Sony Vaio has fallen, can't get up

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Thread Starter
Nov 6, 2007
okay, bare with me here...Im not a native windows user, but I'll do my best...

I have my girlfriends Sony Vaio VGN-S360 running XP home. The thing has seen better an effort to make the computer behave more like an actual functioning computer, we decided to run the system restore and reset all of the factory settings. Big mistake. Now the computer is caught in an endless loop of blue screens and restarts. The error message it keeps giving is an ati2dvg code, and no amount of restarting yields a succesful boot. To add to my frustration the computer will not boot in safe mode attempts, but inevitably gives an error saying ( somthing to the effect) that the system is not fully installed...and kindly asks me to finish setup or something equally as maddening. I would love to comply with its request, but about a week before this happened the CD drive stopped working...not like it would really make much of a difference because she never burned the system restore disks anyway. There is not one option available to me that allows the computer to get past the blue screen crash and actually start up. The Bios on this computer are extremely limited, and really only let me change preferred boot sequence and LCD expansion. I have gently taken a peek inside to make sure the actual ati card/chip/whatever doesn't have some half assed connection, or caked in dust...or anything else that would have been too good to be true...but looks fine. Whats more, is that it seems to be soldered directly to the board...which makes me wonder if it can even be replaced if this does turn out to be a hardware issue. I have tried to connect it to another laptop running xp and boot from network...but i don't know what im doing and didn't help much. Also I burned the restore disks from a dell onto DVDs hoping that maybe the funtional aspect of the cd drive that reads dvds might still work...but nope. Out of desperation I downloaded her particular ati driver and put it on a usb drive and plugged it in, hoping it might be found magically...but it was only about as succesful as trading my car for some magic beans. I am at my wits end...this computer NEEDS to work. there is absolutely no option of purchasing a new machine, and between work and grad school she is screwed.

So I guess my question is where to go from here. I have at my disposal 3 macintosh machines to access the internet/download goodies. A non-formatted external hard drive, with lots of space. A dell laptop running xp pro, and a cat5 cable to possibly connect the machines together. Is there anyway to download a mirror disk image from microsoft or elswhere and slap it onto an external drive for boot? If so...what drive would I boot from? Only options are optical, network, hard drive and floppy. I am stuck...any ideas? Anyone?
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