OS reinstall on Sony Vaio with broken PC card slot - is it possible?

By xosia
Jan 10, 2006
  1. I have searched the forums for a similar problem and the most I can discern is that Sony Vaios are a pain in the rear... Here is the situation:

    I have a Sony Vaio PCG-SR5K that recently had a hard disk failure which apparently wiped out the OS on the disk (or at least fried the boot sector). One day I was working and abruptly got the blue screen of death, after which attempts to start the computer resulted only in a message of "OS not found".

    I have the "recovery" disks for the machine but not the actual "install" disks for the OS, as apparently Sony does not trust it's customers with a copy of the actual software... However, this is not the main problem.

    The problem is that the PC card slot stopped working a while back, and this is the method by which the CD-ROM drive that came with the machine attaches. After I could no longer use this drive I simply started using another USB linked CD-ROM drive to read CDs with. However, the machine WILL NOT BOOT from any device other than the hard drive (which is messed up) or a disk drive connected via the PC card slot (which is broken).

    Theoretically the machine could still work if I could only get an OS back on it. I have read that Vaios are a complete pain in the rear to work around problems with. The only reason I have the thing is that I got it for free (that tells you something) and I use it mainly for email and internet browsing. (I also have a desktop - NOT a Sony) but it is nicer not being tethered to a desk.)

    I actually would rather move to a linux system, but I understand that Vaios are even MORE of a pain in that regard.

    The main question, however, is this: is there a way to reinstall the OS without the PC card drive slot functioning? I can't just clone the HDD because obviously there is something wrong on it. I have removed the HDD and tried looking at the contents with my other computer using an external 2.5" case. There were problems looking at one of the partitions (the one the boot sector is on of course) and I had to run checkdisk with the fix option to "fix" it and be able to read it. Afterward I could view the files but some were corrupted and some were missing. I could try to install the OS to the disk using my other computer, but suspect that won't work because of the differences in BIOS, etc.

    Any help (or hope!) is appreciated!
  2. maczones

    maczones TS Rookie


    I don't know if this gets to you since the post you made is over 9 months old but I too have the same problem with my SR5K and wish to know how to install the OS without the PC card slot. I've tried installing the HD to another PC and install the OS this way, but when I reinstall the HD to the SR5K, the screen comes up with the "No OS Found" warning. Apparently the recovery disks must embed some information that the BIOS is looking for to say the OS installed on the HD is legit. I think Sony in many ways has cheated it's customers by preventing us to load the OS in any way we desire. It is a crime. If anyone reads this post and knows how to circumvent this problem, Please send some advice. I am sure there are many out there that have broken PCMCIA PC slots that prevents themfrom loading a recovery disk and find themselves in the same predictament.....My only solution to this problem has been to use my sister's working SR5K notebook (yes I am lucky to know someone with the same notebook) and install my HD in her notebook, load the recovery disk and then install this HD back into my SR5K....other than that I am lost to find a solution.
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