Ok, I just did a fresh install of windows 7 64 bit on my girlfriend's computer. The fresh install went smoothly as expected. i loaded the wifi driver on to a zip drive earlier because establishing an internet connection was priority for me....this was so I could visit Sony's website and download the other necessary drivers. The screen looked perfect after the fresh install...the brightness was spot on.
After installing several components' drivers, the screen dimmed on me. It was plugged in the whole time, so it wasn't a power issue. The display propertes allow me to adjust the brightness slider, but the screen won't brighten or dim when i do this. Also, the "fn/f5/f6 " key combination shows nothing. Infact, none of the "fn" (hotkeys?) will function.
Again, the screen is awesome when the computer is booting(splashscreen), but is extremely dim after reaching the desktop. any ideas?
side not: Disk management shows that there is a partition set aside for recovery, but I have tried all kinds of ways to access it and failed miserably...just to access it. pointers on this may be good too.
Fresh install from Recovery Partition - super bright screen...per normal. Done two times...as I couldn't believe results.
Did all updates, MS, VAIO Care, Office...etc... Screen gets unreadable dim. First thought it was the March 2013 Silverlight or the current FLASHor Java versions..but screen dimmed even without these being installed.
Uninstalled NVIDIA driver - screen resolution is terribly off but brightness is exactly where it should be.
Problem can be confirmed with SAFE mode start up - tremendous brightness...add in the NVIDIA driver..and screen fades out.
There are very likely some kind of incompatibilities with recent updates that make this 3 year old VAIO's screen dim compared with the view from a fresh Recovery install (albeit without ANY updates).
ONE other possibility. It IS possible that a video or display hardware component is in the process of failing...but the diagnositc display tests are not yet picking up that failure. Because the "display system' is not under tremendous stress before the NVIDIA driver is loaded the display would be "normal gorgeous brightness" . . . it is possible that the driver pushes the failing hardware "into view" so to speak. Very hard to tell. Very frustrating as it is such a wonderful machine...
By the way, since the graphics switch has 3 positions....which position should the switch be in during the re-instal...or during a video driver install?