We have a pretty much old, by today's standard, Sony VAIO VGN-N110G running on Windows XP. This machine was hit hard by a virus and MS Security Essentials was not doing its job. Not sure if Security Essentials is a good anti-virus but I am using it anyway (hey it is free).
The virus was pretty smart and distructive. Though the data files were not deleted but it did delete the menu entries in Windows leaving it almost unsable. Initial impression of the virus was that it hides all files making you believe that everything was gone. It even offers a solution, like buy an anti-virus. Anyway, as I mentioned above, I did try to do full scan using MS Security Essentials, it was able to identify several and it did mention that the virus was removed. But the system was still unusable after the anti-virus cleanup exercise.
So I tried to fire-up VAIO recovery to no avail. It says it cannot find the restore drive. It was really getting so bad.
Rebooting into safe mode does not help. So tried another reboot but this time I pressed F10 by mistake. What a surprise, F10 during boot actually allows the user to recover the system.
Good job here Sony, this feature is very handy.
So, to summarize, Sony VAIO VGN-N110G can be recovered by rebooting the machine and hit F10 just after the BIOS checks.
Sony VAIO cannot find recovery drive.