I liked Windows 7 so much on my desktop machine that I took a chance and upgraded my Sony VGN-SZ2XP laptop as well - to Windows 7 Home Premium - knowing that Sony were not making Windows 7 drivers available for their old XP machines.

As long as I keep the Stamina/Speed switch on Stamina, I get a good display, and the machine is way faster than in its XP incarnation.

But one major niggle is that Windows Mobility Center does not have a "Display Brightness" panel. Its help says "If a setting doesn't appear, it might be because the required hardware, such as a wireless network adapter, or driver is missing or turned off."

So I am now looking for any way to control the screen brightness, in Windows 7, on a VGN SZ-series laptop, please...

(I figure that once I have found a way to control the brightness, I can tie it to Fn keys using the excellent AutoHotKey.)


I have found a solution to allow brightness to be changed using Fn+F5 and Fn+F6!

As instructed here, I downloaded from Sony and installed the following, in this order, rebooting after each step:

  1. VAIO Event Service
  2. Sony Utils DLL
  3. Sony Shared Library

After this, the Fn key worked fine - I've tested it with F2 (mute), F3 & F4 (volume), F5 & F6 (brightness) and F12 (hibernate). This makes a tremendous difference to the usability of this machine on Windows 7.

Huge thanks to harrymc for the correct download location on the Sony website, which I had failed to find.

By the way, Brightness still doesn't appear in "Windows Mobility Center" - but that doesn't matter now.

  • I tried up-voting harrymc's reply that quoted the crucial URL, but I need even more rep for that. – Clare Macrae Nov 13 '09 at 7:56
  • I've since found out that when the display switch is set to "Speed", Brightness appears in "Windows Mobility Center" - but not when the display is on "Stamina" – Clare Macrae Aug 11 '10 at 22:15

AFAIK, Vista is supported on your model, so you can use its video driver.

I believe that the Vista driver download is here, from which you should download the nVidia Video Driver.

  • Thanks very much indeed! I had hunted and hunted for this, and not found the link. I'll post an update here once I've backed up my machine and tried these out. – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 8:52
  • If this works for the video, it can also work for other drivers. – harrymc Nov 11 '09 at 9:26
  • I'm very sad to report that both the Intel and nVidia Video Drivers refused to install: Intel Video Driver - "This operating system is not supported. Setup will exit." nVidia Video Driver - "The NVIDIA Setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with your current hardware. Setup will now exit." Oh well, it was well worth a try. – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 20:42
  • Not all is lost: The installer is an .exe, so try to set its Compatibility to Vista SP2 (right-click on file and Properties). Often this can trick an installer into thinking it's on Vista. – harrymc Nov 11 '09 at 20:53
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I tried that for the Intel one (as the laptop is in Stamina mode) and I get "This computer currently contains driver version, which is newer than the version you are about to install. Are you sure you want to overwrite the current driver with the older version". It seems like a bad idea to say "Yes"... – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 21:18

Just found this article, that shows how brightness can be controlled by the keyboard by tweaking in the BIOS the "Brightness Mode Control" to "User Control":


Another remark from the article is:

The Brightness slider for me is in the ‘Change plan settings’, underneath the drop downs.

Hope that helps!

  • Thank you so much taking the time to search and make suggestions - I really appreciate it. I've just looked at the BIOS options - and in Boot, the only option is "Boot priority order". Sadly there's no brightness slider in Control Panel->Power Options->Change plan settings. As I can't include line-breaks in comments, I'll try to start a new reply with some further ideas... – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 22:34
  • OK, so I don't really have an answer - just more questions - so I guess I'll just add another comment. Having looked at the BIOS screens, and seen the BIOS version number, I see I am on R0081N0 and the latest seems to be R0096N0. So I wonder if updating might give me more options? Also - I found these two resources, which give hardware registers (?) for the Mobile Intel (R) 945 Express Chipset Family - download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/309219.pdf and tjworld.net/snc - but I don't currently know how to use this information. Maybe that's one for StackOverflow? – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 22:47

There is a brightness option in power settings in the control panel. You can adjust the brightness there. I am not sure how would you connect it to Fn key though.

  • Thanks. I didn't know to look there, but I have just done so, and the only two choices are: 1. Turn off the display in... 2. Put the computer to sleep in... So, as with "Windows Mobility Center", control of Brightness is missing. – Clare Macrae Nov 11 '09 at 8:49

I had the same problem and i did all work Clare Macrae said but it did not solve.

Then i updated windows 7(just which were related to .Net Framework) and it solved.

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