Your Sony Vaio laptop's BIOS -- which stands for basic input/output system -- is essentially a low-level program that passes messages between your computer's hardware and its operating system. Its setup utility controls a variety of important functions, including telling your operating system the order in which devices are to boot up and configuring the settings of your hard drive and memory.
Updates to the BIOS that are aimed to fix bugs, tweak boot time or modify other functions are automatically sent to your computer, but you can also modify these settings manually -- to resolve a compatibility issue after a new hardware installation, for example. The steps required to access this utility differ based on the operating system you're running.
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Windows 8 and 8.1
Begin by shutting down your laptop, and then press the Assist button. The location of this button varies depending on your computer model, so refer to your user documentation if you cannot find it on your computer. You can download a PDF of your manual from the Sony website if you no longer have your own copy.
Once the Assist button has been engaged, the VAIOCare Rescue Mode screen appears. Use your arrow keys to select Start BIOS Setup F2, and then press the Enter key to select the option.
In the BIOS Setup Utility, use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate through the options and the Enter key to select the modification you'd like to implement. To exit a screen or option, press the ESC key.
When you're finished making changes, press the ESC key until the Exit menu appears. Press the F10 key to save and exit the utility.
If your older Sony VAIO laptop is still running Windows 7, start by shutting down the machine and then restarting it. When the black VAIO logo appears, press the F2 key repeatedly -- for approximately ten seconds -- to initiate the BIOS Setup Utility.