Help reformatting without VAIO recovery disk

edit: with 1.7ghz and a GB ram, XP SP3 will barely run. Norton's makes it worse, but just a useless when uninstalled.
It's a Sony Vaio PCV-RX651 80G HD, 256MB ram, 1.72ghz running XP.

I got it used and could have swore it was pretty fast before I reformatted. When I got it, it had service pack 2 and windows update hadn't been run, it had tons of bells & whistle programs like movie shaker and stuff like photo editing that comes with the VAIO that make it a digital studio PC, tool bars, pop up blockers, etc, add/remove had like 50 things not counting Windows updates. I stress tested the internet and Windows Explorer and thought it was decent but reformatted to start from scratch and get the highest performance.

explains how to format this model:

I didn't make a recovery disk with drivers or the Sony Shared Library thing to get the VAIO programs. I read the VAIO programs are actually not needed to run the machine and are better off not installed if not used, making the Shared Library obsolete too, no?

I updated drivers, but saw no difference, the format instructions ^ say to download them if without the original CD. The drivers:®ion_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab
All installed except Microsoft® QFE (Q833228) Update Utility- under the WIndows OS section gave an error that I needed to install Service Pack 1. The 'more info' link goes to a MS page that says to just update to a new SP to fix it though. I installed XP from a SP2 disk and updated to SP3 before installing the updates. The instructions ^ say install drivers from a disk/drive before updating windows or even setting up an internet connection, but forums say it doesn't matter.

from start to fininsh, i did this:

Got the computer, stress tested IE and explorer, and caould have sworn it was running decent with SP2 and no updates, tons of bells and whistles.
DBAN'd the HD.
Installed WIndows XP from legal with license and key generic XP SP2 burnt disk.
Installed SP3 from MS.
Ran Windows Update.
Downloaded and installed the drivers in the link. One 'Unknown Device" in Device Manager had a yellow question mark but not after installing the drivers.
Tried using it, and it's rediculously slow.
I installed Norton Antivirus and didn't notice it get slower, but then I uninstalled it, and saw no change.

I reformatted again using a the other CD drive in case the first was damaged, and did all the steps again and it's still unusably slow.

I just found out that I'm getting the recovery disk, but would like to know if it's needed, in which case I followed format directions to a t and it's some how slower though then when I got it from what I remember unless I'm going crazy.

I know I should update to a GIG or RAM for a few bucks, I just need something for now, and am getting a much better computer eventually.

Any help?
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More about help reformatting vaio recovery disk
  1. Xp will run so much better if you have 1GB+ memory
  2. Is it right to say that I don't even need the recovery disk of VAIO/Sony shared library stuff unless I want those programs?

    IOW all I need is the generic XP CD, no? Unless the recovery CDs have drivers not provided in the link for my model.Seems like it:

    I'm getting the recovery disks soon and will format and upgrade to 1 GIG RAM, and hopeflly that will hold me over 'till I get a nice computer.

    Isn't it obsolete for me to burn a CD of downloaded drivers before reformatting/on another computer? IOW, the steps in that link say burn one like that and then install them before setting up an internet connection (I have one as soon as Windows is installed), so they assume I don't have internet yet. Still though, why not just install them after setting up an internet connection, which they put as the following step? The modem driver in my drivers link, right?

    Is this best:

    format w/ generic XP CD, but don't use the VAIO or Sony Shared Library CDs. just download the drivers after Windows installs instead of pre-burning a CD/drive.

    Upgrade to SP3

    run windows update

    disconnect the CD drives (I never really use them anyway, can re-attach when do) and change PIO to DMA if applicable.

    figure which GFX is best and a PCI and install. Update driver. (soemone elsewhere might have said something about a gfx card port on a motherboard takes away speed, but i'm not sure that's what they meant yet)

    Update drivers for things like motherboard, chipset, etc not offered or mentioned in the Sony driver link.
    Should I update all drivers for everything in deviec manager if I can find them?

    Then, it will be as fast as possible?
  3. thanks all for information

    The Recovery CDs are Windows Xp Home, plus tons of programs you likely won't use. It doesn't say Windows on the CD, and the linked instructions make it seem that you need a seperate windows CD. The computer's slow of course considering the specs, but usable.

    I formatted with a plain generic XP Pro CD because it omits all of the add-on Sony/etc programs, but it was slow and freezing up. Maybe my CDs are damaged (no errors popped up though) or that I needed the Sony Shared Library to install the drivers (it said they installed properly without SSL though).

    In case this actually helps anyone or I have to reformat and forget:

    Boot from System Recovery CD#1 (If don't have this and can't get it free/cheap, and any other OS you try isn't working well, might be better off getting a different computer at around the cost of the CDs). Then CD2 then CD3 and Windows is installed in only 15 mins.
    Once windows starts, the CD driver opens itself and says insert the Application Recovery CD1 (all the Apps are already installed though from the other CDs, I dunno what the Application CD does, tried not using it to keep it simple but the system was slow and had to start from scratch again).
    Next, install Sony Shared Library from the original driver CD. The rest of the drivers are all available with later versions from sony online and the CD ones don't seem to even install. I couldn't find SSL for this model online, maybe Sony will email it. SSL is most likely needed for the drivers to install right and/or OS function right.

    Next, had to get SP2 to get SP3 to get IE to get to sony's site for the drivers for this model without it/google crashing.
    Next, installed drivers from sony's site.
    Next, ran windows update
    Next, installed Norton. I know it's slowing the system a lot, but i trust it.
    Next, gotta be careful which of the many pre-installed, mostly obsolete, programs to disable/remove to free up CPU. Some are named that you'd think to delete them, but the OS is dependent on them cause I deleted something and had to reformat again.
    Might need to dload older version of Google Earth if can't run current.
    Change heatsink compound, disable windows messanger, disable GoogleUpdateTaskMachineCore, and other tweaks that will hold over untill getting a better computer.
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