Sony Vaio problems

Dan201

Well-known Member
Today I received my new Sony Vaio S series laptop direct from Sony.

Ive had many laptops over the years and the first thing I do with them is wipe the hard drive clean of everything and instal my own copy of windows.

This time I ran into a problem. The laptop would not boot from a USB socket so i decided to use a DVD. Neither worked despite selecting each as the primary boot option in the bios.

After trying several times tapping different function keys the laptop booted up from the windows DVD and installed. When it rebooted it stated 'no operating system found'.

I have tried a program called Woodshare Liveboot to fix the MBR, recommended after searching on google. It didn't work.

I just got off the phone to Sony tech support (35p/min) and the person I spoke to said my laptop won't support Windows 7 Ultimate as it was shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium. I didn't agree and ended up getting so frustrated I just wanted to get off the phone.

First things first, am I wrong in assuming that if a laptop supports HP then it supports Ultimate? Ive used the same install disk on several systems in the past.

At the moment I think im just going to send it back. The Tech guy said they don't do home visits for repair. I didn't find out any more options at the time but I may have to phone back.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Did you remember to set the BIOS back to booting from hard drive?

There is a 2.2TB limit on disks bootable from a BIOS (rather than an EFI system) but as this is a laptop I guess that's not the problem here.

Why didn't you use your windows disk to repair the MBR?
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Processor: Intel®Core(TM)i7-3612QM,2.1GHz
Operating system: Windows® 7 Home Premium
Finishes: Black Black
Hard drive: 640 GB Serial ATA (7200 rpm)
Memory: 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3-SDRAM
Optical Drive: Blu-ray Disc(TM) player
Display: 39.5cm LCD, 1920x1080+webcam
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M LE
Battery: No Long-Life Battery
Connectivity: No Wireless WAN
Microsoft® Office 2010: Office 2010 Starter + Acrobat
Antivirus software: No protection
McAfee Online Backup: McAfee Online Backup trial
Adobe® Creation: No Adobe Creation
Adobe® Lightroom®: No Adobe® Lightroom 3
Sony Creative software: Imagination Studio Suite 2
Also Included
Language and keyboard: English (QWERTY)
Security features: Security features
Wireless LAN: Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11abgn)
HDMI(TM) output: HDMI(TM) output
AC Adapter: 1 AC Adapter
USB Port(s): 1x USB 2.0 + 2x USB 3.0
Keyboard Style: Backlight keyboard
Bluetooth®: Bluetooth® 4.0
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Its a nightmare to get the laptop to boot off a drive. I used the above program because it was linked to on a site I was reading. Ive not used the Windows disk for anything other than installing before so it didn't really occur to me.

I did turn the bios back to HDD but the bios seems to ignore that list.
 

maf1970

Well-known Member
1. Did you download all the necessary drivers from the Sony Support site before wiping the drive ?
2. Did you (stupidly) wipe the whole drive or did you think and check the drive first and sensibly just wipe the partition where the OS is installed ?
3. Did you observe that only the 64-bit versions of windows 7 are supported.
4. Did you bother to make recovery disks of the factory install ? Recommended in case of drive failure or where you want to sell the machine on but retain the HDD.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply.

I usually use driver genius to install all the drivers, saves me downloading each one myself etc.

In your terms I was stupid and wiped the entire hard drive, the same as I always have done without issue.

I was trying install the 64-bit version.

I didn't make a recovery disk. Sony kindly offered to send me one for £55 but I declined. Whats the point if I can't boot from a disk or USB?
 

maf1970

Well-known Member
1. ALWAYS make the recovery disks BEFORE doing anything else. It gives you backup should anything go wrong and allow you to return the machine to factory default.
2. The same goes for the Recovery partition. Never delete it as you may need it sometime in the future and for all the space it takes up.
3. Go to the Support site and look at the list of drivers there. There are a couple that appear to be HDD related and maybe what you need to get a clean install working. It will mean having to go through your Ultimate install again.
4. For big manufacturers like Dell,Sony,HP etc I always take the drivers directly from their Support sites. I have always found this to be the best method.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Ill give the drivers a go. Is there a driver that may affect booting from a disk or usb drive? And could the problems be related?

And was the guy from Sony telling me rubbish when he said my laptop doesn't support Ultimate? It sounds like utter crap to me.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Ill give the drivers a go. Is there a driver that may affect booting from a disk or usb drive? And could the problems be related?

And was the guy from Sony telling me rubbish when he said my laptop doesn't support Ultimate? It sounds like utter crap to me.

No, drivers are for the operating system and won't affect the behaviour of the BIOS. Windows won't always have a driver for the disc controller, but in that case it shouldn't have been able to see the disc during install.

As far as I know Ultimate should work on the same systems Home Premium should, although Sony as well known for their love of the lock-in (almost as much as Apple) so I'd not rule it out entirely.

It might be worth trying a Linux LiveCD and see if that works, if it does it'll allow you to inspect the disk/partitions to see if there's anything obviously wrong with the Windows install.
 

maf1970

Well-known Member
Yes, I think the Sony guy was speaking rubbish cos if you go and configure a machine all 3 64-bit versions of Windows 7 are available.
You could try booting from install disk and see if it is possible to do a repair and load further drivers. (not sure if this possible)
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
I can attempt to load drivers at the beginning of a new installation of Windows but when I try it says no device drivers were found, make sure the media contains the correct drivers. I have done that, they are direct from Sony as well.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
There was a setting in Bios called UEFI which was turned on. I turned the setting to 'Legacy' instead and at the moment Windows is being detected as it should. I haven't been able to test the booting off USB/DVD yet though.
 

maf1970

Well-known Member
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That is good to know. I had considered UEFI as a possibility but was trying to confirm if hardware had shipped with it yet before suggesting it. With it set on legacy you shouldn't have any problem with getting the machine setup. What would be interesting to know,after setup, is does it still work if you switch UEFI back on ? or is it only effective for factory installed OS.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Ive installed a Bios mod to increase the GPU speed. When I did this I got the same 'operating system not found' message on boot up. The Mod had reset the UEFI setting so I had to turn legacy back on again.

It seems UEFI only works with the OS Sony shipped it with.
 

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