This guide is about recovery disks for VAIO computers (including Sony VAIO) for the following versions of Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

VAIO Logo

A recovery disk is also known as a restore disc, repair disc, boot disc or rescue disk.

VAIO computers were originally manufactured by the Sony Corporation, but the division was sold in February 2014.

This guide covers all computers models, that have Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 installed, known as Sony VAIO and the newer models from the VAIO Corporation that now builds these computers.

Looking for a recovery disk for VAIO? Download Easy Recovery Essentials (our recovery and repair disk for VAIO).

Download VAIO recovery disk

If your recovery partition is no longer available on your VAIO computer or you don’t have a set of recovery disks to restore your computer, download Easy Recovery Essentials, our recovery and repair disk.

Easy Recovery Essentials works with any VAIO computer model and it’s compatible with the following Windows versions:

  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012

Easy Recovery Essentials

Burn Easy Recovery Essentials directly to a CD, DVD or a USB flash drive and use the Automated Repair function to automatically find and fix boot errors.

Download Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO

Note: Easy Recovery Essentials can not be used to install or reinstall Windows.

Create set of recovery disks for VAIO

Sony VAIO computers and laptops don’t come with a recovery CD or DVD included with your purchase, but the computers have a recovery partition available (similar to a Dell recovery partition) that you can use to create your VAIO Recovery Media Kit (this is the set of recovery CDs or DVDs that you will use to restore your computer) using the software application provided by Sony/VAIO.

Depending on your computer model and your Windows version, this software application can have different names:

  • VAIO Recovery Wizard
  • VAIO Recovery Center
  • VAIO Care

Your computer’s recovery partition might not be available if you changed the partitions on your hard drive in any way and incidentally deleted this partition.

Backup your computer before you proceed. Running the recovery software utility to create a Recovery Media Kit can lead to data loss (including your music, movies, pictures and applications).

Depending on the computer model you have, you will need either a set of CDs or DVDs to create the disks.

You can use simple CDs or DVDs:

  • CD-R
  • DVD-R or DVD+R (only single layer)

You can’t use any of the following types of media:

  • CD-RW
  • DVD+RW
  • DVD-RW
  • Double layer DVD-R or DVD+R

You might need 10 – 12 CDs or 1 – 2 DVDs, depending on the computer model you have. The VAIO software will notify you about the required media type you need to use and how many you’ll need.

Before you begin to create the recovery disks, please make sure that you:

  • Close any programs
  • Disconnect from the Internet and all other network connections with might have opened
  • Disconnect any peripheral devices, e.g. USB flash drives, external hard disk
  • Disable any antivirus software
  • Disable your screensaver

Follow these instructions for the VAIO software you have installed:

Using VAIO Recovery Wizard

Follow these instructions to create a set of recovery disks for a Sony VAIO computer using the VAIO Recovery Wizard software:

If you’re not able to create the disks, use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Login into Windows
  3. Click Start
  4. Go to Control Panel. If you have the Category View enabled, go to Performance and Maintenance
  5. Click on the VAIO Recovery Wizard item
  6. Wait for the VAIO Recovery Wizard software to open
  7. Click Next

    Welcome screen in VAIO Recovery Wizard software

  8. Select Create Recovery Media Kit (Strongly Recommended) and click Next

    Create Recovery Media Kit in VAIO Recovery Wizard

  9. Select what type of media you want to use: CDs or DVDs.

    Even if your computer has a DVD-RW or DVD±RW drive, the VAIO Recovery Wizard does not support any of the following: CD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, 1X and 2X speed DVD-R, or double layer DVD+R and DVD-R.

  10. Click Next
  11. Insert your first blank disk in the drive
  12. Click Next
  13. Continue with the rest of the CDs or DVDs
  14. When the “The Recovery Media Kit is complete” window appears, click OK
  15. Click Finish
  16. Your computer will now restart. The Recovery Media Kit is completed. Label the disks and keep them safe!

Using VAIO Care

Follow these instructions to create a set of recovery disks for Sony VAIO computers using the VAIO Care software:

If you’re not able to create the disks, use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Connect to the Internet and run VAIO Update to get all the updates for your computer and Windows
  3. Then, click Start
  4. Go to All Programs
  5. Select and click VAIO Care

    VAIO Care screenshot

  6. If the UAC (User Account Control) window appears, click Yes
  7. Select Recovery & restore from the left menu options
  8. Click Create Recovery Media
  9. Read the instructions and then click Next
  10. Follow the instructions on the screen to continue with the process

Restore a VAIO computer

Your computer can be recovered and restored using the following options:

  • If you can boot into Windows to run the VAIO software
  • If you have a set of disks already created to run the VAIO software
  • If you have the recovery partition available on your computer to run the VAIO software

Restore Windows XP

If you have the recovery partition intact or have a set of recovery disks created (the Recovery Media Kit), you can access the VAIO Recovery Wizard software to restore Windows XP.

If you no longer have the recovery partition or the recovery disks, use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO

You can find instructions below, for each case:

  • If you can boot into Windows XP
  • If you have a set of recovery disks (you can use these if you can’t boot into Windows)
  • If you have the recovery partition available. You can use this option if you can’t boot into Windows XP and don’t have a set of disks available

If you can boot into Windows XP, follow these instructions:

  1. Boot into Windows XP
  2. Click Start
  3. Go to Control panel. If you have the Category View enabled, select the Performance and Maintenance category
  4. Click VAIO Recovery Wizard
  5. At the Welcome window, click Next

    Welcome screen in VAIO Recovery Wizard software

  6. Select any of the available menu options and continue with the instructions on the screen

If you have a set of disks created:

  1. Boot your computer by pressing the Power button
  2. Insert your first disk in the optical drive and close it
  3. Turn off your computer
  4. Wait 30 seconds (approximately)
  5. Turn on the computer
  6. When prompted, insert the disk asked by the VAIO Recovery Wizard software
  7. Click OK
  8. Click Next
  9. Select any of the available options and continue with the instructions on the screen

If you have the recovery partition available on your computer:

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Boot your computer
  3. When the VAIO logo appears, press the F10 key
  4. Wait for the VAIO Recovery Wizard to appear
  5. Click Next
  6. Continue with the instructions on the screen after you selected any of the available options presented by the software utility

Restore Windows Vista

VAIO computers with Windows Vista have the VAIO Recovery Center software installed that you can use to do a factory reset of your computer.

If you don’t have the disks, use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO

If you have the disks available, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn on your PC and insert the first disk in the optical drive
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Wait for the recovery program to load
  4. Select Restore Complete System

    Restore Complete System in VAIO Recovery Center

  5. Click Start, then Next
  6. Check Yes at the question about your C: drive size, and click Next
  7. Check the “I understand” checkbox and click Start
  8. Click Yes at the “Are you sure?” question
  9. Wait for the software to finish the process. Follow any instructions on the screen to complete the process

If you have the partition available on your computer, follow these instructions:

  1. Boot your Windows Vista
  2. While it’s booting up, press the Alt and F10 key several times before the VAIO logo appears on your screen.
  3. At the VAIO Recovery Center software screen, select Restore Complete System from the menu on the left

    Restore Complete System in VAIO Recovery Center

  4. Click Start
  5. Click Next
  6. Check Yes at the “Do you want to keep the factory default C: drive size?” question and click Next
  7. Check the “I understand” option and click Start
  8. Click Yes at the “Are you sure?” question
  9. Wait for the process to finish
  10. Follow the next set of instructions on the screen to complete the process

If Alt and F10 didn’t work to open the software utility, try pressing only the F10 key or the ASSIST button from your keyboard (if your computer model has this button on the keyboard).

ASSIST button in a VAIO computer

Another alternative is to press the F8 key to boot into the Advanced Boot Options of Windows Vista, then select Repair Your Computer and wait for the VAIO Recovery Center software to appear.

Advanced Boot Options on a VAIO computer in Windows Vista

Restore Windows 7

You can do a factory reset on a Sony VAIO with Windows 7 installed. VAIO computers with Windows 7 have the VAIO Care software installed. Other models can have the VAIO Recovery Center software.

To restore your computer, you can also use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO, if you don’t have the disks created with VAIO Care

If you can boot into Windows 7, follow these steps:

  1. Start Windows 7
  2. Press the ASSIST button available on your keyboard to open the VAIO Care software. If you don’t have an ASSIST button, find the VAIO Care software by going to Start > All Programs

    ASSIST button in a VAIO computer

  3. At the Recovery & restore section from the left menu, select Recovery
  4. Select Recover computer
  5. Click Yes
  6. Wait for your computer to reboot
  7. At the VAIO Care Rescue screen, select Start recovery wizard. Advanced options are available by clicking Tools.

    Start Recovery Wizard in VAIO Care Rescue

  8. Select Skip rescue
  9. Check the “I’m sure” option and then click Start recovery
  10. Wait for the process to finish. Your computer may restart several times during this process.
  11. At the Recovery complete window, click Restart
  12. Follow the instructions on the screen to setup Windows 7 again

If you have the recovery partition available, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your computer and hit F10 several times (or Alt and F10). You can also press the ASSIST button, if this is available for your computer model

    ASSIST button in a VAIO computer

  2. If the “Edit Windows boot options” screen appears, hit Enter
  3. Wait for the software to appear
  4. Click Start recovery wizard and follow the instructions on the screen

If you have the disks follow the instructions from Windows 8, at the “If you have a set of recovery disks created” section.

Restore Windows 8

VAIO computers with Windows 8 installed have the VAIO Care software installed that you can use to recover and restore your computer.

To restore your computer, you can also use Easy Recovery Essentials for VAIO, if you don’t have the disks created with VAIO Care

If you can boot into Windows 8, follow these instructions:

  1. Boot into Windows 8
  2. Press the Windows and C key to open the Charm bar
  3. Select Search
  4. Type in “vaio care
  5. Select VAIO Care (or the VAIO Care (Desktop) item) from the result items on the left
  6. Select Advanced Tools
  7. Select Restore and recovery
  8. Select Recover or maintain your system
  9. Click Yes and wait for your computer to restart
  10. After restart, select your keyboard layout
  11. At the “Choose an option” screen, select Troubleshoot

    Troubleshoot item

  12. Select Recovery and maintenance
  13. At the Recovery Tool screen, select your operating system (usually this is named “Windows 8/;)
  14. At the VAIO Care Rescue Mode window, select Start recovery wizard
  15. Select Skip rescue

    VAIO Care - Skip Rescue

  16. Check the “Yes, I’m sure” option
  17. Click Start recovery
  18. The recovery process now begins

If you have a set of recovery disks created, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn on your computer to insert the first disk in your computer’s optical drive
  2. Turn off your computer
  3. Turn on your computer again
  4. At the Windows Boot Manager, select Start VAIO Care Rescue and hit Enter. If you have an external optical drive, you may need to press F11 multiple time before the VAIO logo disappears to boot into the Windows Boot Manager.
  5. Select Start recovery wizard
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen to continue with the process. If you want a custom recovery process, you can select Tools instead of Start recovery wizard and then click Start advanced recovery wizard

If you have the recovery partition on your computer, follow these steps:

  • If your computer has an ASSIST button:

    ASSIST button in a VAIO computer

    1. Turn off your computer
    2. Press the ASSIST button
    3. Wait for the VAIO Care Rescue software to launch
    4. Click Start recovery wizard. For more advanced options on the recovery process, select Tools and then click Start advanced recovery wizard
    5. Follow the instructions on the screen
  • If your computer does not have an ASSIST button:

    1. Turn on your computer
    2. Press the F10 key several times before the VAIO logo disappears
    3. If the Edit Boot Options screen appears, hit Enter
    4. Select Start recovery wizard. For more options, select Tools and then click Start advanced recovery wizard
    5. Follow the instructions on the screen

Troubleshooting

Error loading operating system

If you received this error message after running the VAIO Recovery Wizard software – Error loading operating system – run the software again.

The power to your computer might have been interrupted during the process.

Windows – No Disk

If you received this error message – Windows – No Disk – when booting the computer with the set of disks you created, the recovery disks you’ve used may have been corrupted (either due to bad quality or incompatibility).

In this case, you need to create a new set of disks.

Cannot find the partition, restart

If you’ve used the software utility before and it didn’t closed properly, you may receive this error message at its next start:

VAIO Recovery Wizard cannot find the partition. Restart your computer.

If so, restart your computer and start VAIO Recovery Wizard again.

Can’t create a Recovery Media

If you can’t create the disks, follow these tips and try again:

  • Turn off your computer and run the software again. Make sure you close all your open programs, antivirus software and remove any plugged-in peripherals.
  • Download the latest available updates for your computer model from the VAIO Update software
  • Try a different set of CDs or DVDs with a better quality

Can’t complete the recovery process

If you can’t complete the recovery process, try these suggestions:

  • Disconnect any external drives
  • If you can’t complete the process from the VAIO Recovery Wizard or the VAIO Care software, try using your set of disks instead
  • Check the disks you’re using for any damages. The disks need to be clean and high quality.

Screen is blank, power indicator is green

If the power indicator is green but the computer screen is blank or stuck, follow any of these tips:

  • Press the Alt and F4 keys to close a software application
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then go to Shutdown and select Restart to restart your computer
  • Press and hold the Power button for more than 4 seconds to shutdown your computer
  • Make sure you don’t have any external devices plugged-in

Enter Onetime password

If you entered the password wrong 3 times, the following error message appears on your screen:

Enter Onetime Password.

In this case, press and hold the Power button for more than 4 seconds to shutdown your computer. When you are sure than your computer has been turned off completely, wait 10 to 15 seconds and then restart your computer again.

More Information

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2003 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2008 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2012 (all editions)

Applicable Models

This VAIO-related knowledge base article applies to the following computer models:

  • PCG series: PCG-505, PCG-505G, PCG-505GX, PCG-505TS, PCG-505TX, PCG-838, PCG-C1XS, PCG-F150, PCG-F160, PCG-F180, PCG-F190, PCG-F340, PCG-F350, PCG-F360, PCG-F370, PCG-F390, PCG-F420, PCG-F480, PCG-F490, PCG-F520, PCG-F540, PCG-F560, PCG-F570, PCG-F580, PCG-F590, PCG-F610, PCG-F630, PCG-F650, PCG-F6650K, PCG-F680, PCG-F680K, PCG-F690, PCG-F690K, PCG-FR100, PCG-FRV26, PCG-FRV27, PCG-FRV28, PCG-FRV30, PCG-FRV31, PCG-FRV33, PCG-FRV34, PCG-FRV35, PCG-FRV35Q, PCG-FRV37, PCG-FRV37B, PCG-FX120, PCG-FX120K, PCG-FX140, PCG-FX140K, PCG-FX150, PCG-FX150K, PCG-FX170, PCG-FX170K, PCG-FX190, PCG-FX200, PCG-FX200K, PCG-FX210, PCG-FX215, PCG-FX220, PCG-FX290K, PCG-FX300, PCG-FX30010B, PCG-FX30011B, PCG-FX30012B, PCG-FX30013B, PCG-FX30014B, PCG-FX30015B, PCG-FX30016B, PCG-FX30017B, PCG-FX30018B, PCG-FX30019B, PCG-FX3001B, PCG-FX30020B, PCG-FX30021B, PCG-FX30022B, PCG-FX30023B, PCG-FX30024B, PCG-FX30025B, PCG-FX30026B, PCG-FX30027B, PCG-FX30028B, PCG-FX30029B, PCG-FX3002B, PCG-FX30030B, PCG-FX30031B, PCG-FX30032B, PCG-FX30033B, PCG-FX30034B, PCG-FX30035B, PCG-FX30036B, PCG-FX3003B, PCG-FX3004B, PCG-FX3005B, PCG-FX3006B, PCG-FX3007B, PCG-FX3008B, PCG-FX3009B, PCG-FX300K, PCG-FX300P, PCG-FX310, PCG-FX340, PCG-FX350, PCG-FX370, PCG-FX390, PCG-FX400, PCG-FXA32, PCG-FXA33, PCG-FXA36, PCG-FXA40, PCG-FXA47, PCG-FXA47B, PCG-FXA48, PCG-FXA48DB, PCG-FXA49, PCG-GR200, PCG-GR200P, PCG-GR250, PCG-GR300, PCG-GR350, PCG-GR370, PCG-GR390, PCG-GRT100, PCG-GRT170, PCG-GRT200, PCG-GRT200K, PCG-GRT200P, PCG-GRT240G, PCG-GRT260G, PCG-GRT270G, PCG-GRV550, PCG-GRV600, PCG-GRV670, PCG-GRX500, PCG-GRX520, PCG-GRX550, PCG-GRX560, PCG-GRX590, PCG-GRZ530, PCG-GRZ600, PCG-GRZ610, PCG-GRZ630, PCG-GRZ660, PCG-NV100, PCG-R505TEK, PCG-R505TSK, PCG-SR17K, PCG-SR33, PCG-SR33K, PCG-SR5K, PCG-SR7, PCG-SR7K, PCG-SRX77, PCG-SRX77P, PCG-SRX99P, PCG-TR2A, PCG-TR2AP, PCG-TR3A, PCG-TR3AP, PCG-TR5AP, PCG-VX89, PCG-XG18, PCG-XG19, PCG-XG28, PCG-XG28K, PCG-XG29, PCG-XG29K, PCG-XG38, PCG-XG38K, PCG-XG39, PCG-XG39K, PCG-XG500, PCG-XG500K, PCG-XG700, PCG-XG700K, PCG-XG9, PCG-Z1VA, PCG-Z1VAP, PCG-Z505G, PCG-Z505GX, PCG-Z505HE, PCG-Z505HS, PCG-Z505JE, PCG-Z505JEK, PCG-Z505JS, PCG-Z505JSK, PCG-Z505LE, PCG-Z505LEK, PCG-Z505LS, PCG-Z505LSK, PCG-Z505S, PCG-Z505SX, PCG-Z50LSK
  • VGN series: VGN-A250, VGN-A260, VGN-A290, VGN-AR150g, VGN-AW200, VGN-AW200J, VGN-AW220J, VGN-CR220E, VGN-FS700, VGN-FS710, VGN-FS715, VGN-FS720, VGN-FS730, VGN-FS740, VGN-FS742, VGN-FS760, VGN-FS770, VGN-FS780, VGN-FS790, VGN-FS920, VGN-FS930, VGN-FS940, VGN-FS950, VGN-FS950P, VGN-FS960P, VGN-FS980, VGN-FS990, VGN-FW130E, VGN-FW140E, VGN-FW150E, VGN-FW160E, VGN-FZ320E, VGN-FZ340E, VGN-N110G, VGN-N130G, VGN-N150G, VGN-N160G, VGN-N170G, VGN-N220E, VGN-N230E, VGN-N250E, VGN-N270E, VGN-N5240E, VGN-NR200E, VGN-NR220E, VGN-NR240E, VGN-NR260E, VGN-NS200E, VGN-S260P, VGN-S270B, VGN-S270P, VGN-S360P, VGN-S380P, VGN-SZ200, VGN-SZ200P, VGN-SZ210P, VGN-SZ220, VGN-SZ220P, VGN-SZ240P, VGN-SZ280P, VGN-SZ300P, VGN-SZ330P, VGN-SZ360P, VGN-SZ370P
  • VPC series: VPC-EC3CFX
  • PCV series: PCV-220, PCV-240, PCV-E201, PCV-E203, PCV-E206, PCV-E324DS, PCV-E518DS, PCV-J100, PCV-J120, PCV-J200, PCV-L400, PCV-L600, PCV-LX600, PCV-LX700, PCV-LX800, PCV-LX810, PCV-LX900, PCV-LX910, PCV-LX920, PCV-MXS10, PCV-MXS20, PCV-R532DS, PCV-R536DS, PCV-R538DS, PCV-R539DS, PCV-R545DS, PCV-R547DS, PCV-R549DS, PCV-R553DS, PCV-R556DS, PCV-R558DS, PCV-RS100, PCV-RS101, PCV-RS210, PCV-RS220, PCV-RS221, PCV-RS300, PCV-RS310, PCV-RS312, PCV-RS320, PCV-RS322, PCV-RS400, PCV-RS400C, PCV-RS400CG, PCV-RS400CGP, PCV-RS400P, PCV-RS410, PCV-RS411, PCV-RS412, PCV-RS420, PCV-RS422X, PCV-RS430G, PCV-RS431, PCV-RS440, PCV-RS460, PCV-RS500C, PCV-RS500CG, PCV-RS510, PCV-RS512, PCV-RS514V, PCV-RS519, PCV-RS520, PCV-RS521, PCV-RS530G, PCV-RS540X, PCV-RS550X, PCV-RS600, PCV-RS600c, PCV-RS600CG, PCV-RS610, PCV-RS611, PCV-RS611X, PCV-RS612, PCV-RS613G, PCV-RS620G, PCV-RS630G, PCV-RS650, pcv-rs720G, PCV-RS724G, PCV-RS726G , PCV-RS730G, PCV-RX260DS, PCV-RX270DS, PCV-RX280DS, PCV-RX370ds, PCV-RX380ds, PCV-RX400ds, PCV-RX450, PCV-RX460, PCV-RX500, PCV-RX540, PCV-RX550, PCV-RX560, PCV-RX570, PCV-RX572, PCV-RX580, PCV-RX600, PCV-RX640, PCV-RX650, PCV-RX660, PCV-RX670, PCV-RX680, PCV-RX681, PCV-RX700, PCV-RX710, PCV-RX720, PCV-RX740, PCV-RX741, PCV-RX750, PCV-RX753, PCV-RX755, PCV-RX760, PCV-RX762, PCV-RX770, PCV-RX820, PCV-RX821, PCV-RX830, PCV-RX850, PCV-RX851, PCV-RX860, PCV-RX861, PCV-RX881, PCV-RX891, PCV-RZ14G, PCV-RZ20G, PCV-RZ22G, PCV-RZ24G, PCV-RZ26G, PCV-RZ30C, PCV-RZ30CG, PCV-RZ30CGP, PCV-RZ30CP, PCV-RZ30GN2, PCV-RZ30GN4, PCV-RZ31G, PCV-RZ32G, PCV-RZ34G, PCV-RZ35M, PCV-RZ35MX, PCV-RZ36G, PCV-RZ40, PCV-RZ40C, PCV-RZ40C1B, PCV-RZ40C1F, PCV-RZ40CG, PCV-RZ40CP, PCV-RZ40G, PCV-RZ40GN2, PCV-RZ40P, PCV-RZ44CG, PCV-RZ44G, PCV-RZ456G, PCV-RZ45CG, PCV-RZ45G, PCV-RZ46G, PCV-RZ50C, PCV-RZ50G, PCV-RZ54G, PCV-RZ56G, PCV-V100G, PCV-V200G, PCV-V505DC2, PCV-V505DC2P
  • VGC series: VGC-RA820G, VGC-RA822G, VGC-RA825G, VGC-RA826G, VGC-RA828G, VGC-RB30, VGC-RB32, VGC-RB33G, VGC-RB34G, VGC-RB35G, VGC-RB36G, VGC-RB38G, VGC-RB39C, VGC-RB60G, VGC-RB62G, VGC-RB64G

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