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post #3811 of 3843

Sony agrees to sell PC business, revises forecast to loss

Sony plans to sell it Vaio PC operations to an investment fund, cut 5,000 jobs, and revises full-year forecast from a profit to a loss of $1.1 billion.

 

It will also spin off its Television business.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57618451-92/sony-agrees-to-sell-pc-business-revises-forecast-to-loss/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

 

 

:(  Disappointing news for some of us who have loved Sony's beautiful and well constructed VAIO PC's for many years.  

 

I suspect it may not be long before all of the support pages for our old VGX-XL* systems disappear from the Internet. Probably a good idea for all of us to download a copy of whatever is available, now, before it's gone.

 

Take care everyone, and I hope the Winter weather in your part of the world is not too harsh this year. As always, ...

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 2/10/14 at 11:43am
post #3812 of 3843

Such a shame to see VAIO is to be consigned to the history books but business is business and the fact of the matter is no matter how good looking VAIO's were, silly decision after silly decision spelled disaster. Charging Apple money means you need to have Apple customer service and from what I've read about Sony and VAIO support, it's generally awful. Even the fact you can't readily access a local Sony store easily to have the computer looked at, and the general can't do attitude of Sony that I myself have experienced means there just was no competition there sadly.

 

Never the less I still absolutely love some of the VAIO stuff that came out over the years so it is still a shame to see it go. Big changes to TV business too, not quite sure what they mean by it'll be spun out into its own entity.

 

Is there a donation page for money for the PSU project as I desperately want to see this happen and as I don't have a PSU to donate then I would be happy to put some money towards the (probably inevitable) purchase of them.

Ryan

post #3813 of 3843

ANNOUNCEMENT - NEW MR.BIG BIOS UPDATE PROJECT RELEASE!

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

 


 

Mr.Big BIOS Update Project

For Sony VGX-XL Series Digital Living System Models VGX-XL1, XL100, XL2, XL201, XL202, XL3, XL301 & XL302

 

BIOS Update / Installation Guide – Version 1.1

 

Note: Version 1.05 users do not need to upgrade, there have been no updates to any of the BIOS files. This release is an updated guide and installer only.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The Mr.Big BIOS Update Version 1.1 contains:

 

  • Updated Processor Microcode - These BIOS updates contain updated and new microcode to enable these systems to support processors not originally shipped or supported in these systems. 
  • SpeedStep (EIST) fixes - Corrected SpeedStep values have been included to prevent system lockups when some of the processors supported by these BIOS updates enter into low power state. 
  • Updated Boot Splash Screen Imagery - Replaces the factory BIOS black and white VAIO® logo, and Intel® splash screen images. Depending upon individual display monitor settings, these replacement images were created allow display in a pseudo widescreen format. This updated boot imagery serves to indicate a successful upgrade and an indication that your system is running on the modified BIOS. Images: © Mr.Big Bios Update Project 2013.

 

 

Please support the Mr.Big BIOS Update Project by clicking the "DONATE" button in the update guide. Your donations, in any amount, will help to defray the significant out-of-pocket costs that the project development team incurred. The project developers acquired various hardware and tools for internal testing and development of the updated BIOS. The many hours of the developer’s time over the past 13 months has been donated, toward our goal of creating and sharing BIOS updates for all of the VAIO VGX-XL models.

 

If you feel this upgrade to your VGX-XL system has value to you, then whatever monetary assistance you can donate will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thank You! The Mr.Big BIOS Update Project Developers:

 

Kepocuhka–RUSSIA   •   REnninga–USA   •   JWAIV–UK

 

 

The Mr.Big BIOS Update Project BETA Test Group:

 

AB-H • angelnegron • back2mine • bigoliver • Enterface • Eusebius • gupil • h4. • hannesscheer JST200 • NizZ8 • paden15 • Sidthecat • umicro • Vatanen • viaccess • Wheeker • www.laserdisc.ws

 


 

Mr.Big BIOS Update Project Version 1.1 update guide (printable .PDF), which includes the BIOS Updates bootable .ISO disk image download link: 

 

http://htpc.jwaiv.co.uk/Public/Sony_VGX-XL_BIOS_Upgrade_1.1.pdf

 

 

 


Edited by REnninga - 2/22/14 at 5:59pm
post #3814 of 3843
After ages away again, he's back with an odd question which probably only this place can answer!

Does another know if there is a weight limit on what you can put on top of your VGX-XL302?

I would rather not crush mine to death with a nice new TV! tongue.gif
post #3815 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Sony plans to sell it Vaio PC operations to an investment fund, cut 5,000 jobs, and revises full-year forecast from a profit to a loss of $1.1 billion.

frown.gif   Disappointing news for some of us who have loved Sony's beautiful and well constructed VAIO PC's for many years.  

I suspect it may not be long before all of the support pages for our old VGX-XL* systems disappear from the Internet. Probably a good idea for all of us to download a copy of whatever is available, now, before it's gone.

Take care everyone, and I hope the Winter weather in your part of the world is not too harsh this year. As always, ...

Cheers!
Robert.

Yes this does suck greatly. When they put their mind to it they have created some truly great pieces of kit, alas the world has gone tablet crazy so the PC market is dwindling away thanks to a candy crush whirlwind of dullness! ;-)

I have had a succession of VAIO Z-series laptops over the years which have been 100% reliable and am using my Z12 to write this! A sad day but I won't be moving on from this VAIO for a long time yet....
post #3816 of 3843

Hi guys,

 

I'm new to the forum but came here looking for some help as this seems a really knowledgable thread on the sony VGX-XL series.

 

I have searched various replies but cannot find the specific answers I need for the following issues:

 

I have a UK-spec XL-201 and have been using my system happily for about 7 years with the standard Windows XP MCE and the only hardware change being some extra RAM.  Given the impending removal of support for Windows XP I thought I'd take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 7.

 

I performed a fresh install following the Microsoft guidance and this appeared to go ok.  However, it quickly became apparent that a whole bunch of issues have arisen, my two main problems being I can no longer correctly display (size or resolution) my desktop on the Sony Bravia 40 inch LCD screen I have always used via HDMI; I now only get three choices of resolution settings and the best I can end up with is an image centred in the screen with a large black border.  Also, I no longer have access to the nVidia control panel (error message) and there is a warning triangle next to the driver/card in Device Manager.  I tried updating the driver but no change.

 

Secondly, I no longer have any sound coming from the machine and a limited range of options for settings compared with previously.

 

From reading the thread here I believe the above symptoms may be due to a BIOS update required?  Is there a link for the correct update and can someone possibly give me an idiots guide to going about this please?  I am not the most technically minded person when it comes to upgrades etc.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated as my system is now pretty much unusable and I'm worried about resolving this.

 

Best regards,

dillinger66

 

p.s.

I also have the freezing Vaio splash screen issue but will resolve this with the guide that is published here hopefully - wanted to see if I could fix the display/sound issue first!

post #3817 of 3843
Hello 'dillinger66',

If you have not already done so, try downloading and installing the 32-bit NVidia GeForce 7600 GT drivers suite:

File Description UPDATE NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 6600/7600 GT Display Driver Version 7.15.10.9813
File Size 50.67 MB Download : http://s02.download.sony.com/US/pc/NVDVID-01341609-US.EXE

This utility updates the NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 6600/7600 GT Display Driver to version 7.15.10.9813. This file provides compatibility with Microsoft® Windows Vista® and Windows 7® operating systems, and is intended as an update for systems that originally shipped with Windows Vista to resolve an issue where video output is intermittent.



And also download and install the HDMI Video and Audio sound update:

File Description: CRITICAL HDMI™ Software Update Version 071025c
File Size 56.83 MB Download: http://s02.download.sony.com/US/pc/NVDVID-01594301-US.EXE

This utility updates the HDMI™ software to version 071025c to resolve an issue with no sound when using an HDMI connection.

Be sure to select HDMI as your "Default" device in "Playback Devices" selector, following installation.


IMPORTANT: Also be sure to set your display resolution to the "Native Resolution" of your Sony LCD monitor. It is very important that LCD monitors display in their "Native Resolution."


I recommend setting "System Restore" points before installing these updates, in case you encounter a problem and need to roll back your system to the pre-install state.

Good luck,
Robert.
post #3818 of 3843

Hi Robert,

 

Many thanks indeed for the prompt reply.  These problems since 'upgrading' are driving me crazy and I've gone from having a system working perfectly and that I was happy with to something that I am on the verge of junking.

 

I will certainly try and apply both the updates you suggest.  Do you think these will resolve both issues without any need to update the BIOS?  I've read so many threads about people upgrading a needing to apply the Vista BIOS update from Sony which either hasn't worked or causes additional problems on top.

 

Notwithstanding this, I cannot see what the update I'd have to apply would be...

 

Anyway, I will try the above steps as suggested and report back!

 

Best regards,

Max

post #3819 of 3843
Hello Max,

Our Mr.Big BIOS Update Version 1.1 release ( the download link is posted above in this thread ) contains the updated 2007 Sony BIOS ( Version 4003 ), of which you are referring.

That BIOS update is contained in both the "Factory" and the "Modified" BIOS options of our bootable disk .ISO image. This means that you can use the Mr.Big BIOS Update Version 1.1 "Factory" BIOS menu option, to simply apply the Sony Version 4003 "fix" for the video resources issue which occurred in the VGX-XL201 and XL202 models, or go ahead and install the "Modified" BIOS, which also adds:

• Updated Processor Microcode - These BIOS updates contain updated and new microcode to enable these systems to support processors not originally shipped or supported in these systems. 

• SpeedStep (EIST) fixes - Corrected SpeedStep values have been included to prevent system lockups when some of the processors supported by these BIOS updates enter into low power state.

• Updated Boot Splash Screen Imagery - Replaces the factory BIOS black and white VAIO® logo, and Intel® splash screen images. Depending upon individual display monitor settings, these replacement images were created allow display in a pseudo widescreen format. This updated boot imagery serves to indicate a successful upgrade and an indication that your system is running on the modified BIOS.



It's your choice, of course. Were it my system, I would install the Mr.Big BIOS Update Version 1.1 "Modified" BIOS for the VGX-XL201, in order to prepare the system to support future processor upgrades if/when desired. Our Mr.Big BIOS Update releases provide the appropriate optical drive DOS drivers etc., and the update process is essentially a 'burn-disk-and-flash' process. Our updates do not use the update .EXE released by Sony. Rather the Mr.Big BIOS Update Version 1.1 is flashed using the DOS AWDFLASH utility.

It's important to read and follow the Update Guide. Good luck with your updates.


Cheers!
Robert.

[ Note: The original BIOS (Version 4001) which causes the video resources problems is not included in the Mr.Big BIOS Update Project releases ].
Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 7:40pm
post #3820 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVsonyfan View Post

After ages away again, he's back with an odd question which probably only this place can answer!



Does another know if there is a weight limit on what you can put on top of your VGX-XL302?



I would rather not crush mine to death with a nice new TV! tongue.gif

 




Hello Darran,

I was hoping someone knowledgeable would weigh in ( pun intended ) by now in answering your query. In the absence of knowledge on the subject, and staying true to my personal philosophy of never letting ignorance get in the way of offering an opinion ( HA! ), here are a couple of observations:

1. The soft acoustic pads in the bottom of the feet of our VGX-XL* cases are quite 'thin', and it doesn't take much added weight resting atop the case to compress those thin silicon-rubber disks to the point where the solid feet contact the hard surface supporting the computer.
In order to minimize transmission of unpleasant vibrations/harmonics to the support surface, it would be a good idea to add an acoustic buffer, such as vibration isolation pads under the case 'feet', if adding some significant weight atop the case.
This could be some sophisticated, purpose-engineered acoustic solution with a hefty price tag to match, ... or you could use the "cheap-and-dirty" solution which I have added for all of my Sony audio / video / home theater components. I just cut small squares of 1/4" black neoprene SCUBA diving wetsuit material.
Alternatively you can do the same pretty economically using 5mm or 6mm thick squares of neoprene sheeting. One example of the product:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Neoprene-Rubber-Sheet-Solid-Black-Smooth-1mm-1-5mm-2mm-3mm-4mm-5mm-6mm-/261237258709?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item3cd2f439d5

2. Although our VGX-XL* cases are pretty stout, I would suggest popping the top lid and studying the placement of the lid support crossbar and the front-to-rear case reinforcement frame. The point being that the placement location of the television atop the pc case is key to how well it can be supported by the case structure.
a. Were it my setup, Darran, I would distribute the television load evenly across the entire case structure (rather than point loading) by placing a piece of 3/4" x14-1/2" x 16-1/2" plywood atop the case (finished edges and painted black), and then place the television on the plywood. Or ....
b. Build an upside-down "u" shaped support for the television, to straddle the VGX-XL* case to allow placement of the television above the computer as desired, but not actually resting any of the weight of the television on the case ( leaving enough clearance from the vented side panels of the case to allow for air-flow ). This solution would also allow you to pull out the VGX-XL* when you need to get inside it, without first relocating the television.

Just my tuppence.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3821 of 3843
A New 'R7' Radeon Low-profile Video/Graphics Card, From Sapphire

Hello all,

Among the latest and much anticipated new "Volcanic Islands" series of AMD Radeon GPU engine video/graphics cards is this 2GB low-profile offering from that VGX-XL* upgrades stalwart, Sapphire. cool.gif

Note that it is equipped with 2 ( count 'em, TWO ) HDMI out ports!

SAPPHIRE R7 240 2GB DDR3 DUAL HDMI LOW PROFILE WITH BOOST
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1226&pid=2101&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


The specs and features are impressive.

Cheers!
Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 7:34pm
post #3822 of 3843
Is this new card plug and play with our machine then? If so then it's an instant buy as I still haven't got round to my graphics card upgrade!

Ryan
post #3823 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Patrick View Post

Is this new card plug and play with our machine then? If so then it's an instant buy as I still haven't got round to my graphics card upgrade!



Ryan

 




Hello Ryan,

I'm not sure the context you mean for "plug and play", because swapping video / graphics cards PROPERLY is usually not quite that straightforward.

But at this point, judging only by my own review of the specifications and features, I would surmise that in the VGX-XL* systems (considering the limitations of our legacy PCI-E x16 slot interface), the" usable" performance characteristics are probably just about a toss-up between the SAPPHIRE RADEON HD7750 LOW PROFILE w /1GB of GDDR5 memory, and this new SAPPHIRE RADEON R7 240 LOW PROFILE w /2GB of DDR3 memory.
As you may be aware, GDDR5 memory has approximately twice the bandwidth per pin of DDR3.

I would suggest using the "Add to comparison" feature on the Sapphire website, to look as these two low profile video / graphics cards specifications and features side-by-side:

SAPPHIRE HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 LOW PROFILE
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1159&pid=1658&psn=&lid=1&leg=0

SAPPHIRE R7 240 2GB DDR3 DUAL HDMI LOW PROFILE WITH BOOST
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1226&pid=2101&psn=&lid=1&leg=0


As a side note observation, at least on this side of the pond the now 2+-year-old Sapphire Radeon HD7750 is getting harder to find (some online retailers no longer carry it), and those that still carry it have it listed at a higher price point than the new Sapphire Radeon R7 240.
For me, this helps make the choice a bit simpler. AMD is "moving on" with their new R7 and R9 GPU series cards, and that's a clue that perhaps we should move on, too. (grin).


Cheers!
Robert.

PS. Before swapping video / graphics cards be sure to uninstall the software for your current card in 'Control Panel', and uninstall the card drivers in 'Device Manager' just before shutting down the computer and disconnecting the power cable to do the physical swap.
Properly uninstalling video card support software and the video /graphics card drivers is especially important when changing GPU families, such as moving from a NVidia GeForce card to an AMD Radeon card, or vice versa.
Not following correct software and drivers uninstall / install procedures before swapping cards, and the improper handling of video cards (not using a wrist ground strap or at least a pair of non-conductive rubber gloves) is the cause of many video card upgrade issues. So read up, and do it right.
Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 5:37pm
post #3824 of 3843

Hi Robert,

 

Thanks for this further suggestion regarding the BIOS update that I can apply - I think this may be what I'm looking for!

 

Further to your previous post, I installed the updated nVidia driver you linked and have confirmed this is now in place but it has not resolved the problem nor offered any new issues - everything still remains unworkable as it was following the Win 7 upgrade.  Hopefully the BIOS upgrade my resolve this!

 

With regard to the updated HDMI driver you linked to; when going through initial install I received an error message saying this driver was not applicable to my machine/system.  I wonder if you could shed any further light on this?  The factory driver I had for audio on Win XP always provided perfectly adequate service and I had no problems with HDMI.  Following the Win 7 upgrade I have no sound, including no system sounds being outputted, and can see no options that need checked etc to rectify this.

 

Is there another driver that might now suit my XL-201 machine?

 

Once again, many thanks indeed.  I will report back with my efforts!

 

Regards,

Max

post #3825 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillinger66 View Post

Hi Robert,

Thanks for this further suggestion regarding the BIOS update that I can apply - I think this may be what I'm looking for!

Further to your previous post, I installed the updated nVidia driver you linked and have confirmed this is now in place but it has not resolved the problem nor offered any new issues - everything still remains unworkable as it was following the Win 7 upgrade.  Hopefully the BIOS upgrade my resolve this!

With regard to the updated HDMI driver you linked to; when going through initial install I received an error message saying this driver was not applicable to my machine/system.  I wonder if you could shed any further light on this?  The factory driver I had for audio on Win XP always provided perfectly adequate service and I had no problems with HDMI.  Following the Win 7 upgrade I have no sound, including no system sounds being outputted, and can see no options that need checked etc to rectify this.

Is there another driver that might now suit my XL-201 machine?

Once again, many thanks indeed.  I will report back with my efforts!

Regards,
Max

Hello Max,

Just to clarify, for me, did you install a 32-bit version of Windows 7? (I made an assumption; my bad).

If you have installed a 64-bit version of Windows then we're in a different realm as far as resolving OEM hardware issues by using the Windows XP-to-Windows Vista (Windows 7 compatible) updates that are provided by Sony.

However, that said, Sony's UK Support site does offer some 32/64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 software updates and utilities for the VGX-XL* models sold there which have not been made available for our USA models (we have no Windows 7 support at all from Sony on this side of the pond).

The downside is that Sony has recently edited the UK support pages, consolidating the software downloads into an almost unusable format, from my perspective. I do not envy you or anyone with a UK /EUR zone VGX-XL* model trying to find the software updates and drivers you need following Sony's reorganization of those support pages.


Here is the Sony UK Support page for your VGX-XL201. You can see what I mean, but you might find it less confusing than I do:

http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/VGX-XL201


Just for comparison, here is the Sony Support page for USA model VGX-XL3:

http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=VGXXL3&template_id=1&region_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab



Max, here's my suggestion, .... for what it is worth:
* Perform a 'System Restore' to a restore point prior to when you began attempting to resolve these issues with updates, software fixes etc.
If you have a usable 'System Restore' point from shortly after you completed the installation of windows 7, try that one. If you are unsuccessful with the 'System Restore', try it again while in "Safe Mode" .

This will take you back as close as possible to your fresh installation of Windows 7.
* Then perform the Mr.Big BIOS update Version 1.1" ( in your situation I recommend flashing the "Modified" BIOS for your VGX-XL201 ).
* Then either turn on Windows Updates and wait for it to automatically find the most current, compatible Windows 7 display driver for your OEM Sony/NVidia GeForce 7600 GTL video/graphics card, or .... you can look for the NVidia GeForce 7600 GT support software online:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce_7600.html

Again,I always recommend setting 'System Restore' points when trying software installations attempting to resolve issues, so you have the option of rolling back your system to its pre-install state if the attempted "fix" doesn't work and/or causes other issues.

Good luck. I'll keep a good thought ....


Cheers!
Robert.

PS. Max, if you use only HDMI out for the audio and video from your system to your TV or home theater, and you do not need the A/V pass-through port connections to the video card (these are to two small wiring harnesses connected to pins on the video/graphics card), you might consider doing what most of us already did several years ago ... if your budget will allow:
Replace the OEM Sony/NVidia card with a modern, much higher performance video / graphics card.
You will find several recent video / graphics card recommendations in this discussion thread for "tried-&-true" replacements offering a much higher quality home theater audio/video experience ( with fewer, or no software update compatibility issues).
Your working OEM Sony/NVidia GeForce 7600 GTL card has some offsetting resell value ( to some people who wish to retain their A/V passthrough connections). You could offer your OEM card to another VGX-XL* owner, herein this forum, or on Ebay, etc., ... and offset some of your investment for a new card. Just my tuppence (grin).


PPS. Slimware Utilities Corporation, a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, has recently released its new "SlimDrivers" updating utility, and I have found pretty good success using it to find the most current driver updates for my VGX-XL* systems. It's free (which is a pretty good price in my opinion). And it offers the option of setting automatic 'System Restore' points. You might give it a try and see what you think of it. Here's the URL/link:

https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php
post #3826 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post


Hello Max,

Just to clarify, for me, did you install a 32-bit version of Windows 7? (I made an assumption; my bad).


Max, here's my suggestion, .... for what it is worth:
* Perform a 'System Restore' to a restore point prior to when you began attempting to resolve these issues with updates, software fixes etc.
If you have a usable 'System Restore' point from shortly after you completed the installation of windows 7, try that one. If you are unsuccessful with the 'System Restore', try it again while in "Safe Mode" .

This will take you back as close as possible to your fresh installation of Windows 7.
* Then perform the Mr.Big BIOS update Version 1.1" ( in your situation I recommend flashing the "Modified" BIOS for your VGX-XL201 ).
* Then either turn on Windows Updates and wait for it to automatically find the most current, compatible Windows 7 display driver for your OEM Sony/NVidia GeForce 7600 GTL video/graphics card, or .... you can look for the NVidia GeForce 7600 GT support software online:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce_7600.html

Again,I always recommend setting 'System Restore' points when trying software installations attempting to resolve issues, so you have the option of rolling back your system to its pre-install state if the attempted "fix" doesn't work and/or causes other issues.

Good luck. I'll keep a good thought ....


Cheers!
Robert.

PS. Max, if you use only HDMI out for the audio and video from your system to your TV or home theater, and you do not need the A/V pass-through port connections to the video card (these are to two small wiring harnesses connected to pins on the video/graphics card), you might consider doing what most of us already did several years ago ... if your budget will allow:
Replace the OEM Sony/NVidia card with a modern, much higher performance video / graphics card.
You will find several recent video / graphics card recommendations in this discussion thread for "tried-&-true" replacements offering a much higher quality home theater audio/video experience ( with fewer, or no software update compatibility issues).
Your working OEM Sony/NVidia GeForce 7600 GTL card has some offsetting resell value ( to some people who wish to retain their A/V passthrough connections). You could offer your OEM card to another VGX-XL* owner, herein this forum, or on Ebay, etc., ... and offset some of your investment for a new card. Just my tuppence (grin).


PPS. Slimware Utilities Corporation, a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, has recently released its new "SlimDrivers" updating utility, and I have found pretty good success using it to find the most current driver updates for my VGX-XL* systems. It's free (which is a pretty good price in my opinion). And it offers the option of setting automatic 'System Restore' points. You might give it a try and see what you think of it. Here's the URL/link:

https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php

 

Hi Robert,

 

Again, thank you for your ongoing assistance and suggestions.

 

I should have clarified in my original post that I am working on a 32-bit system only so hopefully that gives me some more options as you suggest.

 

I am delighted to report that applying the Mr Big BIOS update has totally resolved my Nvidia driver/resolution issue and I once again have full screen functionality.  Thank you so much for this!

The upgraded graphics card may have to be my next port of call provided it can essentially be a 'plug and play' solution as I have no aptitude for soldering or finer micro-electronics!

 

My only remaining issue is with no sound being produced.  I have no option in Sound Settings to specify HDMI output - the only choice is SigmaTel Codec which is enabled and appears to be operating correctly as far as Windows is concerned.

 

I will have a look at the drivers situation once again but any other thoughts on the matter would always be appreciated.

 

My sincere gratitude for getting me this far :)

 

Max

post #3827 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillinger66 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post


Hi Robert,

Again, thank you for your ongoing assistance and suggestions.

I should have clarified in my original post that I am working on a 32-bit system only so hopefully that gives me some more options as you suggest.

I am delighted to report that applying the Mr Big BIOS update has totally resolved my Nvidia driver/resolution issue and I once again have full screen functionality.  Thank you so much for this!
The upgraded graphics card may have to be my next port of call provided it can essentially be a 'plug and play' solution as I have no aptitude for soldering or finer micro-electronics!

My only remaining issue is with no sound being produced.  I have no option in Sound Settings to specify HDMI output - the only choice is SigmaTel Codec which is enabled and appears to be operating correctly as far as Windows is concerned.

I will have a look at the drivers situation once again but any other thoughts on the matter would always be appreciated.

My sincere gratitude for getting me this far smile.gif

Max


Hi Max,

Yes, you need to install the Windows 7 compatible audio/video drivers update for the OEM Sony/NVidia GeForce 7600 GTL video/graphics card in order to regain full display settings control and HDMI audio out.

Likely, if you view your display driver in 'Device Manager' at this time you will see that you are running on the Windows generic display driver.
A clean/custom installation of Windows 7 does not contain the display and HDMI audio out drivers for the OEM video/graphics card.

* You need to find the Windows 7 compatible drivers on the Sony UK Support page for your VGX-XL201 (link I posted in my previous message).

Or ....

* Alternatively you might have success using the Windows 7 compatible drivers update for the GeForce 7600 GT from the NVidia drivers page for that model. Download link follows:

http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/57491/en-us

Set a 'System Restore' point before trying this alternative drivers update installation.

Or ....

* A third option would be to install the free 'SlimDrivers' application ( link I posted previously at the bottom of that post ) and see if the application will find the correct NVidia GeForce 7600 GT/GTL audio/video drivers for your setup.

Good luck.

Cheers!
Robert.

PS. Did the copy of Windows 7 which you installed contain Service Pack 1 ? If not you will want to run Windows Update for awhile and let it fully update your system, or you can download the Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 from Microsoft. Download link follows:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842
post #3828 of 3843
Hi all..my Sony Vaio xl 301, has started to.hang when booting. It doesn't pick up the source straight away like it used to. Anyone??

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
post #3829 of 3843

Hi Robert,

 

I just wanted to update and thank you for your advice via this forum - I finally have Win 7 fully functional, up-to-date and all aspects of the machine working as they should.

 

I installed SP1, deleted all previous nVidia drivers and updated with the most recent set and now have a full 1920 x 1080 resolution and sound via HDMI - perfect!

 

The SlimDrivers package was very worthwhile too and I'd recommend this to anyone as an easy way to keep on top of the drivers on your system.  I needed a total of 19 updates for all sorts of things to fully integrate with Win 7 and many would never have crossed my mind.

 

So, just a big thank you,

 

Max

 

p.s. Only nag I still have is that my Vaio wireless keyboard now always starts up from boot with Number Lock enabled - very annoying if trivial.  I have tried looking at the registry setting but this is set to 'Value 0' so can think of no reason why it does this or how to correct it.  Appears to have resulted from the XP-Win7 update...

post #3830 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillinger66 View Post


.... Only nag I still have is that my Vaio wireless keyboard now always starts up from boot with Number Lock enabled - very annoying if trivial.  I have tried looking at the registry setting but this is set to 'Value 0' so can think of no reason why it does this or how to correct it.  Appears to have resulted from the XP-Win7 update...


Hello Max,

I have the same keyboard NUM LOCK behavior on booting Windows 7 Ultimate on my systems, as well. However on my systems the NUM LOCK typically switches back off when the system is fully booted, so it's only an issue for me if I am in a hurry and try to keyboard before all of the background services and startup applications have finished booting.

If NUM LOCK remains activated after your system completes the full boot (note that background services can take up to two minutes or so in these old systems), ... at least you know what to look for, and can turn off with a keystroke. As you say, "annoying" but "trivial", right? :-)

According to Microsoft, the way it is SUPPOSED to work (by default) is that the "NUM LOCK" status on rebooting is the same as it was when the system was properly shut down. Meaning, if it was ON when you shut it down it will be ON when you turn the computer on. Nice idea, but things don't always work the way they are "supposed" to work, Microsoft (:-/ sarcasm).

Max, you can try the following registry steps to change this default setting behavior:

1. Run Registry Editor (Click the 'Start' button and type "regedit" in the search box and tap the Enter key):

2. Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Keyboard.

3. Double mouse-click and change the value for InitialKeyboardIndicators to 2.


NOTE: I always recommend backing up the registry before making changes, or at the very least keep a log of any values that you change in the registry, to allow you to easily revert if you end up with undesired results.
If you are unfamiliar with the registry backup process, you can read Microsoft Knowledge Base article number 322756. The URL/hyperlink follows:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/




Max, I'm pleased to read of your VGX-XL201 system upgrade success (albeit after much frustration and aggravation getting to this point). And although "Windows XP - Media Center Edition" is (was) a wonderful OS, I think you are going to LOVE "Windows 7" (and hopefully love Windows 7 enough to avoid all temptation to migrate to Windows 8 / 8.1 .... Ugh, what a mess!)

I especially enjoy the Windows 7 improvements made to Media Center (in stability and responsiveness). If you use your VGX-XL201 system as a Home Theater Media Center (regularly using the Windows Media Center component), you may want to check out the free, open source "Media Browser" project, and it's free plug-ins.
In my opinion and experience Media Browser is a very nice way to make for a more pleasing and richer Media Center experience. If you would like to check it out, the URL/hyperlink follows:

http://www.mediabrowser.tv/


Cheers!
Robert.
Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 7:43pm
post #3831 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raidevita View Post

Hi all..my Sony Vaio xl 301, has started to.hang when booting. It doesn't pick up the source straight away like it used to. Anyone??

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Hello Rai,

Given the brief description, I'll assume that you have already addressed the standard Windows 7 boot phase freeze by replacing the incompatible Windows 7/8/8.1 IEEE-1394 Fire-wire driver with the compatible "Legacy" driver, ... and that this is not the boot freeze behavior you are reporting, correct?

It is possible that you have somehow picked up a boot-sector virus, or have simply encountered a recent software, or hardware driver upgrade 'hiccup' (perhaps delivered to your system by 'Windows Update') which is not playing nice with your system boot phase.
Addressing these possibilities, let me offer some very simple steps which come to mind that you might try, to see if you can resolve this new system behavior:

1. Try performing a 'System Restore', selecting a restore point which you are certain PRECEDED this noted change in boot behavior. If unsuccessful with the selected 'System Restore', starting it from fully booted Windows, try booting into 'Safe Mode', and then try 'System Restore' again, selecting the same restore point.


If that doesn't resolve the boot issue, then next ....

2. Try resetting your BIOS boot order to system defaults. Access the BIOS/CMOS setups by rebooting the computer and pressing the 'F2' key as soon as you see the first boot image on the monitor. In the BIOS/CMOS setups you will find the system defaults option on the last tab exit screen.


If that doesn't resolve the boot issue, then it's time to address the possibility of a boot sector virus .....

3. If it is not already installed on your system, download and install a copy of "Microsoft Security Essentials." Following is the URL/hyperlink:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201

Once installed, click the "Update" tab and run update to ensure that you have the most current anti-virus/antimalware definitions file.
Then reboot the computer into 'Safe Mode'. When Safe Mode is fully booted, open Microsoft Security Essentials and on the Home tab, right-hand side of the screen, select and run a 'Full' system scan, to see if the anti-malware component is able to locate anything malicious (or malevolent) and send it to quarantine.


Good luck, Rai. Please do report back to us if successful or not with any of these steps. If these don't resolve the issue with your system, someone else may have another idea or two.


Cheers!
Robert.
post #3832 of 3843
"Microsoft OneNote 2013" is now FREE for your VGX-XL* system!


Hello all,

For those not already familiar with and using "Microsoft OneNote", it is a wonderful app for taking notes, maintaining lists, and more. But previously it had to be purchased before adding it to your computer. But no longer! As of yesterday, Microsoft has made OneNote FREE for all Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 systems! And in my personal opinion "FREE" is a very good price! biggrin.gif

(Note: There is no version available for desktop Linux, Ubuntu, etc.)


The Windows installer is what is called a ‘dropper’ file (approximately 1 MB in size), and it will download the needed files to install OneNote on your computer.



Download Microsoft OneNote 2013 for Windows 7 and 8.x [OneNote.com], and let us know what you think of it, and share with us your own ideas about how you use it: Here is the download page URL/hyperlink. Enjoy!

http://www.onenote.com/Download


Cheers!
Robert.
Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 7:31pm
post #3833 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raidevita View Post

Hi all..my Sony Vaio xl 301, has started to.hang when booting. It doesn't pick up the source straight away like it used to. Anyone??

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Hello Rai,

Given the brief description, I'll assume that you have already addressed the standard Windows 7 boot phase freeze by replacing the incompatible Windows 7/8/8.1 IEEE-1394 Fire-wire driver with the compatible "Legacy" driver, ... and that this is not the boot freeze behavior you are reporting, correct?

It is possible that you have somehow picked up a boot-sector virus, or have simply encountered a recent software, or hardware driver upgrade 'hiccup' (perhaps delivered to your system by 'Windows Update') which is not playing nice with your system boot phase.
Addressing these possibilities, let me offer some very simple steps which come to mind that you might try, to see if you can resolve this new system behavior:

1. Try performing a 'System Restore', selecting a restore point which you are certain PRECEDED this noted change in boot behavior. If unsuccessful with the selected 'System Restore', starting it from fully booted Windows, try booting into 'Safe Mode', and then try 'System Restore' again, selecting the same restore point.


If that doesn't resolve the boot issue, then next ....

2. Try resetting your BIOS boot order to system defaults. Access the BIOS/CMOS setups by rebooting the computer and pressing the 'F2' key as soon as you see the first boot image on the monitor. In the BIOS/CMOS setups you will find the system defaults option on the last tab exit screen.


If that doesn't resolve the boot issue, then it's time to address the possibility of a boot sector virus .....

3. If it is not already installed on your system, download and install a copy of "Microsoft Security Essentials." Following is the URL/hyperlink:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201

Once installed, click the "Update" tab and run update to ensure that you have the most current anti-virus/antimalware definitions file.
Then reboot the computer into 'Safe Mode'. When Safe Mode is fully booted, open Microsoft Security Essentials and on the Home tab, right-hand side of the screen, select and run a 'Full' system scan, to see if the anti-malware component is able to locate anything malicious (or malevolent) and send it to quarantine.


Good luck, Rai. Please do report back to us if successful or not with any of these steps. If these don't resolve the issue with your system, someone else may have another idea or two.


Cheers!
Robert.
Okay cheers. I'll try those suggestions. I have a feeling it's something to do with my hdmi connection. When I switch it on, it shows a blank screen. Soon as I seem to move the Vaio from its couped up position in the tv stand, it seems to start the boot up sequence. Not sure if this is a coincidence or not. I will test further.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
post #3834 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raidevita View Post

Okay cheers. I'll try those suggestions. I have a feeling it's something to do with my hdmi connection. When I switch it on, it shows a blank screen. Soon as I seem to move the Vaio from its couped up position in the tv stand, it seems to start the boot up sequence. Not sure if this is a coincidence or not. I will test further.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk


Hmm, that's an interesting observation, Rai.

It's possible, and this additional information raises another thought for me. I too have experienced numerous boot phase freezes over the past 6-months to 1-year, IF I have data storage devices plugged into the front USB 2.0 ports and/or the card reader slots (which is also on the USB bus), or plugged into the rear USB 2.0 ports, or even eSATA storage devices plugged into ports on a PCI eSATA/SATA controller card I have running on one of my systems, and powered on.

The "freeze" behavior I have experienced is that the boot phase stops at either the first, or the second boot splash screen image. But if I then unplug, or turn the power off on the conflicting USB or eSATA device, and wait a few seconds, the boot will continue to completion. And the odd thing is this only happens with certain devices/connections, but not with others. So, ... I suspect it has to do with what drivers Windows loads for the offending devices or connections (just a guess, of course).

You might want to review what you have plugged into that VGX-XL* system (even things as seemingly innocuous as a little USB thumb drive or a SD flash media card, and see if the periodic boot phase freeze issue you are experiencing is resolved by simply unplugging those devices and booting clean?

You may also want to give this a try, to see if your peripheral device support drivers need updating ....

Slimware Utilities Corporation, a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, has recently released its new "SlimDrivers" updating utility. I was part of the BETA test team for "SlimDrivers" and have found pretty good success using it to find the most current driver updates for my VGX-XL* systems.
It's FREE (which is a pretty good price in my opinion). And it offers users the option of setting automatic 'System Restore' points (which I highly recommend) in case you wish or need to rollback your system to its state prior to a driver update.

You might give it a try and see what you think of it. Here's the URL/hyperlink for the download webpage:

https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php


Good luck, and let us know your progress and what resolves the issue.


Cheers!
Robert.
Edited by REnninga - 4/3/14 at 6:11pm
post #3835 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post


Hello Max,

I have the same keyboard NUM LOCK behavior on booting Windows 7 Ultimate on my systems, as well. However on my systems the NUM LOCK typically switches back off when the system is fully booted, so it's only an issue for me if I am in a hurry and try to keyboard before all of the background services and startup applications have finished booting.

If NUM LOCK remains activated after your system completes the full boot (note that background services can take up to two minutes or so in these old systems), ... at least you know what to look for, and can turn off with a keystroke. As you say, "annoying" but "trivial", right? :-)

According to Microsoft, the way it is SUPPOSED to work (by default) is that the "NUM LOCK" status on rebooting is the same as it was when the system was properly shut down. Meaning, if it was ON when you shut it down it will be ON when you turn the computer on. Nice idea, but things don't always work the way they are "supposed" to work, Microsoft (:-/ sarcasm).

Max, you can try the following registry steps to change this default setting behavior:

1. Run Registry Editor (Click the 'Start' button and type "regedit" in the search box and tap the Enter key):

2. Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Keyboard.

3. Double mouse-click and change the value for InitialKeyboardIndicators to 2.


NOTE: I always recommend backing up the registry before making changes, or at the very least keep a log of any values that you change in the registry, to allow you to easily revert if you end up with undesired results.
If you are unfamiliar with the registry backup process, you can read Microsoft Knowledge Base article number 322756. The URL/hyperlink follows:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/




Max, I'm pleased to read of your VGX-XL201 system upgrade success (albeit after much frustration and aggravation getting to this point). And although "Windows XP - Media Center Edition" is (was) a wonderful OS, I think you are going to LOVE "Windows 7" (and hopefully love Windows 7 enough to avoid all temptation to migrate to Windows 8 / 8.1 .... Ugh, what a mess!)

I especially enjoy the Windows 7 improvements made to Media Center (in stability and responsiveness). If you use your VGX-XL201 system as a Home Theater Media Center (regularly using the Windows Media Center component), you may want to check out the free, open source "Media Browser" project, and it's free plug-ins.
In my opinion and experience Media Browser is a very nice way to make for a more pleasing and richer Media Center experience. If you would like to check it out, the URL/hyperlink follows:

http://www.mediabrowser.tv/


Cheers!
Robert.

 

Thanks Robert - I've played around with this number lock thing and can't seem to resolve it but it's such a minor point now I can live with it!

 

It's great to have my system running properly again which would not have been possible without your help and the excellent references on the forum here.

 

Very best wishes,

Max

post #3836 of 3843

ANOTHER NEW 'R7' KID ON THE BLOCK, FROM SAPPHIRE!

 

Hello all,

 

 

Sapphire has released another new low-profile offering in the new AMD Radeon 'Volcanic Islands' R7 GPU engine product line ....

 

 

The "SAPPHIRE Radeon R7 250 1GB GDDR5 Low Profile" card boasts excellent specifications and features for use in our VGX-XL* systems:

 

Output   ● 1 x Dual-Link DVI   ● 1 x Mini-DisplayPort   ● Micro HDMI

 

GPU   ● 800 MHz Core Clock ● 512 x Stream Processors ● 28 nm Chip

 

Memory   ● 4500 MHz Effective ● 1024 MB Size ● 128 -bit GDDR

 

To reiterate what I have noted in previous posts, GDDR5 memory has approximately twice the bandwidth per pin of DDR3 memory.

 

Following is the URLs/hyperlinks for the Sapphire product page:

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1226&pid=2149&psn=&lid=1&leg=0

 

[Note:  I caution all VGX-XL* system owners to temper our excitement and expectations regarding new low-profile video/graphics card offerings by remembering that the maximum performance of these newest cards will be limited to the support characteristics of our aging, legacy PCI-e x16 slot interface. Don't expect the same performance from one of the newest Video/graphics cards installed in your 7-year-old to 9-year-old VGX-XL* system that you would see from that same card mounted on a modern, state of the art motherboard.]

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

 


Edited by REnninga - 3/24/14 at 7:52pm
post #3837 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillinger66 View Post
 

 

Thanks Robert - I've played around with this number lock thing and can't seem to resolve it but it's such a minor point now I can live with it!

 

It's great to have my system running properly again which would not have been possible without your help and the excellent references on the forum here.

 

Very best wishes,

Max

 

 

You're very welcome, Max. It's a shame that the registry edit didn't resolve the 'NUM LOCK'  issue on your VGX-XL201 system ( it worked for both my XL2 and XL3 systems ). But It appears we resolved the important issues and you are back in business. :cool: 

 

Good luck, and ....

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3838 of 3843

Hello all,

 

Here's what you need to power your VGX-XL* system and your other Home Theater devices.

 

 

The KUBE X15 MiniNuke - Super portable. Comes complete with plutonium starter pack. Generates 50 years of power*  (* based on average use).

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/sectors/campaigns/kube/kubex15.asp

 

 

Note:  I have decided to wait for the X16 (cold fusion) model. I have already got a fission device currently powering my General Motors SUV, and the darned thing really messes up the low frequency bass on my Bose sound system (and my digital clock on the dashboard gains a couple of minutes each hour when I run the reactor at full power climbing hills.  I understand that the next generation cold fusion models are going to eliminate those bugs. That said, I will miss the little 'glowing in the dark thing' after driving for awhile. It sure makes it easier to find your front door key when you get home after dark.

 

 

Cheers!

Robert.

post #3839 of 3843

Hi all. Here's some interesting but lamentable ephemera about the golden age (and product line) of "VAIO."  Ah, such glorious design ideas, and such great intentions ( sniff, sniff :( )  ....

 

 

A look back at Sony's iconic VAIO computers

By Tom Warren

 

Sony has announced plans to sell off its iconic VAIO brand of PCs to a Japanese investment fund. While Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will continue selling VAIO-branded computers in Japan, Sony plans to now focus on its mobile lineup of smartphones and tablets. VAIO, which stands for Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer, was first introduced 18 years ago in 1996. While "VAIO" and "bio" sound identical in Japanese, the VAIO name also has a phonetic connection to the word "violet." Sony started building its PCs with purple color schemes, and the firm has transformed the brand into a name that has been associated with high-end computers ever since. VAIO might not be dead yet, but take a moment to look back at some of Sony’s historic, beautiful, expensive, and crazy PC creations.

 

Read the entire Photo-essay here:     http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/6/5385716/sony-vaio-iconic-pcs-photo-essay

 

 

 

Cheers! (and commiserations)

Robert

post #3840 of 3843

THE WINDOWS EXPERIENCE INDEX (WEI) ENIGMA   (AKA: Self-inflicted angst and disappointment)

 

 

Hello all,

 

Many of our fellow VGX-XL* system owners who have recently upgraded their systems with modern video/graphics cards, super-fast SSD primary system hard drives and the fastest Pentium D dual-core and Core 2 quad-core processors which are supported by these systems, after updating with our Mr.Big BIOS Update, have expressed confusion about the Windows Experience Index (WEI) scores they are getting. Maybe you too are one who has felt some degree of disappointment from your WEI scores.

 

This confusion, or downright bewilderment, suggests that many of us are misinterpreting the purpose of WEI, or thinking that it is something that it is not. Windows Experience Index (WEI) is NOT a performance benchmark of your system. It is important to understand what WEI actually IS, and what it is intended to tell us.

 

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) merely measures the relative capability of components. The WEI only runs for a short time and it does not measure the interactions of components under a software load (which is "where the rubber actually meets the road" in real-world pc use), but rather it measures the characteristics or your hardware.

 

Thus the WEI does not measure performance of a system, but merely measures the relative hardware capabilities when running Windows. Get it? 

This is why the little utility is called "Windows Experience Index" rather than something like "Your PC's Performance Rating."  ( grin :rolleyes: )

 

A well-written article about "the WEI" can be found here, for those interested in learning more:

 

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/01/19/engineering-the-windows-7-windows-experience-index.aspx

 

 

In Windows Vista, the WEI scores ranged from 1.0 to 5.9. In Windows 7, the WEI range has been extended upward to 7.9.  The mere fact that there is no available WEI score below 1, and no available score above 7.9 (regardless of how rudimentary or advanced the hardware you install), reflects the fact that WEI is not an open-ended linear-arithmetic score but is rather based on a set of algorithms.

 

So rather than being disappointed with less than the improvements in your WEI scores you expect -- after you have spent a lot of money for your hardware upgrades -- I suggest that you forget all about Windows Experience Index, and instead download and run an actual performance benchmark software application ( which will lift your spirits when you compare your old hardware scores to your new, and make you feel better about your upgrades investments).  

 

For this I recommend and use Passmark Software's excellent "Performance Test 8" (for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows). The utility is FREE for a 30-day evaluation, which should be long enough to cover your needs. And personally I have always felt that FREE is a pretty good price. HA! :D

 

 

Here's the "Performance Test 8" download URL/hyperlink:

 

http://www.passmark.com/download/pt_download.htm

 

 

 

Have fun, and ...

 

Cheers!

Robert.


Edited by REnninga - 4/4/14 at 5:38pm
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