I have a Sony FW285 with a clean install of Vista Ultimate done about 4 months ago.
I recently noticed that when I start up Vaio Control Center, Sony Battery Care and Power Management doesn't show up anymore. This is really bugging me since I have my battery set on 50% charge so I need a power outlet everywhere I go.
I've tried reinstalling Battery Care, Power Management and Vaio Control Center but like mentioned, Battery Care just refuses to show up in Vaio Control Center
I also have the FW 285 - this will sounds a bit strange tho - The DVD I ordered from MS to execute a clean install did not have SP1 integrated - I had the same problems, very few functions in Vaio Control Center and Battery Utility was popping up with errors. Uninstalled both Sony Shared Library (event service) and Notebook Utilities, installed SP1 and other updates and it worked then. Both are written for SP1. May or may not apply to your clean install, but those apps can be tricky what from I've seen with a fresh install.
I've never heard of that trick before, but I don't think it applies to me since my copy of Vista has SP1 integrated on it.
This is what I did with my clean install.
I got a copy of Vista Ultimate X64 with SP1 and all updates up to Dec 2008 integrated into it. Recall that's when I did my clean install, back right around the new year (got my FW on boxing day). All the drivers came straight from Sony's site, I got the ones specific for my model and X64 if possible since my OS is X64.
Following the FW Series Clean Install thread on this forum I got Vista loaded on with no problem, everything works. All function keys where there, on screen display works, Vaio Control Centre loads everything like normal and life was great!
I set Windows, Norton, etc to update/scan/whatever automatically every night and no issues there either.
Then about 2 months ago I saw some driver/software updates on Sony's site, downloaded the applicable ones, extracted and installed. Again everything worked like a charm and life was still great.
Then a month or so ago I noticed that Power Management doesn't always load up in Vaio Control Centre. After a reboot (or 2) the problem is resolved. This only happened probably once or twice during that month so it didn't bother me that much since my laptop sits here on the desk most of the time.
I always keep my battery on 50% charge, boosting it up to 80% if I know I'll be using it with no outlets near me. The last time I played with that setting was about 2 weeks ago.
On Thurs night, knowing I have an 8 hr lecture on Friday with no outlets, I proceeded to set my battery to charge up to 80% like always. That's when I ran into the problem with Power Management/Battery Care not showing up on VCC. So I rebooted a few times hoping the magic will continue and no luck. Tried reinstalling VCC, etc and no luck.
Friday morning I tried reinstalling VCC,etc again with no luck so I posted here requesting help, grabbed my old laptop with a few PDFs on my USB key and went to my lecture half prepared since everything is on this laptop.
Friday night, after reading the initial reply I tried again with your method, results where no much better. Found out the battery is now charging up to 100% instead of the 50% I had set it on but Power Management and Battery Care still refuses to show up.
It almost seems like those options just went poof one day.