Sony says 535,000 laptops at risk of overheating

A bug in the laptop BIOS means more than half a million laptops could overheat

More than half a million Sony laptops sold this year contain a software bug that could lead them to overheat, the company said Wednesday.

Sony has recorded 39 cases of overheating among Vaio F and C series laptops that have been on sale since January. In some cases the overheating has led the laptop case to deform.

A bug in the heat management system of the BIOS software is to blame. Sony is asking users to either update the software themselves or return their laptops so it can apply the update.

The fault affects 535,000 computers although Sony is asking a total of 646,000 owners to update their machines. The additional 111,000 machines are susceptible to several less serious problems that have also been found in the software, said Sony.

BIOS is present in every PC and runs below the operating system, controlling the most basic functions of the computer and interaction between major components. It's usually invisible to users except for a BIOS start-up message that is typically seen when a PC boots.

Sony didn't write the BIOS in the affected computers. It sourced it from a third party and had it customized for Vaio laptops by a different third-party supplier, the company said. But Sony did test it before installing it in the machines.

The problem affects machines sold both in Japan and the rest of the world.

Japanese models with the problem are the VPCF119FJ/BI, VPCF118FJ/W, VPCF117FJ/W, VPCCW29FJ/W, VPCCW28FJ/P, VPCCW28FJ/R, VPCCW28FJ/W, VPCF11AFJ, VPCF11AGJ, VPCF11AHJ, VPCF11ZHJ, VPCCW2AFJ, and VPCCW2AHJ.

Affected models sold outside Japan are the VPCCW25FG/B, VPCCW25FG/P and VPCCW25FG/W.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags vaiohardware systemslaptopssony

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?