Alternative audio solutions that I have found work on SONY VAIO VGCRC110G
- Use an external USB audio adapter. Some need no special driver for basic sound (plug and play built into Windows 7), others such as Creative require drivers to support advanced features. Advantages: doesn't take up any internal card slot, and this model VAIO has lots of USB ports anyway.
- Install an add-in sound card that works with Windows 7 -- I installed an old eDio Live Theatre 5.1 SC3000D PCI sound card that I had in my junk box -- to my surprise manufacturer has a full suite of drivers available for download, so it works without any problems in Windows 7.
- Install an upgraded PCI-E graphics card (the factory ATI Radeon X300 has only 128MB RAM and is rather limited, works OK with Windows 7 but very basic with Linux) with HDMI output including audio via HDMI. I recommend buying a silent (fanless) card because the original was also fanless and this is a very quiet PC, and also because in this PC the graphics card orientation has the heat sink upward, allowing heat to rise nicely by convection. I'm using a silent Gigabyte 1GB card based on the NVIDIA GeForce GT610 chipset. Note, however, that the large passive heat sink blocks use of the adjacent expansion slot, so I put an eSATA port there (see below). The HDMI solution requires external hardware that can accept HDMI digital audio and convert it to analog for speakers -- Easy if using an LCD TV with HDMI input as one of the displays.
- Use a different operating system: Linux MINT 14 MATE natively supports the built-in motherboard audio, as well as the add-in card and HDMI graphics card that I installed.
I recommend removing the TV Tuner card to free up a PCI slot -- no support for it under Windows 7 anyway, so it permanently has alert indications in the Windows 7 Device Manager, and doesn't work.
While at it, this VAIO has 4 internal hard drive bays and SATA ports -- if you don't need some of them then bring out 1 or 2 to rear panel as eSATA ports -- Monoprice.com sells a dual eSATA bracket. Caution: internal SATA cables are locked to motherboard, must gently release locks before pulling off cables!