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Sony Vaio PCG F290 - need original bios (or, I HAVE NO MOUSE ANDI MUST SCREAM)

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Angry Red Herring, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. I bought a used PCG F290 (400 mhz, 128mb, Win98) but the previous owner
    mucked up the BIOS and completely disabled mouse functionality. The
    laptop won't recognize an attached mouse, and the touchpad is detected,
    but not working. System Properties shows the pad with an unknown conflict.

    I ordered the system restore cd set, and got everything back to factory
    settings-- EXCEPT the BIOS. So still, no mouse (among other things--
    but once I get the mouse back, I'll be cooking with gas).

    Anybody know how I can track this thing down? Is it somewhere on the
    System restore CD's and I just haven't figured it out? Many Google
    searches have proved fruitless as far as the location of the original
    BIOS. Any tips? Or perhaps someone out there has a copy?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
    Angry Red Herring, Dec 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. Angry Red Herring

    Quaoar Guest

    Are you saying that when selecting the option in BIOS Setup to Restore
    Default settings that it does not work?

    Q
     
    Quaoar, Dec 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. Not as far as I can tell. The BIOS is still listed as "W2K060", which
    is the Windows 200 upgrade (that started this whole mess, apparently).
    It doesn't seem to affect any Windows functions when I set it to
    default, and when I reboot and check the BIOS again, it's still the same
    version. Restore Default Settings doesn't seem to affect the BIOS version.

    I managed to get the mouse cursor to move a bit using MouseKeys in the
    Accessibility Options, but it's wonky for the most part, and seemingly
    useless due to the merged 10 key/keyboard.

    Still seeking the original BIOS... *sob*

    Dave
     
    Angry Red Herring, Dec 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Angry Red Herring

    Jef Norton Guest

    |
    | Not as far as I can tell. The BIOS is still listed as "W2K060", which
    | is the Windows 200 upgrade (that started this whole mess, apparently).
    | It doesn't seem to affect any Windows functions when I set it to
    | default, and when I reboot and check the BIOS again, it's still the same
    | version. Restore Default Settings doesn't seem to affect the BIOS
    version.
    |
    | I managed to get the mouse cursor to move a bit using MouseKeys in the
    | Accessibility Options, but it's wonky for the most part, and seemingly
    | useless due to the merged 10 key/keyboard.
    |
    | Still seeking the original BIOS... *sob*
    |
    | Dave
    |
    | --
    | "If you find yourself in conflict with someone, try walking a mile in
    | their shoes. Then you're a mile away from them, and you also have their
    | shoes." - unknown
    |
    |


    Hi Dave -

    Personally I don't think the BIOS released for Windows 2000 support is
    preventing the touchpad from being properly detected under Windows 98. I
    think it's simply shut off in the CMOS.

    Resetting the BIOS to defaults, unfortunately, doesn't always bring back the
    touchpad if it's been turned off from within Windows.

    As you've already found, the only currently listed BIOS download for your
    computer is:
    http://esupport.sony.com/perl/swu-download.pl?template=EN&upd_id=797&os_id=6&mdl=PCGF290

    Navigate with the keyboard to Sony Notebook Setup --
    You say you have restored the computer using the recovery CD set from Sony.
    There should be a utility called Sony Notebook Setup where there is a pane
    for the touchpad (frequently headed "Device"). This program is the only way
    to disable and enable the touchpad on most VAIO notebooks. I know
    navigating the menus is a bit of a chore without a mouse, but you can press
    the Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. From there you can type the
    location of the Sony Notebook Setup program ... on many models it located at
    "C:\Program Files\Sony\Sony Notebook Setup\SNSetup.exe" (keep the quotes
    when you type the command because of the embedded spaces). You should be
    able to move through the tabbed panes in the program with the left and right
    arrow keys. Use the Tab key to move through the items on the
    Device/Touchpad pane. Once you've highlighted the option to enable the
    touchpad, use the spacebar to select and enable it. Use the tab key to move
    to the OK button and press Enter.

    If you cannot find Sony Notebook Setup by the above path (Sony has changed
    it's default location several times), open Windows Explorer with the Windows
    Key + E. Navigate through the folder tree with the down and right arrow
    keys. Once you've found the folder containing SNSetup.exe, use the arrow
    keys to highlight it and press Enter to start the program running.

    Hopefully this will help.

    Jef
     
    Jef Norton, Dec 25, 2004
    #4

  5. Thanks for the well-written description-- but I've already tried that. :(
    Enabling (or disabling, as it was already enabled) the Touchpad in
    Notebook Setup does nothing.

    You mentioned the CMOS-- is there something I could do there that would
    affect it? Would removing the battery reset those values, or would it
    even make a difference other then the system clock?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
    Angry Red Herring, Dec 25, 2004
    #5
  6. Angry Red Herring

    bobb Guest

    Is it possible you are sold a defective laptop? Mouse function is
    pretty basic stuff.
     
    bobb, Dec 26, 2004
    #6
  7. Angry Red Herring

    Jef Norton Guest

    |
    | Thanks for the well-written description-- but I've already tried that. :(
    | Enabling (or disabling, as it was already enabled) the Touchpad in
    | Notebook Setup does nothing.
    |
    | You mentioned the CMOS-- is there something I could do there that would
    | affect it? Would removing the battery reset those values, or would it
    | even make a difference other then the system clock?
    |
    | Thanks,
    | Dave
    |
    | --
    | "If you find yourself in conflict with someone, try walking a mile in
    | their shoes. Then you're a mile away from them, and you also have their
    | shoes." - unknown
    |
    |
    |

    Hi Dave -

    As bobb says... Touchpad functionality is pretty basic. They are generally
    recognized as "mouse" plugged into a PS/2 port. This is a legacy device
    which probably wouldn't be affected one iota by a BIOS update for Windows
    2000 (which, likely, addressed power management issues, as the F290 appears
    to be from the era of Windows 98 Gold, which only supported APM... where
    Windows 2000 usually functions better under ACPI).

    The "CMOS" I mention is not something you can really fiddle with, per se.
    This is non-volatile memory where your BIOS settings and such items, as Sony
    Notebook Setup's Touchpad on/off setting, are stored.

    What does Device Manager say about your touchpad? Does it list the
    touchpad? Does it show that the device has been detected properly and has a
    device driver started with no error code?

    If the device is detected and started properly you either have a defective
    touchpad, its connector has come loose from the motherboard, the ribbon
    cable between touchpad and motherboard has been damaged or the connector to
    the motherboard is defective or damaged. But then, failing all the former,
    the motherboard could be on its way out as well.

    What kind of external mouse have you tried? Was it a USB mouse? Does the
    F290 even have USB ports?

    You say you restored to the recovery CD from Sony. Was this a Windows 98
    Gold (original) Edition or Windows 98SE? USB support was released between
    the time of Windows 98 Gold and Windows 98SE, as I recall... though many
    manufacturers supported USB with 3rd-party drivers with the Windows 98 Gold
    release.

    Does the F290 have an external PS/2 port? If so, have you tried a PS/2
    mouse?

    There is a download on the Sony support site for Sony Notebook Setup for
    Windows 98SE. There are several items that must be downloaded and installed
    in advance of this program. If you have a Windows 98SE CD around, you may
    want to try a clean install with that, with all the device drivers and many
    of the proprietary utilities being available for download and install. See
    the following link:

    http://esupport.sony.com/perl/swu-download.pl?template=EN&upd_id=367&os_id=3&mdl=PCGF290

    Jef
     
    Jef Norton, Dec 26, 2004
    #7


  8. Well, when I got the thing, W2K was on it, and there was no mouse cursor
    at all. There were no references to a mouse (or any control devices
    other than the keyboard) in the device manager. It came with a USB
    mouse, but that did nothing and also wasn't detected. I (and this is
    starting to look like poor judgement on my part) that it had to be
    something I could fix. I tried a PS2 mouse at home, also nothing.

    I did a reinstall of W2K and managed to get the references to mice in
    device manager to appear (although conflicted/inoperable). But no
    cursor, and no mouse/touchpad functionality. Then, once the System
    Restore disks arrived and I went back to Win98, the mouse cursor
    reappeared, but still no mouse control despite the full original device
    drivers for the touchpad. On startup, Win98 would say that no mouse was
    detected and that I could "safely attach a serial mouse now". I had a
    ps2 to serial adapter, and even that wasn't detected. This time,
    plugging in the USB mouse did have an effect-- it was as though Windows
    kept trying to recognize the mouse, but kept failing. Navigating in
    Windows slowed to a crawl while the USB mouse was attached.

    ..
    ..
    ..
    (Suddenly, in the middle of his post, he has a brainstorm)
    ..
    ..
    ..

    ....Okay, so I yanked my wife's optical USB mouse out and plugged it in
    and BAM. Working optical USB mouse. The mouse that came with the
    laptop was screwed up, royally screwing up my process of elimination (I
    honestly think that it's the first broken mouse I've ever encountered--
    just my luck). At least now I can navigate at regular speed. That
    should help me in figuring out these other oddities (touchpad, battery
    not detected, etc.).

    You guys have been great. Thanks for all your help. After having taken
    it apart, I saw some signs that it may have sustained a hearty whack.
    What puzzles me is that the small board that controls both the touchpad
    and the battery (neither working, but apparently connected) also
    controls the floppy drive, which works fine.

    (Just discovered that the floppy bay also acts as a secondary battery
    bay, and that works.)

    I'm going to move on and test all the various ports-- 56k, printer,
    monitor-- to see if there are any other doohickies not working. But for
    now, atleast it does what I need it to do, and I'm in nowhere near as
    much a hurry to get it repaired.

    Thanks guys,
    Dave
     
    Angry Red Herring, Dec 26, 2004
    #8
  9. Angry Red Herring

    Jef Norton Guest

    Hi Dave -

    Good to read you've finally made progress.

    Good luck getting the rest of the computer functional... though I suspect
    you'll probably never get the touchpad working without replacing parts
    (there are 3rd party sites that sell parts for VAIOs... such as Impact
    Computers and Sony Spare Parts).

    You cannot simply connect a PS/2 mouse or serial mouse while the computer is
    running -- these legacy devices generally are only detected by the BIOS at
    startup.

    Jef
     
    Jef Norton, Dec 27, 2004
    #9
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