SONY VAIO Z (VGN-Z58GG) upgrade SSDs and Wi-Fi / Bluetooth card

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by galaxyge, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    So, finally... replaced the original pair of SSDs 2x128 GB which were included in my VAIO Z and striped in a RAID-0 volume - with a brand new Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB mSATA card SSD.

    Additionally grabbed the chance to replace the original Wi-Fi with a faster 802.11 ac Intel Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-7260 card.

    This article should give a summary on how this could be done and evaluate the results.

    1. Replacing the SSDs.

    After opening the laptop and removing the keyboard connector from the motherboard, the pair of SSDs is seen on the left bottom side. The original ribbon cable has a 16-pin Micro SATA connector.
    2016-09-24 13.39.25b.jpg

    The SSDs are fixed in the VAIO on a metal frame which can be removed. Next photo shows the old SSDs (left) compared to new SSD and the necessary Micro SATA - mSATA adapter card.
    2016-09-24 13.48.28.jpg

    Intending to replace both SSDs with the single new one, I realized the opportunity to keep one of the old cards in place and just exchange one of them. After removing the ribbon cable with the help of a razor blade (!) as it was glewed to the chips, the results looked like this. It was a bit tricky to fix the adapter card on the metal frame as it is actually smaller than the orginal cards. Room for improvement, but it held.

    2016-09-24 14.42.06.jpg 2016-09-24 14.42.48.jpg 2016-09-24 14.44.41.jpg

    Continued in next post: Replacing the Wi-Fi card.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  2. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    2. Replacing the Wi-Fi card.

    To replace the Wi-Fi card, we need to remove the SSDs from the laptop and open some more connections and screws. The trick is to remove just what is necessary to be able to lift up the plastic frame built in by Sony, just enough to reach the card.
    Sony built it such just to bug you enough from messing with their masterpiece! ;D

    First, don't forget to slide the tiny connector out of its position above the audio connectors on the left.
    2016-09-24 15.25.56.jpg

    Then remove two or three more screws and it is possible to lift the plastic frame. The Wi-Fi card sits on a small board together with the Modem card. Remove the two antennas, and the two screws fixing the card on the board.
    2016-09-24 15.47.09.jpg

    The original Wi-Fi (left) and the new Wi-Fi / BT card (right) in comparison.
    2016-09-24 15.54.16bc.jpg

    I wonder how the SONY engineers did this. Refit the card and tighten the screws, and press the antennas cables on their sockets (using small finger tips)
    2016-09-24 16.03.10.jpg

    After the operation and closing the laptop, a view into the BIOS (hacked for advanced BIOS but this is not relevant for this upgrade).
    This would cause me some headaches - later on...
    2016-09-24 16.58.26.jpg

    3. The Configuration

    - the Windows system partition had to be placed on the first SSD appearing in the BIOS. No BIOS or Windows option exists to change that. Cost me one working day to figure out and fix (Error Message: Missing Operation System).
    - the Wi-Fi card was provided two drivers (wifi/BT) automatically by Windows Update. Before the reboot, I disabled the device of the existing BT in device manager. Everything installed correctly without errors.

    4. The results in short / will provide some benchmarks later.

    - SSD works well with significantly improved transfer rates across the board.
    - Wi-Fi works well in 802.11 ac mode.
    - BT works as well. In my setup, it is not anymore controlled by the physical switch on the front of the laptop. But I can turn it on/off independently using the Windows 10 charme, which I prefer anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  3. anytimer

    anytimer Notebook Virtuoso

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    Might be a good idea to benchmark the new SSD on its own as well as in combination with the old one. Sometimes there is a performance hit with using non-identical models side by side.

    Did you physically remove the old bluetooth module (assuming that the old one is on a separate module like in my model)?
     
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  4. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    ok, let me see, will do more testing later, but is a bit tricky as I was forced to move the windows 500 MB boot partition to the legacy SSD.

    I didn't physically remove the original BT module, it was sufficient to proceed as follows:
    1. boot the laptop after adding new card
    2. have Windows Update install the WiFi and BT driver for the new card
    3. disable the old BT device in device manager
    4. reboot.

    After this re-paired my BT devices, e. g. mouse.

    When installing new drivers, many things happen actually only during the next reboot, and this approach worked without any issues.

    Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Paloseco

    Paloseco Notebook Evangelist

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    I have trouble seeing all the images of your posts. Could you please use Tinypic instead?
     
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  6. Paloseco

    Paloseco Notebook Evangelist

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  7. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    So here some details on the configuration of Intel Wireless AC 7260 the after successful installation.

    In Device Manager, when switching to 'Drivers by Connection" view, following entries appear under the PCI Express Root Complex. Note that the original BT device installed on the SONY motherboard was disabled before rebooting with the newly installed Intel drivers.

    [​IMG]

    The detail of the Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth(R) driver:

    [​IMG]

    The driver installation also registered a service, with startup type 'automatic' and is running:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Paloseco

    Paloseco Notebook Evangelist

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    I've installed the official Intel driver BT_19.10.1635_64_Win10.exe and it updates and seems enabled, but trying to send a file says "No local bluetooth device was detected". After rebooting it falls back to the previous driver.
    It's happening exactly the same than when I tried with the AzureWave Broadcom BCM94352HMB (AzureWave AW-CE123H).
    Probably I'll have to disable the usb port for oem bluetooth module on the BIOS, if that is even possible. Otherwise I'll replace again the card and keep the computer stock.
     
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  9. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    I'd definitely recommend to try to utilized the upgraded WiFi at least, if faster Wi-Fi means anything to you. I've measured up to 6x times as fast speeds with the wireless AC mode on mine. Will post bench results in next post.
    Should be possible to use the new card for WiFi and the OEM module for BT as well - both options worked fine for me.
     
  10. galaxyge

    galaxyge Notebook Consultant

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    as promised, some Benchmark results for Orginal SONY delivered 2xSSDs vs. Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB:

    This was the speeds of the original 2x SSDs in RAID 0 mode, in CrystalDiskMark:

    [​IMG]

    And here the speed of SAMSUNG 850 EVO 1 TB, in CrystalDiskMark.
    [​IMG]

    We do recognize expected limitations through the outdated SATA-II controller (ICH-9ME) of my motherboard, plus possibly an impact by keeping one of the old SSDs in place on Port 0.
    Samsung 850 EVO is declared for Read/Write speeds of up to 540/520 MB/s by the producer for sequencial.

    Overall, there are significant gains in Write Speeds and 4K Read speeds, with a little slow down of Sequencial Read speeds - as expected through the demise of the RAID 0.

    Finally we see here full detail, in ATTO Disk Benchmark:

    [​IMG]

    Oh well.. and YES, TRIM is now working! :D

    TRIM check v0.7 - Written by Vladimir Panteleev
    https://github.com/CyberShadow/trimcheck
    Loading continuation data from C:\Users\Ge\Desktop\Trimcheck_x86_x64\trimcheck-cont.json...
    Drive path : \\.\C:
    Offset : 19367882752
    Random data : 5A 60 B3 5D 51 46 C1 8E 25 90 25 53 8F B9 15 7B...
    Reading raw volume data...
    Opening \\.\C:...
    Seeking to position 19367882752...
    Reading 16384 bytes...
    First 16 bytes: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00...
    Data is empty (filled with 0x00 bytes).
    CONCLUSION: TRIM appears to be WORKING!
    Press Enter to exit...
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
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