1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

Sony VAIO SA/SB Windows 7 Clean Install / Backup and Restore

Discussion in 'Sony' started by STheory, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. STheory

    STheory Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    72
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Some have asked for this before, and since I kept a log of my own install process and have also written up parts of it for friends, I thought I might as well share it here. (If this has been helpful to you, do +rep. Thanks.)



    Preparation:

    1. Install Media. Either a Windows 7 DVD, or a bootable USB key (use the Windows 7 USB-DVD Tool (download) to burn the .iso file to an USB key to create this). If you need to reuse the license key that came with the VAIO, you will need the same edition of Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, etc.), or use a bootable USB key with the ei.cfg file deleted (in \sources\), in which case you will be able to select the edition of Windows you want at setup.

    2. Drivers and Utilities. Download all relevant files (drivers, utilities, update patches) from Sony’s support page for the VAIO model.

    3. New HDD or SSD, if not using the one provided (which can be stored away as a backup). Instructions for replacing the HDD here (.pdf). If using the one that came with the VAIO, remember to do you own restore media first (if you want to). The below assumes that we are wiping everything clean. (Because HDDs are so cheap nowadays; I prefer to set aside the HDD provided as a backup. If SSDs are beyond budget, the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB (Solid State Hybrid Drive) and the Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB both go for $99 on Newegg.)


    Windows 7 Installation:

    1. Hold F2 when the VAIO is powering up to enter Bios setup, go to Boot, and set Boot Priority to have Internal Optical Disc Drive on top if installing from Windows 7 DVD; if installing from Windows 7 on USB, enable External Device Boot, and set Boot Priority to have External Device on top. Save and Exit. Keep in mind that the blue USB (3.0) port does not work prior to driver installation.

    2. Boot into Windows 7 DVD or USB. Select Next, Install Now, Custom (advanced), use Drive options (advanced) to delete old partitions (if any) and create a new partition for Windows. Format the partition and proceed with Windows 7 installation.


    Drivers and Utilities:

    Upon completion, boot into Windows 7. Install the drivers in the following sequence. Some steps may be followed by restarts.

    Graphics Driver
    Bluetooth Driver
    Ethernet Driver
    Chipset Driver
    SATA Driver
    Wireless LAN Driver
    ME (Intel Management Engine) Driver
    Audio Driver
    Memory Card Driver
    USB Driver
    SFEP Driver
    Pointing Driver
    Fingerprint Driver
    TPM Infineon Driver
    Sony Shared Library
    Fingerprint Utility
    Notebook Utilities (includes VAIO Care and Control Centre; controls laptop functions; useful)
    VAIO Care Update (patches VAIO Care to newer version)

    The following are optional:

    VAIO Smart Network (for managing connections to Wifi; somewhat useful)
    VAIO Update (updates VAIO drivers and software; somewhat useful)
    VAIO Location Utility (I did install this, but not sure what it does)
    VAIO Gate (software dock; not particularly useful) + Update Patch
    Quick Web Access (installs a very lightweight version of Linux--that is essentially all web-browser--that one can access very quickly by powering up the VAIO using the “Web” button) + VAIO Boot Manager (needed for Quick Web Access to work)

    I did not find the following worth installing; in fact, I found them more trouble than they are worth. One might say the whole point of a clean install is precisely to avoid stuff like this:

    PMB VAIO
    Media Gallery
    Event Service
    Content Metadata Intelligent Analyzing Manager

    Don’t forget to install your favorite virus scanner (Microsoft Security Essentials, in my case) and other utilities (check out http://www.ninite.com); and run Windows Update to get Windows up to speed in terms of security updates, etc., at some stage.


    Windows Backup and Restore

    Upon getting the Windows installation up to speed (drivers, utilities, updates, etc.), defragmented (if using a HDD), and your favorite major Apps installed (Office, Adobe, Steam, etc.) and so on, it’s a good idea to do a complete backup. Use Windows Backup and Restore to create a System Image, preferably on an external HDD. This can be very useful since in case of failure, you can restore the complete image of a fresh Windows 7 installation without having to go through all of the above.

    To create a system image backup for the first time:

    1. Plug in the external disk drive with sufficient space.

    2. Close all running programs.

    3. Start Windows “Backup and Restore” (press Windows Key, type “backup”, select “Backup and Restore”; can also be accessed from control panel).

    4. Select set up backup.

    5. Select the desired location of the backup (e.g., the external drive, a restore partition) and click “Next”.

    6. Select “Let me choose” and “Next”.

    7. Make sure that “Include a system image of drives...” is selected. Select any other items you want (not necessary for present purposes) and “Next:

    8. Access “Change schedule” to determine how often you want to back up (I prefer to turn off “Run backup on a schedule” and do things manually), and “OK”

    9. Click “Save settings and run backup” to begin first time backup

    Subsequent backups: Same as steps 1-3 above, followed by “Back up now”

    Suppose there is a hard disk failure, massive corruption of the system hard disk, or change of hard disk and you want to restore a previously created system image.

    1. If the system image backup is on an external disk, plug that in (not the third, “blue” USB port).

    2. Boot from the Windows 7 DVD or USB Key. Click “Next”, then “Repair your computer” to get into “System Recovery Options”.

    3. Select “Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier”, then “Select a system image”. The image on the external disk should become available, with the latest version selected by default. Earlier versions (if available) can also be selected.

    4. Select “Format and repartition disk”; if additional drives are attached (e.g., the USB Key), make sure they are excluded from the process (under “Exclude drives”); click Next.

    5. Next screen contains a summary; click “Finish” to start the process.

    This is essentially the fastest and most pain free way to get a new HDD/SSD up to speed (or roll it back) using a previously established clean install. If major Apps are included, saves a lot of time and trouble installing Office, Adobe, games, etc. as well. This sort of function used to require software such as Acronis or Norton Ghost (there are other equivalents), but I've found Windows 7 Backup and Restore System Image to work just fine.
     
  2. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Only difference in for the SC, is there is no WEB button :p

    Thank you! (+repped ya, though this information is also in the SA/SB/SC/SD owner's lounge, too, though in a more basic and rough form :D)
     
  3. STheory

    STheory Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    72
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thanks. I guessed that the procedures or most of it will work for the SC and SD, but I only had actual experience with the SA and SB.

    Agreed: the information is mostly in the Owner's Lounge already. I just happened to have written up a more step by step version for a non-techie friend (the above). The Windows Backup and Restore part especially. (It saved me from having to redo everything when I RMA'ed my Intel 320 and replaced it with an Intel 510.

    Had wanted to post the thing in the Lounge originally, but the thing is so long it will probably get lost. And some of the people who might be interested in this are not owners yet but checking to see if there are well established procedures for clean install, so this is also meant for them. (Perhaps there is a way to get it linked on the first post on that thread, if people found this useful.)
     
  4. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Having experience with Sony installs (custom HW and SW, mostly), one of the things that influenced me to try a Sony laptop again, was the fact that an install guide existed in the first place :)
     
  5. Skyshade

    Skyshade Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

    Reputations:
    298
    Messages:
    1,547
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    56
    This is a really nice guide. Thanks a lot.

    I am still debating whether I want to do the clean install on my 120GB X25-M. Other than Norton and the armada of Windows Live programs, the SA21 I just received is relatively clean. I do use PMB with my NEX-5 camera so I think I really can't avoid that package, so just uninstalling Windows Live and Norton and then do a clone image to X25-M may be enough for me.
     
  6. sisqo_uk

    sisqo_uk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    102
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    31
    any one got the recovery image. im selling mine but want to factory reinstall it rather than just downloading drivers to make it feel sony branded.
    please help. crucial.
     
  7. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    That image is some 12GB in size, lol...
     
  8. sisqo_uk

    sisqo_uk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    102
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    31
    lol coincidently i have actually made a spare partition of 12gb in size just incase. is there anyway i can obtain the files?

    my main concern to this is with a image restore. does it restore the operating system too? so if my machine for example has windows professional. i cant use an image that has home preimum?

    its ok i have the vpcsa25gx with pro. but i also got vpc-sa2c5e with home. its brand new and im selling it but i dont want to turn it on to find out the operating system will be different if i copied the image from there.

    saying that though if i copy the image from home premium for a factory restore and then do windows pro upgrade it. should still leave me with a factory install but upgraded to pro from premium right?
     
  9. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    If it's possible without an Anytime upgrade key...
     
  10. sisqo_uk

    sisqo_uk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    102
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    31
    well i got full version of pro with the option to upgrade and the pro key on the laptop. im sure if i restore the image of premuim. i can just upgrade pro over it with a key ready if needed.

    if im going to keep this laptop....is there anyway to make the mouse buttons softer to click rather than as firm as they are?
    (its my gf that complains about this) i click mouse button ALOT...think of it as if i was playing call of duty and i kept shooting with the mouse button. i do this when often just playing football manager as theres alot of navigating in this game.
     
  11. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    No, lol :(. I use tap-click (basically, tap to click on the touchpad, and a few other tricks, like tap ta-drag for moving stuff around; habit I picked up from a Dell M1210 that had a broken left clicker).
     
  12. sisqo_uk

    sisqo_uk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    102
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    31
    i feel ya pain. but as user that is used to using 3 mouse buttons on laptops from thinkpad and hp. using 2 mouse buttons is a right pain let alone double tapping :p .
    That middle button to open a new tab is bliss compared to right click and open a new tab...so long. makes navigating so fast for me this way. plus i love the trackstick too. and i never use to buy laptops without it since my 1st laptop only had a trackstick.
    so sliding around on a touchpad...can you feel my pain with no middle click button :D
     
  13. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

    Reputations:
    657
    Messages:
    2,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    "eraser" or "nipple" are the only two terms I have heard for that, :p. My old thinkpad had that (pre-lenovo) as did my Dell Latitudes :)

    As for the open new tab, I'd guess use ctrl+click? It's what I do now, since, well... ever :D I never had the middle clicker on a laptop :eek:
     
  14. sisqo_uk

    sisqo_uk Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    102
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    31
    ol u dont no what you missing with those 3 mouse buttons usally found on busines laptops from 15" up usually hp, dell and lenovo.
    i have learned something here tho...ctrl+left click on a link :p

    anyway. i made a recovery discs from the new laptop. i took the hard drive from one laptop and swapped it into the other one. so the new drive with factory settings/home premuim is on the laptop with a professinal key underneath. whilst the ssd drive that was in the professional laptop is in the new laptop where the recovery discs worked so it has a 256 ssd instead of 500 hhd with factoy settings on with windows home premium. thats worked.

    im just stuck now with the other laptop with the professional key on it. this one now has the other laptosp hard drive with premium on it. my plan was to then upgrade it with a professional but it wont work although the key was accepted so i dont no. but im meant to send this laptop with the professional on it installed. not just give it to the buyer.
    cant i make a copy of the drivers and then reinstall pro then add the drivers to make it look factory reset?

    EDIT: WFT! scratch the above. solution not needed. i went to tunr it on to think of a solution and its updating it to pro so my orginal plan did work then to 90% :D i just couldnt do a back up with it in this state. but its in at the factory reset and i ver said it wasnt going to have my name. ill just need to see how to change the adming name now :p
     
  15. ccmd00d

    ccmd00d Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hi,

    Great guide! I followed this step by step and everything went fairly smooth. My only issue is the speed light is no longer working next to the speed/stamina switch. The switch itself seems to be functioning. Any suggestions?
     
  16. darxide_sorcerer

    darxide_sorcerer Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    716
    Messages:
    1,336
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    56
    ^
    i don't think that's the "speed light". it's a sensor; just cover it with your finger and see what happens...
     
  17. ccmd00d

    ccmd00d Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Wouldn't that be interesting. I'll check it out. I swore that light was lit when I first received the computer while on the Speed setting (it is a green light to the right of Speed).
     
  18. Stormblade83

    Stormblade83 Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    94
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    That's really the light sensor. It has nothing to do with the speed setting.
     
  19. daverant

    daverant Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hi,

    Thanks for the summary. I'm having issues with my clean install - can't get the graphics switch to work for the life of me. I've installed the official drivers from the sony site, but no luck at all. Do I have to have some of Sony's own software installed on top of the drivers for the switch to work correctly?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  20. esdwa

    esdwa Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Comparing my previous experience with Fujitsu, Dell and Lenovo notebooks, I found clean WinPro7 install on new SSD replacing factory HDD extremely easy thanks for VaioCare. Burning 4 DVDs and using these to recreate factory image with no question asked and no glitch was a pleasure. My SA is a first Sony notebook and so far I am extremely happy. Good job.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
     

Share This Page