Question about Sony VAIO VGC-RB50 PC Desktop

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Computer will not recognize drivers for ethernet card

After reformatting drive & reinstalling Windows XP, ethernet drivers have been downloaded from Sony's site from 2nd computer & loaded onto USB drive & uploaded to 1st computer, but 1st computer persists in not utilizing these drivers. Bios has been checked to be certain "enabled" is on all related systems. 1st computer will walk through set up for dial-up modem, but will not recognize cable modem via ethernet card. Any thoughts or suggestions? We've consulted with several tech-y freinds & we're truly stumped.

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  • 11 more comments 
  • susannej Jan 01, 2009


    Thank you for your help! There are yellow question marks that appear next to Ethernet Controller, PCI Simple Communications Controller, Video Controller, and Video Controller (VGA compatible).

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Bat1956: Yes, this was all working fine prior to reintalling WindowsXP.

    Kiran_G4E: The drivers are directly from Sony's website, specific to the VGC-RB50. I'm not sure how to remove drivers by booting in safe mode. Can you please explain further?

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Hi, thanks for the feedback. the files I downloaded were auto-executables, and I had moved them from my thumbdrive to my desktop. I'll try the safemode startup and remove my drivers to see if that helps.

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    In Safe Mode, I've uninstalled all of the "?" devices from the Other's category within my Device Manager screen. The devices I uninstalled were the 2 video devices, the 1 ethernet device, and the PCI Simple communications device. After uninstalling them, still in safe mode, I tried executing the drivers for the ethernet card and pretty much received the same issue.

    - When I activate the driver, I am led to the installation screen, and told to select the driver to install.
    -Below in the list, I see a driver avaiable, but in ( ) next to it are the words: Not Needed (No Device to update present).
    - This leads me to beleive that these might be the wrong drivers for the device, so I try a different driver. The video driver this time.
    - This driver takes a little longer to install, but it's all automatic, nothing to select, except to hit the "FINISHED" button at the end. When this occurs, the OS prompts for a restart, I do this, and go the Device Manager, and all four "?" still remain.
    - To add a further twist, I have an ATI x1300pro inside the machine. I've tried using the device driver disk with that device, and I'm told that the ATI software cannot find the Video Driver.

    I'm beginning to feel like I'm chasing my tail.

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Bat1956: Good call. It says that it's the wrong driver for the system. Since it's directly from Sony's website for this machine, I'm puzzled. Thoughts on how I can figure out which driver I need and where to hunt it down on the web?

    Kiran_G4E:Sadly, the OS has been reinstalled a total of three times now, same problem each time. I keep playing with other drivers because the ones provided apparently aren't sufficient!

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Bat1956: Sadly, no ... we do not have the original system disk. Sony will sell us one for about $25, which we'll get in about 2 weeks ... doesn't really seem helpful to fixing the problem in a useful time frame & getting back online.

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Bat: It was purchased in Oct 2006. The ethernet card is original to the machine. We have an old ethernet card in an abandoned machine & are thinking about scavenging it! We'll try the BIOS idea you suggested, then I think it's time to take a break for lunch before tempers fray further. :) Thanks again for all of your help, on a holiday, to boot! (pun intended)

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Update: We found a different CD with ATI drivers on it (looks to be more current). The video cards are now not shown in the "other devices" category with yellow question marks...we're trying to reinstall from that disk, now. Weird! Now rebooting the computer ... Device Manager now shows video controllers are fixed & useable. Sweet. Now we just have to tackle the Ethernet issue.

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    We've also found that there is no system disk included with this machine (see here), and since the machine's already been reformatted, I am assuming we can no longer do what is directed by Sony's website.

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    Bat1956: I just checked My Computer, which shows that the re-install wiped out the entire drive - only a C: drive remains. Thanks for the hint on where to look!

  • susannej Jan 01, 2009

    It's fixed!!! Thank you for all of your help. We were able to do some digging & get some additional drivers that DID work with the machine. Thank you both!

  • macias05r1 Mar 12, 2009

    i have the same problem with the ethernet driver

  • macias05r1 Mar 12, 2009

    can someone help me with what driver they used to fix this issue?



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I think the drivers u dwnloaded are imcompatible..
did u upgraded to operating system?in the case check compatible drivers..
once remove ur drivers by booting in safe mode..den install new drivers..

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

  • kiran_g4e
    kiran_g4e Jan 01, 2009 u know how to boot in safmode? if not..restart ur pc..while booting (i.e., after ur bios screen,Before the windows loading appears..) press f8 key....
    u will get a command screen with multiple options der select safe mode by using arrow,enter keys..
    after that login with ur admin a/c..
    goto system properties(right click on my computer icon)
    select hardware..
    select device manager..
    select network Adapter..der u can find ur pre installed drivers..
    right click n select uninstall..
    restart ur pc.
    install new drivers...

    hope u succed..bye

  • kiran_g4e
    kiran_g4e Jan 01, 2009


    why u r playing with other drivers.......?

    be cool

    my best solution is re install ur O.S

    with an gud WORKING disk...

    make clean & clear install of drivers..

    i think while installing ur previous os..some system files are re-install may fix all ur problems..

    be cool..every thing will be ok..

    make rate for my solution..



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Was this all working just fine prior to reinstalling the system on the computer. I want to first rule out any hardware connection problem. When you check the ethernet adaptor in the device manager, does any punctuation mark appear next to it to indicate a driver problem? if not, your problem is not driver -related, but rather settings. If the LAN connection appears in the manage connections or the connection wizard, you may only need to enter the correct settings to make this work. Make sure TCP/IP is enabled for the device, and that DHCP is enabled in the TCP/IP settings. The exception to this is if the modem does not assign an address by DHCP but is instead set for only a static address. If that be the case, you will need to enter a static IP address in the TCP/IP settings. In that case, look for a number on the modem in a format, enter the number in the TCP/IP static IP address but adding 10. If the address is static, you will also need to enter a default gateway, which your ISP should have provided to you, along with the static address

If you find my suggestions to be helpful, please share with us some details so that others may benefit from knowing the whole story. Thank you!.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jan 01, 2009

    Since it seems to be a driver problem, perhaps you should install the drivers while you are in safe mode. To start in safe mode, reboot the computer, Press and hold "F-8" before the windows XP startup appears, you should get a menu, select "safe mode with networking" and allow windows to boot. You should be able to update the drivers in the device manager. Be sure you update from the correct directory. The directory must contain the files you got from Sony. You did copy the files to a known directory, and you unzipped the files to become a folder?

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jan 01, 2009

    "I'm beginning to feel like I'm chasing my tail."
    I know the feeling. I still have to deal with a couple of windows machines. You said the files are on your desktop, and that they are executables. If you move the files to the C:\ drive and execute them from there will they then install?

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jan 01, 2009

    I thought of one more thing....
    You obviously have the original system disk right? Don't you also have a Sony Drivers disk? That should auto-install the original drivers for you. (excepting maybe the ATI card) Once installed and you get the machine online, you can update the drivers to the most recent at the Sony support site. Then update windows, or enable automatic update, allowing that to run overnight.

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jan 01, 2009

    How old is this machine? Could the ethernet card have been replaced at some point? If so it came with it's own disk. Possible? Another idea is to buy another ethernet card with a disk.
    You also mention "BIOS". In the event that there arose a hardware conflict at that level, you might try entering "setup" at boot to enter the BIOS (typically the "delete" key) look for an item at the bottom of the screen to say something like "load defaults" indicating an "F" key to do so. Load the defaults, save and exit. See if that helps.

  • Bruce Volkers
    Bruce Volkers Jan 01, 2009

    " I am assuming we can no longer do what is directed by Sony's website."
    Depends on whether the re-install wiped out the entire drive or left the "D" partition intact. Look in "My Computer" for a D:\ disk with a directory. If the drive and directory are still intact, you may be able to download and re-install the application to make the backup disks.



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