Sony Vaio VGN-SA/SB

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SONY VAIO SA/SB ( S series ) Model No. VPCSA**/VPCSB** Getting started instruction.

Please edit this article, keep fresh, your own idea to touch and go.

1. Features

  • Sandy/Ivy PCI bridge: Intel Core i platform, generation 2nd/3rd. GPU integrated
  • VGA(Internal/External): Intel GMA3000 or 4000 / ATI(AMD) RADEON HD 6600M or nVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
  • Chipset: intel HM67 Express
  • RAID: intel 82801 Mobile SATA controller
  • Wireless: Centrino Wireless-N + WiMAX 6150(Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMAX)
  • Wired: Ethernet: Realtek RTL8111/8168B
  • Additional USB3.0 Host: NEC uPD720200(External), 1 Port
  • TPM is also available(Optional).
  • First edition of this article: kernel 3.3.5

2. Hardware

2.1 Wired/Wireless

There is nothing to do. Some udev errors are shown at boot like this,

[   16.369825] Bad LUN (0:2)

[   16.392657] Bad target number (1:0)

[   16.405941] Bad target number (2:0)

[   16.419294] Bad target number (3:0)

[   16.469295] Bad target number (4:0)

[   16.522611] Bad target number (5:0)

[   16.575913] Bad target number (6:0)

[   16.629228] Bad target number (7:0)

However, nothing to effect in use. If you want to solve these messages, realtek official drivers may be required.

2.2 Hybrid Graphics

"STAMINA-SPEED" switch is designed as a software switch. This DIP switch is located on one of the individual circuit from mainboard, separately. For easy to understand it, just imagine such as a wireless switch on laptop computers. Therefore, there is nothing to do; feel free to control this switch. Follows are only suggestions within ATI models, your style to go.

2.2.1 Disable discrete graphics on boot with a systemd unit

You can use systemd to automatically disable your discrete graphics card on boot. You need to make a script file and a service file. You won't need to do what's in section 2.2.2 if you do this

1) First, make a script file in /usr/lib/systemd/scripts an example name would be ati_off.

echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

2) Next, make a service file (e.g. atioff.service) in /usr/lib/systemd/system.

Description=Turn off the discrete graphics card on boot

ExecStart=/bin/bash /usr/lib/systemd/scripts/ati_off


Now run:

# systemctl enable atioff

This enables the atioff service and makes it run every time the computer boots.

2.2.2 ATI disabled on boot. Get long battery life.

If you want to get more long battery life first, take this method is recommended.

1) mounting debugfs

# mount -t debugfs debugfs /sys/kernel/debug

or /etc/fstab

debugfs /sys/kernel/debug debugfs 0 0

2) disable ATI using "vga_switcheroo"

Radeon module should be loaded.

# modprobe radeon

Power OFF ATI.

# echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Check status correct or not.

cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch



1:DIS: :Off:0000:01:00.0

When you use these setting on boot, putting these lines into rc.local is useful.

Warning: initscripts is obsolete systemd should be used for startup scripts instead.

2.2.3 Use both at any time. Switchable.

If you want to use both intel and ati, commands are avaiable.

1) mounting debugfs

2) using "vga_switcheroo" Radeon module should be loaded.

Enable ATI

# echo DDIS > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Enable intel

# echo DIGD > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Power ON/OFF

# echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
# echo ON > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

Check current status

cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

2.2.3 New functions. Set variety.

For more control completely, there is a way to use various functions which you like, e.g. setkeycode.

Please note: Unfortunatelly BIOS on this machine has no option in order to select which cards you want to use definitly.

2.3 Keyboard, Automatic light sensor

There is nothing to do; within its simply works. Automatic light sensor is located on the right side of hybrid graphics switch.

2.4 Touchpad

ALPS touchpad is recognized as Im/PS2 Wheel Mouse with scrolling on the right edge. It is hard to be recognized as ALPS currently. A fix that allows for multitouch has been provided here:

2.5 Fingerprint

Not tested.

2.6 Web Camera

Not tested.

2.7 TPM

Not tested.

2.8 Optical(Secondary Channel)

The button to open this optical drive on the top of keybaord is available by default, power management timer is also good to work (see 3.Power Management > 3.5 Chipset, Optical, USB and more). When it remove/replacement, you can easy to turn only 2 screws or disable from BIOS.

2.9 HDD/SSD(Primary Channel)

You can easy to access in order to remove/replacement. Just open back pannel in front of this machine, then you could see battery on the right, memory module slot on the top-left, and 2.5 inch drive space (9mm height) on this bottom.

Please note: Press release bar at the bottom of battery, remove it first.

2.10 Display brightness, Sound volume

There is nothing to do; keyboard shortcuts with Fn key are available by default.

2.11 Gravity Sensor

Not tested.

3. Power Management

You can get battery life into 4-5 hours (HDDs), 6-7 hours and more (SSDs), even if "ondemand" governor. You never have to give up a performance working with built-in battery only.

3.1 ACPI modules

There is nothing to do. Kernel supports sony_acpi module.

3.2 Sandy/Ivy bridge issue

Sandy/Ivy bridge platforms have to add special options on your kernel line for intel video power management. These options would be deprecated for near the future.

pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1

Please note: Options should be selected by your using style, to know what effects are expected on every option. In fact, some electric reports show less or no evaluate battery life than ever before.

3.3 Hybrid Graphics

Please refer to "2. Hardware > 2.2 Hybrid Graphics" in this article.

3.4 Wireless (WiFi, Bluetooth, WiMAX)

Please refer to wireless wiki, in order to set power management is ON.

3.5 Chipset, Optical, USB and more

Tlp is comletely available and functional except ThinkPad features. To set them manually, please refer to laptop wiki.

3.6 CPU

Cpufrequtils is useful to set govonors. To change voltage manually, cpupower provides better solution currently.

Please note: If you try to use Gnome 3 with cpupower, confliction with cpufrequtils may arouse. To avoid this, pacman "-Sddf" option is also unfunctional. Please refer to bug report.