Let me start off by saying I hate bluetooth on laptops. I love my bluetooth headset for my cell phone, but for laptops, connecting any type of device, namely a cellphone, is just a freakin’ nightmare. When I previously had a Toshiba M200, I solved the problem by replacing the Toshiba stack with the Microsoft Bluetooth stack in XP SP2.
However, I now have a Sony VGN-SZ381p laptop for which I’m having the similar problems as I did with my M200. The software that comes bundled with the Sony SZ series laptops is absolutely terrible. I’ve finally found a solution in the NotebookReview.com forum’s that is worth re-iterating here.
The solution entails is installing the much friendlier Widcomm v5 bluetooth utility followed by install a modified version of the Sony SZ bluetooth drivers that will allow it to work with the Widcomm Software (Updated 2/4/2009). Why use the Widcomm software?
- vastly superior and easier setup than all other bluetooth software I’ve seen
- ability to sync Outlook contact and calendar data with non-Windows Mobile cell phones
- view and copy files on your phone in shell mode.
- set-up virtual serial ports to use bluetooth in certain applications
- Uninstall all previous bluetooth utilities/software
- Turn off your bluetooth using the Sony utilities (VAIO Wireless). On my laptop this is Hotkey combination Fn+F1.
- Download the Widcomm v5 software and install it.
- While installing it, it will tell you that it cannot find a bluetooth device, which makes sense since we turned it off in Step 2 🙂
- Choose “Cancel” to continue with the installation.
- After installation completes, turn your bluetooth on using Fn+F1 (or whatever other method you want to use). When prompted for drivers, you the modified Sony SZ drivers. These are only 41kb so I’ve hosted them here (Updated link on 2/4/2009).
Now everything should work!