How to Optimize Any Sony VAIO With a Semi-Clean Install

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by NinjaNoodles, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. Mythdat

    Mythdat Notebook Evangelist

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    I can't comment on which VAIO software you should keep or uninstall because that's completely down to which ones you need for your personal uses.

    But the order for the VAIO interdependant software, restarting between installing each:

    Sony Firmware Extension Parser
    Sony Shared Library
    Setting Utility Series
    VAIO Event Service

    These will get you your Fn (brightness, volume etc) key functionality.

    The order isn't too important from here, but I'd go:

    VAIO Control Center
    VAIO Power Management (if you want battery care)

    Then you can install whatever you want - Care, Smart Network etc if you have uses for them.

    VAIO Update is a pain to get installed in my experience, it isn't really worth it to me as I'd rather just manually check for updates than have another background service running.

    But if you really want it, I found the only way to get it to install was to grab VAIO Update 5 from the support site rather than installing the original version from the recovery centre.
     
  2. scroogee

    scroogee Newbie

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    Thanks Mythdat.
    I noted Sony Firmware Extension Parser is a driver. Is it the only driver left out from the semi-clean install or do I also need to reinstall the other drivers (eg. chipset, graphics etc.)? I thought the semi-clean install would already have installed the essential drivers.

    Also, where might I find the Photoshop installer? It's not showing up under Recovery Center.
     
  3. Mythdat

    Mythdat Notebook Evangelist

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    Drivers are all already installed and you're probably right that SFEP is too, I think it shows up in Add/Remove programs if it's installed.

    I don't know about Photoshop, sorry, I didn't order it with my laptop. Does it have a product key that you can transfer to your own installation? Maybe if you create the recovery DVDs from factory restored state rather than using the recovery folder it'll be on those
     
  4. PascalT

    PascalT Notebook Guru

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    anyone? :)
     
  5. Mythdat

    Mythdat Notebook Evangelist

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  6. scroogee

    scroogee Newbie

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    I installed a nifty program called Autoruns to have a one-stop shop for viewing installed drivers and services. Indeed, SFEP was already installed, but when I couldn't find any mention of a wireless driver, it got me thinking the amount of drivers installed were suspiciously few.

    So I did a full re-install, ran Autoruns again and used its compare function to see what drivers were present in the factory install vs semi-clean. Sure enough, there were a ton of additional drivers, but notably, some "essential" drivers were missing from the semi-clean install: wireless, synaptics touchpad, realtek HD. This made me reconsider whether I wanted to stick with this semi-clean process. Of course it can be remedied, but without readily knowing what was missing, it may take a more or less complete re-install of the factory driver set.

    At this point, I reconsidered just uninstalling stuff from the factory install. Got RevoUninstaller and it handily took out Norton, McAfee, and Webroot. I then took out the MSOffice trial and its various components, as well as MS Live Essentials. After Revo used the default uninstallers for the respective programs, it alerted me to tons of "leftovers" in the registry and program file directories. Given that this was the advertised added benefit of Revo, I told it to get rid of the leftovers.

    This was were things went wrong. After I quit Revo and rebooted, I tried to install 7zip and CCleaner, both of which I've successfully installed previously. This time, both failed to install citing the windows installer was not working. I tried opening the Revo pdf help file to see how I can undo things, but to my surprise Adobe Reader wouldn't open either. I can only surmise that Revo took out some shared components during its leftover cleaning which wrecked the registry and removed some important program files. In retrospect, I probably should've used just the "safe" setting for Revo instead of the "advanced" leftover scanning option. I would also think twice about using Revo on MS programs and just use their default uninstallers then perhaps follow up with CCleaner to tidy up the registry.

    I then had no choice but to do another recovery. I planned to do another semi-clean but got distracted and when I went back to my laptop, Vaiorecv was already running and already installing Sony Shared Library. I let it, then it went on to install a few more stuff which looked essential anyway. I was about to stop it when it started to install Photoshop, so I decided to wait a bit longer so long as it was installing stuff I believe I could live with.

    I stopped it around 70% when it was installing Windows Live Essentials, and it then went on to finalize the recovery process. After the usual windows initialization, I rebooted once more just to make sure all installations and settings were finalized. I checked Task Manager and it told me I had 49 processes, which wasn't bad at all compared to the factory default of 98, and only a bit more than my previous semi-clean attempt which yielded 33. Excitedly, I checked which programs were installed and sure enough Photoshop was there:) plus flash, some java stuff and the C++ redistributable as gravy. Better yet, no sign of Norton, McAfee, Webroot, MSOffice, Windows Live and absolutely no Vaio programs!

    I fired up Autoruns again and found that this time wireless, synaptics and realtek HD were now installed, and compared to the factory install roster, the only thing missing was an Arcsoft driver for the webcam and a bunch of McAfee drivers. So basically, a complete essential driver set. Looking at the installed services, 12 out of 45 (in the factory install) were there and they are what I would consider essential, while the 33 left out were clearly related to McAfee, MSOffice and Vaio programs.

    I am obviously very pleased with this latest base install. What's left is to cherry pick and install some of the Vaio stuff I want from the recovery center, and a couple of the bundled software (evernote and webcam companion). I was able to extract the latter from the hidden partition using mod2wim which I found elsewhere in these forums.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope sharing my experience might be of some help to others. The main discovery here is that it matters when you kill Vaiorecv (or launcher.exe) in step 5. Kill it too soon and some needed drivers might be left out, too late and it might install some stuff you don't want. I would suggest doing a full reinstall dry run and taking note of the sequence of installations. One can then make tradeoffs as to what programs to allow installation (possibly for later removal) so as to get to some of the essential and/or desirable stuff to be included in the installation (eg. some bundled software), and therefore plan on exactly when to kill the installer. I killed mine at around 70% so I'm calling it a "3/4 install" as opposed to semi-clean.

    I'm thinking of redoing this and pushing it a bit further. Maybe only stop it when I see either Norton, McAfee, Webroot or MSOffice being installed. But before I do that, I'll make a backup image of this one, in case I was just really lucky with this latest install :p
     
  7. PJF

    PJF Notebook Geek

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    Glad this thread popped up again. Just wanted to say thanks to all those who explored this and kept it updated.

    It worked a treat on my VPC_S11V9E. I had no missing drivers and no bloat (except a couple of Vaio apps I chose). Joy.
     
  8. NinjaNoodles

    NinjaNoodles Notebook Evangelist

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    PJF, Glad to hear.

    My CR is still running like a charm!
     
  9. mvz2102

    mvz2102 Newbie

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    I've been attempting to do this on my new EB series (VPCEB26FX), but have gotten a bit stuck. I got up to step 8, but it looks like in the new Windows 7 machines all of the recovery is done through the Vaio Care application.

    Before doing the clean install, I backed up the Vaio Care directory, and I'm able to run it on the newly formatted machine. The only problem is, I can't seem to figure out how to install the drivers and applications. Under the "Recovery and Restore" tab, the only option is to restore windows from a previous restore point (which is obviously not what we need). Am I missing something? Is it possible that I didn't back up the correct files, or killed the installing process too early?

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  10. PJF

    PJF Notebook Geek

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    The folder you need to back up is called VAIO RECOVERY. It's in Program Files (x86)/SONY. You don't need to back up VAIO Care.

    Once you've copied the VAIO RECOVERY folder back onto your newly formatted setup, just double click the file "VAIORecv.exe" that's in the folder and it will access all the necessary data from the recovery partition.
     
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