My VAIO tale - the thing on the left, a complete Vaio Z with bells and whistles seems to be dead.
On the right - a piece of junk I pulled of eBay for 40 euro as MBX-147 motherboard is perfectly working piece from Sony VAIO SZ series. I also have a full SZ laptop in a pretty bad optical condition, that is also perfectly OK.
On the bottom side of the SZ series (SZ was cheaper but powerful at the time, Z was a high-end expensive one) one can see that after removing few screws one had full access to the heat stink and the replacement of a thermal grease is a breeze! I wrongly assumed that doing the same on the Z series will be easy, too. (There are many similarities in how those models are built). Unfortunately, I would have to completely remove the motherboard to apply new grease.
I gave up when I started to try to disconnect and reconnect ugly tiny FEC connector which is glued. (Pointed to on the first pic by a screwdriver). On the other picture it is clear that SZ (the cheaper series) has a relatively large and easy to lift latches. This particular connector probably belongs to the 3G modem, which is why I like this particular model - it can be used like a tablet or smartphone virtually anywhere online. #vaiotale @HowIBrokeMyLaptop
Both models feature a tiny 30 pin debug connector that seems to provide a direct access to embedded controller and it's firmware. Maybe it is even possible to feed firmware on its own? The embedded controller is a small chip that controls the inner life of the computer. VAIOs use Renesas H8/2117 processors that are pretty powerful and independent, making the machine to boot and work fast. This functionality is provided on newer laptops by the controversial Intel #ManagementEngine.
If anyone knows how to make a cable that matches that connector I would be grateful. Learning the embedded controller internals may lead to many interesting discoveries and improvements. I think the counterpart plus is easy available, I have no idea how to make a working cable out of this. Previous post includes photo and schematics of the connector. #VAIOtale
And, how my #HowIBrokeMyLaptop experience shows, I should stay away from hardware work :)
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