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Windows 7: Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop


25 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop

I noted earlier that gregrocker mentioned tech savy members tend to do clean installs of their systems. I am having some difficulty doing a clean install of my Sony VAIO due to a backlit keyboard issue and was wondering if someone might be able to help.

I tried to do a clean install when I first got the system (after making the recovery discs, of course). Unfortunately, I ended up with a backlit keyboard that would randomly turn on and then off with no apparent reason like it was on a time cycle (not a huge deal breaker for a clean install, but rather annoying and worrisome for someone who is a power conservation user). I went to the support site for my laptop and tried to install the drivers and VAIO Control Center for the keyboard light management, but that just resulted in even stranger issues. The VAIO Control Center software removed my UAC settings and left my system in a state where I would get access denied trying to access anything that required administrator privileges. VAIO Control Center also did not have the options it is supposed to for changing the settings for the backlit keyboard (I like to be able to turn it off, or at least have it set to only turn on when lighting is low).


My question is: if I were to try to do a clean install again, would someone help me to iron out these issues?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

What told you that it's Vaio Control Center which handles keyboard light management? Did you find this via a Google search for the model + Backlit keyboard + Clean Reinstall? This is where I would start, after trying the software you absolutely need which is offered on the Vaio Support Downloads webpage for your model.

Although I can't remember seeing this specific issue I do remember Sony and Samsung laptops having problems getting the OEM software to work correctly for some features like Cam special effects, touchpad gestures, etc. Some users were forced to factory recover after trying faulty software, exhausting all research and OEM Tech Support avenues.

That said, I've always been able to get all features needed to work correctly on Clean Reinstalls by whatever means are necessary. It's rare that it takes a lot of work, or going to the extend of pulling feature software off a torrent, etc.

But if all this is necessary it wouldn't surprise me it's on a Sony or Samsung, which don't seem to care that much if the software they post on their Downloads pages will work when installed independent of the factory install. These makers stand out in this way.

Others may be able to contribute their experiences, or you can go and find them with deft Google Fu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
What told you that it's Vaio Control Center which handles keyboard light management?
It was actually from reading all the information about each driver/software installation available on the support page. I did very thorough research before doing the clean install.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you find this via a Google search for the model + Backlit keyboard + Clean Reinstall? This is where I would start, after trying the software you absolutely need which is offered on the Vaio Support Downloads webpage for your model.
I followed this guide: Sony VAIO SA/SB Windows 7 Clean Install / Backup and Restore (I actually did not read the guide as I went as I just found this tonight, but these are the steps I did, so I do not understand why they did not work)

The Sony® Notebook Utilities is where I ran into issues.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

Although I can't remember seeing this specific issue I do remember Sony and Samsung laptops having problems getting the OEM software to work correctly for some features like Cam special effects, touchpad gestures, etc. Some users were forced to factory recover after trying faulty software, exhausting all research and OEM Tech Support avenues.
The nice thing about Sony systems is they do come with significantly less bloatware than most other systems. I don't really notice a significant difference between a clean install and the factory install.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

That said, I've always been able to get all features needed to work correctly on Clean Reinstalls by whatever means are necessary. It's rare that it takes a lot of work, or going to the extend of pulling feature software off a torrent, etc.
As have I. This is the first real issue I've ever had with this route...


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

But if all this is necessary it wouldn't surprise me it's on a Sony or Samsung, which don't seem to care that much if the software they post on their Downloads pages will work when installed independent of the factory install. These makers stand out in this way.
I contacted Sony support, but I did not want to provide too much info in case the clean install voided my warranty for software support...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Others may be able to contribute their experiences, or you can go and find them with deft Google Fu.
I am open to any suggestions from others who may have experienced this problem. Google does not provide much help since backlit keyboards with Sonys are either fairly new, or few people do a clean install on them...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


25 Apr 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Sometimes the factory chipset is required to get OEM software to be full-featured.

There's some discussion on Laptop Review Sony room of how to keep the keyboard lit with reg values: Manually keep backlight keyboard on Sony Vaio Z21 - Page 9

In fact there's plenty to read doing a Google search for sony vaio backlit keyboard clean reinstall even though the top result is already strangely this thread.

With the low bloatware quotient on Sony you may want to settle for the factory image and then just Clean Up Factory Bloatware - Windows 7 Forums.

But what you find will be useful to countless others - already.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

I was thinking of going through a clean install tomorrow. I want to do a full system image backup tonight first so I can return to the current state if need be. The current state is the factory image with the bloatware removed, and it is running very well at the moment. I also have a dual boot Ubuntu setup that I do not want to lose.

I have read through most of the sites that pop up through a Google search, but none seem to address the problems I faced. It is possible my issues are unique to the VPCF232FX/B system and have not yet been discovered by other users...

I will try the factory chipset because although I am fairly sure I did that last clean install, it would not hurt to make sure on this one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

As a rule I would run with the drivers Windows 7 and optional Updates provide to see what performance they yield first, providing only the drivers missing in Device Manager after all of your Updates are done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks, Greg. I am in the process of creating my current system image as I type this.

I will heed the advice about the drivers and create a system image once I have finished getting all necessary drivers and Windows updates installed. That way, if something is botched, it will be simple to return to the clean install state.

Then I can install only the recommended Sony software and see if I can get the VAIO Control Center working as it should.

Does that seem reasonable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Sure, it's a better thought-out plan than most use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

No go...
  • Got the system updated, drivers installed, etc.
  • Backed up the system after activating Windows.
  • Installed the VAIO Control Center software and VAIO Power Management software from my Recovery Disc 1

NOTE: To install any software from the Recovery Discs, Disc 1 must be inserted first. Then after clicking OK to choose to re-install drivers or software, the recovery software will ask for Disc 3 to be inserted to install VAIO Care. Once VAIO Care is installed (there is no notice given that it is finished, so the user must check through the Start Menu and All Programs that it has been installed), then Disc 1 can be inserted and OK selected again to re-install drivers/software.

The keyboard backlight settings do not show up in VAIO Control Center...

Only about 10% of the options remain through VAIO Control Center in the clean install compared to those in the factory install. I tried updating the software via the Sony website, and it gives the message: "This update is not intended for use with your computer model"

Any ideas? I have checked all drivers and software on my recovery disc and see nothing pertaning to my keyboard or power settings beyond the two already installed. The options are in the images that follow, and I have checked the software/drivers that are already installed (anything with a check mark is already installed on my system):

Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers.png Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers2.png

Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers3.png Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers4.png

Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers5.png Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers6.png

Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop-vaiorecoverysoftwaredrivers7.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

What bit version is all of this software intended for? Do you get a choice up front?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Clean Install on my Sony VAIO Laptop




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