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pumeco
06-12-2008, 09:58 AM
I've got a problem, trying to get rid of the bloatware crap off my laptop.

I've now gone to the extreme of buying a damn copy of Vista even though I already have the licence that came with the laptop. I've still got a temporary problem though because I've had to re-install the bloated version so that I can backup the required 'model specific' utilities that came with the laptop.

The problem is that the installation files are apparently saved to a "Hidden Drive" that was created by the recovery disc, and I need to get the utilities from that drive before I do a complete format. What's really annoying is that Sony's instructions state that I need to use something to get at the hidden drive, but they don't say exactly 'what' I need to use.

...so I'm wondering...

Is there such a thing as a hidden drive tool and if there is, where would I get one for free (it needs to run on Vista as well)?

I really hope someone can help here 'cause if I have to waste another day with this thing, I just might be tempted crush the damn thing :mad::mad::mad:

Lito
06-12-2008, 11:12 AM
I don't know what they used on the drive, but you can see if they have a hidden partition on the HD by using the windows disk management software:
Right click my computer then select "manage" from the menu.

If there is a hidden partition you will see it there.

Once you verify that it's a hidden partition you're going to have to find out what they used to get the data out of it. Sometimes though the "hidden" stuff is just in a hidden folder on the C: drive. To access that you just need to open the C: drive then under the tools menu select "folder options" then under the view tab you'll see the advance settings. Just check off the show hidden files and folders box. And it should show up in the window.

pumeco
06-12-2008, 12:04 PM
Thank's for the tips, Lito, it didn't work though. But the hidden drive must be there because when I started-up the recovery disc, it asked if I wanted also to restore the hidden drive - I choose yes!

> I mean, it's bad enought that we have to put up with bloatware.
> Even worse when they use-up our own hard-disc and don't provide an untouched Vista disc.
> Worse still when they don't give you the opportunity 'not' to install the bloatware.
> Frackin' ridiculous when they hide stuff and not even tell you how to retrieve it.
> Frackin' unforgivable that we're forced to put up with this bullsh*t at all.

These damn manufacturers need boycotting ... as*holes! They must think folk have got nothing better to do than spend a f*ckin' week trying to get a sytem which would have been right if they'd simply LEFT THE SH*T OFF in the first place!!!

Sorry for the tone, I'm genuinely ... really ... majorly ... hacked-off here right now. I never had to put up with all this crap with my old Fujitsu-Siemens system, and no one should have to put up with it - period. When folk buy a new system, it should be intouched, not busting at the seams with crap!

I've wasted nearly a week of my life ... sat here ... sorting this damn thing so far. I was going to insert a smiley here, but there isn't one sufficient enough. I'd 'really' love to speak with the moron at Sony who passed such an invasive method of installation, but you can just bet they're 'busy' can't ya!

Anyway, thanks again Lito, I appreciate it :thumbsup:

Jim_C
06-12-2008, 12:11 PM
I had a similar situation with Acers loaded with Vista on it's 'Recovery Partition'. I put XP on them but wanted to keep the Vista install for later.

I never did figure out how to do it. Finally gave up.

With the Acers you had to ring up the Bios screen at bootup and change a parameter to get it to access and use the recovery Partition. 'Maybe' something similar exists in your bios....(?)

Good luck with it tho.
I call it a totally unfair practice.

Lito
06-12-2008, 12:25 PM
Hmm maybe it's a Norton Ghost like tool. IIRC that allowed you to do stuff like put the data at the end of a HD partition so that eventually if you filled up the drive then it would delete the image only as space was needed. I really never used it before so I can only go by what I read once a while back. Still if the "install" discs are on the drive then contacting Sony and asking them how to recover it should allow you to get it back. But I don't think there are install discs on your drive. It is more likely an install IMAGE because that is what MS wanted OEMs to do. Unfortunately with the image approach, to restore the system means wiping out the current system along with all the data on the drive.

BTW, have you tried crap cleaner and other similar tools? They should remove most of those crapware apps put onto laptops. http://www.ccleaner.com/ and also http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

pumeco
06-12-2008, 12:58 PM
@Jim_C
Good idea, but no luck there either! It really is beginning to look as if it's never installed a hidden drive at all. It should have done though 'cause like I said I chose 'Yes' in the recovery options 8~

@Lito
I can't see any stuff like that on the drive, and the only Norton software I can see is a free trial of that 360 Anti-Virus thing, that, and some other rubbish.

pumeco
06-12-2008, 01:18 PM
BTW, have you tried crap cleaner and other similar tools? They should remove most of those crapware apps put onto laptops. http://www.ccleaner.com/ and also http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

Sorry, forgot.

That stuff's no good to me really. I want a totally crap free system without orphan files, reg_keys, and processes all over the place. It'll be getting used a lot for softsynths and music stuff and unfortunately all this crap is ruining it. You would not believe how many unnecessary processes were still running even after I tried uninstalling everything one by one.

It's not on ... it just isn't.

JMCarrigan
06-12-2008, 01:42 PM
What Sony laptop - and what are these model specific utilities you need? Can they not be downloaded from somewhere? I am constantly having to uninstall all the crap from friends computers after a reinstall of oem op sys.

mrunion
06-12-2008, 02:53 PM
If you're just wanting to see if the stuff is "gone" and make sure it IS gone -- download almost any Linux Live CD, boot from it, go to the partition management tools and delete the "hidden" partition.

If I've missed the point, please accept my apologies. And FWIW, my HP was the same way. PC Manufacturers aren't helping us AT ALL!

pumeco
06-12-2008, 05:00 PM
What Sony laptop - and what are these model specific utilities you need? Can they not be downloaded from somewhere?

It's this thing :
http://vaio.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProduct.action?product=VGN-FZ31Z&site=voe_en_GB_cons&category=VN+FZ+Series

And the downloads are here :
http://support.vaio.sony.co.uk/downloads/preinstalled/preinstalled.asp?site=voe_en_GB_cons&c=0&s=VGN-FZ&m=3059

Unfortunately, they don't list everything that comes with it and I really need the ASIO driver that comes preinstalled because it's the fastest I've ever seen in my life (it must have been a dedicated driver to be that good). I can't use softsynths properly without it, and I'm pretty sure the ASIO driver is installed as part of the DSD and SACD suite that belongs the laptop. I'm not bothered about the other crap, and the really annoying thing is that the one thing I actually 'do' want back on a fresh install is the only bloody thing they've missed out in that list!!!


If you're just wanting to see if the stuff is "gone" and make sure it IS gone -- download almost any Linux Live CD, boot from it, go to the partition management tools and delete the "hidden" partition.

If I've missed the point, please accept my apologies. And FWIW, my HP was the same way. PC Manufacturers aren't helping us AT ALL!

Well, I do want to wipe the entire drive (all partitions) but I can't do that until I've extracted the stuff I need from this 'so called' hidden drive they bang on about (I need the ASIO driver utility from it - or whatever it is part of). I know, I'm not alone. I think they're all starting this sort of crap now, and it really needs putting a stop to because these maufacturers are just taking the piss at our expense.

Seriously, you wouldn't want to hear the language I've got in reserve for Sony's support center in the morning - if nothing else I'll make damn sure someone in authority hears about it. Not that it will make any difference mind you, but it 'will' make me feel better - just a bit.

pumeco
06-12-2008, 05:03 PM
If you look under the software section on the product page, it's even mentioned there as well - this stupid hidden drive thingummy!

JMCarrigan
06-13-2008, 10:24 AM
It's not this then, what?
Audio Driver 5.0Q081QR - 6.10.5614.0_5 6.38 Mb 20/02/2008

Many common consumer cards don't have ASIO drivers because it is more of a studio-targeted driver type and are not needed for gaming, DVD playback and the more common tasks associated with normal computing needs. If you are in such a situation, you are a condidate to try the ASIO4All drivers which are meant to be a one-size-fits-all ASIO driver for standard consumer cards. There have been some great reports from users of this driver as well as some "didn't work for me" stories. They may well be worth a try if you are caught without ASIO.

JMCarrigan
06-13-2008, 10:26 AM
http://www.asio4all.com/

pumeco
06-13-2008, 05:12 PM
That's the audio driver alright, trouble is I'm not sure it will work.

I tried uninstalling the driver and then reinstalling it to see if it would indeed bring back the ASIO. It actually ended up doing nothing at all because the installer just crashed every time. This was on the bloatware installation, and I've yet to try it on an untouched installation. I'm going to do that tomorrow (took a break from it today - lol), so I just hope that the ASIO actually is part of that audio driver installation.

I still have my doubts though because I think this particular ASIO driver get's installed along with the SACD software which is missing from the download list.

I hope I'm wrong, and that the Audio driver will work on a fresh installation, and that it does include the ASIO driver. If not, then it looks like I just might have to use ASIO4ALL, though to be honest it will not be as good as the ASIO driver that came with this system - it really was the best ASIO driver I've ever used.

Anyway, cheers, I'll let you know how it goes :thumbsup:

Hopper
06-13-2008, 05:32 PM
If you're just wanting to see if the stuff is "gone" and make sure it IS gone -- download almost any Linux Live CD, boot from it, go to the partition management tools and delete the "hidden" partition.
Damn.. beat me to it. :)

Pumeco, do you know if the partition is a raw type used by one of your recovery utilities or is it a FAT32? If so, you could do what mrunion is suggesting and mount the partition and scrape off what you need.

You could also use the "cpio" command (linux) regardless of partition type and copy the contents of the entire partition to some other media as a backup just in case. You might want to make sure to write down the exact size of the partition in case your utility is picky about it.

Just some ideas ... take them as just that .. -Cheers

pumeco
06-15-2008, 03:48 PM
Well, it's sorted a last ('bout bloody time as well).

First I formatted the entire hard-disk and installed the new (non-bloatware) version of Vista I had to buy. Then I installed SP1, then I installed the official drivers for the laptop. Thankfully they are all working perfectly, and even more thankfully, that amazing ASIO driver I mentioned did turn out to be part of the audio driver installation after all.

Hell, I've had this laptop a good three months now I reckon, and it's only now, for the first time I can actually use it as a serious piece of kit. I'm looking forward now to trying my software on it.

Thank's to all of you for helping out with this, it's much appreciated :thumbsup:

mrunion
06-15-2008, 07:11 PM
I'm very glad you got it fixed like you want. Dang computer companies sometimes oughtta be whipped!

pumeco
06-17-2008, 05:10 AM
I'm very glad you got it fixed like you want. Dang computer companies sometimes oughtta be whipped!

Well, there's a woman at Sony's telephone support who I'd definately consider for a whipping session. She must have had a sexier voice than those who practice phone sex - no kidding. Anyone who's spoken to her at Sony Europe will know who I mean, surely.

I was supposed to be giving them a piece of my mind, but I couldn't help it instead I just listened ... and listened ... and listened to her. I've told her I just might have to speak to her again if her advice didn't work, so she really should expect another call from me.

And what did she say to that?

Hmmmmmmmmmph ... yaaah ... uh ... ok so I speak to yu again soon then ... ya?

Ah man :phone_cal :hey:

Titus
06-17-2008, 08:13 AM
Well, it's sorted a last ('bout bloody time as well).

First I formatted the entire hard-disk and installed the new (non-bloatware) version of Vista I had to buy. Then I installed SP1, then I installed the official drivers for the laptop. Thankfully they are all working perfectly, and even more thankfully, that amazing ASIO driver I mentioned did turn out to be part of the audio driver installation after all.

It's a shame you had to buy a new license. With nlite you can create an unnatended windows install (and non bloatware) from your very hard disk.

http://www.nliteos.com/

pumeco
06-20-2008, 06:48 AM
It's a shame you had to buy a new license. With nlite you can create an unnatended windows install (and non bloatware) from your very hard disk.

http://www.nliteos.com/

Yeah, too right it's a shame!

Thanks for telling me though 'cause I'll remember that next time I get a laptop (or any computer) that doesn't include an original OS disc like it bloody welll ought to :thumbsup: