After getting my new Sony Vaio P out of its box and fully charged this morning, I spent the rest of the afternoon getting it set up. Well, okay, that's a lie. I actually only spent a fraction of that time setting it up; the rest of the day was spent customizing and playing. I've got the system running to my liking now, with all my favorite apps installed and Vista optimizations in place, so let me catch you up on how I got here.
One of the worst first-boot experiences I've ever had was with my Sony Vaio TZ, which was completely bogged down with bloatware (including 3GB of Spider-Man movies!), so I was a bit wary when I slid the Vaio P's power switch to the right and turned it on.
After a brief Vaio splash screen, a flash of Microsoft's green loading bar, and some blank screen time, the Set Up Windows window you see above appeared, 1 minute and 24 seconds after the power switch was hit. The set-up process was made up of seven windows: language options, license, username/photo, computer name and background, Windows Update settings, time and date, and special offers.
Once I made all of my choices, I hit the "Start" button on the last window and stared at an empty desktop for a full minute. Then a message about checking my system's performance flashed on the screen so quickly that it looked like a mistake. It was followed by a black screen and the familiar Vista symbol. Not including the time it took to run through Set Up Windows, which is relative, it took 3 minutes to get to this point.
Then I watched the spinning icon and braced myself for an error message (I'm paranoid like that) as Windows prepared my desktop for the next 2 minutes. Considering that it took the Vaio TZ a total of 17 minutes to show me my desktop, I wasn't too worried that the Vaio P was now at the 5-minute mark.
I was even less worried when the desktop appeared and I saw just six desktop shortcuts (Recycle Bin, MS Office 60-day trial, MS Works, mobile broadband activation, Vaio help/registration, and Windows Live OneCare) and two windows (OneCare and the Vista welcome screen).
Various icons and alerts continued to load in the notification area of the taskbar for about another minute. And then everything was done.
All told, the Vaio P was up and running in under 6 minutes! For a brand new Vista computer, particularly one made by Sony, this was pretty great.
Before I dived into the system and got things configured the way I wanted, I dug out my old external DVD drive (a behemoth that weighs more than 5 pounds), plugged it into the one of the Vaio P's two USB ports, and made the recovery discs.
In about 40 minutes, all the files needed to restore/repair the P were burned onto two DVDs.
Out of the box, my 64GB SSD Vaio P (VGN-P588E) had just 33.2GB free of 51.1GB available. Don't be alarmed. The "missing" 12.9GB is pretty much accounted for:
- In 1GB = 1024MB terms, the stated 64GB drive is really only 62.5GB.
- 8.4GB is being used in the hidden recovery partition and can be merged with the main C drive.
- Windows keeps a few gigs for itself.
What was appalling to me was the amount of free space. What was taking up nearly 18GB of my drive? It couldn't all be Vista!
The hibernation file, which is actually always the first thing I delete on Vista machines, is almost 2GB all by itself, so I got rid of that immediately. Then I ventured into the Control Panel to see what I could delete from the preinstalled programs list.
Oh dear. For a comparatively "clean" system, the list was quite long. Not all of the items were programs, but my brain didn't differentiate when all that scrolling was involved. Does yours?
- Adobe AIR
- Adobe Flash Player 10 ActiveX
- Adobe Flash Player 10 Plugin
- Adobe Reader 9
- Alps StickPointer for Vaio
- ArcSoft Magic-i Visual Effects 2
- ArcSoft WebCam Companion 2
- Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system
- Instant Mode
- Instant Mode Support Utility
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500
- Intel Media Codecs for Intel System Controller Hub
- Java SE Runtime Environment 6
- Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
- Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007 (English)
- Microsoft Office Suite Activation Assistant
- Microsoft Street & Trips 2009
- Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable (two instances of this)
- Microsoft Works
- OpenMG Secure Module 5.1.00
- Qualcomm Gobi Driver Package for Sony
- Qualcomm Gobi Images for Sony
- Realtek High Definition Audio Driver
- Setting Utility Series
- SmartWi Connection Utility
- Sony Video Shared Library
- Vaio Care
- Vaio Content Folder Setting
- Vaio Content Folder Watcher
- Vaio Content Metadata Intelligent Analyzing Manager
- Vaio Content Metadata Manager Setting
- Vaio Content Metadata XML Interface Library
- Vaio Control Cente r
- Vaio Data Restore Tool
- Vaio Entertainment Platform
- Vaio Event Service
- Vaio Help and Support
- Vaio Media plus
- Vaio Media plus Opening Movie
- Vaio My Memory Center
- Vaio OOBE and Welcome Center
- Vaio Original Function Setting
- Vaio Power Management
- Vaio Presentation Support
- Vaio Survey
- Vaio Update 4
- Vaio Wallpaper Contents
- Vaio Window Organizer
- Vaio Wireless Wizard
- VZAccess Manager for Sony
- WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software 18.104.22.16800
- Windows Live OneCare
- WinDVD for Vaio
MS Streets & Trips, Instant Mode, and MS Works alone took up about 2.7GB.
I've only deleted the MS Office bits and Windows Live OneCare so far, as I didn't want to waste too much time testing what I could safely get rid of, I don't really need the space, and the Vaio P has an SD and MS Duo card slot for storage expansion.
I'll benchmark the P and go into more detail about performance a bit later (what I'll say so far, though, is that I have no complaints; and if you were satisfied with seeing Vista run on the Willcom D4 [less RAM than Vaio P and HDD instead of SSD], then the P won't disappoint), but here are some timed tests in the meantime.
These tests were done after Vista was very lightly optimized using some of these tips and the number of startup items was reduced from the original 18 to 10.
- Cold boot: 1 minute, 33 seconds to desktop
- Shutdown: 16 seconds
- Restart: 1 minute, 10 seconds to desktop
- Sleep: 6 seconds
- Awaken: 3 seconds
- Awaken, connect to internet, launch Firefox: 10 seconds
I keep all of my Vista machines sleeping and only shutdown/restart when required to do so by an update, so the only numbers that matter to me are the last three. And I'm really happy with them. I'm really happy with the Vaio P too, but I'll save the gushing for another time.
Next up: size comparisons and first impressions.
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