SONY VAIO VGC-RB50 BIOS recovery.

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by gotfree, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. gotfree

    gotfree MDL Novice

    Mar 20, 2010
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    The system: Sony Vaio VGC-RB50.
    The original BIOS was: EV91510A.04T.0064.
    The current updated BIOS: EV91510A.86A.0482.

    The story: I was trying to install a new add-on video card (to upgrade graphics). The problem started, when I noticed some compatibility issues. In the process of trying to resolve the incompatibility issue, one of the recommendations that I have gotten was: “before doing video card install, upgrade BIOS”. This sounded to me quite convincing since the upgraded BIOS may resolve some compatibility issues. I had not had too much of knowledge about what may happen if you lose a “System Manufacturer” string (OEM ID) from the SMBIOS. And that is what exactly happened to me, after I have upgraded the BIOS of my SONY VAIO VGC-RB50 with the one downloaded from the Intel.

    What happened? I am no longer able to upgrade any driver for my Sony Vaio since this is an OEM system. But this is not essential, because I have upgraded all of the drivers long time ago. The real problem is though, my PC has gotten quite slow recently, and I wanted to use restore disc in order to get back to fresh install stage. The disc is not working anymore. I am getting a message: “This system cannot be restored. Please check that the system’s model is correct”.

    My steps correcting the issue:
    1) Got familiar with SLIC 1.0 and Windows XP OEM;
    2) Using the Intel’s iToolkit, incorporated SONY OEM ID into current BIOS (SMBIOS). I have used the following OEM ID string found on the forum: “Sony VAIO ” (2 blanks after Sony, 4 blanks after VAIO) or HEX: 53 6F 6E 79 00 00 56 41 49 4F 00 00 00 00.

    The issue ONE: This did not work (the BIOS is showing, the string has been incorporated, but the restore disc gives the same massage about wrong machine). So I then used iToolkit to export the xxx.ini in order to check if the incorporated data are correct. Interestingly, the string was DIFFERENT. The OEM ID was “Sony VAIO” (2 blanks after Sony, 0 blanks after VAIO).

    The issue TWO: Then, I also used WinHex to open the xxx.ini file in order to check the hex values. Instead of the “53 6F 6E 79 00 00 56 41 49 4F 00 00 00 00”, I found ‘53 6F 6E 79 20 20 56 41 49 4F”, which showed tat the blanks are missing.

    The issue THREE: First of all, I understood that the blanks are vanishing somehow… Then, I discovered, that if I insert “.” (dot) instead of the blank, I would get “00” instead of “20”. This was somewhat proved by the statement, which I found in this forum about the Sony OEM ID: “Note: Sony’s SLIC table contains 00’s instead of 20’s in OEM name part”.

    The issue FOUR: Finally, I made new xxx.ini using dots, like this one “Sony...VAIO….” The string does not do the job either…

    Question 1: Why 4 blanks after the “VAIO” are disappearing from the OEMID string, even though they are present in xxx.ini file (which is being used with Intel’s iToolkit)? How to correct this problem? Maybe, this is because the blanks at the end of string always disappear, and the true string is not the “Sony VAIO “ (2 blanks after Sony and 4 blanks after VAIO), but the “Sony..VAIO….” (see Question 2 below).

    Question 2: SONY SLIC in WinHex shows the string “Sony..VAIO….” (HEX: 53 6F 6E 79 00 00 56 41 49 4F 00 00 00 00), but not “Sony VAIO “ (2 blanks after Sony and 4 blanks after VAIO, the HEX of which would be 53 6F 6E 79 20 20 56 41 49 4F 20 20 20 20). So, what is the true Sony VAIO string that could work?

    Question 3: Here is my xxx.ini file. Does it contain any error?

    [SMBIOS.Values]
    SystemManufacturer=Sony VAIO
    SystemProduct=VGCRB50
    SystemVersion=
    SystemSerialNum=xxxxxxx
    ChassisManufacturer=Sony Corporation
    ChassisVersion=T1 REV. 01
    ChassisSerialNum=2-581-609
    ChassisAssetTag=

    NOTE: There are 4 blanks after VAIO.

    I AM STUCK AND NEED HELP IN SOLVING THE ISSUE AT THIS STAGE. CAN ANYONE GUID ME? MAYBE SOMEONE CAN GET ORIGINAL SMBIOS FROM THE SONY VAIO VGC-50 (OR VGC-30, VGC-45, ETC. TO COMPARE)?:worthy:
     
  2. Suicide Solution

    Suicide Solution MDL Addicted

    Apr 29, 2008
    534
    1,901
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    SLIC does not apply to Windows XP (SLP 1.0) activation methods, its for Vista, Server 08, & Windows 7.
    If I remember correctly, Sony uses SLP 1.0 bios info in areas that cant be added with common DMI DOS apps.

    You also mentioned that you downloaded the bios update from Intel.
    You may have grabbed the retail bios for your board, which may have been made by Intel, but with OEM systems, you
    need to always get bios updates from the manufactures website as they will have the correct SLP info already added.

    If you did get Sony's bios update then you may need a bios mod done for Sony SLP 1.0 and re-flash the bios.
     
  3. gotfree

    gotfree MDL Novice

    Mar 20, 2010
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    #3 gotfree, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
    (OP)
    I see. Indeed, I have gotten the BIOS during “automated” update from Intel’s web. That unfortunately happened because of my ignorance, because I had not had much knowledge about things like OEM, SLP 1.0, or SLIC before I got into the trouble with my SONY. I guess, I am still learning a lot (and particularly from this forum).
    The problem is though; the SONY’s service is horrible. I actually contacted them trying to find out if I could get original BIOS. They appeared be be absolutely dumb and were able to suggest nothing concerning my problem. They even did not understand what I was talking about (no knowledge about what the BIOS is, etc.) The only thing that they could suggest was to contact SONY repair centers, which could cost me hundreds of bucks ($400-500). I would rather consider buying new PC…

    To the point: What I have learned today is, I need to implement SLP 1.0 method (have to learn about that more). That means, the string “Sony VAIO “ (2 blanks after Sony and 4 blanks after VAIO) is probably not applicable to my case. Am I correct? What should I do next? Or, can someone make a copy of SMBIOS from their SONY VAIO (VGC)?