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Sony Vaio Recovery Partition

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Old 05-07-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Hi,

I'm just about ready to lose my temper with my current problem so any help anyone might be able to offer would be appreciated.

I'm running a Sony Vaio laptop, model VGN-FW21L ( Full Specs) running Vista Home Premium; regularly updated.

I was quickly annoyed to find that all but boot device and password options were disabled in the bios, the reason I found out to be to save on tech support costs from people accidently breaking their machines, so what I'm having trouble with is really pushing my patience.

I ran the machine without much issue for a good five or so months with Ubuntu on a separate partition. One day last week it started to act up, slowing to a crawl and not loading task manager. I put this down general use (installing/uninstalling a lot of software) and maybe something malicious that might have gotten through AVG. No biggie I think, I'll just back up my stuff and restore it back to factory settings.

I had a copy of Vista Ultimate that I was no longer using (the machine I had bought it for is now running Windows 7) so I thought I'd install that instead.

Installation went find, except that when I got into Windows I found that very few of the drivers were installed. Luckily it had found something for the ethernet connection so I plugged a good ol' fashioned cable in and let Windows look for some drivers... but it couldn't find any. So then I dug into my computer draw and pulled out the documentation that came with the laptop and ripped open the stiff, cellophane wrapped booklet with the Windows OEM Serial Number on that I had taken to be the installation disk... it was a booklet with a piece of cardboard inside it.

I know what some of you are probably thinking (words like "should" and "made" and "recovery disc") but hear me out.

So I pointed my computer at the Vaio website and went to the driver download page and, as any good computer manufacturer should, a full list of all the drivers needed were there. However, I found that, three hours and two other computers later, not one of the damn things download properly. Whether they were a couple 100 K or over 100mb (graphics) they would download 100kb or so and I would be left with corrupt archive.

At this point I gave up and decided to just restore from the recovery partition. Now I found out that I should have made a recovery disc as soon as I got the laptop. In my defence, I have gone through everything that came with the laptop and the ONLY place it says this, is in the recovery guide... why would I look in the recovery guide if I don't need to recover it? Of course it's at this point I find out that my tweaking of the boot manager for Ubuntu and my installing of a different version of Vista over the old one has ruined any chance of booting into the recovery partition like it should do.

So for the past three evenings I've messed around with the laptop, making the EISA partition visible, messing with BCDedit (this is all new to me) and I've managed to get the recovery partition to show up as boot option, pointing to the etfsboot.com file that I'm fairly sure is the right file, and when I try booting into it I'm face with a Boot Manager error:

Status: 0xc00000e9
Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred.

Does anyone have any ideas? I know that this is my own doing (though this would hardly be an issue if Sony a) were clear in their documentation or b) their support downloads worked) but everywhere on the net seems fairly certain replacement discs (which, lets be honest they should have included in the first place... how much do they really cost?) would cost around £25... which I don't think Sony have earned.

Vaio support line is closed now so I thought I'd try a forum before ringing them tomorrow. I would appreciate any advice (even if it's "Your screwed, buy the replacement disc") anyone can offer.

Sorry for the long post.

Beagrie

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Old 05-07-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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hi and welcome to TSF i cant promise this will work for you since you admit you got things wrong that being said you can try this http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/ just remember its recovery not reinstall

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Old 06-11-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeten View Post
hi and welcome to TSF i cant promise this will work for you since you admit you got things wrong that being said you can try this http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/window...disc-download/ just remember its recovery not reinstall
In his post, he said that he had the Vista Ultimate DVD, that can be used as Vista Recovery too. In fact Vista Recovery Disc is a lite version of Vista DVD.

As a matter of fact, a few hours ago when I read this post, I was looking for solutions to this problem too. Much to my frustration, it turned out to be very simple when it works. I know it's a month old thread but hope that my post will help other that experience this problem in the future.

Actually the mbr on c: has nothing to do with that or it has something to do in some kind of ways, i'm not sure. However, the important thing to know is that the hidden partition do a back-up itself everytime the 'bcd' file where mbr info is contained, is overwritten.

Vaio laptop, like every other laptops that have a hidden partition. This partition itself has an OS to run the Recovery. When C: is installed by another OS (Linux, XP,...) the mbr info is overwritten in every partition that is bootable. This applies to the hidden partition too. That is why you cannot launch the Recovery by pressing Alt F10 or F10 (depending on laptop brand).

To fix this you need a Vista Recovery CD or the Windows Vista DVD itself to launch Vista Computer Repair Service.

In Windows Vista setup first or second windows (depending if you have to choose the language and keyboard type), click Repair Computer in low left corner. It might not list the partition that you wish to repair. Even if it is listed there, you cannot fix it just by repair its boot information from the CD/DVD.

Click Cancel to go back to Vista Recovery wizard where you have many options to repair your computer or restore the system point.

Open the CommandPrompt there.

From the CommandPrompt window, you need to go to that hidden partition. If you know its drive letter, great! Otherwise, just try one by one till you reach there. If it is not there, you can use diskpart to make it available. For command syntax with diskpart http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../cc766465.aspx

From this partition, use CD command line to get into hidden directory boot. Type dir /a:h to display the file 'bcd' inside this boot folder. You will also see in this directory the backup files of bcd. I don't remember how many times did I mess it up but I saw 4 backup files there. What you do is to restore the original 'bcd' file (usually the oldest backup).

Use the attrib command to remove read-only and system attributes from both backup and current bcd files (type attrib /? if you forget/don't know how). Then use copy command to copy the backup file to the current bcd (type copy /? if you forget/don't know how). You will be asked if you wanted to overwrite the file, type Y then Enter to confirm.

Exit CommandPrompt and restart your computer. Press F10 continuously as POS, you will be able to launch the manufacturer's Recovery Partition.

It took me 3 days of research and thinking to finally figure it out. I could not find a solution by googling but it did help me collect a lot of infos to figure out where the problem was.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #4
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[q]Click Cancel to go back to Vista Recovery wizard where you have many options to repair your computer or restore the system point.[/q]

I meant click Next, not Cancel.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Click Cancel to go back to Vista Recovery wizard where you have many options to repair your computer or restore the system point.
I meant click Next, not Cancel.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:55 AM   #6
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hi naeo thanks for your fix and for pointing out the fact there was a install disc for some reason and i dont know why i missed that regards joeten
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:32 AM   #7
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Idea

I had the same problem.... and after months of research i came across this post which helped me, and i would like to share with you my way of doing things using an interface, im not so much a "Comand Prompt" kinnda guy, i like to see what i do...

I got my laptop and was quick to wipe everything, to make things my way; a dualboot of XP & Vista... but now that im selling my laptop, i wanted to restore the factory settings.... but on F10 nothing NTLDR is missing...


the previous post shared a way to recover the BCD; but from what i saw, it was unchanged on the hidden "restore partition" and no backups were made..

So first i needed to see my hidden recovery partion, to do that you can use "disk managemnt" on vista & xp, but i used paragon partition manager you will need to assign a letter and unhide the partition (by rightclicking on the partition). Now you can access the restore partition, but even in vista you cant just run the restore utility proccess off it, it still ask for the recovery disks... but whats improtant is that now you now access the boot folder with the bcd file in it, which was previously mentioned.
Next: we need to download another program EASY BCD which is free..

in the easy bcd go to the tab bootloader, and browse for the bcd file on your restore partition ..:/boot/bcd and hit the Restore Backup button....
...RESTART

Now you're booting from your restore partition.... It will format your C: partition as expected, so just save all your own files... & dont forget to make some restore disks this time...

I tested it on Sony Vaio VGN-FZ38m
p.s.thanks for the input guys! really appriciate it.
p.p.s. spread this info other same problem forums, im sure people will apriciate it... i would of a few months back for sure!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naeo View Post
In his post, he said that he had the Vista Ultimate DVD, that can be used as Vista Recovery too. In fact Vista Recovery Disc is a lite version of Vista DVD.

As a matter of fact, a few hours ago when I read this post, I was looking for solutions to this problem too. Much to my frustration, it turned out to be very simple when it works. I know it's a month old thread but hope that my post will help other that experience this problem in the future.

Actually the mbr on c: has nothing to do with that or it has something to do in some kind of ways, i'm not sure. However, the important thing to know is that the hidden partition do a back-up itself everytime the 'bcd' file where mbr info is contained, is overwritten.

Vaio laptop, like every other laptops that have a hidden partition. This partition itself has an OS to run the Recovery. When C: is installed by another OS (Linux, XP,...) the mbr info is overwritten in every partition that is bootable. This applies to the hidden partition too. That is why you cannot launch the Recovery by pressing Alt F10 or F10 (depending on laptop brand).

To fix this you need a Vista Recovery CD or the Windows Vista DVD itself to launch Vista Computer Repair Service.

In Windows Vista setup first or second windows (depending if you have to choose the language and keyboard type), click Repair Computer in low left corner. It might not list the partition that you wish to repair. Even if it is listed there, you cannot fix it just by repair its boot information from the CD/DVD.

Click Cancel to go back to Vista Recovery wizard where you have many options to repair your computer or restore the system point.

Open the CommandPrompt there.

From the CommandPrompt window, you need to go to that hidden partition. If you know its drive letter, great! Otherwise, just try one by one till you reach there. If it is not there, you can use diskpart to make it available. For command syntax with diskpart http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../cc766465.aspx

From this partition, use CD command line to get into hidden directory boot. Type dir /a:h to display the file 'bcd' inside this boot folder. You will also see in this directory the backup files of bcd. I don't remember how many times did I mess it up but I saw 4 backup files there. What you do is to restore the original 'bcd' file (usually the oldest backup).

Use the attrib command to remove read-only and system attributes from both backup and current bcd files (type attrib /? if you forget/don't know how). Then use copy command to copy the backup file to the current bcd (type copy /? if you forget/don't know how). You will be asked if you wanted to overwrite the file, type Y then Enter to confirm.

Exit CommandPrompt and restart your computer. Press F10 continuously as POS, you will be able to launch the manufacturer's Recovery Partition.

It took me 3 days of research and thinking to finally figure it out. I could not find a solution by googling but it did help me collect a lot of infos to figure out where the problem was.
Dude, you are a genius!!! Thanks a lot, I've wasted all day trying to get this freakin' partition to boot and you finally fixed this. I was desperate, didn't know what to do, I've even instaled Kubuntu trying to use GRUB to boot.

Thanks, thanks a lot. And for anybody that has this problem with a VAIO, this is the way to go, restore the original BCD file and voilá.

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