A week ago I bought a Sony VAIO laptop, so to save people their mental health, I’m gonna write a few pointers.
Okay, okay, I spent virtually half a day trying to access BIOS. In the end, I brought the laptop back to the store because I couldn’t access BIOS. Well, accessing BIOS is pretty simple once you know what to do. We used a method with a lot of clicking to access BIOS in the store. It can be accessed much simpler than that.
If your laptop is running, turn it off. Once it is turned off, instead of pressing the turn on/off button, press the ASSIST button. It is located right across the turn on/off button on my model (SVE1113M1EW) and “ASSIST” is written in pink.
You start VAIOCare|Rescue Mode that way. Once the mode loads, press F2 to start BIOS.
Now, the only reason I use BIOS is to change boot priority. Like accessing BIOS itself, setting the priority is quite simple once you know what to do. Go to Boot tab in BIOS (use arrows on the keyboard to move around…). Now, in every other BIOS I’ve worked with, it’s enough to just change boot priority to external device if you want to boot system from an external device. In Sony VAIO BIOS, however, you have to enable external device boot first. Anyway, just make sure that External Device Boot is Enabled under Boot Configuration and then set boot priority as you wish.
If your VAIO came with a preinstalled Windows, do not reinstall it or change Windows because you’ll probably go through a nightmare finding drivers.
This is my story:
I went throughout the city in search for the cheapest option for a minilaptop. That led me to Sony VAIO SVE1113M1EW, The laptop comes with preinstalled Windows 8. Preinstalled means that you get the operating system with no disk and no product key which means you are stuck with that installation and can’t reinstall the system when a need arouses. That is why I bought Windows 7 (cheaper than Windows 8, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 7 is an operating system for computers). When I asked in the store whether I can install Windows 7 on the thingy, vendors were all like “sure thing”. Anyway, once I had bought the laptop (and spent ages to start BIOS 😉 ), I installed the Windows I bought. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find most of the drivers. I spent two days searching for them. I asked for help. We went to the deepest bowls of the Internet and only managed to install the missing LAN driver. We came across a text on Sony website that my model cannot be downgraded to Windows 7 (yes, after a week of vendors telling me that I can install Windows 7 with no trouble). Well, I took the thing back to the store and told them I can’t find the drivers. That’s when they told me SVE1113M1EW can’t be downgraded to Windows 7 (a way Microsoft and partners are forcing people to use Windows 8…). Luckily, I bought the Windows at the same store, so they couldn’t explain to me why I’d spend €120* if I had known, the thing wouldn’t work.
In the end, they returned my VAIO with Windows 7 and all the drivers. They did not give me the drivers on CD or another disk though. However, with the help of Device Manager and Programs and Features in Control Panel, I think I managed to download all the drivers. Well, let’s just hope I’ll never have to find out… even though I bought the Windows only to be able to reinstall it.
All in all, do not remove the preinstalled Windows. At least not without finding and downloading the drivers first.
As for other operating systems, I’m not sure. Linux usually detects the hardware and installs the necessary drivers in no time. I can’t vouch for every Linux distribution, but Knoppix had no trouble with the hardware of my VAIO. That is, it recognized wireless network adapter right away and I was able to connect to my modem in no time.
So far I am quite stasfied with my VAIO. There’s only one thing I don’t like (two things depending how you look at it/them), other than the living nightmares called BIOS and drivers 😉 The touchpad is way too sensetive while the keyboard is barely sensetive.
*Generally, I don’t like to talk about prices outside my own country. The price I wrote is a rounded conversion of the local currency. In addition, the “value” of the dollar varies a lot throughout the world. For example, I heard that 0.25L of bear costs £3 in the UK. British find that acceptable (otherwise British pubs would be empty 😉 ). £3 for a 0.25L bottle of bear is quite a lot here. I don’t drink bear so I don’t know the exact price of bear here. I think 0.25L of bear costs around 4 HRK (≈ £0.4) here. Well, £3 is just too much for us 😀 Another good example is that throughout most of Africa, you can buy a 160 m² 4 bedroom flat for only a few hundred euros. On the other hand, an average African can hardly come by €1.
Suffice it to say, €120 is no small amount of money here, especially for an operating system.
Posted on September 13th, 2013 at 13:27 GMT
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Update (4 Aug 2016)
I found the drivers my ass. Just had the disk formatted and installed my Windows 7 on the thing and, guess what, the drivers did not work, not even the LAN driver. Luckily, I was able to install mobile internet and activate Windows. Then I upgraded to Windows 10 and everything seems to be working for now.