The Sony Hackintosh

There should be an image here!Why do people have an obsession with running OS X on PCs and notebooks rather than merely sticking with the logical purchase of a Mac? Seems like folks just borrowing trouble to me, but perhaps instead I am missing a bigger picture.

Well as it turns out, it is not all that difficult to run OS X on a Sony VAIO, should someone feel the need to do so. I know, we come back again full circle to why. But I guess there is a cool factor to the general option of being able to do so.

As one might expect, there is no wifi to be had here though. Funny, as on Linux I have a drawl full of working wifi dongles that work great on most popular distros. And with a Mac, wifi works fine out of the box. But I guess that lacks the thrill of a hack-n-toch.

Vista Wi-Fi Frustration

Today, Richard asks:

I have a Vaio laptop VGN-NR21Z/T with Vista Home Premium, which has been very well behaved for 18 months.

I have 3 users set up: Admin, User A (standard user), User B (standard user). I generally use User A. I use wireless and the connection has been fine, until last week.

Now, if I boot up and log in to Admin account, everything works as normal, but if I log in/change User to A or B the wireless connection switches itself off in all accounts (the light goes off and the connection is broken) and it won’t come back on. Anything I do to check gives a “Try switching the wireless on” message. Wireless will only reappear if I boot and log in to Admin all over again.

There aren’t any system messages/warning messages or anything: it just switches off. I haven’t done any upgrades recently except for Adobe Flash 10 Active X and Microsoft Visual C++ 2005. Both of these were installed via normal system update about a week before it started playing up.

Help! Any suggestions please?

My first gut reaction is that you might look into a driver upgrade. Also, test a separate wireless device to see if it does the same thing. For my money, I am leaning with poorly written drivers for the wireless device. I simply don’t think this is a Vista specific issue, rather poorly created wireless drivers for the Wi-Fi device on your Vista machine.

Considering that in each case we are not talking about limited users of any sort, rather standard users running with admin privileges, I cannot see any reason why permissions or anything like that might come up. Then again, I never subjected myself to Vista. XP or Win 7, great. But I do know that early on, Vista had a number of buggy wireless issues, though it’s not a problem any longer.

Perhaps the readers here have some other thoughts? Maybe there is indeed a bug still out there affecting Vista SP1 users I am unaware of. If you have relevant data to share, please hit the comments.

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!” Please address comments to the comments section above, my email address is for questions – thanks!

[awsbullet:wireless microsoft windows vista]

Sony Vaio Vista Wi-Fi Woes

Today, a reader writes:

My Vaio has been giving me Hell. The WLAN works fine at home, various coffee shops and restaurants, etc., but I’m on vacation at the moment. I stayed at a hotel last night at my halfway point and am now at the final destination, where my WLAN suddenly doesn’t work. I did some… something, at the last hotel… I went through some crap to get
it on the hotel’s network, and it ultimately worked, but now I’m having issues at the new place.

What’s happening is, my laptop is detecting the network; it clearly reads what it is and the signal strength. But when I click to connect, it takes a fraction of a second for it to say it can’t connect, and says it’s for an unknown reason. It’s as though it doesn’t even try to connect.

I’m with family, and other Vista laptops, like this one, are running just fine on the hotel’s network, but not mine, so that narrows down where the problem is to my machine. At most public places, it’s as simple as walking in, booting up, and connecting, and I’m on, and I don’t see why this hotel should be different since that’s exactly what I did to get our other two machines online… so I guess if I knew of a good way to default my WLAN settings or something…

I’m fairly sure my drivers are up to date; I was just on it last night. I don’t think it’s taken any drops and hits, and I’m fairly sure that my network card didn’t take the same week as I did for vacation. I have no wireless profiles; I tend to just walk into places, set it up, and run with it. I don’t know, from the look of things you’re the professional, not me… yet.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR120E (Completely stock)
Running Windows Vista for some reason
LAN-Express AS IEEE 802.11g PCI-E Adapter
Unsecured Hotel Network, so no encryption of any kind to speak of.

I do seem to remember hearing about some Vista notebooks having wireless issues, most of these issues however were fixed with a Windows update however. But there were still some notebooks that continued having the issue – this model of Vaio was one of them. Before tossing in the towel, I would point out that if you are able to connect most places and just not at one hotel – it would likely indicate this is a hotel wireless issue.

While others are going to retro back to XP using this guide as their beacon of hope, let me make a more sane suggestion. Upgrade the wireless driver. Does this sound familiar?

This utility updates Marvell Atheros Extensible Wireless LAN Driver to version 7.4.2.15 to resolve the following issues:

  • A low wireless signal level is reported, even when the computer is close to the router.
  • The computer cannot connect to the access point.

Yes, this is the patched driver you have been waiting for from Sony. Before rushing to install it, read the instructions carefully first. Enjoy!

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!” Please address comments to the comments section above, my email address is for questions – thanks!

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ180E/B Notebook Computer

There should be an image here!The VAIO FZ Series VGN-FZ180E/B Notebook Computer from Sony is the perfect blend of mobility, style, and performance. This notebook PC will become the center of your digital entertainment universe, whether you’re home, at school, working, or on the road.

Perfect for the digital road warrior, the computer will help you get the most out of your digital devices. You’ll be able to use the noteboook with digital cameras, video cameras, MP3 players, and more. The system is powered by a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7300 CPU and boasts 2GB of RAM, 200 GB 4200RPM SATA hard drive capacity, a Blu-ray burner, wireless ethernet, and a 15.4″ widescreen display powered by nVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics. Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium is the platform that ties all this hardware and software together, providing a great portable computer for the digital savvy family, backed by the Sony name.

B&H price – $1,499.95 + shipping

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ180E/B Notebook Computer

There should be an image here!The VAIO FZ Series VGN-FZ180E/B Notebook Computer from Sony is the perfect blend of mobility, style, and performance. This notebook PC will become the center of your digital entertainment universe, whether you’re home, at school, working, or on the road.

Perfect for the digital road warrior, the computer will help you get the most out of your digital devices. You’ll be able to use the noteboook with digital cameras, video cameras, MP3 players, and more. The system is powered by a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7300 CPU and boasts 2GB of RAM, 200 GB 4200RPM SATA hard drive capacity, a Blu-ray burner, wireless ethernet, and a 15.4″ widescreen display powered by nVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics. Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium is the platform that ties all this hardware and software together, providing a great portable computer for the digital savvy family, backed by the Sony name.

B&H price – $1,499.95 + shipping

Sony Deals

I think Sony is about the closest thing to a MacBook on the PC side. I’ve been using VAIOs for about three years and while they’re not always the most sturdy of notebooks, they’ve got killer video technology.

Sony VAIO VGN-CR115E Notebook For $1199

There should be an image here!Get power and style. Give love, hope, and support. Sony has pledged to donate $100,000 from the proceeds of this special-edition VAIO CR notebook bundle to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Bundled with a matching carrying case and mouse, the powerful and incredibly beautiful CR notebook features a stunning cosmopolitan outer shell.

Step out and be seen with the with the portable, powerful, and incredibly beautiful VAIO CR notebook. Featuring a stunning 14.1″ widescreen LCD with XBRITE-ECO LCD technology, this thin-and-light fashion statement is an astonishing sight to behold. Backed by the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system and Intel Centrino Duo processor technology with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, this lightning-fast, super-powerful mobile notebook is slim, lightweight, and packed with entertainment and design extras.

From a built-in web cam and AV controls to its unique paint colors and comfortable, easy-to-clean keyboard, the remarkable VAIO CR notebook delivers entertainment, power, and pizzazz. Hurry – while supplies last!

[tags]notebook, laptop, vaio[/tags]