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VAIO Notebook - No Recovery Disk

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 6:23:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi all,

Received a new Sony VAIO VGN-A150 today with XP Home installed and
promptly deleted all partitions and installed XP Pro...

Little did I know, the computer doesn't come with *any* CDs, and the
drivers, etc, were on a special partition that I removed. Duh!

Well I was able to get most of the updated drivers from the Sony
website, but they don't seem to have the software that's required to
get the screen brightness controls working. Any ideas where I'd find
this? Or would some kind soul with a similar notebook model send that
particular utility to me?

Many thanks.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 8:12:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Bill Klein" <bill@orbit.org> wrote in message
news:f2293247.0407301323.3fbc3a65@posting.google.com...
| Hi all,
|
| Received a new Sony VAIO VGN-A150 today with XP Home installed and
| promptly deleted all partitions and installed XP Pro...
|
| Little did I know, the computer doesn't come with *any* CDs, and the
| drivers, etc, were on a special partition that I removed. Duh!
|
| Well I was able to get most of the updated drivers from the Sony
| website, but they don't seem to have the software that's required to
| get the screen brightness controls working. Any ideas where I'd find
| this? Or would some kind soul with a similar notebook model send that
| particular utility to me?
|
| Many thanks.


Hi Bill -

I don't have the same notebook, so I can't provide the files.

You do, however, require the Sony Shared Library (which should be available
for download), the Sony Utilities DLL and the Hotkey Utility (both of which
are mysteriously absent from the downloads pages for all recent Vaios).

Jef
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 11:16:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi Bill -

More information for you.

I notice that your VGN-A150 is a fairly new model and, consequently,
Recovery CD's are not yet listed on Sony's website - see
http://servicesales.sel.sony.com/web/index.jsp and click on the Computer
then the Recovery CD link... and you'll find that your model is not listed.

You can, however, order a Recovery CD (actually it's probably a single DVD)
by calling 1-800-488-7669. Cost should be US$17.95 plus sales tax (if
applicable) and shipping.

Once you have the Recovery CD in hand, you can go through the following in
order to extract the installers for the drivers and Sony's proprietary
applications so you can install them under Windows XP Pro.

You've already found that many of the drivers available as stand-alone setup
files on Sony's support website (and this would be a good place to go
looking after performing the following, as drivers do frequently get updated
after a model is released).

You'll find that the 3rd party applications (such as Word Processing, DVD,
etc.) applications will not reinstall in this manner (and probably won't
even be included on the Recovery CD direct from Sony), but Sony's
proprietary stuff will.

To restore the drivers, Hotkey Utility, Sony Notebook Setup Utility and
PowerPanel Utility from your Recovery CD's on newer Sony installations,
you'll need to download a small utility called KCAP.EXE - you can pick it up
(zipped) here: http://pages.sbcglobal.net/jefn/kcap.zip

You'll then need to work through your Restore CD's one-by-one, looking for
the following items:

Sony Drivers installer
Sony Utilities Library/Sony Shared Library installer *
Sony Utilities DLL installer *
Hotkey Utility installer
Sony Notebook Setup Utility installer
Power Panel Utility installer

* One or both of these items may be found. If you find both, you'll need to
install both. If you find only one, you'll need only one.


All of the above are stored in proprietary archive files that need to be
unpacked to your hard disk.

Begin by creating a folder on your hard disk (suggest C:\Sony) and then
unpack KCAP.EXE from the above download into that folder.

Then, working one-by-one with your Restore CD's:

1. Insert each Restore CD in your computer.

2. You'll get a warning that the CD was not designed to be run on your
computer or from within Windows - click the OK button.

3. Look for a file called SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC (the x's will be a number... be
sure to insert this number in all of the following instructions) - also be
sure to look through any sub-folders on the CD before giving up on it - if
you find one, continue below - if you don't, start this process with the
next CD. There may be more than one SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC file if the set from
Sony comes on a single DVD.

4. Copy SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC to C:\Sony. Be patient - this will take some time.

5. From a command prompt (click START | RUN and type CMD), navigate to
C:\Sony and type the commands:

CD SONY
KCAP SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC C:\Sony

The format of the above command line is KCAP, followed by a space, followed
by the name of the file to decompress, followed by a space, followed by the
location to decompress the application installer files.

6. KCAP will unpack a bunch of sub-folders to C:\Sony, each containing a
different application - be patient - this will take some time. The
sub-folders will appear to have gibberish names - don't worry - we'll get to
deciphering all the gibberish once all the SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC files are
decompressed. KCAP is a Windows-based program which does not output
anything to the screen. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL and watch the Applications tab
on the Task Manager until KCAP disappears so that you are certain the
program is completed. If you make a syntax error in the above command the
program will simply quit... you won't get an error message.

7. Delete SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC from C:\Sony.

8. Repeat steps 1 - 7 for each of your Restore CD's (or each
SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC file you find on the DVD).

9. In Windows Explorer, step through each of the sub-folders, viewing each
xxxxxxxx.INF file (right-click and then select OPEN) to determine what the
installer in the folder installs. If you don't see a xxxxxxxx.INF file, look
at the other items in the sub-folder (and any sub-folders below it) to
determine what the folder contains. Clues can be icon files (xxxxxxxx.ICO),
readme.txt files, or even the name of the installer itself.

Alternatively, look at the file Appinfo.ini on the Application Recovery CD
that contains the ART folder. This file contains a listing of the
applications that originally shipped with your computer, along the name of
the folder that gets decompressed from the SONYxxxxxxxx.PAC file.

For example:

[Sony Shared Library]
text=Sony Shared Library
desc=Utility for Sony applications.
cmd=0207001.snc\setup.exe
prompt=
icon=305
compress=1
pacfilenumber=1
volume=D1
PromptBefore=
PromptAfter=
hide=off
dependencies=
installorder=2

Tells us that the Sony Shared Library is in the folder 0207001.snc and it
should be installed as the second application, after the Sony Drivers.

10. If you find an application you want in a sub-folder, rename the
sub-folder to something more appropriate (like C:\Sony\Hotkey) to avoid
confusion.

11. Delete sub-folders for applications you don't want.

12. When finished with steps 9 - 11, click on Start | Run and navigate to
each of the applications you wish to install, keeping in mind that you want
to preserve the following order of execution:

.. Sony Drivers installer
.. Sony Utilities Library/Sony Shared Library installer (if found)
.. Sony Utilities DLL installer (if found)
.. Hotkey Utility installer
.. Sony Notebook Setup Utility installer
.. Power Panel Utility installer
.. any other Sony proprietary utilities you wish to install

13. When finished, you can burn C:\Sony to a CD and you'll have a backup of
your installers for future restore, if needed.


The above worked with my V505DC2 and V505EX and I've heard reports from
other users that the approach works with many other more recent models.

Jef
!