Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

SSD space loss--tried most simple recommendations!

Last response: in Storage
Share
January 15, 2013 1:49:04 PM

Hi,

I'm really at my wits' end! I have a Sony laptop purchased in Sept with a 256G SSD (and a lot of bloatware), 8GRAM, Win7Pro. I have used SSD's for several years now (at least last 3 laptops). My last laptop was a Lenovo that I changed out the 128G SSD on (to 256G). It STILL has room on it (about 70G), though it has most of the same programs I'm running now (except the bloatware).

FYI: A few weeks ago, my laptop suddenly went "out". I could tell it was on, but there was no video (attached an external monitor, too). The fan kicked into HIGH HIGH gear, continuously. I figured it was the video card, but I'm not experienced enough to diagnose HW issues (or any issues, really). I sent it in for repairs under warranty--didn't get much info back, but they said "No POST" somewhere, which I kind of looked up but didn't really understand. My info was still all there when I got it back, so they must not have replaced the system board.

I don't know if the SSD space was tight prior, but I don't think so. I generally check every month or so and don't recall being concerned. I also have no idea if this could be related, but I included it!

A few days ago, I noticed I was down to about 5GB free. For work, I have to run 2 years' versions of QuickBooks Premier, Enterprise and QBPOS. I have installed two years' of each except QBPOS (only one year). I also have one year of ProSeries installed. I have all of these plus Office, Itunes, Dropbox (about 5GB) etc. on my Sony. I also have *all* of these on my old Lenovo laptop (4G RAM, Win7 Pro, the one with 70G still left).

I began uninstalling bloatware (admittedly, through Sony's "Vaio Care"). My space was still being sucked up. I'd gain 5-6G, then watch it slowly move down. I moved things out of Dropbox and deleted the folders (I keep very few docs on my computer). I thought it might be a virus. I use Kaspersky, but there was a few days right after I got it back when I had trouble getting it updated. I was somehow able to download MalwareBytes, which found nothing (had no trouble installing it, which was surprising, given that I had almost no room).

I tried all 7 of these things here (from this forum): http://www.pvladov.com/2012/10/free-up-disk-space-on-ss...

I had done most of these already (except unchecking indexing). I gained about 5-6G only, and now it's back down again. I had also read somewhere about compressing the "Users" folder and one of the "Program" folders (I forget which one, but I didn't do it, only "users"). I tried to use the Windows Management Console (or whatever, I'm really a novice), to decrase the 8GB hibernation partition (which I notice is still partitioned, even after I did the 7 things above). I was not able to remove that hibernation paritition in the way my OEM help said I should be able to, btw.

I've considered that I've been hacked, that I have a virus, but I'm not sure what to do. I'm not a gamer. I don't do any file sharing of music, etc. I mostly just surf the net and work. I NEVER open attachments emailed to me unless I'm expecting them (and NEVER "forwards", only work things). I never use apps from FB. I try to be careful about what I click on (what sites I visit), even when I'm searching "SSD space shrinking"--I try to only click on sites I kind of know (though I've gotten more and more desperate).

When I started this long post (sorry), I had 5+GB space (righ-clicking on my C drive and choosing properties). Now, I have less than a gig. What could POSSIBLY going on? I can't work--I can't even use Firefox most of the time! I've had to uninstall QBPOS and QBES '12 (since I have so few clients using the latter).

I guess I could always reformat, but isn't reformatting not a great idea if you have an SSD?

If anyone has ANY ideas, I'd be so grateful!!! I've now spent so much time on this, and I'm not getting any work done! I'm also going to go wait in line over at bleeping computer to see if someone can help me diagnose any malware issues I might have!

I hope I haven't broken any forum netiquette rules! Apologies in advance!

Thanks!
Wendy
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 15, 2013 2:01:53 PM

Well,

Make sure you have TRIM on..
But beyond that.. it should be simple enough to look through your machine and see where the space is going..
Once you done that - you can decide if it sensible or not e and work on reducing it..

Cheers

P.S. Reformating your SSD is not a problem.. you can do that if you want.. but it better if you can work to understand the problem.. otherwise - if you dont understadn,.. it will priobably just happen again.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2013 2:09:23 PM

Reformatting won't hurt an SSD, just do a quick format (not a full format). Personally, I would just go this route if it isn't much trouble for you. For what it's worth, a clean install of windows 7 is better than restoring the Sony image which is likely configured for an HDD, you can download clean install images here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-is...

Since you are seeing pretty drastic space loss (4GB in the time it took to type your post), I would suggest checking your running processes for something that looks suspicious.

Poke around in your C:\ drive, what folders are taking up space that shouldn't be; I would expect 10-20GB of program files, several GB in Users, and a large number in the Windows folder (which you should ignore really), the space has to be in use somewhere.
Related resources
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 15, 2013 2:15:52 PM

Something is continuously adding to your SSD.

Step one is to identify how much space is taken up by various files and folders.
Go to my computer and expand the "C" drive.
Right click on each file or folder, and you can see how much space is being used.
Drill down to sub folders if you need to.
If you see anything that does not look right, then investigate.

There are some freeware apps that will do this for you and present a graph.
Save the output.
Then, run it again a week later and see where the increase came from. That might identify the culprit.

If you are having hardware/software problems, windows might be logging diagnostic information in ever increasing amounts.

If you have a file called windows.old, it represents a backup from a previous upgrade, and can be deleted.

When files are deleted, they are still on the SSD in the recycle bin. You need to empty that.

As your SSD approaches 90% full, updates will take longer. That is where trim can help.
If your sata mode is not AHCI, then you will not get trim support.
That is worth checking, but will not be the source of your problem.
a b G Storage
January 15, 2013 2:28:23 PM

To provide some instructions for the stuff about TRIM and AHCI look at steps 1 and 15: http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...

Step 1 will show you how to ensure AHCI mode is enabled. You first want to make sure your laptop will support AHCI mode in it's BIOS (Sata Mode is usually the setting name, and it can be either IDE or AHCI) before making the changes in your registry.

Step 15 will show you how to ensure TRIM is enabled. Trim lets the SSD clean itself up by moving data in half filled pages of flash together, and erasing data that is flagged for deletion, a bit like defragging an HDD.

I was under the impression that a drive with lots of uncollected garbage wouldn't report that to the OS since it emulates a regular HDD, it reports a certain amount of space available based on the file system not the state of the drive; but I could be wrong.
January 15, 2013 2:38:55 PM

Thanks y'all (especially for the TRIM and AHCI instructins--I have no idea what that is)! I have someplace to start, though I didn't realize that I shouldn't be asking for help elsewhere and that bleeping computer would close my topic there. So I'm going to wait until I hear back there before I try anything else??

I forgot to mention that I had a number of copies of a client's LARGE (nearly 1GB) QB data file that I had stored directly on my C drive, mostly (some were on my desktop out of laziness), but naturally, that was the FIRST thing I moved off. And of course, I've constantly been emptying the recycle bin.
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 15, 2013 3:02:36 PM

Well.. a 256GB hard drive should have about 238GB avail after formatting
May be your SSD (like mine.. a Samsung 830) recommends some space to allow it manage itself.. so mine is down to 214GB available
Windows 7 will be about 40 -60GB but may be more if it old and you have lots of stuff isntalled..

So even so - you should have lots of space.. you talk about the odd GB here and there.. but if you bumping about maxing our your 256GB drive.. its something more significant than that.

Thats why you need look through... I not familiar with the QB app you talking about.. is it a storage hog? but as I said.. you should be able to look through your files and see where the space is going.. and do a "sanity check" to see if its reasonable. e.g. if you jave massive video files.. that may be understanable if you record a lot of TV to your machine.. if you dont.. but still have massive video files.. then you know where to focus your investigations.

If yo ulooking through.. you may need to make sure you have ticked the option so you can see hidden files... and even tick option so you cna see hidden OS files (though care with that if you dont know what you doing). In Win 7 you do that by Start --> Computer --> Organise --> folder and search options --> view -> Tick/untick the required options...

HTH
Cheers
January 16, 2013 5:46:38 PM

[/quote]
djscribbles said:
For what it's worth, a clean install of windows 7 is better than restoring the Sony image which is likely configured for an HDD, you can download clean install images here: http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-is...


djscribbles: why do you think the Sony image is likely configured for an HDD? I think this model ONLY comes configured with SSD in various sizes?

I get a little nervous downloading stuff from the internet.
January 16, 2013 5:54:35 PM

zdbc13 said:
Use windirstat to find out where your space is going:

http://windirstat.info/download.html



So even though I'm REALLY nervous about downloading stuff off the net (even when y'all tell me to--I'm a novice and have never heard of these things), what do I do when I CAN'T download or install it? I don't have enough room! I'm to that point now. I think I can uninstall itunes or one of my other QB's (QuickBooks). I guess I might as well, since I can't hardly use it any more. If I hurry, I can maybe get enough room to download and install this, but if I can't? Do you have any recommendations?

Sigh.

Thanks,
Wendy
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 16, 2013 6:02:30 PM

wendy12x12 said:
So even though I'm REALLY nervous about downloading stuff off the net (even when y'all tell me to--I'm a novice and have never heard of these things), what do I do when I CAN'T download or install it? I don't have enough room! I'm to that point now. I think I can uninstall itunes or one of my other QB's (QuickBooks). I guess I might as well, since I can't hardly use it any more. If I hurry, I can maybe get enough room to download and install this, but if I can't? Do you have any recommendations?

Sigh.

Thanks,
Wendy


You need to identify what is taking up all the space.

Normally, it is only video files that take up lots of room.

Right click on suspect folders and files and select properties. You will see how much space it takes.

The answer will probably be very simple and obvious once you identify the culprit.
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 16, 2013 6:53:18 PM

windirstat and ccleaner are small programs. When you find some files to delete I recommend you use these two to help you furthur.
January 16, 2013 7:02:54 PM

geofelt said:
You need to identify what is taking up all the space.

Normally, it is only video files that take up lots of room.

Right click on suspect folders and files and select properties. You will see how much space it takes.

The answer will probably be very simple and obvious once you identify the culprit.


I apologize profusely if I'm not being clear--I have been checking the space of many, many files (not ALL yet, due to time constraints). I guess what I don't understand is why (or how) video files (for example) would continuously SUCK UP my space?

That is, as soon as I get a few GB's (or even less) cleared out on my C drive, it slowly (or quickly) goes back down to 0 bytes free. I've uninstalled so many programs and offloaded probably 75% of the personal data files I had on it?? I've checked all of my remaining personal files that I have loaded (no video files, no music files--not many to begin with). I have offloaded almost all the pictures (of my kiddo), the dropbox that I kept most of my personal files in (tried to uninstall but not enough room), as well as offloading MP3s used by Rosetta Stone for levels I wasn't on yet (though I have completely uninstalled Rosetta Stone now). I "unshared" several dropbox folders that I was in for work, but we're talking about less than 5GB for my whole dropbox, anyway.

The only video files that could be on it are video files loaded/used by programs or itunes. I have very little music or other media in itunes. This being a relatively new computer and my using itunes so infrequently, I'm not even sure I have plugged my phone into this laptop?

I guess what I'm saying is, if all of the stuff I've offloaded FIT at one time, how is it possible that every time I offload or uninstall, the space I just cleared gets sucked back up to put me at zero available? So little that the uninstallers won't even work any more?

Is there a way to run windirstat from a flash drive?
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 16, 2013 7:15:05 PM

You can temporarily disable hybernate and your page file to give you extra space. Then you can use our suggestions to find out what is causing the problem. Click Start, then right click Computer and click Properties. Click Advanced System Settings and go to Performance tab, Advanced. Click change and choose no page file, then click set and then apply. It will take effect after a boot. Hibernate follow these instructions:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/819-hibernate-enab...
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 16, 2013 7:24:26 PM

I only mentioned video files because they tend to be large. They are comprised of thousands of individual picture frames.

Something is adding stuff continuously to the "C" SSD.
You need to find out what it is.

Looking at the "C" drive, look at the date date modified column. Look for files that were modified today.

windirstat takes less than 1mb. It should fit on your "C" drive.

If you have protected all of your valuable data to an external device, you might consider a clean install of windows.

It is apparent to me that cleaning out more room will not work for you.
Whatever is filling the ssd up will just continue to do so.
January 18, 2013 1:46:51 PM

@zbdc13: I had already done those things (my original post about doing the 7 things recommended on this forum elsewhere)???

@geofelt: I forgot to say I tried to run windirstat. I don't remember now exactly what happened (I've lost a lot of sleep since then), but it didn't work. When I say that I don't have any room, I mean I am going down to 0 bytes each time. I couldn't start Vaio Care to get to my BIOS to re-prioritize boot from external without clearing out some stuff (I don't have a whole lot more I'm comfortable clearing off at this point). It needs like 40MB to run (according to the message). I was clearing stuff, and it would then say I had to clear off X more, and it got down to 1MB. By the time I cleared off something else, it went back up to needing to clear off 17MB to run!

So where/how do I do a clean install? Are you talking about just a reformat?
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 18, 2013 2:49:51 PM

To restore your laptop to factory settings, turn off and boot. While booting press F10 multiple times. Should get you to the factory restore process. This will restore the original windows with all the bloatware just like you got it from the dealer. Make sure to backup any important files (if you can) to an external drive before you do this. Good luck....
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 18, 2013 4:12:20 PM

I suspect you have contracted some sort of malware, or other program gone amuck.

Before trying to do a clean install, see if you can't do a system restore to a previous time when things were going well.
I hope you did not take the advice to turn off system restore to save a bit of space.
a b D Laptop
a c 740 G Storage
January 18, 2013 11:03:21 PM

I suspect a runaway Master File Table which only a format/secure erase and reinstall will fix anyways.

You'll want to secure erase the SSD before you reinstall from the F10 method.
SSD's need to have 0's written to the 'free space' before you can write to them and thats what secure erasing does. This is to maintain maximum SSD speed otherwise when you go to write and the psace still has old data in it the system will have to write 0's to it first then write the new data in. Makes the drive pretty slow.
January 19, 2013 1:12:37 PM

@geofelt: :o ( I did turn off system restore when I started really getting desperate. I've been unable to work on my laptop for over a week now. I'm having to use my old laptop for everything.

@popatim: How do I secure erase? It sounds as though this is something specifically for SSD's, and so ok, but with all the talk about re-formatting not being good for SSD's (and my not having hardly ANY understanding of all of this), I get nervous. I'd like to get a couple of years out of this laptop, given it's cost!
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 19, 2013 5:26:22 PM

At this point, I think you are stuck with restoring to factory conditions or a clean install of windows.
If you laptop has a restore procedure, either from a partition on the ssd, or a dvd, try to restore.

Otherwise, see if you can't borrow a windows dvd with the appropriate 64 or 32 bit windows. Do a clean install, and you can still activate using the activation key sticker posted somewhere on the laptop.
a b D Laptop
a c 740 G Storage
January 20, 2013 12:15:18 AM

you would get the secure erase utility from who-ever made your ssd. Usually you can find it online.
January 20, 2013 4:16:40 AM

You guys have all been so helpful. I don't really understand steps 1-15 of the link Monkey posted?? Also, when I tried the "verify TRIM", I was told I need admin privileges, but the thing is, my user is the ONLY admin user? There are two standard users that QuickBooks and QBPOS create, and the guest account is off, and that is it? Which ties in with this:

I was checking out a few things other things from that link, and I found something that *I*, in all of my ignorance, think is strange??

I went to check the c:\Windows\Temp file. I was denied. I tried to "gain access". I was told I'd have to "...use the security tab." I click on the link to the security tab. It says I have to have admin privileges. When I click continue, although my specific user isn't there, "Administrators" have permission to do everything. I close this. I click on "Advanced". I click on the "Owner" tab. It says "Unable to display current owner". It says "Change owner to:", and it has my user name, however I cannot click on it. When I click on the "Effective Permissions" tab, I click "select", but I have to "find" my user. Once my user is selected, however, it shows that my effective permission of this object, c:\Windows\Temp are everything--full control, read/write, etc.!!! Every box that is there is checked. So why can't I open that folder?

When I look in my c:\users folder, it's as I mentioned above: my user, the two created by QB and QBPOS, and Public (of course).

Are these user permissions strange? I've been told that I don't show any malware on my DDS logs, btw.

Sigh. Really, to someone who doesn't know what he/she is doing (but really wants to), it's all so discouraging. I don't even know how to figure out how to figure out if TRIM is on or not!
January 20, 2013 5:03:48 AM

I FOUND IT!!! It's got to be it--it's 163GB! It's my Kaspersky Lab folder c:\ProgramData\Kaspersky Lab. There appear to be some kind of logs. When I sort by size and use the drop-down box to mark the "Huge (16-128MB)" and "Gigantic (>128MB)" files, I get 39 of them! The largest one is 48,572,032 KB! Isn't that 48GB?

If so, there's also one that's 37.7GB, 23.6GB, 16.2GB, 10.9GB, 7.8Gb on down. The three largest ones are on 1/7, 1/8 and 1/9. I installed MalwareBytes on 1/10, and I had been losing space for a couple of days!

Now...why is it happening and what the heck do I do about it?
January 20, 2013 6:20:29 AM

A quick search showed me this is a problem others have experienced. I recommend you uninstall Kaspersky completely which should free everything up. Replace it with a newer version or go with another. Norton is currently getting good reviews from the sites that test anti-virus apps.
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 11:55:49 AM

wendy12x12 said:
I FOUND IT!!! It's got to be it--it's 163GB! It's my Kaspersky Lab folder c:\ProgramData\Kaspersky Lab. There appear to be some kind of logs. When I sort by size and use the drop-down box to mark the "Huge (16-128MB)" and "Gigantic (>128MB)" files, I get 39 of them! The largest one is 48,572,032 KB! Isn't that 48GB?

If so, there's also one that's 37.7GB, 23.6GB, 16.2GB, 10.9GB, 7.8Gb on down. The three largest ones are on 1/7, 1/8 and 1/9. I installed MalwareBytes on 1/10, and I had been losing space for a couple of days!

Now...why is it happening and what the heck do I do about it?


Well, as long as its not quarentene stuff...so you have some malware which is creating stuff and Kaspersky is quanrentening constantly... that would imply some serious issue with your system.

However, if its not that.. then yes Just uninstall.. delete folder (in case any remnents).. and then resinstall with latest. I have Kaspersky Internet security 2013 and it very good.. (and total size on C drive is 166MB)... so if yours really is 163GB.. something is amiss..with the above scenario.. or just some kind of corrupt/broken install.

Kaspersky is also good in that if you have a licence.. you can install latest version and the key will still be valid.. so if you not on latest version.. make sure you are when you reinstall.

Cheers

P.S. I wont point out that after all this faffing around.. you appear to have followed the advice I gave right from the outset...Oh dear.. I just did!!! ;) 
January 20, 2013 1:24:54 PM

:)  @yoji: It's ok...every time I'd have a few minutes, I was checking the folders! It's just there are SO many of them, it was very time consuming, so I could only do them in bits and pieces (and I was still spending hours on it). I thought I had checked the Program Data right off the bat, but somehow I must've missed it or...?

I had Kaspersky 2012, which came with my laptop, and it upgraded itself to 2013 a while back (well before all of this trouble). I'm still afraid there's malware, but my DDS logs apparently don't indicate that? But now I've been not updating for so long....but I'm not sure any malware could get installed unless it deleted some stuff first to make room!

Thanks, y'all!!!!!! <3
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 20, 2013 1:53:38 PM

Good job!
I suggest you uninstall Kapersky and it's associated files.
I use microsoft security essentials. It is free and unobtrusive.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/security-ess...
As part of the install, it will invite you to do a scan.
Normally, this is a quick scan which looks for the commmon sources of malware and viruses.
In this case, after the quick scan, I might take the time to do a full scan.

Then, go through your control panel/programs and features section.
Uninstall anything you don't want. If you see something you are unsure about, search for it with google.
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 2:40:12 PM

geofelt said:
I suggest you uninstall Kapersky and it's associated files.
I use microsoft security essentials. It is free and unobtrusive.


I would NOT advocate that.. its free.. and not very good. Its failed it certification in last two attempts... and Kaspersky has got about the best scores.

Check it out... --> http://www.tomshardware.com/news/AV-TEST-Certification-...

Cheers
January 20, 2013 3:13:58 PM

Thanks, guys!!! I uninstalled it and gained 164GB space back! Yay!

But regardless of which one I go with, I am now having trouble with my wireless network adapter! The wireless light is ON (there used to be a physical switch to turn on and off manually on Sonys, but I don't see one anywhere). The device mgr does not seem to be detecting it. I scanned for hardware changes.

BTW, when I was looking up my license info in Kaspersky before I uninstalled, I went back to see what was in the reports (which, settings were set to be no bigger than 1024MB, BTW). BEFORE I started having the biggest problems but AFTER the first Gigantic log file, it reports a trojan: Trojan.Js.Redirector.xa. It's status is "inactive". It shows the path of the site I went to as as quickbookspointofsale.com//quickbookspointofsale. I remember going to quickbookspointofsale.com (I'm do QB troubleshooting) to look something up and getting a kaspersky warning. I allowed it to block it (or so I recall) and went to the site I needed a different way (through my login at Intuit). I do not recall ever getting a REPORT after a scan that this was there?

So now I can't get on the internet. I was going to download Kaspersky, since I probably can't find the CD, and it was 2012 (which upgraded itself to 2013 a while back).

Regardless of which AV I choose, I can't get on the internet. I haven't tried plugging in a hardwire yet...should I?

BTW, my Vaio Care troubleshooter said there was a prob with Device mgr, but when I looked in Dev mgr, there were no yellow triangles??? But also no wireless network adapter????

Any ideas??

Sigh.

And yes, I'm embarrassed that I somehow missed the Program Data file initially. I thought I checked all my c: folders first. As I recall, though, many of them just said "> than X MB or GB". Now, they appear to be giving me exact amounts, but I'm thinking that it just said "> than 15GB", and I thought that was normal??
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 3:36:45 PM

Seroiusly.. be organised and logical.

You did reboot after the uninstall?

Wire it up if you having probs with wireless. so you can at least access drivers etc and Kaspersky on web..
Read manual if you concerned you need activate it with button or key combo before it will show up...

You seem to be making it much more complicated than it need be.
Good luck
a b D Laptop
a c 154 G Storage
January 20, 2013 3:58:55 PM

If you have cable, go ahead and connect via wire. It is simpler, and faster.

The first fix is to get some sort of firewall and antivirus going.
There are automated hacker searches constantly pinging random addresses, searching for an unprotected pc.

If you are having problems with wireless or other devices, try downloading the appropriate drivers.
I hope your wireless access point has been secured.
Use google to see if you can't find the wifi switch on your laptop. I think most must have one.

Go to control panel/network sharing center.
You should see if you have local connection(cable), wireless, or both.
If you are missing something try the trouble shooting section.
January 20, 2013 8:04:44 PM

@yoji: Sorry. And yes, I've re-booted several times. As for needing a manual to check for a switch, I was merely trying to ward off the "did you check to see if the wireless radio is actually on" questions. Yes, I did. I thought I WAS being systematic.

@geofelt: Thank you. I'm sorry I didn't note those things. I did try the troubleshooter, and it said it couldn't identify the problem. The network sharing center does not show a wireless connection. I don't see the wireless adapter in device manager, though as noted before, the wireless light is ON, indicating the wireless radio is supposedly on.

Also, when I run "Diagnose" in something called intel PROSet/Wireless Tool, the first test, a "hardware" test, fails with the message: Driver versio does not support intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Software version 15.0.0.0. That's what sent me to the device mgr originally to try to update or re-install the driver. But unless I accidentally uninstalled some specialized driver or something, I don't know why it would give this message?

And I know my router is broadcasting, as I have old laptop sitting next to it and am typing now on it.

Let me see if I can find an ethernet cable long enough. Windows Firewall is on, is that enough for now?
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 8:43:15 PM

Sounds like the wifi switch is off or your wifi card died. I don't think you ever told us your exact model so we can look up the manual. Please let us know. Thanks.
January 20, 2013 9:10:50 PM

Sony SVZ13114GXX. Zdbc13: do you mean a physical switch? This is the first thing I checked, after I re-booted (see notes above). Maybe I'll just re-cap what I've done:

1. Reboot.
2. Check that the wireless radio is physically on (i.e. for manual switch or software switch).
3. Checked Network and Sharing to see if it was showing up there (not).
4. Ran windows troubleshooter (couldn't identify the problem).
5. Checked dev mgr to see if it was showing up there or if there were any yellow triangles (no and no).
6. Scanned for HW change. (nothing)
7. Verified router was sending out a signal (yes).
8. Found an Intel Wireless Tool with a "diagnose" button--HW test failed, but said it was a DRIVER problem.
9. Noted, incidentally, that Vaio Care showed some problem in device mgr.
10. Checked dev mgr again but didn't see anything.

This might not be the EXACT order, but it's close. Also read somewhere to check to see if it was enabled in dev mgr, but I can't see it at all. I also just tried to run the Vaio Care "Easy Connect", which was recommended as the next tool after the Windows troubleshooter couldn't identify the problem. It says, "no wireless networks found. Please move closer to a wireless access point."

I'm getting 5 bars on this laptop (sitting next to it, the width of the laptop farther away from the access point), and I've never had a problem in this location (breakfast table) with my Sony before.

Sorry if I haven't been clear or thorough or am making this harder than it should be. I have JUST enough knowledge to be really dangerous.
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 9:15:39 PM

Sounds like your wifi card may have died. I'd delete the wifi from device manager and let it reinstall after a boot. Also, download wifi card drivers from Sony and re-install them. If that doesn't work you may have a bad wifi card that can only be fixed by getting a new one. Is it still under warranty.
January 20, 2013 9:39:39 PM

How do I delete it? I can't find it in dev mgr? It doesn't seem to be there under "network adapter"?
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 21, 2013 11:53:32 AM

If it's not there, it's dead. Sorry.
January 22, 2013 12:41:03 AM

:o ( Thanks. Sigh. Back to Sony I guess it will go.

Thanks to all of y'all that held my hand along the way! I'm very grateful!
!