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VAIO PCG-SRX87 WAN won't work - code 10

by punkscience / January 23, 2008 8:27 AM PST

Hello everyone, I hope I can find some advice here as I'm at my wits end. I bought the above laptop off ebay recently and it was awesome but it was running XP and had a few little glitches. I don't like XP and, after checking out the Sony support and seeing that there were drivers for W2K I installed that instead. That was the start of things. Half the drivers didn't work, including the jog dial, hotkeys, power panel and internal WAN. So I did a system restore with the CDs and ended up back at XP where everything worked again- except for the wireless. It gives the dreaded "this device cannot start - code 10" and an exclamation mark in device manager. There's also a unknown device that keeps appearing called "network controller" which the system can't find any software for. There's a fix on the Sony site here for it which allows me to uninstall it but it returns after every boot.

I've been tracking down solutions for nearly a week and they generally involve uninstalling drivers or disabling devices which might be conflicting. None of this works for me. Before I originally reverted to W2K I copied all of the driver files off XP as a precaution. I have tried these, I have tried Sony's original ones. I have downloaded and installed every upgrade from the support site - TWICE.

Nothing makes the wireless work. It is an ORiNOCO Wireless LAN Mini PCI Card or a Sony PCWA-C100 Wireless PC Card, if you prefer, they are the saem thing.

Anyway, I have rebooted so many times I'm seeing XP progress bars in my sleep! I have even tried tracking down other manufacturer's software and drivers and trying that. I've seen it mentioned that this problem is something to do with IRQ settings and the bios but I'm hesitant to go near that. I can't understand why its being such a problem. I bought a Sony because I thought they were good.

Any help or advice is gratefully appreciated.

P3M 850MHz

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You want those restore CDs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 23, 2008 11:27 AM PST
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been there, got the t-shirt
by punkscience / January 24, 2008 8:05 AM PST

Thanks for the response- I'm really glad that people are out there listening to my cries of help! When I reinstalled XP it was from those very same discs . . . . and the results were not good. I've found a forum which alleges that you have to direct the driver installtion wizard to the restoration CDs to get any joy. I haven't tried this yet but I imagine that if Sony make the restoration CDs install drivers for everything else on the laptop then they'll do it fot his device too. I'm making an assumption here that I'll test tomorrow when I have the time but I can't see it as being a real chance of success.

This is alarming! Do I have to open the thing up and extract the card from it physically in order for it to acknowledge that its there ? ? ? ?

These links have disturbing implications:

Thank you dearly for any further help.

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After so many hours...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2008 10:50 AM PST

I turf the idea of getting the internal wifi to work I plug in one of my pc-card or usb dongles.


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Sony's response
by punkscience / January 26, 2008 6:08 AM PST
In reply to: After so many hours...

Sony just got back to me after I emailed their support people and they have no solution apart from "update the driver".

I'm using a USB dongle now for access but its not the point. I haven't encountered a computing problem I couldn't solve with a lot of googling and a bit of trial and error. Only sheer bloodyminded persistance will surmount Sony's uselessness!

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To nail this one we need spare parts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2008 6:15 AM PST
In reply to: Sony's response

Such as another working Sony to swap wifi cards and mainboards with. Of course if I was paid the time I'd install Linux and see if the hardware is good or bad.

How did the full wipe and restore CDs play out?


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sounds expensive . . .
by punkscience / January 26, 2008 6:47 PM PST

Hi Bob, thanks for your advice. Maybe I could get a bit more detail from you about how linux might help? I haven't got another Sony or any spares lying around as these are pretty rare and a spare mobo will probly cost nearly as much as the laptop itself. I tried getting into the back of the thing but after taking all the screws I could find out the top surface and keyboard was somehow still attached to the bottom of the chassis and I couldn't work out how to separate them without breaking it. I'm probably going to have to go back in there eventually but I've never poked around inside a laptop before- just my desktops which are a lot more spacious inside than this little thing!

I've got a ubuntu disc lying around but I've no idea how to "see if the hardware is good or bad". Is there some sort of tester in there? The wireless was working perfectly until I decided to rebuild the OS with W2K and it hasn't worked since. I haven't subjected it to any mistreatment that might have damaged it. Still, its a possibility so if you could explain it to me or point me to an online tutorial I could follow I'd be very grateful.

Many thanks,

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Why linux helps.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2008 11:03 PM PST
In reply to: sounds expensive . . .

Remember I am taking this from the perspective of a repair shop. I use LINUX as a way to sniff out if the hardware works or not. It's the cheap test since most of the time I can boot the CD and find out. At worst case I don't have the restore CDs so I can slip in another hard disk to install Linux proper with more drivers for the test. If that fails I am confident the hardware is toast.


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Ubuntu rules!
by punkscience / February 14, 2008 6:47 PM PST
In reply to: Why linux helps.

Hi everyone, I'm posting this reply from my bed, where I am sat with my wireless connection working seamlessly thanks to Ubuntu. So there's my solution! I'm just going to keep a dual operating system with Ubuntu for fun stuff and crappy Windows for work with no wireless. Its a compromise but no-one anywhere seems to have a comprehensive solution to this issue.

Ubuntu totally rules (once I managed to get the screen to a decent resolution),


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sheer bloody minded persistence: 1 - Sony: 0
by punkscience / October 30, 2008 11:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Sony's response

The solution to my wireless problem lay in the details of an unknown "network controller" in device manager. In the details tab of the device properties you could access something called the hardware ID which gave a long string of letters and numbers.


Googling revealed that this device was a wireless card- but not the Orinoco one that Sony seem to think my laptop contains. Oh no. Apparently its an Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection. Drivers were promptly downloaded and my beautiful little VAIO netbook instantly connected to my wireless. I am more than a little chuffed with myself.

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Thanks for the final score
by valkor49 / November 15, 2008 8:07 AM PST

Thank you for posting the final result on your wifi. Now I don't have to use a usb dongle anymore.

I have a Sony VIAO PCG-6B1L that had the same wireless problem. I didn't have recovery disks, and I couldn't even find any record of the specs on this model anywhere. I don't think sony even supports it anymore; I couldn't find it on their website.

My mystery wireless controller had the same string in the hardware ID, so I installed the Intel drivers, and it works great! I also learned something about identifying unidentified hardware. Thanks so much.

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by punkscience / January 24, 2008 8:11 AM PST

As for linux, I work in a scientific environment and its just not feasible. I tried Ubuntu on an older laptop and it looked great- I just didn't have the time to invest in learning a new system! Until I can create files that have the same level of functionality as office 2003 I am stuck with MicroSuck.

I have to admire Bill Gates philanthropy though- a couple of years ago I used to curse his name but now I just swear at MS. He rules!

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by winsoftwareman / February 19, 2008 11:20 AM PST

This is my personal opinion. I don't like sony laptops and everyone I know agrees with me. I just don't like them. I have had bad experiences with them. Maybe this is why it is flipping out with the drivers so much. And you said you don't like XP. Try ubuntu. They have good driver support. Whenever someone has an XP laptop and it is sooo slow and buggy, I say get ubuntu. It is the best things for the XP sluggers. If your laptop is from 1999 or earlier, get xubuntu.

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