Riddle: When Is a Computer Like a Fruit???

Answer: When it is the lemon laptop I picked out for Christmas last year.Lemon

Especially for those of us who aren’t computer wizards, problems with our computers are the worst! Like many people, writers use their computers every day.  It’s a must.  We HAVE to have one. So what happens when one goes on the fritz?


My husband wanted to give me the laptop of my dreams for Christmas, 2013.  I did my research and due diligence (or at least I was under the impression that I’d been careful), and decided I wanted the Sony VAIO Flip laptop.  It was beautiful, and super powerful, and converted into a tablet.  It even came with an awesome option to use a stylus to draw right on the touch screen.

The first two weeks, it was a great laptop.  Then…..

The fan started making a little more noise than it had initially.  Then more noise.  Then it finally started to make a grinding, screeching sound. NOT GOOD.

Fortunately, it was so new, I called the Sony store, explained what was happening, and my husband took it right in to the shop.  They replaced it with a new one.  That was awesome.  But you know what happens when you get a new computer….

You have to reload everything, and transfer everything.  Again.  So I did.

Then a few weeks later, I tried to put it in tablet mode, and…..

The screen went dark every time I converted it.  It appeared the computer was still on, I just couldn’t see anything.  Well, that sucked.  Unfortunately, the Sony store in Dallas closed (that was a clue, I just didn’t know it at the time), so I called the repair center, and mailed my laptop off to them.

I did without my laptop for two weeks.  Almost TORTURE!

When I finally got it back, it worked beautifully again.   Until….

A few months later, my beautiful VAIO had an annoying habit of powering down with absolutely no warning.  And no error message.  I initially thought it was some sort of fluke, but…..

After a few months of this happening sporadically, although not extremely frequently, I tried to contact Sony to determine what the problem might be.  I also contacted Microsoft, reading the forums on each site.  It seemed that a few people had the same problem (although not many), and Sony and Microsoft both seemed to believe it was an issue with the laptop interface with Windows 8.1.   So….

I refreshed my laptop to Windows 8, then reloaded Windows 8.1, being very careful to do it in the precise order that Sony instructed, alternating between the VAIO updates and Windows updates.  But of course, once you refresh your laptop, you have to…….

Reload all of your programs.  AGAIN!!

I did a refresh about three times.  Then I decided to do a total restore, and apparently it kept powering off during the process, so I got the blue screen with the terrible message that there was no operating system, and a partition was missing from my hard drive.  THAT DID NOT SOUND GOOD.  UGGHHH.

I called Sony, and they told me to take it to their official repair service, the Geek Squad at Best Buy, since it was six weeks out of warranty.  After paying to become a member of the Geek Squad tech support program, I had such high hopes they could fix it.  But……

Although they did reload my operating system, and removed some mal-ware, I turned it on at home, and…

It powered down.

Same song and dance again at Best Buy, but this time they kept it for a week.  Took it home again, and at least it worked for a day, then….


I took it back to the Geek Squad, and they had no idea what was causing my computer to power down.  They said they would have to send it to Sony to analyze.  OK.  I was desperate.  However….

Since the laptop has been discontinued (Sony has even sold their VAIO brand & gotten out of the laptop business – surprise, surprise), there are no more parts with which to fix my computer (should it be a hardware problem).  There was nothing left to do, but maybe beg Sony to give me back some of the fortune I paid for that thing. I left Best Buy in tears – I didn’t even think to thank my Geek.

I’m still working with Sony to either find a fix or reimburse me for this horrible (although beautiful, fast, and great when it works) computer.  Instead of experiencing spontaneous shut-down, it would be nice if my VAIO would have experienced spontaneous combustion within the warranty period! You might wonder why I didn’t send it back to Sony when it was still within warranty, and I also wonder this. Am I a moron? Yes, and no. I just naively thought it was a bug in the software communication that I could fix. (Translation:  DENIAL). I had no idea it would take a minor miracle to figure this out.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this would be appreciated.

In the meantime, my wonderful husband insisted I get a beautiful new laptop, so now I can get back to my writing.  He’s the best.  The only problem is……

The power button is where my delete button used to be.  CRAP!

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