Windows 7 Ultimate Install on VAIO VGN-AR51M

Windows 7 installation on VAIO VGN-AR51M computer step by step

sâmbătă, 9 ianuarie 2010

Windows 7 install on VAIO VGN-AR51M

Base computer SONY VAIO VGN-AR51M
Till 3 weeks ago I was thinking that my good Windows experience resumes to Windows 98, Windows XP.
December 2007: I installed and used for the first time VISTA. It was the Vaio’s Vista Home edition without SP1, and I consider to be not as bad as people use to say. It’s true that Sony made some changes to it and maybe for that I didn’t experience many crashes or errors.
Anyway, I consider XP already too old and somehow limited and VISTA a new concept of operating system, a good one in my opinion, but never ready to be released as was never finished.
So it was the time to format my C: drive and I decided to install 7 on my Sony Vaio VGN-AR51M, and here we go…
1. First thing to do is to visit your computer brand’s site, in my case:
There you will need to search for drivers for Windows 7. There are some possibilities:
a. Nothing about Windows 7 – in this case try to download Vista drivers;
b. Is written „vista/windows 7” – in this case the driver for Vista runs on Windows 7 without any problem. It’s true that in most cases drivers for Vista are working with 7, I didn’t find any exception yet.
c. Is saying that your computer is not eligible for Windows 7. – Ignore this, just download Vista drivers. It was my case; AR51M was not eligible according to Sony:
„If the preinstalled Operating System on your unit is Windows Vista, you can expect
that the majority of drivers will work under a retail version of Windows 7....

Sony cannot assume any responsibility for stability and performance issues after this upgrade.
While the primary functions of your VAIO are expected to work, some minor features
e.g. hotkeys to change sound volume may not work.”

2. You need to back up all files including the drivers that you downloaded @ step 1.
Best to do is to use an USB HDD. Don’t forget about your e-mails and the Favorites from your Internet browser; take a look on the files on desktop; you might need some of them.
3. Write on paper the name of all devices that appear in Device Manager.
To get Device Manager, click start – Right click on My Computer – Properties – Device Manager
4. Now restart your computer. Enter in BIOS (push F2 or if is not working search on your computer’s manual), change boot order to DVD/optical drive, HDD, etc. Insert the DVD in the drive unit and select Save & Exit.
5. Install screen appears, you will see a list with your drives, select the drive you want to install the OS and format it.
If you get some error message saying that the drive is not usable for installation of the OS, go to step 4 and change boot order to HDD, DVD.
Sometimes it is possible to get this error. I think is because of the Restore partition you have on the C drive
6. Congratulations! You just installed Windows 7. It’s time to install some drivers
The point is Windows 7 is more user friendly than Vista and this you can see it right now. Open Device Manager as you did @ step 3. Check everything is with exclamation mark. You will need drivers for all those items. Everything else is already installed by Windows. Now it is the time to install your drivers you got @ step 1. The order to do that depends on each type of computer but assuming the network card and wireless card are already installed by 7, you should update the SATA driver, audio driver, usb controller, card interface drivers, etc.

For VAIO VGN-AR51M: the biggest issue is installing the shortcut keys, I mean Volume, CD/DVD/BD eject and play, stop, etc. S1 and S2 keys I couldn’t get them work.
So the point is you should install the additional software from Vaio in the next order:
VAIO Event Service and boot… , Sony Shared Library and boot… , VAIO Power Management and boot…
After that those keys should work.
Hint for other brands: it will be difficult but useful to record all steps that your computer does in the Vista installation. Like that you will be able to know exactly the order to install the software. There is no reason why shortcut key not work in 7 if they worked well in Vista.
Usually there are package drivers (a kind of small program witch installs driver by driver automatically). You can get an error from this type of program as it was made for Vista and it detects 7, so you will need to install manually each driver and software. This is simple thing to do, just open CD and search along all folders on it.
To complete your installation you can add:
Antivirus: Kaspersky Internet Security 2010
Office Suite 2007 (add all updates)
Nero 9 (CD/DVD/BD - burner)
Acrobat 9 Pro Extended
Adobe Flash Player 10
BS Player (for movies, downloading automatically subtitles)
Daemon Tools or later - older versions are not working with Win7
WinAmp with Bento skin (I don't like Windows Media Player).
Add some cool Gadgets
NB: Windows 7 Build 7100 is not final one and some bugs are included :) Use 7600 RTM