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Sony Vaio S13 - Windows 8.1 function keys

Alastair Grant | Saturday 12 April 2014

I have just updated my laptop to Windows 8.1, and naturally some things stopped working - mostly the laptop specific functions. Such as the light sensor, brightness controls etc.

I have a Sony Vaio S13 - one of the things that needs to be installed for all this to work is Sony's Firmware Extension Parser. This is listed as a HID (Human Interface Device) in Device Manager. Updating it though, appears to be easier said than done.

Obviously the first port of call, is downloading the driver. The snag comes when you try to execute it - for me (which might not mean everybody), I have a CPU core max out and not a lot else happen. The culprit process is a Command Prompt (cmd) process. Leaving the laptop for an unreasonable length of time see no sign of completing.

Instead, you can install it manually. When running the driver installer the files will be extracted into your temporary directory in a sub-folder with a random name. To find it, run %temp%" and you will get your temporary directory, find the most recently modified folder. Go into that folder and copy the full path from the address bar.

Then, from Device Manager select to update the driver - if you have uninstalled the previous driver it will be an unknown device (ACPIVEN_SNY&DEV_5001). Select to search for a driver manually and use the path of the folder you copied previously. Windows will then install the driver directly.

Reboot and you should have working buttons again. Of course, make sure things like Vaio Control Centre is updated.

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