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  1. #1
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    Hello Everyone,

    I've had a Sony Vaio for a while now and I think it might be time to clean the PC of its factory bloatware and programs I no longer use. I've been thinking of doing a clean install of Windows 7 on it but I have a few questions before I take the plunge. The PC originally came with Windows 7 Home Premium, which I upgraded to Ultimate, if I were to re-install the OS could I still upgrade it again afterwards? If its possible what would be the process for doing so?

    One other question I have is about a feature that came with the laptop. While most programs that come pre-installed on PCs are mostly useless bloatware for me, there is one particular feature this laptop has that comes in handy. Not a program per se, but the laptop has a "WEB" button on the case, and if you press it even while the laptop is powered off it launches a Web Browser that doesn't require Windows to boot. I speculate is some sort of mini-OS, possibly Linux based, that allows the functionality of browsing the web. Now, were I to do a Clean Install of Windows 7, would that functionality be gone? Can it be replaced or restored somehow? I find it useful sometimes and would like to keep it if possible, or at least be able to replace it with a similar thing. Just don't want to have an useless button on the laptop.

    Also the laptop has one other button that allows the user to turn the LCD display On or Off. I assume that this would be restored once I install the drivers for the monitor correct? If not is there some way to restore it?

    As reference here's a link to the Support Page from Sony which lists the specs and features of the Laptop:

    Sony VPCCW17FX

    Thanks for the help Everyone!
    Karlo.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I've had a Sony Vaio for a while now and I think it might be time to clean the PC of its factory bloatware and programs I no longer use. I've been thinking of doing a clean install of Windows 7 on it but I have a few questions before I take the plunge. The PC originally came with Windows 7 Home Premium, which I upgraded to Ultimate, if I were to re-install the OS could I still upgrade it again afterwards? If its possible what would be the process for doing so?
    Yes, if you purchased an upgrade license key for Ultimate, simply enter it.
    One other question I have is about a feature that came with the laptop. While most programs that come pre-installed on PCs are mostly useless bloatware for me, there is one particular feature this laptop has that comes in handy. Not a program per se, but the laptop has a "WEB" button on the case, and if you press it even while the laptop is powered off it launches a Web Browser that doesn't require Windows to boot. I speculate is some sort of mini-OS, possibly Linux based, that allows the functionality of browsing the web. Now, were I to do a Clean Install of Windows 7, would that functionality be gone? Can it be replaced or restored somehow? I find it useful sometimes and would like to keep it if possible, or at least be able to replace it with a similar thing. Just don't want to have an useless button on the laptop.
    Also the laptop has one other button that allows the user to turn the LCD display On or Off. I assume that this would be restored once I install the drivers for the monitor correct? If not is there some way to restore it?
    WEB should be totally independant from the os and anything on the hard drive, look for it's settings and functionality in the bios.
    These features will be found on the retailers/manufacturers website as part of the drivers/extras functionality built onto the motherboard.
    ...All you would have to do is find them and know what drivers and software run these features. Look over the online faq and documentation.
    There also should be a storage folder for all your drivers and other functional feature sets, look on C: drive for them.
    If everything is working well enough, why not just uninstall that which you don't want and keep the rest.
    You could then clean things up a bit and then create a drive image of the disk.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If you choose the custom clean instal route, and are ready to retrieve your upgrade.
    Go to control panel>>Windows Anytime Upgrade. Follow the images...simply input your upgrade key you will have
    from your original "Anytime Upgrade".

    More info:
    Installing Windows 7 by TweakHound
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.jpg (76.9 KB, 0 views)
    • File Type: jpg 2.jpg (61.1 KB, 0 views)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Some other advice/tips;
    Partition that 500 GB drive, I'm asuming it's 500 GB from the spec sheet you provided from the "Sony VPCCW17FX" link.
    Make the primary partition somewhere between 50-70 GB.
    Get the latest drivers or locate them off your primary drive and copy them to the partition and to separate CD/DVD for safekeeping.
    Look for WEB functionality in your bios, WEB should be built onto the mainboard and, possibly, it's settings controled from within the bios itself.
    Keep your product keys in a safe place, you will have 2 of them now; One for validating the original Windows 7 Home Premium, and
    another that you recieved when you did the "Windows Anytime Upgrade" to Ultimate. If you decide to clean install, you'll still need the original one
    to verify/validate your original os. This has to be done first.
    Before you begin a clean install look over your devices in "device manager" and try to pin down what drivers you will need. You can locate their
    physical location on the drive by going into more details. If you are still unsure, make an image of your entire drive before proceding.
    Read through all of your documentation carefully, look through the Sony site for more in-depth how-to articles.
    If you do sucessfully clean instal your os, upgrade it to the Ultimate and only install needed drivers and os updates.
    Then make a complete drive image. Make another drive image once you have all your programs installed. Make yet another drive image once you have all your presonal settings and tweaks in place. (At least 3 images total).
    A couple of questions;
    Is your original Windows 7 Home Premium disk an OEM DVD disk with the drivers on a separate disk, or is your disk comprised of
    an "image" restoration disk?
    Do you have a restoration partition on your hard drive with the preinstalled os on it?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Oh boy...Now why would you want to do a clean install on a machine that is working just fine? If the bloat is there, make use of "Revo Uninstaller" (free) and uninstall the bloat ware. Then defrag your C drive, and "yes" do partition your single drive into the basic C drive, approximately 30gb, and at least one more partition that contains "Documents" and "Pictures". Of course, if you have a recovery partition, do nothing with that but keep it, since it will restore your computer to factory received condition if you ever need to do that, with all the necessary drivers.

    If there is anything I've learned over the years of working with computers, it's not to do anything that isn't necessary. A clean install to eliminate bloat is really unnecessary when the bloat can simply be uninstalled.

    Use free programs such as "Ccleaner" and "Advanced System Care" to keep you computer running smoothly by eliminating unneeded registry entries and accrued junk files that result from surfing or visiting any websites.

    Other than that, "enjoy" your computer. Sony makes good stuff that lasts, and is very reliable.

    b

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by bertie91 View Post
    Oh boy...Now why would you want to do a clean install on a machine that is working just fine?
    Other than that, "enjoy" your computer. Sony makes good stuff that lasts, and is very reliable.
    bertie91,
    AMEN ! Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  7. #7
    Lounger
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    Well, there are a few other reasons for wanting to do a clean install on this PC. Other than the bloatware I never took out, it has been giving me a few BSODs since I obtained it, and I'm running low on HDD space with only 26.5GB left on the drive. I also know I have more than a few programs that I won't use or need installed, that I might have put in but forgot to remove. I've used Piriform's apps from time to time to clean the PC up, but right now every time I try to clean the registry I end up breaking something so I have to restore it back.

    Besides that, I've always found clean installs help me organize my PCs better, as it makes it easier to get rid of programs and apps I might no longer need.

    In regards to how I will be doing the installation of the OS, I'm not quite sure yet. The PC didn't come with a restoration CD/DVD, so I'm not quite certain how to proceed yet. I might contact Sony or check if customer support can provide me one otherwise I might have to think of something else. I can install Windows 7 Professional on the PC, but then I would be throwing away the money I spent buying the upgrade to Ultimate, since I believe both keys have to match in order to be able to use the Upgrade again.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Besides that, I've always found clean installs help me organize my PCs better, as it makes it easier to get rid of programs and apps I might no longer need.

    In regards to how I will be doing the installation of the OS, I'm not quite sure yet. The PC didn't come with a restoration CD/DVD, so I'm not quite certain how to proceed yet. I might contact Sony or check if customer support can provide me one otherwise I might have to think of something else. I can install Windows 7 Professional on the PC, but then I would be throwing away the money I spent buying the upgrade to Ultimate, since I believe both keys have to match in order to be able to use the Upgrade again.
    I also prefer clean installs, it takes time but it's worthwhile doing now and then.
    If you use drive images the right way, clean installs could be fewer and farther between.

    If you have a hidden restoration partition you could recover to factory default settings, then uninstall that which you do not need.
    As to throwing money away on the Ultimate upgrade, just save your product key for it and you will not have an issue.
    You do have a product key for the Ultimate upgrade don't you? Follow the screenshots in my previous post.
    To recover product keys from the current os use SIW, look under software>>Licenses.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    I also prefer clean installs, it takes time but it's worthwhile doing now and then.
    If you use drive images the right way, clean installs could be fewer and farther between.

    If you have a hidden restoration partition you could recover to factory default settings, then uninstall that which you do not need.
    As to throwing money away on the Ultimate upgrade, just save your product key for it and you will not have an issue.
    You do have a product key for the Ultimate upgrade don't you? Follow the screenshots in my previous post.
    To recover product keys from the current os use SIW, look under software>>Licenses.
    Yeah, I still have the Product Key on the Ultimate Upgrade, both on the PC and the little box. But if install Professional, won't it render the Upgrade useless until I re-install Premium with the same product key again?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Are you planning on purchsing a Windows 7 Professional installation disk?
    Why would you need to get professional when you already have Ultimate?????
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    Are you planning on purchsing a Windows 7 Professional installation disk?
    Why would you need to get professional when you already have Ultimate?????
    No I have both actually. I have several licenses for Windows 7 Professional, and the installation disk. But because the Ultimate license I have is an upgrade from Premium, which I do not have an Installation disk, I'm not sure how to do a clean install of it so that I can upgrade it.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    No I have both actually. I have several licenses for Windows 7 Professional, and the installation disk. But because the Ultimate license I have is an upgrade from Premium, which I do not have an Installation disk, I'm not sure how to do a clean install of it so that I can upgrade it.
    Then you will likely not be able to clean install in the way you want to.
    Contact MS and see if they will send you a disk, I doubt they will though, but it can't hurt to check.

    If any of the Windows 7 professional disks are unbound by any other installations and they are genuine os disks with legitimate product keys, then you should be able to use them easily. You would then have to eat the costly mistake you made by upgrading in the first place. It would have been far simpler to upgrade from a genuine os disk as opposed to an OEM or preinstalled imaged os; Hence: Can't clean install.
    If you do decide to go with the Windows 7 Professional installation disk, probably what I would do, then...
    Just make sure by doing so you don't void your laptop's warranty. If you do have a problem and have to return the laptop, for whatever reason, then you would have to restore the original factory default os...You would have to make and save an image of your current os for this purpose.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  13. #13
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    To answer the question of the upgrade key. I have done a clean instal after upgrading from premium to ultimate. You will need to input the original premium key first. Then when installewd go straight to the upgrade page already screenshot above. Once there simply enter the key for ultimate you already have. Then follow any onscreen instructions you get. All will be well on that score.

    Ian

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Karlo, this might be a worthwhile read for you, by Paul Thurrott...

    Windows 7 Tip of the Week
    Restore Windows 7 Without the Crapware

    Tip date: July 10, 2010

    If you have a retail Windows 7 Setup disc, you can easily wipe out your PC and start over again with a clean install of Windows 7 at any time. This isn't as necessary as it used to be in Windows XP days, of course, but it's still a nice option if you need to do this for whatever reason. Power users, I know, are fond of routinely wiping out Windows and reinstalling, convinced that this keeps the PC running optimally and free of gunk.

    If you received Windows 7 with a new PC, however, your PC restore possibilities could be less straightforward. These days, most PCs no longer come with restore media, but instead provide a restore partition on the hard drive and force you to manually create the necessary restore DVD(s) yourself. (So be sure to do so.) Some PCs provide two separate discs, where the first is a standard Windows 7 Setup disc, providing you with the same simple PC restore scenario that retail Windows 7 users enjoy. (The second can contain drivers, applications, and crapware.) Some, however, provide their own front-end to the Microsoft tools. And when you restore the PC using these tools, you may have no say over what gets installed. And for many PCs, that means you're getting it all: The OS, the drivers, the apps, and the crapware.

    For those unlucky enough to own a PC with such restore discs, it may seem like the opportunity to easily wipe out your PC and return it to a pristine state is impossible. But it is possible, assuming you don't mind doing a little bit of work up front.....



    See the main article at Paul's SuperSite for Windows, link is the above named article.
    CLiNT
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
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  15. #15
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    Thanks Clint, I read the article it might be something to try when I start the process. The only inconsistency is that my Vaio PC didn't come with any Restore CD or Partition. And due to the circumstances which I bought it, I wasn't able to make one. I think I might try that though, will have to backup the entire system a few times just in case anything goes wrong, and to be able to recover some of my important files.

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