Since I purchase my VAIO P after June 26th of this year, I was eligible for the free Windows 7 upgrade kit provided by Sony. The upgrade kit finally arrived Thursday. Here are the steps I followed to perform my in place upgrade:
The Sony Windows 7 upgrade kit came with 2 DVD, one containing Microsoft Windows 7 and one with Sony's drivers and applications.
- I created an image of my system with Acronis True Image Home 2010 to a 120GB WD USB drive. Without OneCare, I think this is the best backup solution out there.
- I downloaded, installed and ran the current version of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
- I reviewed the reports and followed the advice given. I hate that Microsoft discontinued OneCare, it was probably one of the most helpful home/small office program they ever put together, but this year has been the year of slashing in Redmond with MS Money, and other consumer apps going by the wayside (Today I just got an email that Office Accounting is being discontinued, maybe MS really wants me to try an iMac…WTF). It is interesting that the VZ Access Manager is listed for reinstall on the VAIO-P upgrade advisor report. I did not have to uninstall it on my X60 Tablet. It probably has something to do with the VAIO P's GOBI chip.
- Once I completed the un-installs, I reran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. Since I did not have the base VZ Access Manager Sony edition software to reinstall, I have decided to leave it alone and see what happens.
- As I mentioned in my X60 upgrade list, it is a good idea to check for the latest BIOS. Sony has not released any new BIOS since the original pre installed one so I should be fine and if I need a new one the extra Sony specific disk should include it.
- I then started the install process using the Microsoft DVD which came in the upgrade kit. The installation process validates and installs any required prerequisite Sony drivers and applications for the VAIO P. This is a big advantage of using a manufacturer upgrade kit and makes it rather idiot proof, versus downloading Windows 7 directly from Microsoft which recommends checking the manufacturer's web site manually.
- The Windows 7 upgrade took about 4 hours, I then inserted the Sony VAIO P specific DVD and that took another hour. When I rebooted the system with Windows 7, I did have to reenter all of my network keys and network types (home, office, public) but all the drivers where updated automatically. As with the X60 I did have to uninstall and reinstall the Cisco VPN client version 5.0.04.0300.
- I then needed to install a new Anti-Virus application. For this machine I decided to use Microsoft Anti Virus engine from the Microsoft Security Essentials web page. It is free to consumers and should provide adequate protection along with Windows Defender and Firewall (both come with Windows 7).
- Since Microsoft is no longer shipping Photo and Video applications with Windows 7, Sony added it's Picture Motion Browser, which is great if you have Sony cameras since it recognizes them easily. I use it for importing AVCHD videos. For Video editing Sony included Sony VAIO Story; I have not tried it yet.
The VAIO P running Windows 7.
My upgrade experience so far has been excellent; it is faster and uses much less memory. Finally Sling Player works well in full screen mode…One more machine to go; my Dell XPS 720 H2C, thinking of rebuilding with Windows 7 64 bit.