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After wiping my Sony Vaio to single-boot Linux, I decided to reinstall Windows 7 for a dual boot set-up. So it was done manually and therefore not via the recovery partition, which was wiped when I formatted the HDD.

The problem is, even though I now have Catalyst installed, the look and feel is of Linux before you install the proprietary drivers. Clearly something is not quite right. Fonts also look terrible regardless of how much I play with cleartype settings. On the internet, they are ok as long as I am not too close. However, in Word for example text is blocky and ugly, particularly in the font dropdown menu. The look is a bit like you get in the same menu in Wine on Linux.

There is no EDID tick box and no color temperature setting (see screenshot) where there should be one and the noise of the fan is much greater than my current Linux setup.

The graphics adapter is ATI/AMD HD5400 "Manhattan". The Vaio is an E-series and 2 years old this month.

What can I do? Where am I going wrong?

enter image description here

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Can you post the modle number or product name. It should be on the sticker at bottom of the laptop. – John Siu Jan 10 '13 at 20:43

It's a long shot here but.. are the necessary drivers installed for the Sony Vaio lcd monitor? I suppose, if your monitor was fully enabled you should see some extra tabs like "Scaling Options" and maybe "HDTV support" and "LCD Overdrive".

To check for this, go to Start --> type "device manager" (or just "de ma") [enter] --> Monitors.

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It depends what you mean by necessary drivers? Have I installed the ATI graphics adapter plus the Intel driver, yes I have. Funnily enough, catalyst has an LCD overdrive option but Windows warns me the system is not set up for it. Will need to check. I'm currently on a different OS. – Simon Hoare Jan 11 '13 at 10:36
I meant the drivers for the lcd monitor not the graphics adapter. Some manufacturers provide drivers (mostly .inf files) to fine tune a Generic Plug & Play monitor. Then, the ATI/VIDIA/INTEL graphics driver checks this info and acts appropriately. For example, a missing .inf definition file is 99% the case when the graphics driver cannot display EDID information. – liquidplace Jan 12 '13 at 6:42
Well it gets odder and odder. I did identify some messages I hadn't noticed before about downloading a Sony Firmware Extension Parser driver. It sounded like it could be "the one". Unfortunately nothing has changed. In terms of Generic Plug and Play specifically, it's hard to tell because the drivers don't have explicit names and there are no descriptions on the Sony site. It also doesn't say what is installed and what isn't. Is there nothing like "lspci" in Linux? – Simon Hoare Jan 12 '13 at 8:29
There's a very good equivalent of lspci (and more) called SIV, and you can find more on this topic. – liquidplace Jan 12 '13 at 21:16
However, i've checked on Sony's support site myself but since they don't have any .inf for Vaio Display, i came up with an indirect solution: You may change the device driver yourself by altering from Generic Plug&Play Monitor to Digital Flat Panel. To do so: Start Device Manager (start orb-->"de ma" [enter]) >> navigate down to Monitor, select your installed monitor, >> right click >> Update driver software *select "Browse.." >> select "let me pick.." >> uncheck "show compatible hardware" >> select (Standard monitor types) >> select Digital Flat Panel 1368x768x60hz. Restart & check. – liquidplace Jan 12 '13 at 21:28

In the end I decided to just single-boot Linux, since it is more suited to what I am using my computer for these days anyway.

However, for the benefit of people who may encounter a similar problem, I think I may have the answer or at least some ideas that will be very close to the actual answer.

When you reinstall Windows 7 onto a Vaio from external media i.e. not the official "recovery partition" way, you should do the following:

1. Get the Windows 7 Service Pack 1
Either get the downloadable version or use the update center. However, it is very important if you will be dual-booting with Linux or BSD that you sort this out first. Having Grub on there just confuses it. I believe but don't know for sure that you need the SP1 to be able to install the Intel graphics driver.

2. Get the full range of required drivers from the Sony-Vaio site
You will need to be registered, so register if you haven't already done so. I can't remember the dependencies and unfortunately the order presented does not represent the installation order. You will be informed of dependencies whenever you try to install a driver, so you don't risk breaking anything. However, I know from another source that you need to install the Intel graphics driver before others so it's probably best to keep trying that one until it works. Don't get your drivers from anywhere except your model's page, although I had to get the Sony Firmware Extension Parser (listed as SFEP) from a similar model, since the one on my exact model's page was only suitable for 32-bit. In particular, do not get Catalyst directly from the AMD site as the official version isn't suited for Vaios.

Note that you need to do all the above anyway, so it certainly won't do any harm. However, not having done all the steps myself, I can't guarantee for sure that it will make your system fully restored with correct font-smoothing and full options in Catalyst Control Center etc.

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Well, I did have another go at this and sadly it doesn't enable the installing of the Intel driver. – Simon Hoare Jan 27 '13 at 15:14

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