into the wall makes me feel very disappointed with my purchase. I lament not spending the extra money on one of the new Surface Book 2's which also have quad core processors in them now.

    /rant

    I know you can't know for certain, but in your opinion do you think disconnecting the battery inside the Canvas would allow me to continue to use it running off mains power? I so infrequently use it on battery power it would at least allow me to keep using it and not spend more money.
     
  7. jbaks

    jbaks Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Ok, here is what I figured you were doing before I even read this post and what worries me right off the bat. You said and I quote "so I need all the performance I can get", their seems to be a issue with the canvas in most of the cases where were seeing this problem with the unit ceases to charge any more. If you go into the vaio control center their is a setting in there to set the operation mode of the cpu, as you well know since you have the battery set to charge to only 80% as I do with myn. Their seems to be an issue with people overtaxing their systems and the system getting to hot with the quad core processor that it damages the connection to the battery or the battery itself. When you run this piece of electronics, our canvas, at full throttle all day long, even though the 3 fan setup for the quad core was intuitive and exceptional in its own right, this system has shown us that its not meant to be continuously abused with high temps. Anyone owning this machine seriously needs to download CUPID HWMONITOR and watch the temps like a hawk, making sure temps never exceed 90 Celsius. Its alright if it goes over it once in a great while but if your running this machine continuously over 100 Celsius for extended periods its going to fault out like this is what has been shown to occur.

    Its to late now, but anyone reading in this forum that owns the canvas can hopefully prevent more of this. This machine is meant to be babied, its expensive vaio product not a industrial lenovo thinkpad or a Panasonic tough book. When you want the power you need to enable the performance mode in the vaio control center and then you can also enable the higher power setting in the power options in the system tray, of course the key words here are "when you need the power". You dont want to leave those settings on all day long, and if you need to use desktop applications for professional work all day long, get a desktop. The canvas has been by far my favorite piece of electonics iv ever owned when it comes to personal computers, and i hope my battery never fails like this, although if it did I would find a way to get a new one some how, i think the main goal in this is to keep the temps down though, thats what im hoping cause this fault has been a common occurrence we have seen time and again with this product, and vaio discounting it didnt help the matters.

    Im not going to get into steves logic behind not keeping the unit plugged in, I dont believe that is correct in any way to say the least. Iv kept all my laptops since 2004 and iv never experienced any problems with any of them being plugged in 24/7. ( I keep all expensive electronics and momentous as their not worth anything any way), These are not phones that we keep away from the charger when were using them, although they probably will eventually take that route i suppose and im not a tablet sorta person, i like a more tradition laptop and i hate kickstands, I will never buy a laptop with a kickstand(love the canvas pull out stand though). As a last resort, if I was in your situation I would try to change out the battery. And if that didnt work, I would finda good repair shop to look over the boards on it, the pcb's..., their was one case somewhere on this forum where a guy had his canvas repaired at a repair shop and surprisingly they found a defective piece somewhere in the machine, if I remember correctly is was a component on one the boards.

    Uhm, can you tell us your usage of the machine, as far as what programs did you run for how long and your temps if you ever did check them?

    As far as disconnecting the battery from the unit, if its not able to use the AC power now, their must be something different about your situation then many of the others, as alot of other people have not been able to charge their device but it stays on just fine allowing them to contunue to use the device. I dont think that would work, although in my older lenovo y460, that has a user replaceable battery on the outside of the machine like alot of the older laptops do, when you have the battery out of the unit it certainly does work plugged in without the battery. I do know for certain that taking apart this tablet is extremely risky, their has been numerous people spread across the internet that have tore off their LCD cable while attempting to do so, leaving the machine a complete brick and iv not heard of one person being able to fix it after that occurring either. I would never try to take apart the canvas unless is was absolutely necessary or as a last resort to restore it.


    I actually keep a fan on my canvas at all times, just that little bit of extra cooling keeps my canvas a few degrees cooler.
    [​IMG]

    So, ideally, talking a bit more about temps, and to those that do own a canvas that haven't yet had this problem. Anyone who has owned laptops for any amount of time knows that temps are important to follow as it shows your systems overall health and can be an indicator of a laptop that needs to be cleaned out. I try to keep my temps on the canvas below 70 celsius. My canvas likes to idle in the 40s then when im watching a video or having doezens of tabs open which i do frequently, the temps can get into the high 70s into the 80s. Once in a great while like I explained earlier they get into the 90s and thats when I know im overtaxing it or not paying enough close attention to it. Iv heavily used my canvas, although iv not owned it as long as many here, iv only had it for about 10 months or so, iv taken it with me to college on a daily basis and even used it almost every night as I watch asmr all night long when i sleep alot or something soothing. Im not in the boat of people that may think its a defect by using it to much as Iv used my canvas continuously for 10 straight months every day 24/7 almost. Vaio actually made a video showing the build quality of the canvas and it was impressive, i cant seem to find it on youtube though. For the canvas to suddenly stop charging though is very strange, Iv never seen a product do that quite in that way although their has been many strange things happen to electronics. Alot of the older gpus in laptops used to fail alot causing alot of weired problems to occure, mostly at the fault of users trying to push the cards to far with overclocking.

    I would also be careful with vaio customer support as last I heard that were charging ridiculous prices in a last ditch attempt to save the company. I would be hesitant to hand out bank numbers to them, although last I talked to them when I had to get a new keyboard their customer support was exceptional.

    Lastly, im sorry that this happened. It sux and i can only hope it doesnt happen to me, but i love my canvas and i will keep it as another memento in my collection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  8. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    VAIO Z Canvas owner for 2 years here. I leave mine plugged all the time (with 50% charge limit set in VAIO Control Center) with no problems.

    The recommendation is not to discharge/charge your battery to the limit (which you haven't done, since you also use VCC). So your issue is a separate one, related either to:

    1) The charging circuit on the motherboard
    2) The battery charging circuit
    3) Your 3rd party charger malfunctioning

    2 and 3 are testable via replacement, and if they fail to solve the problem, then 1 is most likely the issue (and probably time to get a new machine unfortunately :().
     
  9. jbaks

    jbaks Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Never!!! We will put the mobo into the oven if need be for reflow!!!
     
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  10. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Wow. Such passions...

    <...I stripped some copper wire...pressed it against the reset contacts...but still I can't seem to get the unit to turn on or charge...>>

    ...Well, it was worth a try.

    <<...This idea that such an expensive laptop will be damaged if it is left plugged into the wall is such a massive design flaw...>>

    ...This isn't just a ZC problem; it's a problem for almost anything that is battery powered. Really, it's a battery problem. The darn things degrade if they are kept 100% charged and it's even worse if they are warm / hot (as when the tablet is operating). Degradation occurs at lower levels of charge, too, but the rate of degradation is lower. (SoC = State of Charge)

    upload_2018-3-6_14-33-43.png

    See: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

    <<....I do very processor intensive work so I need all the performance I can get...>>

    ...So, plug it in when you are working and unplug it when you finish for the night.

    <<...I lament not spending the extra money on one of the new Surface Book 2's which also have quad core processors in them now...>>

    ...The i7-4770HQ is still quite capable at 47W TDP compared to more current quad core processors, albeit at 15W to 25W TDP. If you are plugged in, the power difference isn't an issue.

    <<...in your opinion do you think disconnecting the battery inside the Canvas would allow me to continue to use it running off mains power?..>>

    ...Years ago, and I do mean years ago, some battery-powered electronics were designed with the battery as an integral part of the power system (literally, the battery was an electrical buffer). However, in more current times, I haven't seen that "feature" in quite a while. I would guess that it is perfectly OK to operate your ZC without the battery being connected. As the user, however, it is your risk...
     
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