back to article Sony PC owners to get Windows 10 upgrade as early Christmas present

Sony has let owners of its Vaio computers know they're free to upgrade to Windows 10. In October or November. Sony walked away from the PC market in February 2014. Investment company Japan Industrial Partners snapped up the Vaio business and brand and has since brought new products to market. Sony retains responsibilities for …

  1. Medixstiff

    Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

    Abut customer service, after all the hacks including the PlayStation one with 12 million accounts affected and credit card details leaked, you would think Sony would at least make an effort to make amends, sure they no longer own the Vaio business but they need any sort of positive customer service to help repair the brand damage the last few years has done to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

      Credit card details weren't leaked... They were stored elsewhere. It's now looking like nothing was actually ever taken, as nothing has ever surfaced from that hack. The problem Sony had, they couldn't prove nothing was taken, so the only path open was to assume the worst. Sadly the press took this as s free ticket to crucify them and cash in on the news via clickbaiting.

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

        "...Credit card details weren't leaked... They were stored elsewhere. It's now looking like nothing was actually ever taken,..."

        Sorry but a lack of evidence != to evidence nothing happened/was compromised/stolen

        With so many millions of potential victims I suspect it might be hard to pinpoint a single common location if they were used sparingly.

        Or not.

        I have no proof either way ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

          Well visa and MasterCard have said there was no increase and no increase of hacking elsewhere due to duplicated account details. If millions of details were accessed, they would have cropped up, ALA Adobe, Gawker and Target...

          Ever get the feeling you have been played as a pawn in a viral FUD game?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

      Give them time, they need it to rewrite all that bloatware and those strange drivers...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

      More a message the PC is dead.

      My Xperia has android 5.11 with stagefright patched already. In other words, they are pretty much on the same timescales as pure Google nexus devices for platforms that are still relevant in 2015

      1. Spacedinvader
        Unhappy

        Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

        My Xperia is still on 4.4.4

        1. Tom Chiverton 1

          Re: Looks like Sony hasn't learnt a thing

          So's mine. Rooted Sony phones are deliberately blocked from getting the 5.x update via the Sony update app.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honestly Sony wouldn't have made a better effort even if it WAS in the business still. Doing a fresh start on my 18 month old Vaio to get to a fresh 8.1 install was a 3 day affair of installing Win7, patching, installing drivers, upgrading to Win8, patching, installing newer drivers, installing Win8.1, patching, installing new drivers.

    Doesn't sound so bad but combine that with poor instructions, missing drivers, inability for the website to identify my model correctly, vague error messages... it was frustrating and very time consuming. I'd advise Vaio owners to not upgrade if their system is working well as it is. Or pray that the Win10->Win8 rollback process works despite Sony's drivers' best efforts to break it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      a fresh 8.1 install was a 3 day affair

      Last week I bought a new notebook to replace my ageing netbook (almost six years of everyday usage for $199 so I won't complain). The new toy came with Win 8.1 so after installing all my usual bits and bobs and tweaking everything while offline I connected it to the outside world and ignited Windows Update. Some 38 hours later it had finished so don't be too upset with Sony.

      On a side note, I divvied up the HD and thought I'd try a few alternative Linux distros before settling for my usual openSUSE. First up was LinuxMint. I really should have been paying more attention because it nuked everything on the HD including Win 8.1, the recovery partition and 38 hours of updates. On the plus side, Mint is rather good so it will be staying where it is and Windows can fuck right off.

      1. Kepler
        Flame

        Installing Windows and bringing it up to date really DOES take that long . . . even without Sony!

        I just typed a nice, calm, friendly, non-tendentious recounting of how a very recent upgrading of a newly purchased Acer laptop from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 took the better part of two days, by way of corroborating everything that CodySydney and Mahatma Coat had said.

        But then, when I had finished composing my missive of some 6 paragraphs or so, and I tried to preview it before posting, El Reg zapped me in the ass with a captcha screen. I entered the text and proceeded, not minding the extra check, only to find that after I had passed the captcha test, the text, title and icon of my post had all disappeared!!!

        So I browsed back to the page on which I had composed my message, hoping I could recover all the text I had written and resubmit it. And it was still there!

        Until I clicked in the comment-composition box, that is. At that instant, my favorite Web site repaid my loyalty by removing everything I had written and presenting me with a fresh, empty, "Enter your comment" screen ("Type your comment here", etc.). Thank you so very much for that, Vulture Central.

        (My original subject line remained, however. How nice of them!)

        Naturally I'll be goddamed if I'm gonna try and reconstruct my original message from scratch. But you all would have had a nice little story corroborating everything CodySydney and Mahatma Coat said if our Web site's excessive officiousness hadn't interfered.

        Momentarily Angry Kepler

        1. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

          Installing Windows and bringing it up to date really DOES take that long . . . even without Sony!

          Same happened to me the other day, minus the captcha screen

        2. Kepler
          Devil

          Re: submitted posts being erased by captcha screen

          The problem lies with a defective "service" that El Reg uses on its Forums, called "CloudFare". While subjecting users to a captcha test (even when another such test was taken and passed just a moment before!), it discards the full text of their submissions rather than passing it on to the Web site after the test is passed (again), as it is supposed to.

      2. keithpeter
        Coat

        Save time...

        @Mahatma and all

        "I really should have been paying more attention because it nuked everything on the HD including Win 8.1, the recovery partition and 38 hours of updates."

        Clonezilla. That is all.

        Coat: I'm off out.

  3. Likkie

    Thumbs up!

    <sarcasm>

    Thanks Sony, you're awesome!

    </sarcasm>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thumbs up!

      They are saving you from windows 10, which truly is dire.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Thumbs up!

      Support for their screwed up drivers was crap when they were still selling computers so no surprise here.

  4. cheesey_toastie

    Ignored the warning.

    Now get a blue screen on boot / hibernate resume if a USB mouse isn't plugged in!

    1. Mark Allen

      Re: Ignored the warning.

      Is one of those little wireless mouse receivers enough to stop it blue screening?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did a clean / keep nothing upgrade on my Vaio Pro 11 (Mid 2014 - originally shipped with Windows 8) via MS' Media Creation tool and it's far better with Windows 10 than it ever was with 8 or 8.1.

    With 8.1 I had to use an outdated Sony version of the Intel chipset / VGA drivers to get the HDMI port working, and WiFI was flaky on 5GHz networks. On Windows 10 everything worked out of the box and the only thing that I had to track down a driver for was some Sony system management firmware device.

    All in it took about 2 hours to upgrade, patch and get back up and running.

  6. Paul Crawford Silver badge
    Trollface

    What, you mean all that hardware does not "just work" with Windows? I thought that was what they said about Linux

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What, you mean all that hardware does not "just work" with Windows? I thought that was what they said about Linux"

      W10 is the first version of Windows that had major problems with my test physical machine: Ubuntu 14.10 was the first version on Ubuntu on which everything worked perfectly immediately after install. The difference is that I had always been able to get earlier Linux distros going, but I couldn't fix 10.

      I do have sympathy for Sony, therefore. In the ordinary run of things those machines would have been OK on 8 for years. It wasn't their fault that Microsoft rushed out a radically revised OS which seems to have loads of added on spyware and DRM.

      1. Rabbit80

        "I do have sympathy for Sony, therefore. In the ordinary run of things those machines would have been OK on 8 for years. It wasn't their fault that Microsoft rushed out a radically revised OS which seems to have loads of added on spyware and DRM."

        Alternatively, they could have stuck to standard hardware or firmware on said hardware to ensure the laptops took the standard hardware drivers. It would have saved them a lot of work and these issues wouldn't exist! Many a time I have seen VIAOs that require some obscure driver for graphics or camera etc...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Alternatively, they could have stuck to standard hardware or firmware on said hardware to ensure the laptops took the standard hardware drivers. It would have saved them a lot of work and these issues wouldn't exist!"

          Yes, silly me, all laptops should be vanilla with no differentiation other than cosmetic and mechanical. That is after all the way the industry is going, and as a result Lenovo is gradually taking it over.

          It seems, though, from some posts below that some of their products work just fine and so they must be working through issues.

          1. Gene Cash Silver badge

            > all laptops should be vanilla with no differentiation

            If you're going to differentiate[1] your product, then it's your obligation to support that difference.

            [1] another way of spelling "proprietary" and something to be avoided at all costs

          2. Cynical Shopper

            > all laptops should be vanilla with no differentiation

            I'm sure Sony's system management firmware differentiation really drew in the crowds.

  7. Dan McIntyre

    Erm...

    I upgraded my Vaio Fit15E last week and it runs just fine. It was a bit slow and the update to OneDrive soon started filling up the HDD but a reset of the laptop has cured both issues. Even the touchscreen still works.

  8. David Austin

    Oh Vaio...

    It's always been their achilles heel: They make nicely designed, solidly built (If a tad expensive) kit, then use so many custom Sony Apps, OS customisations, and weird drivers that it's almost not Windows any more.

    Any other brand, you'd nuke windows and put a vanilla copy on, but with VAIO's, you'd just end up with a dozen unknown drivers for Sony buttons, memory sticks, phone/PS connectors, and lord knows what else.

    Had a fun one a few years ago where you could not unset Google Chrome as the default browser, even if you uninstalled it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Google totally borgs your computer.

      I am fresh from the experience of eradicating Google Update from my PC. I used to have Chrome and Google Earth installed. At some point last week I decided that Chrome was going away. It annoyed me to the point where I uninstalled it. That was that, thought I. How wrong I was !

      The next day, I boot the PC, start doing what I usually do, and suddenly Chrome is back, right there on my screen, asking me to log in. Bewildered, I check my Services and found Google Update right back there, and no longer disabled. I disable it pronto. Then I uninstall Chrome and Google Earth, hunt my C: for anything Google and terminate it with extreme prejudice.

      The day after that, same start scenario. Boot up, start working, and bang, there is Chrome again. By that time I'm hopping mad. Uninstall Chrome, disable services, scour the disk. This time I check that bloody abomination called the Registry. I find and delete dozens of keys concerning Google (congratulations, Uninstall process, really did a top-notch job there). This time, I think, it's over with.

      It wasn't, yet. Again, the following day, same program. When Chome pops up I'm ready to launch a nuclear strike on Google HQ. The thing that finally put an end to this nonsense is when I downloaded Crap Cleaner and found that, of all things, Firefox had a Google Update add-in. Every time I started Firefox, that add-in would check and install Chrome and services. Thanks to Crap Cleaner, I nuked that and now I have peace from the Borg.

      Funny thing is, that add-in never appeared in my Firefox extensions in Forefox. I wonder why.

      In any case, I now know that, once you install anything Google on your PC, you turn over your computer to the will of Larry Page and the only way to regain control is a proper exorcism.

  9. David Roberts Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Sensible Sony

    Sage advice to wait a few months after first launch before upgrading.

    There is more chance of a stable platform, and less chance of fail early fail often.

    Am I the only one to have cleaned out all the upgradeware from Windows Update so that I can decide later if I want to upgrade or stay put?

  10. pstiles

    My VAIO working ok so far

    We have a Tap20 as our Lounge PC (yes! I was the person who bought one) and the Win10 upgrade went simply and smoothly. The PC seems all well and good and the missus (the main user of such) hasn't complained to me about any of its magic new workings.

    The Win 10 Update Check did originally say that the display drivers wouldn't be available, but its capable of playing EVE still (although the missus is a Miner/Manufacturer and so Fleet battles not normally part of her normal day-to-day play) I'm putting that down to fear, or Intel & MS pulling their fingers our in time.

    If I get better drivers come November; fine...

    1. disorder

      Re: My VAIO working ok so far

      Surely it only needs Excel for that, and this doesn't press the iGPU into all *that* much work. Regardless, a smoother patch process than CCP's I'd suggest.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    windows 7 drivers?

    when will windows 7 users will get the drivers for the windows 10 update?

    Has Sony forgotten about the windows 7 users ?

    1. Adrian Smart
      FAIL

      Re: windows 7 drivers?

      Almost certainly...

  12. SEDT

    Vaio Duo

    Working fine with Win 10.... so far

    1. Mike01Hu

      Re: Vaio Duo

      Which Duo?

  13. Spacebots

    Since I was in the Insider program and had no problems on my test machine, I had access to the ISO file on the first day and upgraded my four year old i5 powered Vaio laptop without a second thought. The upgrade went flawlessly. I think Sony are just covering their backsides. If you do upgrade and have a problem, you are free to restore the previous version of Windows for a month anyway.

    I certainly won't be doing that. I have it on two desktops and two laptops and all of them work great.

  14. Banksy

    No problems here

    Updated my 2010 vintage Sony Vaio SB to Win 10 the day after launch. I've not had any issues but I am mostly using it with an external monitor, mouse and keyboard. I've not had any error messages to indicate those things aren't working though.

  15. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Sony Driver pack and root-kit, no doubt!

  16. Araxian

    Drivers are not that hard

    I regularly update windows on multiple laptops, drivers are not a problem, all hardware have device ids, since i do it so often and don't want manually look it up, i have a few driver utilities, they scan a database for all the device id's on the system then match it to drivers for that id, you can then update all drivers on the system, with no missing drivers, generally they also a multiple versions newer than what the laptop manufacturer has "certified".

    I recently updated a friends Sony Vaio laptop that had Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. no issues at all, wifi, lan and video drivers all work fine, even got all the chipset and drive controllers drivers manufacturer's usually only use the windows default ones. utility comes in handy.

    Though i did that more for performance, even right after the update, it didn't have a single device driver that wasn't working, they were just a few that didn't carry over the 8.1 drivers and were using generic one from MS.

    The warning is more for their liability than anything else. all the drivers are avail from the oem, it just isnt packaged in the bloated Vaio branded driver pack. funny part was the webcam that is built in to the laptop is made by Sony and has native windows 10 drivers avail from their site.

  17. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    Sony computers are and always have been shit. The hardware over engineered and yet poorly executed. Like really complex hinges on laptops that are a cool design and yet aren't strong enough for a 17" screen. Everything about the computers stinks, especially the software. 50-odd sony POS bloatware apps graced the average machine. And they'd build a machine for maybe a month, with its own set of drivers, then a different model with different drivers. Try to get help for a nonfunctioning driver on google? you'd have to hope that someone with some technical knowledge posted something somewhere on the web about that particular model, which is unlikely because a) they didn't make that many of each model and b) people with technical knowledge would presumably have give Sony a wide berth anyway.

    The quality of the drivers and software was always poor. Prone to crashing and freezing. Trying to repair a Sony tower was a nightmare. Non standard parts with different screwholes to anything else.

    Having said all that, the Sony tablets are amazing. Not so much bloatware, well made and the bits that are made by sony do actually work and are designed reasonably well. And they keep up to date. My z3 phone already has android 5.1.1.

    So glad they've exited the PC market though

  18. src

    Upgraded OK

    My VPCEH2P0E upgraded from Windows 7 Home okay. It seemed a bit flaky after the upgrade but perked up nicely after a clean reinstall. I was able to install Sony's Windows 7 ALPS touchpad software. The only downside I can see is that I can no longer control brightness using function keys.

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