wrong size hard drive detected

Sony Vaio vgn-nr160e/s notebook
January 31, 2010 at 09:07:23
Specs: Windows vista
I flashed the bios per Sony's instructions and all went well until the next reboot. Upon rebooting it is shows and invalid partition table. The sony recovery disk will not fix the problem. I have talked to the sony reps and they suggest sending in.

Looking in the bios it shows a 128 gig hard drive, but it is actually a 160 gig. I believe that is the reason it it showing an invalid partition table.

Is there a way to change the disk size in the bios back to 160 gig. There is not an option in the bios to do so, but I believe there is way to access the hard drive size somehow. i have seen it on this computer before, but do not remember how to access that feature.

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January 31, 2010 at 09:37:09
Sounds like you may have flashed to an older BIOS without 48-bit LBA support. Why did you perform the flash in the 1st place?

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January 31, 2010 at 09:46:58
It was recommend by sony to help it recovery from hibernation.

The bios now reports the correct bios number that it should after the flash.But it reports 128 gig hard drive now instead of the 160.

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January 31, 2010 at 10:02:08
Like Jam said, I think you went backwards. You lost it's 48bit LBA support. Look on the site for the latest BIOS update by date and reinstall it.

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January 31, 2010 at 12:10:33
It is the latest by date. I promise. I guess I'll just take it out to the shop and get a sledge hammer after it.

It will not boot. When it tries to all I get is invalid partition table. I think it is being cause by the bios reporting it as a 128 instead of 160.

If there is a command or file on the recovery disk to access the bios to change the disk size it will be fixed. The partition table is wrong because it was partitioned under the 160 gig size. Does this make sense???

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January 31, 2010 at 12:15:15
The bios is even reporting it as being the right number and date.

There is not even an option to autodetect the drive. Everything else is ok in the bios.

I have even tried to load the setup defaults, hoping it would change it back to 160, but no joy. It remains at 128.

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January 31, 2010 at 16:34:02
Is the previous bios version available for download from their site or did you save it? If so, see if you can flash it back to the previous version.

Are you sure the bios was showing it as 160 gig prior to the flash?

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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January 31, 2010 at 20:40:30
Flashing the bios is extremely unlikely to harm the data on the hard drive - that's probably alright. At worst, the problem is the bios doesn't understand it's partition table info anymore. The drive probably will work fine when connected to another computer that can recognize drives larger than 128gb in the bios and Windows = larger than 137gb manufacturer's size.

Did you go into the bios Setup and load bios defaults? If you didn't, flashing the bios usually does NOT do that automatically. If the bios version you flashed with is different from what it had, you should always load bios defaults in the bios after the flash has finished , save settings, otherwise it's quite likely your bios won't work properly, because the contents of the cmos part of the bios may not match that for the bios version.

If that doesn't help, you've probably flashed using the wrong bios update, or you did something wrong while flashing, or something went wrong the the bios chip while flashing which is QUITE COMMON.
Flashing the bios is relatively risky - it's the riskiest thing you can do with a computer -because of that you're NEVER supposed to flash the bios unless you're having problems listed in release notes that will definately be fixed by flashing. Sometimes the bios chip physically fails the first time you try to flash! The chips on flash drives are thousands of times more reliable, if not more !
In that case, if you take the laptop to a laptop repair place that is certified to work on your brand, you'll know within a short time whether you problem can be easily fixed or will cost you more bucks. In most cases, the bios chip on a laptop is not removable, and in that case you'd need to replace the mboard with a used or new one.
OR there are a few places on the web that can replace a bios chip that's soldered on, but you have to ship at least the mboard to them, have them ship it back. E.g. see www.badflash.com if you're in the US.

If you were already having problems with Hibernate
- you DO NOT have to use Hibernate. You can set Power settings in Windows that will switch off the hard drive after xx minutes of activity - merely using a mouse or pressing a key causes the harddrive to spin up again.

- the most common reason for Hibernate (or Standby, or Shut Down, or Restart) not working properly is someone has loaded Windows from scratch without having ALSO loading the drivers for the mboard's main chipset !

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Laptop main chipset drivers have drivers for more things than similar desktop chipsets - make sure you load laptop drivers, not desktop drivers.

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