Good day,

I really need some help. Sony Computer America and in Singapore is utterly useless and clueless in my book. I own a Sony VAIO PCG-k47 notebook machine. I have had it since October of 2005. The computer runs fine in every aspect EXCEPT for the DVDRW drive.

It worked right after purchase fine for about 2 weeks, then the drive went from Reading/Writing all fine, to only reading media, then to only reading CD's, then to nothing in a span of one week approximately. So I had them FEDEX me a replacement drive of the exact same model and even firmware rev and everything. I put it in, works fine for even lesser amount of time than the first one did. So now, the 3rd drive comes when I take the unit in to their San Diego California service centre. They spend less than 2 hours to diagnose, wipe my hdd for no reason and give me another dvdrw unit. Like the other two, this one also works fine for a small amount of time, this one worked well for about one week. It too then went caput. This one seems to be the most violent out of the other 2. This one makes knocking noises when I insert any type of media into it. So anywho, by this time, it was time for me to go overseas. I had last minute things which took higher priority and had no time to fiddle w/ a 45 minute drive each way into the desert to waste more time w/ Sony. So I left the US w/ this laptop, and it's un-working drive, but hey at least I have my trusty external NEC DVDRW ND-3550A (thank the lord!). Problem is that, this is a nuissance, and seeing as how I've found places online which sell slimtype drives, I'd like to get one, and put these Sony DVDRW DW-56a's to shame..... this is what sony has given me each and every single time as a replacement, a Sony DVDRW DW-56a. That was the original drive, and the 2 other replacement drives. So now, 3 of them in total which failed.

I am extremely dissatisfied and angry w/ Sony, Liteon, whoever is to blame for these bad drives. I do not want anymore sony, or be it Liteon drives in my machines. The problem now for me, is that it seems this laptop has a "SPECIAL" little alignment for the ATA connection... (I realized this after taking out the optical of my buddy's dell inspiron laptop) Now, since that was the only drive I compared (get this though, his dell inspiron 700series ALSO had a sony dvdrw DW-56a, which works perfectly well by the way!) but the alignment of the connection was different. I am not sure if it is the smaller form of his laptop to blame, or because dell took the drive and had them make it differently, or if sony is the one who has the special placement...

In any case, I've seen has several nice seeming slimtype dvdrw's to choose from, BUT you cannot return them if you buy them and see they're incompatible for you, so.... to not waste my $ and time, I decided to see if anybody on many online forums can help me out. I honestly do not care what I put in the machine, so long as it's reliable and will PLAY dvd's and cd's, I am willing to settle for only a reader drive. I just want to be able to not have to take out an external optical drive to do anything!

If someone can point me to a place where I may purchase a replacement drive for this laptop, that will work would be nice. The other thing I forgot to mention is that I took out a pioneer dvdrw out of another friends' similar sony pcg-k series laptop, and it fit perfect into my pcg-k47 (his was a pcg-k22 I believe) but!, get this! my laptops' $@#(%@$# bios or other programming would NOT pick it up!!!!!! SO! it seems now that the bios only accepts the DVD-rw DW-56a????? or what??? I am so sick of sony and their crap. While I was in Singapore they where beyond less than willing to help me. They wanted over $400 from me USD for labor and a new drive, and then of course they would NOT just sell me the new drive alone.
The machine is still under USA warranty from the repair, but I am not sure if the machine has an international warranty or just a domestic US warranty, and this they were not willing to help me figure out. They said I had to provide documentation. Sorry buddy, but I am deployed and warranty papers for my laptop is one of the last things I'll have with me! I mean come on! this was a sony authorized service centre and they sat there and told me they had no means of looking up my purchase/registration/warranty information! I was amazed.

So there you go, sorry to make it so long and maybe boring, but I have very much anger and aggression towards Sony Computer.

I also have tried flashing it with updated firmware FROM sony, nothing!, then w/ other firmware even from Dell, NOTHING..... obviously these things have severe hardware issues.

What I'd love to be able to do is get rid of the god awful bios which ALSO does NOT let you boot from usb anything! (another anger factor for me, as it would be for many!) and flash it to an exploited, customizable bios, this way to also open it up to accepthing other optical drives besides what I've seen so far of it only taking the sony dvdrw dw-56a.

Ok, I will stop rambling, if anybody can help, please please help. I can be reached via email :
I will be in Jebel Ali in the country of the United Arab Emirates, and if anybody reading this, knows OF, or can find a place for me there which sells slimtype optical drives, I would be most humbled to that one who would provide me such information. Our internet access here is just not something most people can sit on for more than 10 minutes without being reduced to crying like a 4 year old who's shiny new rocks have been taken away.

Thank you to who took the time to even at least read this novel