Sony support policy for upgrading or downgrading a VAIO® computer to the Windows® XP operating systems Back to Top
Sony plans to provide the necessary drivers and software to ensure basic functionality of the computer under the Upgrade installation configuration of Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Operating systems.
Sony cannot provide support for the operation or troubleshooting of the retail version of the Windows XP operating system. Support for the retail version of the Windows XP operating system is provided by Microsoft.
Drivers and software for upgrades to other (non-original) operating systems are provided for customer convenience. Sony supports only the installation and operation of these drivers and software, not for the operating system itself.
Windows XP Home Edition is the supported upgrade path for Sony VAIO Computers that shipped from the factory with Windows® 98SE or Windows® Me operating systems pre-installed.
Windows XP Professional is the supported upgrade path for Sony VAIO Computers that shipped from the factory with Windows® 2000 operating system pre-installed.
Sony remains active in finding solutions for Windows XP issues that have been discovered, but not all Windows XP issues may be resolved.
Not all Sony computing and electronics products are supported under the Windows XP operating system. Windows XP operating system compatibility information is posted as it becomes available. For more information, please visit the Sony Support website and click the appropriate link for your Sony product.
Things to know and do before installing the Windows XP operating systems Back to Top
Follow the Instructions: During the installation process, do not start any application or restart the computer unless directed to do so by these instructions or by either the Windows XP documentation or an on-screen message. Failure to follow the Sony upgrade procedure may generate unexpected results and potentially an inoperable system.
The Sony System Recovery CD(s) which came with your system are required for the Sony upgrade procedure. If your computer came from the factory with Microsoft® Word® or Microsoft® Office® applications pre-installed, be sure to have your Certificate of Authenticity (COA) available. The COA is located on the front cover of the bundled MS Word or MS Office manual.
Computer Requirements: To perform this upgrade procedure the computer needs to be running from AC power (notebooks need the AC adapter) and have a CDROM or DVDROM drive attached or installed. Depending on your system a floppy disk drive and blank formatted floppy disk may be required for a BIOS update.
Access to the Internet: The Sony recommended procedure for upgrading to the Windows XP Operating System requires access to the Internet for downloading drivers and software updates. As some of these files are larger than a floppy disk it is recommended to have an Internet Service Provider connection that is setup on the computer.
WARNING!!: The upgrade process requires that the hard drive be formatted and reimaged. This will result in the loss of certain files, programs and data. It is highly recommended to backup these items if possible. If you are using third-party software or hardware to create a backup, ensure that the backup product and the backup set that it creates are compatible with Windows XP.
Be sure to back up all important data and any software that did not originally ship with the system, and write down any important configuration information. This includes but is not limited to:
- Internet Items: Connection settings for your Internet Service Provider (ISP), including access numbers, DNS server addresses, and e-mail account settings. You may also need to back up such files as e-mail archives and bookmarked ("Favorites") Web sites. As an added precaution, make certain that you have the ISP's telephone (voice) support number available. If your ISP is a service like America Online® or CompuServe® or uses it's own custom connection software, you must have a Windows XP-compatible copy of the ISP's software. After installing Windows XP, you must reinstall the ISP's software in order to connect to the Internet and download Windows XP drivers, software libraries, and utilities from the Sony Computing Support site.
- Your Data: User data and documents you have created. Many programs will save documents and data files into the "My Documents" folder, although some programs may save documents into other folders, depending upon how they were configured.
- Network Stuff: Network configuration settings, including any specific IP addresses, WINS resolutions, or passwords to shared resources.
- Applications: Serial numbers, registration information, and software updates for applications that did not come pre-installed on the computer. You may need this information or updates to reinstall the software after installing Windows XP.
- Third-Party (non-Sony) Devices: Device drivers and other software required by third-party hardware devices. Please visit each product manufacturer's support Web site for Windows XP compatibility information and for any updated drivers or software.
- OpenMG Jukebox Software: If the computer came with OpenMG Jukebox software, you may wish to backup your music data, especially if you purchased and downloaded music electronically. Instructions on backing up the data are available in the OpenMG Jukebox program help under "Backing up data to disk." Follow the instructions in the help file to back up the OpenMG Jukebox data to either removable media or another location on the hard disk drive. If you backup the data to the hard disk drive, be sure to copy it to a networked drive or removable media before formatting the VAIO Computer's hard disk drive.
- Additional Info: For additional information about backing up your data and about Windows XP compatibility information, contact the product manufacturer, service provider, or MIS administrator as appropriate.
Pre-installed Applications Removed During the Upgrade Process:
The following applications that come pre-installed will be removed during the installation of Windows XP:
- Adaptec® Easy CD Creator® and Adaptec® DirectCD™: The versions of Adaptec Easy CD Creator and DirectCD that shipped on Sony computers are not compatible with Windows XP. Please contact your local computer software reseller for information and availability of Windows XP-compatible CDR/CDRW recording software.
- McAfee® VirusScan® and Norton AntiVirus®: The versions of anti-virus software that shipped on Sony computers are not compatible with Windows XP. Contact your local computer software reseller for information and availability of Windows XP-compatible anti-virus software.
- Sony® OpenMG® Jukebox: You may reinstall the original OpenMG Jukebox software after installing Windows XP, but it is possible that you may experience some performance issues. Sony does not support the operation of OpenMG Jukebox 2.0 or earlier under Windows XP.
Disconnect External Devices: Disconnect all external hardware devices that did not ship with the computer from the factory, excluding the monitor or display and speakers, EXCEPT for a Sony PCMCIA CDROM/CDRW/DVDROM drive or a SlimDock Docking Station (as appropriate). Do not reconnect this hardware until the installation of Windows XP is complete.
VAIO® PC Companion CD for upgrading to Microsoft® Windows® XP operating systems (optional) Back to Top
The VAIO PC Companion CD is included with the Windows XP Upgrade Promotion from Sony. If you did not participate in the promotion or do not have the VAIO PC Companion CD, this section is unnecessary. Please skip to Preparing The Hard Drive For Windows XP.
When inserted into the drive, the VAIO PC Companion CD automatically prepares the computer for the installation of the Windows XP operating system. After Windows XP has been installed, this CD will also install the appropriate Sony drivers and software for Windows XP. Please review this information if planning to use the VAIO PC Companion CD:
- Read the Manual: It is highly recommended that you read and follow the instructions in the VAIO® PC Companion CD ReadMe First Manual (1.57 MB, revised 01/07/02) to complete the upgrade.
- IMPORTANT: The VAIO® PC CCD upgrade process is automated. Please refrain from clicking anything (unless directed) during the upgrade or the process may halt, and it will be necessary to restart the computer and begin again.
- For PCV-RX450 and PCV-RX460 models only: Some of these VAIO® Computers may not be correctly identified by the VAIO PC Companion CD. If this occurs with your system, please download and install the VAIO Companion CD Error: "This program is not designed to run on this computer model" update (2.00 MB, revised 12/06/01)
Preparing the hard drive for the Windows XP operating system Back to Top
After backing up all your important data from the computer, you must prepare the hard disk drive for the Windows XP installation. Sony recommends that you format your computer's hard disk drive and reimage it using the factory-shipped System Recovery CDs before upgrading to Windows XP.
However, you can also format the hard disk drive and install Windows XP without reinstalling the Sony software applications. This process is known as a "Clean Install" of Windows XP.
To format and reimage the hard disk drive, follow the steps below.
WARNING!!: BEFORE formatting and reimaging the hard disk drive, back up all important data and information. Formatting and reimaging the hard disk drive will erase all data, information, and software on the computer that did not come pre-installed from the factory!
- Non-original Operating Systems: If another operating system or boot management software has been installed on the computer, please remove it entirely before attempting to use the System Recovery CDs or installing Windows XP. It may also be necessary to remove any non-DOS (Windows) partitions that were not part of the original shipping configuration. For assistance removing these partitions or non-Sony software, please refer to the product documentation or contact the software manufacturer.
- Microsoft® Word® or Microsoft® Office®: If your computer came from the factory with Microsoft® Word® or Microsoft® Office® pre-installed, be sure to have your Certificate of Authenticity (COA) available before performing the Recovery. The COA is located on the front cover of the bundled Word or Office manual.
- Formatting and Reimaging the Drive: To format the hard disk drive and reinstall the original software, insert the Sony System Recovery CD #1 (if there is more than one CD) into the CDROM / DVDROM drive and restart the computer. When the System Recovery program launches, follow the on-screen instructions to format the hard disk drive (C:) and reinstall the factory imaged software.
NOTE: For Detailed instructions to format and recover the computer check out the How To Restore The System To The Original Configuration By Performing A Full System Recovery. solution which is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of your model-specific support page.
Downloading the Sony modem driver and installing the Sony BIOS update Back to Top
- BEFORE installing Windows XP, it is necessary to download the Windows XP modem driver and BIOS update posted for your computer on the Sony Support web site.
Print out the installation instructions for each file, following each only as far downloading the files to your computer.
DO NOT install the modem driver at this time. This modem driver will not be installed until after the installation of Windows XP is complete.
- After both the modem and BIOS updates are downloaded to the hard drive, go ahead and install the BIOS update. Follow the BIOS installation instructions to complete the installation.
NOTE: Some BIOS Updates are partnered with a Video update (it will be mentioned in the installation instructions if it is). In this scenario, please download and install both the BIOS and the Video update.
Uninstalling certain pre-installed applications Back to Top
Some Sony pre-installed software applications should be uninstalled BEFORE installing the Windows XP operating system.
Different computers come with different software and hardware components installed. Depending on the configuration of the computer you purchased, not all of the applications listed below may be applicable. If an application did not come on your system, skip the steps to uninstall it and proceed to the steps for uninstalling the next program. If Windows 2000 is currently installed on the computer, be sure to log in either as Administrator or as a user with full administrative rights.
Sony Core Applications (DV Shared Library, Utilities DLL, and VAIO Action Setup): For best results, uninstall these software libraries and utilities using the Sony® Pre-installed Programs Uninstaller Utility (UNINSTALL2.EXE) which is posted under Windows XP for your computer model. Follow the utility instructions to download and run this uninstall program.
OpenMG Jukebox 2.0, Adaptec DirectCD, and Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4.02b: Use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall these applications one at a time. These steps may vary by operating system and whichever program is being uninstalled.
- Click Start, point to Settings, and point to Control Panel.
- From the Control Panel menu, click Add/Remove Programs.
- At the "Add/Remove Programs Properties" box, scroll through the list of installed programs and click the "OpenMG Jukebox" entry to highlight it.
- Click the Change/Remove button.
- At the "Confirm File Deletion" box, click Yes to continue.
- At the "Shared File Detected" box, click the box next to "Don't display this message again" (to check it), and then click Yes.
NOTE: If prompted to "Remove Shared File?", click No to All.
- At the "Maintenance Complete" screen, click Finish.
Back at the "Add/Remove Programs" box, click the "OpenMG" entry to highlight it.
- Click the Change/Remove button.
- At the "Confirm File Deletion" box, click Yes to continue.
- Click Close to exit the Add/Remove Programs Properties applet.
- Click Start and click Shut Down.
- At the Shut Down Windows" box, select "Restart" from the drop-down box (if it isn't already selected) and then click OK. Wait for the computer to completely restart before continuing.
- Repeat the above process using Adaptec DirectCD as then entry in step 3. Once this is complete, repeat once more for the Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4 entry.
- Insert the Application Recovery CD (#1) into the CDROM/DVDROM drive.
- At the "Welcome to the Sony Application Installation CD" screen, click OK.
- At the "Sony Application Recovery Program" box, double-click the Software folder.
- At the "Sony Application Recovery Program - Software" box, double-click the McAfee Virus Scan icon. The McAfee VirusScan Setup will launch.
- At the "Welcome to the McAfee VirusScan Maintenance Wizard" screen, click Next.
- At the "Program Maintenance" screen, select "Remove" and click Next.
- At the "Remove the Program" screen, click Remove to continue. Please wait as the program is uninstalled.
- At the "Completing the McAfee VirusScan Setup Wizard" screen, click Finish.
- At the "McAfee VirusScan Installer Information" box, click Yes to restart the computer.
- At the "Sony Application Recovery Program" box, click OK. Wait for the computer to completely restart before continuing.
Installing the Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional operating system upgrade Back to Top
After taking the necessary steps to back up important data and prepare the system, the installation of the Windows XP Upgrade can begin. It is strongly recommend to read through the Microsoft Getting Started guide carefully before beginning the installation of the software.
During the installation, follow the instructions in Microsoft's documentation and the on-screen prompts to properly install the upgrade. When installing Windows XP, please follow the important guidelines below:
SONY® VAIO® Notebooks Only:If the notebook uses an external Sony PC Card CDRW or DVDROM drive, configure the drive to operate in 16-bit mode instead of 32-bit mode:
- PCGA-CDRW51 and PCGA-CDRW52: Shut down the notebook and disconnect the PC Card. On the bottom of the drive, slide the grey switch from "Card Bus" (32-bit mode) to "Recovery" (16-bit mode). Reconnect the PC Card and continue with the installation of Windows XP. After Windows XP is installed, reverse the process to switch back to 32-bit mode.
- PCGA-DVD51 and PCGA-DVD51/A: Shut down the notebook. Disconnect the AC Adapter from the DVDROM drive. Continue with the installation of Windows XP. After Windows XP is installed, reverse the process to switch back to 32-bit mode.
Select an Installation Type: At the initial "Welcome to Windows Setup" screen, Sony recommends that the "Installation Type" is set to Upgrade (Recommended). This will allow Windows XP to incorporate most of the configuration settings and programs from the previous operating system installation.
If the New Installation (Advanced) option is instead selected, Windows XP will be installed as a "clean install" configuration. Windows XP will be installed completely separate from the original operating system and none of the factory pre-installed applications will be migrated into the new operating system.
Updated Files: At the "Get Updated Setup Files" screen, you may select "No, skip this step and continue installing Windows" if you do not have a fast Internet connection.
Upgrade Report: At the "Upgrade Report" screen, Sony recommends that you select the option to display a full report. Follow the on-screen instructions to save the report in a convenient location, as it can prove very useful if troubleshooting is later required.
Registering: Windows XP will prompt you to register and "Activate" it during the installation. You may choose to complete the activation process at this time or defer it until after the installation is complete. If you delay the activation now, you will be reminded periodically by the operating system. Please keep in mind that Windows XP MUST be activated within 30-days of installation. For more information about Windows XP activation, please consult the Windows XP product documentation or the online help.
Installing Sony drivers and software updates Back to Top
It is now necessary to install the modem driver for Windows XP which was downloaded earlier and to setup your Internet connection. This will enable you to return to the Sony Support web site to download and install the remaining drivers and updates which are posted for your computer running the Windows XP operating system.
Install the Modem Driver: Locate the modem driver for Windows XP that you downloaded earlier and double-click the file to install it. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Setup your Internet Connection: After installing the modem driver, use the Windows XP Internet Connection Wizard to configure your Internet Service Provider (ISP) connection. To start the Internet Connection Wizard, Click Start and click Internet (Internet Explorer). The Internet Connection Wizard will launch. Follow the on-screen steps to reconfigure your ISP connection with any connection information documented during the backup process. For further assistance configuring your Internet connection, contact your ISP's support center.
NOTE: If you use a service like America Online® or CompuServ®, follow the instructions that come with that software to reinstall it.
Download and Install Device Drivers: After installing the modem driver and configuring the Internet connection, return to the Sony Support web site to download the device drivers listed for your computer running the Windows XP operating system.
As you click each file, it's installation instructions will appear. It is suggested to print the instructions and follow them to the point that the file is downloaded to your hard drive. Repeat this procedure for all listed device drivers. Once all files have been downloaded, go the first driver, as they were listed on the web site, and follow it's remaining installation instructions to complete the installation. Repeat this process until all downloaded device drivers have been installed.
Download and Install Sony Software Libraries, Sony Applications & Utilities and Other Update Utilities: After installing all of the listed Sony device drivers, return to the Sony Support web site to download the Sony Software Libraries, Sony Applications and Utilities and Other Update Utilities listed for your computer running the Windows XP operating system.
As you click each file, it's installation instructions will appear. It is suggested to print the instructions and follow them to the point that the file is downloaded to your hard drive. Repeat this procedure for all listed Sony Software Libraries, Sony Applications and Utilities and Other Update Utilities. Once all files have been downloaded, go to the first file, as they were listed on the web site, and follow it's remaining installation instructions to complete the installation. Repeat this process until all downloaded files have been installed.
Windows XP Service Packs Back to Top
Service Pack 2 has been released!!
Microsoft now offers Service Pack 2 to provide updates and fixes for the Windows XP operating system. Windows XP Service Packs are only supported with Sony VAIO Computers that ship with or have been upgraded to the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating systems.
To learn about and download the Service Packs for Windows XP, please visit Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack Web site at:
Additional Information Back to Top
It is recommended that you periodically check Sony's PC Support Web site for the most current Windows XP information, drivers, and software. Windows XP support specific to your computer will be posted on your model-specific support page as it becomes available.
You should also periodically use the Windows Update in the Windows XP operating system to ensure that the computer is running all of the critical and recommended updates from Microsoft. More information about Windows Update is available from the Microsoft Support Site.