lunedì 24 agosto 2015

Windows 10 on Sony Vaio VGN-Z650N/B Boot Problem Solved

This is quite easy. You just need to turn off the fast boot option.
To do so go to the Power Options --> Choose what Power button does and remove the check from the "Turn on fast startup (recommended)
That's it. After this change I didn't have any boot issues anymore.

sabato 15 agosto 2015

Windows 10 x64 (final) on Sony Vaio VGN-Z 650N/B

It's been about two weeks now that I'm using Windows 10 on my old Vaio VGN-Z650N/B which I bought back in April 2009.
Before starting this post I should say that this Vaio isn't my first choice Notebook anymore as I usually use a MacBook Air 11" mid 2012.
I use my old Vaio for some apps that I don't have on my Mac and for some old games (nothing stressful).
All the things reported in this post have been tried by myself so I'm pretty sure that if you have a notebook like mine all that I'm saying will work for you too.

The main question is: "Does Windows 10 work on this old but wonderful notebook, and can I switch to Windows 10?"
The short answer is: "Yes" or if you want to continue reading this post "Yes, with minor issues"

Before running to you PC and upgrade your Windows 7/8/8.1 copy be careful: don't do a fresh install (unless you have a Windows 10 key). Your old key won't work and won't be upgraded. You'll be stuck with an unactivated copy of Windows 10.
(don't repeat my error)

DO THE UPGRADE FIRST, then if you want a fresh install do a full cleanup of you notebook.

In this way your key will be upgraded to Windows 10 and correctly validated. The fresh cleanup is a new option provided by Windows 10 and works well (it takes another two hours after the upgrade, if the system seems freezed at 99% don't worry: WAIT).
After the cleanup your copy of Windows 10 will  still be validated.

After the fresh restart Windows will look for some drivers and after that the intel card will work correctly at the native resolution of the notebook (1600x900).
The font will be at 125% which I don't like as not all my old apps support this well so I set it at 100% as usual.
This are the things that won't work on start:

  1. The nVidia Graphic card
  2. The SD Card reader and the Memory Stick reader
  3. The Fn+F7 (Monitor output switch)
  4. The Stamina/Speed switch
To make all this things work except the nVidia card (which needs the Andrew08 drivers) I've downloaded the drivers for Windows 7 64 bit provided by Sony and intsalled this drivers:
  • Sony® Shared Library
    • SOASSL-70189398-US.EXE
  • Sony® Firmware Extension Parser Device Driver
    • SODOTH-00228472-1040.EXE
  • Sony® Programmable I/O Control Device Driver
    • SODSPI-70187340-64.EXE 
  • VAIO® Event Service
    • SOAVES-70192615-US.EXE 
  • Setting Utility Series
    • SOASUS-70201315-US.EXE
  • SD Card Driver
    • RIDFMC-70165348-64.EXE
  • Ricoh® Memory Card Reader/Writer Driver
    • RIDMSC-70161059-64.EXE
The next things you should take care of is the nVidia card and as already said you should use the Andrew08 drivers.
To do this you should follow exactly what I've already written for Windows 8/8.1 which works perfectly even for Windows 10.
I didn't find any flickering issues with Windows 10 so I haven't done the steps to configure a custom monitor setup. If you experience any flickering/flashing please try what I did for Windows 8 and tell me if it works.
After the restart there will be a small watermark on the bottom right corner of your screen stating
Test Mode
Windows 10 Pro
Build 10240
the nVidia graphic card should be recognized and working and even the Stamina/Speed switch should work.
The Monitor output (activated by Fn+F7) will work only with the Intel Card (I haven't tried this on Windows 10 yet but this happened with 8 and I think that they will behave the same).

If you followed everything I said now you should have your Vaio working with Windows 10.

Unfortunately there are some issues:
After trying it out in this two weeks and after trying several reboots I've experienced this issues:
  1. Sometimes the system won't boot. You'll be struck at a black screen. Restarting it (by pressing the power switch) will resolve the problem. (To be fair this happened to me even with Windows 8.1) Problem SOLVED - see the latest post in which I explain what to do.
  2. The brightness of the screen (Fn+F5,F6) will work only using the intel card. The nVidia Card won't handle it (even trying to dim the screen using the Windows Power Management settings won't work)
  3. Sometimes the Stamina/Speed switch won't work so (especially if you started the notebook on Stamina). If you want to switch to the nVidia card you'll need to reboot.
This are all minor issues for me as I usually keep my notebook on Stamina and switch to the nVidia only for playing, thus said I am happy and I'm not planning a downgrade.
My hopes are that a better nVidia driver (maybe a new Andrew08 one) will appear solving this issues (which I think are all related to bad management of the card due too old drivers) in the future.
If you find any solution of even if you think thats this are big problems please comment this post.

Thank you for reading,

As I've received several requests here you can find Andrew08 driver. All the credits obviously goes to Andrew08 which modified the original driver to let them work on Windows 8 and 10.

domenica 21 giugno 2015

Windows 10 on Sony Vaio VGN-Z 650N/B

this post is obsolete please refer to my newer one

Hi, first of all thanks for your interest in my blog but most of all thanks for your interest in updating your old VAIO to Windows 10. After all I think this is still a wonderful notebook and even if it's a bit slow it's still useful for many purposes.

In the weekend I've tried Windows 10 on an external USB Drive (not ready to format the internal HDD yet) and I've had this problems:
- the graphic card as you found out don't work (neither the Intel or the nVidia one) (more details follow). Basically I'm stuck at 1024x768 with a standard card driver.
- the brightness key Fn+F5/F6 don't work (maybe because of the problems with the cards)
- Fn+F7 doesn't work (same as above)
- audio and card readers are ok, all the other hardware seems working properly.

In the device manager the graphic cards are reported with an exclamation mark and in the properties I've found this message:

This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)

If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system.

I've googled a bit but didn't find anything which suggested me a solution.
I've looked on the Intel website and it seems that Intel doesn't care to provide an updated driver for such an old CPU but we are still in preview, hopefully they will provide a decent driver in the final version (hopefully yeah...).
Obviously Sony won't provide any driver so I don't think there will be a solution which will make the nVidia card work properly but having the right resolution and brightness working will be nice at least for one of the cards.

If you have any ideas on the error reported feel free to comment this post or write directly at my e-mail.