0Sony VaioDrivers for Windows 7 on Sony Vaio FZs

This is just a quick post to mention an excellent guide I recently used when installing Windows 7 on an old Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z laptop. I was having significant difficulty installing several drivers, in particular those for the nVidia GeForce 8600M GS (hardware ID: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0425&SUBSYS_9005104D&REV_A1) which was stubbornly remaining a “Standard vga adapter”. Sony don’t provide any Windows 7 drivers, and the generic nVidia drivers don’t recognise the hardware version in the Vaio, instead offering the unhelpful error “The NVIDIA setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware.  Setup will now exit.”  There is no good reason for this – the drivers have been disabled in software purely because OEM’s like Sony don’t want users installing drivers from nVidia that they (Sony) haven’t checked on their specific hardware configuration. This would be understandable if Sony actually bothered to provide support for their old hardware, but since they don’t this situation really isn’t acceptable.

I’ve run into this kind of issue before – with ATI hardware, and used the ATI mobility modder to resolve it. There is also an nVidia mobility modder, however this didn’t solve the problem – attempting to force install the modded drivers just generated a new error: “The driver selected for this device does not support this version of Windows.”  Fortunately after much searching I found a guide by CoolGuy on NotebookReview which included clear instructions and a link to a modified file which enabled me to install a driver. The driver supported is bang up-to-date (301.42 at time of writing) and, more importantly it works, which is what really matters in this case. Many of the other drivers linked from the guide were also really useful, and best of all the guide is still being updated – the most recent update was 2nd June 2012 – only 10 days before this post was published.

Thanks again to coolguy

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