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  1. #1
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    Default How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    NOTE: Due to regular complications of life, along with the overwhelming number of responses to this thread, I can't guarantee direct technical support for anybody (not to say that I won't try). Other users on this forum have been extremely helpful in maintaining this thread, and I thank them for this.

    Keep in mind that I'm no expert on every VAIO model, nor do I know how to fix every unrelated problem you may have. I don't know about that rash on your inner thigh or the reason your dog won't eat anymore. In other words, please keep the thread focused on semi-clean installs only. Gary (ScuderiaConchiglia) has created a well-detailed guide regarding performing a clean install on the FZ model, and I recommend you read it if you're interested in the topic.

    Furthermore, if I don't respond to your PM in a timely manner, don't take it personally. Thanks for understanding.


    This guide is for a semi-clean install on a Sony VAIO laptop. It has been tested on at least eight models (the CR, the SZ, the FZ, the AR, the TZ, the FE, the NS and the AW), but it should work for any laptop equipped with Sony recovery software.

    If this works on your model, please post in this thread so I can modify the guide accordingly. Thanks.

    EDIT: Apparently, European Sony VAIOs have a different recovery feature. This may only work on US computers. I guess if you have a Recovery Center it will work, and if you have a Recovery Centre, it wont.

    Out of the box, I had 79 processes running. After using this method, I'm only at 48. That's a 39% decrease, and that's after installing multiple programs.

    This will effectively remove all the bloatware that comes with your notebook (with the exception of Napster, and possibly some other minor annoyances) while retaining all important software and drivers. It should be noted that this guide is to be USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Another advantage of this method is that you can choose what to install and what to discard, and you don't have to remove your recovery partition or supply a separate Vista installation disk. This was derived from a method discovered by IIIaman, so he deserves a lot of the credit here.

    A few files you might want may not be on your computer after this process. These files are related to the Recovery Center. Since the Recovery Center can't recover itself, unless you back up files like the Recovery Center User's Guide (C:\Windows\SonySYS\Docs\VAIO Recovery Center User Guide.pdf), you'll have to do without them. Note that you can still access the program itself, so you don't lose anything absolutely necessary. I just found that worth mentioning. (See FOOTNOTE.)

    For those of you wondering why you shouldn't just uninstall the bloatware, read this post:
    Quote Originally Posted by nate_ohio View Post
    Just figured I'd go ahead and post my specs before and after doing this. Keep in mind that I did this after I have already spent the last two days deleting all the crap that I could using CCleaner and Add or remove programs.

    Before:
    HD Space: 130 GB Free
    Processes: 66-70
    Memory Usage: @40%

    After:
    HD Space: 162 GB Free
    Processes: 54-58
    Memory Usage: @28-30%

    Not bad at all, for something that only took me an hour. I definitely recommend this procedure for anyone with a new notebook. As I said before, I did this AFTER I went through and deleted all the bloatware I could possibly find and killed some startup tasks. The results speak for themselves.
    All that said, let's begin:

    1. Create a recovery disk using your Recovery Center. (NOTE: this isn't required, but it is highly recommended.) If you don't have any recovery software, then stop. This guide won't work for you.

    2. Make a copy of your "Vaio Recovery" folder (including all subfolders). It will be needed to finish the install. This can be found in C:\Windows\Sonysys\ or C:\Program Files\Sony. It might be located elsewhere on your model, so do a search for it if you can't find it. It should contain a program called Launch.exe or Launcher.exe, but depending on your model, the name might be different. This is the same program as your VAIO recovery software. If you aren't SURE you've found this program, stop. This guide won't work without it.

    3. If you've gotten this far, you can go ahead and start the recovery process. Restart your system and activate the recovery partition (hit F10, although it may differ by model).

    4. Your computer will begin to reformat and install Windows. It may reboot a few times. It will eventually come to a screen with a window on it and a progress bar. This should say something like "Copying files to the C drive" or "Installing software." Either way, it will stand out from the rest of the installation, and you'll know you're in the right place if the next step of this guide works.

    5. Hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Vista's new Ctrl+Alt+Del) to open the Task Manager. This may take a moment, but shouldn't take too long. After it opens, click the Processes tab and kill the process installing the software (Launch.exe or Launcher.exe - it should be the same as the program you identified in step 2). Vista will reboot again and the Windows installation will continue as usual. It should be noted that the CR seems to produce an error with Windows Defender when you first log on. This only happens once, however, so don't be alarmed.

    6. Now you have a semi-clean system. There might be some programs you don't want (Napster, Sony wallpapers, Sony Productivity Center, Sony Entertainment Center, Sony Security Center, etc.). They are all easily removed, so don't worry. Also, none of the free trial crap will be installed (I saved about 15GB this way).

    7. Uninstall the programs you don't want on your computer. I recommend a free program called Revo Uninstaller to do this, but you may simply employ the Control Panel if you wish. After that, I'd recommend running CCleaner (also free). I personally went into the registry and manually removed what was left of Napster, however this is only recommended for advanced users - messing with the registry can completely disable your system.

    8. Now comes the aforementioned program from steps 2 and 5. Upload the Vaio Recovery folder to its correct location and run the executable file. This will open the Sony Recovery Center (in theory) and allow you to install some necessary software. (The CR has InstantON, which needs to be installed this way. Also, you can install various utilities such as Bluetooth, connectivity-related programs, etc. Just be sure not to install the bundled software, or you'll have to start this whole process all over again.) It is recommended that you install these programs one at a time. The actual semi-clean installation is done, however you should perform the following steps to further improve system speed and stability.

    9. Now that you've gotten this far, you might want to start using your new computer. First, I would recommend that you defragment your hard drive and organize your Start Menu (right click, "Explore All Users"). After that, install any programs you want. Also, be sure to run Windows Update.

    10. You may notice your drive doesn't have as much free space now as you expected it too. That's because every time you installed or uninstalled a program, Windows created a restore point. You can turn off System Restore to delete these files, however this is not recommended. A better solution is to open Windows Disk Cleanup and select the More Options tab (Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools). There, you will be able to delete all but the most recent restore point. I went into command prompt and resized the the amount of hard drive space Windows allocates for System Restore (15% by default, which is a huge amount). Don't try this unless you know the pros and cons of doing so - and that's for a different guide entirely.

    11. This step is a matter of personal preference. After you've completed everything mentioned above, it would be a good idea to go to the System Configuration Utility (Start, Run, "msconfig") and disable certain programs from starting up with Windows. This includes some of the programs that came with your Sony VAIO, as the semi-clean install doesn't catch absolutely everything you might find annoying. After that, go Services (Start, Run, "services.msc") and modify this list to your liking. You can find many guides online as to what Vista services are recommended as Automatic, Manual, Disabled, etc. DO NOT JUST MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. If you don't know what you're doing, it's best that you skip this part.

    12. You're done, so congratulations! You can now enjoy your clean, fast, efficient, Sony VAIO!

    Post any questions or comments in this thread.

    -Peter

    FOOTNOTE: Thanks to Jukeboxmusicman, the missing file is now attached to this thread. The aforementioned file is the only one to date identified as missing after this operation. If any others come to my attention I'll be sure to include them in this guide.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by NinjaNoodles; 10th February 2009 at 05:43 PM.
    Premium Web and Graphic Design

    Black flash after Windows loads?
    REMOVE BLOATWARE: Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install!
    CONFIRMED: CR, SZ, FZ, AR, TZ, FE, NR | AWAITING RESULTS: NEWER MODELS | FAILED: NONE

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    Maybe this isn't as useful as I thought it would be?
    Premium Web and Graphic Design

    Black flash after Windows loads?
    REMOVE BLOATWARE: Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install!
    CONFIRMED: CR, SZ, FZ, AR, TZ, FE, NR | AWAITING RESULTS: NEWER MODELS | FAILED: NONE

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    At least you tried dude. I gave you rep just for that, I have one question since I am going to buy the sony sz6. What is the difference between what you did and just uninstalling and deleting one program at a time witht the control panel. I am also hoping maybe on the new model will put things on discs and we can avoid all this crap

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    When you uninstall programs from the Control Panel, they usually remain on your system in the form of empty folders, start menu entries, registry keys, processes, stray files, etc. This is especially true of software that Sony has no interest in you uninstalling (such as bloatware, free trials, etc.).

    The clean install (or semi-clean) in this case acts to prevent the problem rather than treat it. And I believe you'll find it's a lot faster as well.
    Premium Web and Graphic Design

    Black flash after Windows loads?
    REMOVE BLOATWARE: Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install!
    CONFIRMED: CR, SZ, FZ, AR, TZ, FE, NR | AWAITING RESULTS: NEWER MODELS | FAILED: NONE

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    NN, I don't know a thing about Vista. Where is the recovery center?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    Well, the recovery center is a Sony thing. It should be located in the file path listed in the instructions. What model are you using?
    Premium Web and Graphic Design

    Black flash after Windows loads?
    REMOVE BLOATWARE: Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install!
    CONFIRMED: CR, SZ, FZ, AR, TZ, FE, NR | AWAITING RESULTS: NEWER MODELS | FAILED: NONE

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    I'm using a CR at 1 gig ram
    Anyways I decided not to use your tutorial NN. The bloatware isn't as bad as I thought.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    Yeah, it really isn't
    My Rig
    Sony Vaio, VGN FZ180 E/B


  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    This will be useful once I receive mine in the mail, thank you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

    I think there is more appropriate place to discuss this method of semi-clean vista install
    My variant of semi-clean SZ Vista Install

    And it is a good idea to put a reference to or at least to make a brief mention of the author of this method

 

 
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