Though certainly one of the less consumer-friendly CE giants, Sonyâ€™s VGN-CR390 or CR490 laptops have most of the features I need. But one thing I definitely do NOT want is Windows Vista Business. Not only does it impose DRM locks, but it bogs down the processor and RAM without offering any features I find at all useful. No wonder Dell, HP and Lenovo still offer XP Pro on their business laptops. The VGN-CR390 and CR490 came with Vista Business pre-installed. And Sony gives no option for choosing XP Professional.
As you may know, Microsoft announced that all those with Vista Business pre-installed are entitled to the XP Pro downgrade. Of course, any OS is useless without the correct hardware drivers. But checking www.esupport.sony.com of the countless dozens of VAIO notebooks, Sony provides XP Pro drivers for only two VAIO models. Needless to say, neither the CR390 nor the newer CR490 were on that tiny list. And calling Sony tech support, I was told there were no plans to issue drivers for those laptops. Your basic Catch-22â€ situation: I dare not buy either the CR390 nor the CR490 without reasonable assurance that ALL drivers to run XP Pro on either Sony model are available. And without either laptop in my possession, I canâ€™t run any kind of driver hardware ID software to determine what generic or third party drivers may enable XP Pro to fully communicate with all hardware on these two Sony laptops. So does anyone know for a fact that all drivers to run XP Pro on either or both Sony VGN-CR390 and CR490 are available? If unknown, I hope someone owning either of these two laptops would go to www.driveragent.com and load their free and safe program. If yes, then please let me know if the program can identify all the laptopâ€™s drivers.
If it can, then thereâ€™s a fairly good chance that this websiteâ€™s drivers will let XP Pro properly run on either the VGN-CR390 or the CR490.