|I can't tell if you need the driver--that depends on windows vista and maybe the bios. However the 'Intel ICH9M/M-E SATA Controller' you've identified means if it needs a driver this is probably it:|
The instructions tell how to extract it for a clean install of XP. If your vista needs it you'd do the same thing. If you don't have the floppy drive you'd need to copy the extracted files to cd or flash drive or whatever you used when you tried the previous drivers.
When you run the download to extract the files it will default to putting them in C:\DRIVERS\WIN\IMSM. You can change that as it doesn't matter where they're at--just remember where you put them. If you look in the folder the files extract to it'll show these files and a 'prepare' folder:
Now, when you copy them to the cd or flash drive or whatever don't just copy the folder they're in--drivers\win\imsm--or wherever you put them. Copy the files individually so they're in the root directory on your cd or flash drive. I'm not even sure if the vista install will search any subfolders on the disk so the best thing is to make sure there aren't any. You CAN copy the PREPARE folder because the inf files will have that as a location. (I'm not even sure if you'll need it.)
I hope that makes sense. Give it a try.
The links the tech referred to talk about modifying the bios. Apparently those links are dead and I wasn't sure they even applied to your vaio bios. Several other manufacturers used that type of bios but any modifications would have to be specifically for yours. Modifying the bios is risky anyway and I wouldn't suggest it.
When you go into bios setup you use the right/left arrow keys to choose an option. Apparently there is an ADVANCED option you can choose. I don't know what it contains but if there is any place you can modify the hard drive settings that would be it. So if the drivers don't work out you might recheck bios setup and see if you missed anything before.
If neither works we can see if there's drive fitness utility from Hitatchi to check the drive. My guess is it'll come back as good.
Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.