David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Sony VAIO Bloatware

Pursuant to my earlier post about all the unnecessary crapware pre-loaded on my new Sony VAIO laptop… I found a way to get a list of all the stuff that Sony loaded this thing up with, above and beyond Windows. You just open the Sony Recovery Center, and click the option to reinstall some of your programs and drivers from the recovery disks.

Here’s the list. The entries with asterisks (*) are trialware. The bolded entries are programs that I consider useful.

  • Adobe Acrobat Professional *
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Reader
  • AOL Software Suite *
  • Battery Checker
  • Click to DVD
  • Corel PaintShop Pro Photo IX *
  • Digital Document Shredder *
  • Diskeeper *
  • Grouper ScreenSaver
  • Image Converter
  • Instant On
  • Location Free Client
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Trial *
  • Microsoft Works Bundle
  • MobiTV Icon
  • Napster with 14 day free trial *
  • Norton Internet Security 2007 with spyware protection *
  • PX Engine
  • Quickbooks Free Starter Edition *
  • Roxio Easy Media Creator
  • Setting Utility Series
  • SonicStage
  • SonicStage Mastering Studio
  • Sony Pictures Game Links
  • Sony Shared Library
  • Sony Utilities DLL
  • Sony Video Shared Library
  • Spiderman Screensaver
  • Spiderman Wallpaper
  • Spy Sweeper *
  • System Mechanic *
  • Travelocity Gadget
  • VAIO Camera Utility
  • VAIO Camera Capture Utility
  • VAIO Documentation
  • VAIO Entertainment Platform
  • VAIO Event Service
  • VAIO Help and Support
  • VAIO Media
  • VAIO Power Management
  • VAIO Survey
  • VAIO Video & Photo Utilities
  • WinDVD for VAIO
  • Wireless Switch Setting Utility
  • X1 Desktop Search *

That’s truly an awe-inspiring (or is it stomach-churning?) list. By my count, that’s 46 pieces of extra software, of which perhaps 12 are of any use to me. (Although I suppose in addition to the bolded stuff, I might need one or two of the shared libraries in order to run the Instant On and DVD stuff.)

Some of these choices just baffle me. Why, for instance, include Spy Sweeper, when Norton Internet Security’s spyware protection is already installed (not to mention Vista’s built-in Windows Defender)? Why include Microsoft Works and a trial of Microsoft Office? Why include an old version of Diskeeper that doesn’t even work properly with Windows Vista?

The answer, of course, is that someone paid Sony for it. And they’re passing the cost along to me in the time it takes to uninstall all this shit. So far I still think it’s a pretty good bargain, but not without its irritations.

Update 1/18/08: Bolded “VAIO Event Service” in the list above, as per Orlin’s comment below.

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  1. Josh on July 3, 2007 at 9:16 am  Chain link

    I’ve taken to using a Regcleaner program to clear out a lot of the programs that were set to startup everytime my computer booted. That and eliminating all those useless programs that run in the background and chew up memory. Just snipping them off (I like to think of it in a neutering analogy) has helped things run a lot smoother and faster.

  2. Joyce Reynolds-Ward on July 3, 2007 at 10:56 am  Chain link

    The biggest shock I’ve had with my MacBook Pro is that it *doesn’t* seem to be loaded down with the bloatware–like you I’m used to disabling a bunch of the junk that comes with the program (well, okay, the last time I *bought* a computer instead of having one made I did that, but laptops don’t come that way).

    Doesn’t mean I might not swap out some programming, though, like Firefox for Safari.

  3. Michael on July 4, 2007 at 5:23 am  Chain link

    Now, Dave. If you went with a Mac, you wouldn’t have all of that crap :-)

  4. David Louis Edelman on July 4, 2007 at 11:11 am  Chain link

    *sigh* I knew somebody was going to say that…

  5. Allen Minton on July 10, 2007 at 10:07 am  Chain link

    I recently bought a VAIO SZ-330, and the worst problem I have had with bloatware is Norton Internet Security (Symantec). Someone wrote on the web that this software is itself the worst virus ever created, and I can believe that. After struggling with NIS for a couple of weeks I “removed” it (or so I thought) but alas, there are still traces hidden away in undisclosed locations, so that I periodically receive error messages from unknown programs looking for deleted Symantec files. Is there any way to kill this hydra-headed monster?

  6. David Louis Edelman on July 10, 2007 at 10:13 am  Chain link

    Allen: Removing some of the Norton stuff (like the Norton Recycle Bin) is notoriously difficult to do. I believe Symantec actually has a program posted somewhere on its website that will remove all traces of its products from your computer.

    Before you try to hunt down that program, though, make sure you’ve also uninstalled Norton’s LiveUpdate, which is in the Add/Remove Programs list.

  7. rupie on August 7, 2007 at 12:00 am  Chain link

    My husband bought me a new sony vaio tz laptop…beautiful, but so frustrating. Can someone give a novice user some directions on how to remove the bloatware? I can’t find info on this, and am afraid of deleting files which might actually be important. Please help.

  8. David Louis Edelman on August 7, 2007 at 8:53 am  Chain link

    Rupie: Probably the easiest way to do this is to just use the Windows Control Panel. Click the Windows button, then Control Panel, and then select “Uninstall a Program.” Just pick the program you want to install, click on it, click “Uninstall,” and follow the instructions. You can probably safely remove anything there — but if you want to be conservative, keep all the programs that have “Sony” or “VAIO” in the name.

    Before you start removing stuff, you might want to do a backup and/or System Restore just in case. Click on the Windows button and type System Restore to get started.

  9. tgiorn on August 13, 2007 at 10:21 pm  Chain link

    Novice computer user. I just bought a VGN-FZ140 E. Why does it have that on the monitor and PCG-384L on the bottom of the unit? Also, what do I do about getting and OS disk and what are start up disks and recovery disks?..How do you make them?

  10. chris on August 14, 2007 at 1:37 am  Chain link

    run a semi-clean install of vista on your vaio, it will sucessfully remove all of the vaio bloatware from your pc and you’ll be free. it is a scam, but the quality of a sony computer is worth the 2 hours it takes to run a semi-clean install and be very satisfied. mac doesn’t have anything on a clean vaio.

  11. David Louis Edelman on August 14, 2007 at 7:35 am  Chain link

    tgiorn: Couldn’t tell you what that PCG-384L thing is all about. As for creating a recovery disc… There’s a Sony app that will create recovery DVDs for you that include everything you need to restore the machine back to the way it was when you bought it. I can’t remember where it is, try going to Help and searching for Recovery Disc.

    chris: I wonder now if I should have just reinstalled Windows and downloaded the Sony drivers later. It’s kind of too late now, without going through a lot of hassle.

  12. jaylin on August 19, 2007 at 7:40 pm  Chain link

    heyy. i just bought a brand new CR120E. i want to uninstall the bloatware in this laptop but i dont know which ones to uninstall. it seems like i have WAYY more programs than you listed above. can you help me please?

  13. John Lloyd on September 18, 2007 at 5:26 pm  Chain link

    The semi-clean install worked like a charm on my CR. Good stuff!

  14. Keith on September 21, 2007 at 11:30 am  Chain link

    what is a ‘semi-clean install’? how do i do that?

  15. tamashumi on December 10, 2007 at 9:47 am  Chain link

    Sony bloatware is truly annoying.
    I recommend to read this topic about semi-clean install by use Sony Recovery http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=146033&page=15

  16. Orlin on January 18, 2008 at 3:41 am  Chain link

    A note of caution regarding your list of crapware….

    I got rid of the stuff you recommended but to my surprise, I lost my function buttons (Fn does not work in any combination) on my VGN-FZ240E and was unable to adjust brightness or volume. The other buttons on the silver dash also died.

    Been digging for about an hour to find that the Vaio Event Service was controling these vital functions. Downloaded it from the Sony support website, reinstalled, and restored functionallity.

    I wouldn’t advise uninstalling VAIO Event Service unless there is a good reason I am unaware of…

  17. David Louis Edelman on January 18, 2008 at 9:04 am  Chain link

    Orlin: Sorry about that. I did find that out about the VAIO a while back, but forgot to update this list. I’ve updated it now.

    FYI, one of the annoying things I’ve discovered about my VAIO is that all the Fn buttons frequently stop working after bringing the machine out of sleep or hibernate. Highly irritating.

  18. jeff on January 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm  Chain link

    Great piece of equiptment just the HOURS of uninstalling BULLSHIT.
    Then I finally decided screw it I’m installing Linux. Instaled Ubuntu 7.10 qnd Mint 4.0 both detcted everything and had it working perfectly, the only thing is there is no LEDllight on the wifi switch (it works though) also to get the webcam to work is a little bit of an issue, everything else is just detected, and on linux this machine flies!!! I installed it and Linux saw the “hidden partion” i deleted that and installed ubuntu 7.10 on it now i have dual boot, so I can be sane sometimes and I can boot vista to use the video recorder , but there is a fix for that:

    download the webcam Sorce and compile using directions below:

    found that it worked on my VGN-FE48G by just doing the following:
    1. Downloaded the tar.gz file mentioned above to a work directory (~/webcam which I created)
    2. extracted it using tar -xvf r5u870-0.10.0.tgz
    3. cd into the created /r5u870-0.10.0 directory
    4. sudo make install
    5. sudo modprobe r5u870

    you need to know a little about linux , but seriously it’s worth it, not that hard, if you are a noob than it may not be worth it, if you work with computer a lot , DEFINATELY worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    this link is helpful:

    go through all 3 pages and you will see the linux people are working hard to get this laptop working great with Linux, it even looks so pretty
    with Mint or Ubuntu installed (Mint is ubuntu with flash+ DVD , mp3 , aac, codecs and some other useful things acrobat etc preinstalled.
    jeffp1 [At] gmail d0t com

  19. David Louis Edelman on January 24, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Chain link

    Thanks for the great info, jeff. I don’t think I’m going to put Ubuntu on this machine — Vista is actually not bad when it’s preinstalled — but I’m sure there are plenty of people who will appreciate the links.

    I tried dual-booting my desktop with Vista and Ubuntu, and it was a disaster. Couldn’t get Ubuntu to detect most of the hardware, finally had to wipe the whole hard drive and start over. But hey, that’s just me.

  20. Brett on January 26, 2008 at 11:11 am  Chain link

    If you want to save yourself a lot of grief and time, you can purchase an image without all the crapware from portableone.com for $30. Type “recovery” in the search box, and you’ll find the disk. This will give a nice clean installation without any lingering crud in your registry or empty folders on your hard drive.

  21. Nick P on February 9, 2008 at 2:36 pm  Chain link

    I had to keep the Sony Utilities DLL file inorder to be able to use the capture button and to be able to see onscreen display of the volume buttons, and for the av mode button to work as well. Took a while to figure out so reinstall that file if your buttons stop working. Also figured out when using the capture mode, that if you want to be able to make a movie with it, make sure the microphone is enabled under sound in the control panel. I still haven’t figured out how to disable the tapping feature on the mouse as its a pain when typing. I just might have to disable the mouse and just use my external one 100% of the time which I do anyways. Sony does load a lot of bloatware on here, but some of the files you have up there unbolded, are needed software files, be careful people.

  22. David Louis Edelman on February 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm  Chain link

    Nick: Thanks for the info. Disabling tapping on the trackpad is easy, FYI. Just open up the Mouse control panel, go to the “Tapping” tab, and uncheck the “Tapping” checkbox. There’s also a “Tap off when typing” checkbox here. If you never use the trackpad, you might try just going into Device Manager and disabling the Alps trackpad driver.

  23. Nick P on February 10, 2008 at 10:54 am  Chain link

    David, if it were that easy to unclick the “tap off when typing checkbox”, I would have done so, but there isn’t a “tapping” tab to begin with under mouse settings.

  24. David Louis Edelman on February 10, 2008 at 11:51 am  Chain link

    Wow, that’s bizarre. The Mouse control panel on my VAIO has eight tabs, one of which is “Tapping.” (I think the other two specific to the Alps touchpad are “Function” and “Miscellaneous.”) Did you already uninstall the Alps touchpad driver? I suppose you might actually need that driver in order to properly disable the tapping, which sounds a little counterintuitive.

  25. Nick P on February 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm  Chain link

    Reason we have different tabs is that I have the Synaptics® PS/2 Port TouchPad. It is the original driver installed, I checked Sony Driver webpage and thats what came installed on my laptop, I do have the vgn-cr120e model. I’m assuming that you have a different model than me. My only option is to delete the touchpad drivers, because disabling it is not an option, and unistalling the driver alone doesn’t do the trick as vista will automatically reinstall them upon restarting. I can just go to sony esupport page to get the drivers back. When I type, my left thumb hovers around the touchpad so thats why I have to disable it. And writing all this information about my current Sony Vaio experience, hopefully in turn will help future visitors to this page like it did for myself. There isn’t too much info out there on Vaio’s like there is here. Hope this helps someone…

  26. David Louis Edelman on February 10, 2008 at 6:20 pm  Chain link

    Ah, I see. For some reason, I just assumed that you had the same VAIO as me. Well, good luck, and if you do find a solution, make sure to post it here if you get a chance.

  27. Nick P on February 11, 2008 at 9:37 pm  Chain link

    So, how do I get to disable the touchpad when I don’t need it?

    Here’s the key:

    Go to C:\Program Files\Sony\Setting Utility Series and run VCCPointingDevice.exe. Untick the “Enable” checkbox and voila – this would disable the touchpad. You could create a shortcut to the file above for easy access!

    To enable the touchpad you need to run the same executable and tick the “Enable” checkbox. You need to have an external mouse to move around and if you are a GNU-Linux freak, I guess you can make you way around without the mouse.

  28. David Louis Edelman on February 12, 2008 at 12:18 am  Chain link

    Great information… thanks!

  29. dalmatien21 on February 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm  Chain link

    i’ve got a sony vaio laptop with windows vista home premium preinstalled…i want to completely remove the vaio system.i need only windows vista os without vaio recovery center..could you help??

  30. David Louis Edelman on February 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm  Chain link

    Really, if you just go to “Programs and Features” and uninstall the stuff you don’t need — anything that has Sony or VAIO in the title, for instance — you’ll be fine. You might lose functionality on some of the special buttons, but that’s about it.

    If you really want to do a clean install, you might have to have a separate Vista disc than the one Sony ships. I’m not sure.

  31. Srinath on February 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm  Chain link

    Hi David,
    I got VAIO CR120E. The recovery discs which I was created were corrupted. Is there anyway that I can get the recovery discs?


  32. David Louis Edelman on February 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm  Chain link

    Srinath: You can order the recovery discs off the Sony website in the support section.

  33. Jade on April 22, 2008 at 9:28 pm  Chain link

    I have a Sony Vaio VGN-FZ140E with windows vista, occasionally it tells me that the webcam is installed but when you go to use it, it says it is not located. Can you please help me possibly locate the driver for this ? This is frustrating.


  34. robert on June 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm  Chain link

    this helped me out quite a bit i just bought a vaio NR series notebook and it was packed full of crapware thanks if i have questions about specific items to uninstall i will drop an email.thank you.

  35. sarah on June 26, 2008 at 3:53 am  Chain link

    ok, not a techie, so please be forgiving… have a vgn-fz240e. i have never needed to use the webcam… 6 months later after purchase, i decide to. no luck.. cant find it in device manager, or anywhere else for that matter. Aim, MSN, etc . cant find the software. have downloaded it and more from Sony website. I see this is an overall problem with alot of folks out there… but see no remedies. any thoughts?

    DO have the camera capture utility… with a message that reads no input and when i delve deeper it doesnt see the camera either.

    Any help a lay person could understnad would be much appreciated.

  36. David Louis Edelman on June 26, 2008 at 8:49 am  Chain link

    sarah: Did you try the “Add Hardware” wizard in the Windows Control Panel?

    And if you uninstalled any of the mystery Sony bloatware, you might try adding it back. Stuff like “Sony Utilities DLL” and “Sony Shared Library.” You never know which of those contains some crucial driver necessary to run the camera.

    It’s also possible this could be a hardware problem that would require repair by Sony.

  37. Fatman on July 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm  Chain link

    i was installing the driver for this one for a friend. I have to say that the software of SONy does work however it does not let the file installed in the system.

    SO here is the step.

    Get the webcam driver for FZ . instal it.

    When it comes to windows find new hardware wizard, and u choose next for it to search the drivers u’ll see the files paper icon starts to running. BY that time, run Sony VIdeo capture utilities. Check if it works. If it DOES WORK , quickly hit cancel on the drivers searching windows and HOLD youw power button to POWER DOWN ALL THE WAY.

    REstart and voila . the webcam driver finally stuck in there.

    HOpe this help.

  38. lilly on August 25, 2008 at 2:57 am  Chain link

    I’m a nub when it comes to computers so hopefully someone can help me. I just got a vgn-cr290 and i want to make it run faster because it is really slow opening up files on my laptop. what programs should i delete to make it run quicker and how do i do that? thanks!

  39. brett on October 2, 2008 at 3:25 pm  Chain link

    I had a vaio i bought in 2003 and it lasted till august 08 it was a good machine though only good for the first year before it was out of date.I went in search of the ultimate computer after my vaio took a dump and finally found it and at a great price and from a great company.
    If you want to get your dream computer at as cheap price from some guys that are really cool i recomend

    stealth machines

    I found them afteer days of searching I read all their customer reviews which are all very good with mention that the guy calls you right away he asks what you do on your computrer then he recommends what you should get and he builds it himself.

    Now i have a custom computer made to do what i like with top notch parts and it only comes with progerams you ask for on it or none at all I highly recomend if you havent bought a computer check these guys out.
    You can send them a configuration of a computer you like and the guy will email you back right awaay then call you on the phone he will talk you through what all parts are and what they do why you should get this or that on yours and after you get your computer if you have any trouble he will talk on the phone till its fixed I have never had customer service like these guys.It took him 2 weeks to hand make my computer which isnt long considering he does it himself after they build it they do a 72 hour burn in to make sure it runs right.
    I was very impressed with stealth machines when i saw this sight after lookin to buy another vaio i had to come back after getting my custom computer and let you guys know about them

  40. OpenVMS User on October 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm  Chain link

    I strongly recommend getting hold of the “Windows Installer Clean Up Utility” which you can locate by searching for on the Microsoft web site. It can be used to nuke programs that fail to uninstall via other methods (for example, because there’s a bug in the uninstall code).

  41. Bill on November 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm  Chain link

    David your #32 comment — WHERE on Sony’s web site? I just spent a half-hour all over Sony’s support page, and then their SonyStyle site.

    Sony has no recovery media for sale.

    I also jumped out to a site called SonyRecovery.com, out of Brooklyn NY. They’ve got every Sony recovery disk under the sun for sale, EXCEPT of course the one I need (FW-270J/B). In fact, these guys have no recovery disk for the entire FW series, which is bizarre.

    YES i have already made recovery disks using recordable DVDs, but I don’t want to get stuck like Sreenath (comment #31) and find out that right when I need them most, they’re corrupted or won’t work.

    Does anyone here know where in the whole wide world I can buy recovery disks for the Sony Vaio VGN-FW270j/b?

    Please let me hear from you.


  42. Odd Lots – Jeff Duntemann’s Contrapositive Diary on January 14, 2009 at 9:56 pm  Chain link

    […] taken so much flak for it that they recently dropped the fee. What I find boggling is that they willingly cripple their own machines by selling huge numbers of crapware slots, which makes you wonder how much money they make in the crapware business. We may be heading down […]

  43. Straylight on January 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm  Chain link

    Can somebody share the recovery disc/image from their VGN-FZ140E laptop. I was installing Vista SP1, when it crashed and now complains aspi.sys not found.

  44. Aaron on February 2, 2009 at 12:33 am  Chain link

    Hello, I have the same model laptop as you, and I hope you could help me with a problem.

    I got this laptop a year or two ago as a gift, and only a few months afterwards, most of the keys on the laptop stopped working. I figured it wasn’t such a big deal, and I got a replacement keyboard that I just plug into it, since I don’t ever leave the house with it. A week ago, however, the computer just stopped booting up. It gets to a stage of the boot up where an input-like line at the top left corner of the screen just blinks, and nothing happens past that. The screen always happened when the computer booted, it would just end after a few moments and continue on. Now, it doesn’t. What do I do?

    Also, I was thinking of burning a system start up disk, would that help, and do you have any to recommend?

  45. David Louis Edelman on February 2, 2009 at 8:21 am  Chain link

    Aaron: When the keys on your laptop stop working, that sounds like a hardware problem to me. I think you’re going to have to take it in to a repair shop.

  46. Compton on February 27, 2009 at 8:24 am  Chain link

    I went over you list and deleted everything thats not in bold but i still have a whole bunch of other stuff in my windows install/unistall area does that mean the things not on your list are ok to delete too?

  47. lilly on March 1, 2009 at 2:27 am  Chain link

    Does anyone know if the Sony Vaio VGN-Cr290 comes with a recovery disk? I can’t remember if it came with one or if I misplaced it. Without the disc, can I still reformat or do I need to order the discs from Sony? If so, how much will it cost?

  48. Nicky on July 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm  Chain link

    To do a recovery in VAIOS press the key F10 at the begining of the screen. When it says VAIO. And follow the process.

  49. Alex on August 9, 2009 at 5:57 am  Chain link

    Another way of getting rid of the Sony bloatware crap altogether is to format the HD and get yourself an install CD for XP, or even Vista if you like that crappy -worst ever- OS. The VAIO system drivers for those two OSs are available for download at the sony support site. I just did that and swapped a new 320G 7200RPM HD for the not so stellar original 250GB -slow- 5400RPM HD, and installed Server 2003 (aka Win2k3) on it and tweaked it as a workstation. It is the most snappy, clean cut, and stable OS I’ve used besides my trusty Win2K which I use on my desktop and will not change for anything else. After some months of absolute VAIO torture hell with Vista Home “Premium”, having W2k3 is heaven.

    I do not like XP as it is the typical mom and pop OS, with too much crap and fillers/carnival dressings in it that makes it slow as a hog (not as much as Vista, but not far), with a mostly not much fun (lame) interface for Pro users. So for me Win2k3 is the best VAIO option, as I was not able to install Win2k on my laptop (FW-140E), and W2k3 will recognize most all XP drivers, although I had to look around a bit for some as Sony provides some of the drivers with “limited functionality”, kind of trying to make you think twice of “downgrading” to XP. But fear not, at least the FW series is mostly Intel inside, the main system components, so there are plenty of other sites where you can find your -full functionality/Vista equal- drivers.

    Give W2k3 a try, definitively a good option – if you are computer savvy and really like your interface to be PRO minded. Hell, even average users will appreciate the stability and speed of the system, and mundane everyday tasks don’t require any deeper computer knowledge.

  50. john Ralph on August 22, 2009 at 7:47 am  Chain link

    anyone can help me how to operate the AV MODE of sony vaio vgn-fw250j pls….. and where can i locate the software for this laptop pls……

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