I have to agree with Profitt when it comes to reinstalling Sonys on your own; their drivers are hard to get. Sony wants you to use their recovery disc ONLY, which installs all those unnecessary programs and slows it down; it's like their secret agenda to force themselves upon you, J/K If you have a built-in TV tuner or some special device that makes the laptop stand out from others, then you may have NO choice but to use Sony Recovery Disc. For example, Sony Gigapocket is the TV software used for their TV cards. You can try 3rd party apps, but they require a lot of configuration and it may be too much work setting it up. Also, the CPU usage may be higher than Sony software. You may also lose some functionality.
Now, after saying all of that, if you are bored and still interested in formatting and reinstalling, then go for it, after all, it's your laptop. Installing Windows on a Sony is a REAL PAIN, but it will probably be painful just the first time. Still, if you have the know-how to install your own copy of Windows (and the patience ), then try it, IF you have the Sony Recovery Disc. If you cannot complete installation for some reason, then the only way to restore your laptop to previous working condition is with that CD and ONLY that CD. Or you can spend $50 and buy a Sony Recovery CD.
For drivers, go to "www . Vaio . net", without spaces, and click on the Downloads, Software Updates, and Drivers link at the bottom left of the page. Then enter your model number. Then click Everything. Look for FULL or STANDALONE drivers first. If you find all the drivers, then you have a chance for success. You probably won't have to download anything else like the server upgrades and dll library updates and all those other unnecessary stuff. Save them and your important data somewhere safe, like on a removable media.
Now you can use Darik's boot and nuke to format the computer. Since you only have 60GB, stay with one partition, because Windows XP should have at least a 20GB partition to work without being sluggish. Then install windows, then install drivers, apps, etc. If you are successful, then you will be very happy with the speed because Sony installs LOTS of unnecessary software.
REMEMBER!! : If you choose to install on your own, you may LOSE some functionality on your laptop. If you come across something in device manager that hasn't been installed and you cannot download it from Sony's website, you can either find it in the Recovery Disc, or YOU CAN'T!
MY RECOMMENDATION is that if you really REALLY know what you're doing, then go for the reinstallation. It's still gonna be a PAIN! NO GUARANTEE FOR SUCCESS! IF you are looking for a speedy computer that DOESN'T need special software, then I would recommend laptops from motherboard manufacturers like ASUS. But, as ALWAYS, DO THE RESEARCH!!!