symptom 1: referred to as FFB (Firts Frame Black). this is when you do not use the camera for a while and when you attempt to take the first snap shot, the Shutter is either stuck, or takes a blank/black picture (some cases the picture came out bluish). Sometimes the camera would freeze and you would need to remove the battery and re-insert it in order to reset the camera. Usually the camera comes back to life and and is usuable for a while until you store it. Sony will fix this free
as they identified it as a design flaw in which the remedied (incorrect gear size for the Shutter charge assembly). Contact Sony support as they own all Minolta camera assets and tell them you have the FFB or First Frame Black problem and they will set up a ticket and instructions on where and how to send it.
symptom 2: Camera does not respond at all to the shutter release. Focus is fine, menu works, every function works no problem except for the most important - taking a picture (releasing the shutter). When you first turn on the camera, you hear the Antishift module attempt to center the CCD with a series of clicking noise for 5 or so seconds (not a good sign, also called the death rattle). All 5 AS bars in the view finder are blinking. In this case, the Tebure Assembly (AS Module) has failed and will need replacing. This is not cheap - sending it in to Precision Camera will run you around $250-$280. You can do it yourself if you order the assembly from Sony: Item - ( TEBURE ASSY ), U3008233U, $118.22 ea. via 1-800-488-7669 (will take 3-4 weeks). And follow the service manual to install and calibrate it (via the service manual download at http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic36109_post396839.html#396839
However, if your camera experienced the FFB and then siezed (symptom 2) you can probably still get Sony to repair it free as its one charge for a complete camera repair. Call them up and tell them your situation.