XP OEM Home, on Sony Vaio PCV-RX640

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by spinto, May 8, 2002.

  1. spinto

    spinto Guest

    I posted this over at computing.net and got one helpfull response, am I am just looking for any other insights, thoughts etc.

    I managed to get a Sony PCV-RX640, pretty much for free, with a 1.3 ghz Celeron, 60 GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive, CD-RW Drive
    16X max,10X,max 40X, DVD-ROM Drive 16X/40X max. I put in a 32mb Nvidia AGP graphics card, and have 512mb of Ram, along with a SoundBlaster Live sound card (which XP seems too hate).

    This is my first foray into XP, and I would like to know a couple of things.I tweaked a bit, all updates, and new drivers installed over the net, etc.

    There was alot of superfolus software already installed (as is the case with most OEM distrobutions), so I thought what the heck, format, wipe and install.

    Well basically my question is this; Sony, as gracious as they are, supply 4 system restoration disks, and so far the only way to reinstall is to recreate the partions and restore the factory settings, per these disks.

    I think I found XP on disk 1 under the "i386" folder, is there a way to transfer the contents of this directory to a wiped HD and install from the HD. Much like doing a wipe on a win9x box, e.g. from a bootdisk, mkdir "cabs", then from the cd drive, x:\win98 copy *.* c:\cabs, thus running setup from the HD and getting a "clean" install?

    I realize that it is an OEM version of XP Home, but with a little hacking here and there is this possible?? Or am I going to have to go out and fork over $199 to Micro$oft for the retail version??

    Thanks for taking the time to read this,


    P.S. any links on this subject also appreciated.
  2. Lonman

    Lonman Bleh!

    It may be possible yes. You can always test your theory too - just in case they pulled the heart out ot the installation files. Boot up using a 98 floppy (so you have access to your cdrom), navigate to the i386 folder on the cd and type in 'winnt.exe' and see if setup kicks in for you.

    In the same vien, while XP is running put the cdrom in that has the i386 folder on it in the drive, find and launch the 'winnt32.exe' file and see if setup initiates ok... you may be able to do your installation right from there w/o having to go through the hassle of pre-formatting (dependant on the options setup gives you). I have no idea what they may have done to the installation files so these things are in theory only... good luck.
  3. spinto

    spinto Guest

    tx lonman,

    I'll be giving it a shot the next couple of nights.
  4. spinto

    spinto Guest

    no luck.

    Well, I'm guessing that Sony tweeked a good bit of the contents of the i386 folder, seems to be quite a few missing and path not found files. My guess is that these files are contained within the the Sony image files on the disks.

    So, I guess, I am going to have to buy a retail copy of XP from Micro$oft.

    IMHO, this is a shame. I know you take a chance with OEM distributions, and at least Sony put their tweeked version of XP on a CD. I am seeing quite a few horror stories, I belive HP and Compaq, putting their tweeked version on a partition, and not supplying any of XP on a CD. Is this true?

    For me, its not a big deal, win98se is still my main daily OS, and I use Debian's Linux Distro for my programming and server stuff.

    However, I do think the average consumer is being greatly misled, and taken for an expensive ride.

    I hope the automobile industry does not adopt some of these practices, imagine buying a car, from lets say FUBAR Motor Company, then finding out that the only gas nozzles that fit are at the FUBAR Gas and Grocery Store. uhmm. Better shut-up they may get ideas.

    All the best Andy.
  5. firehawk

    firehawk OSNN Addict

    One shouldn't blame the OEM's for this. It is $MS that is putting these ridiculouse guildlines on them. OEM's pretty much have their hands tied.............to $MS!
  6. Taurus

    Taurus hardware monkey

    Sacramento, CA
    bought a dell inspiron 8100 (laptop) and promptly reformatted it with the standard virgin xp home cd it came with. guess i was lucky it came with one. :)
  7. gonaads

    gonaads Beware the G-Man Political User Folding Team

    Spinto, have you wiped and fomatted yet? If not why no just uninstall the progs you don't want. Or are you having so many problems withXP that you can't live with it?:confused:
  8. spinto

    spinto Guest


    Yes, I did do a wipe, and tried to do a clean install, but no luck. I have too use Sony's restoration disks, which restores the system to the day you took it out the box.

    I know I could go and un-install the software I don't want, but thats not the cleanest way to do it. Otherwise, XP does not look too bad, like I said above, win98 se is still in my main box, as is Debian Linux (on another). I guess I'm just a bit bitter in the way M$ and the other vendors are able to dictate and control so much of what us consumers do.
  9. gonaads

    gonaads Beware the G-Man Political User Folding Team

    You should have gotten an OEM XP disk with that Vaio. I think the person you got it from kept the disk and only gave you the recovery disks. You should talk to them and try to get that disk. Then you can do a clean install. You should have also gotten all the software disks for everything that was installed on the Vaio when it was new. When you buy a new 'Puter you always get the disks. I think this person is keeping them so as to use on something else, maybe?
  10. Lonman

    Lonman Bleh!

    Not always gonaads. Some of these oem systems only come with system recovery disks... basically disk images and they don't offer any way to get to the basic OS installation files. Something to consider when buying a new system.
  11. spinto

    spinto Guest


    I have everything, maybe I was a little unclear. The vaio that I got is brand new, boxed, and I have all the disks. The problem is that Sony do not supply XP Home Edition (OEM) on its own cd, rather, it is part of its restoration set, which is three disks, the i386 folder, being part of the first disk. I also have all the disks for the supplied software.

    My original question was if anyone with a vaio was able to make a clean install from the i386 folder, without recreating the system as it came out of the box.

    So far it is defeating me.
  12. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

    Santa Clara, CA
    You know what, I have the RX-550 and I have the same number of discs too, so tell me if that works out...:D
  13. GraLk

    GraLk Guest

    just bought a TTX V7000 notebook, and got XP Pro disk with it, as well as the installed s/ware disks. I thnk it depends on the vendor/manufacturer as to whether you get the OS disk. friend of mine bought a notebook at F_T_R_shop and didn't get the os disk.

  14. Piett

    Piett ...will circle this city

    Calgary, Alberta
    is there a CD key anywhere on you system, such as the documentation, or on one of the recovery disks? if so borrow a friends cd and install it using that cd and your key. Since you now own that system you are intitled to an XP cd, because you have a ligitimate key. you can even make a copy of your friends cd, again because you are the owner of a ligitimate key, and entitled to a cd. that's what you pay for when you buy XP, the liscence to use the product. so if you have a genuine key, then you are set. and if you don't you could always enlist in some less than legal actions to obtain one.
  15. jdn

    jdn I'm trying

    Victoria, B.C. CANADA
    interesting questions
    i have a compaq laptop which came with xp home
    i have upgraded to xp pro
    here is the kicker
    can i format the hard drive and do a clean install by supply the original xp home disk when the xp pro ugr ask for it (will it ?)
    or should i place a win98 install on a different partition (logical only, this is a laptop) and direct it there.
    there is so much crap on this oem setup that my 20gb hd had 6gb on it when i turned it on the 1st time.
    i found the same problem on an hp desktop i have at home. 40gb hd - 25 gb free.
    in the real world an out of the box xp pro install should take 2.5 gb with a few freebees. that is what my latest box had from a local assembler.
  16. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Red Sox Nation
    Just trying to learn something here, so here's a question...

    What's the difference between a logical partition and any other partition?
  17. spinto

    spinto Guest

    Piett, there is no CD Key as such, the restoration disks do however only work on the sony box, which means there must be something in the BIOS :confused:

    Also, in my current confused state of mind, everything I have been reading seems to go with the fact that OEM versions of XP do not need any activation. :confused:

    However, I do agree with the fact that, (although I'm not out of pocket on this box), as a consumer, we should get the whole product.
  18. TuMbRaS

    TuMbRaS Guest


    in ref. to your ?? about logical partition and partitions in general...

    here is a good starting point: it's a microsoft KB article...Q313348

    also, another good article can be found on MS's technet:

    Basic Volume Information

    anyway..i hope this helps...!!

  19. gonaads

    gonaads Beware the G-Man Political User Folding Team

    That's why I ONLY build them. I never buy one pre-fabed. I hate all the crap they stuff into them. Some places though do just build basic systems without all the software programs that no one needs installed. But I think alot of these Companies like Sony want their stuff on it only, so they set it up so you can only restore or reinstall the way they want.