Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bluetooth Turn On: Mystery solved for Sony Vaio SZ360P and others

Over the last 30 days or so I have been breaking in a new Sony VAIO. As I have done several times in the past, I purchased one of the not quite new models (in this case, the SZ360P). This strategy lets you get a pretty decent feature set and price without paying an excessive premium.

One of the reasons I chose this model is the built-in Bluetooth. I had a Bluetooth dongle that I used on my previous Sony VAIO, but the performance was quirky at best.

When I say breaking in, I mean the process whereby you remove all the built-in rubbish that you don't need and add the programs that you do need plus the data from your previous machine. (Yes, yes, I know, if I bought an Apple Macintosh I wouldn't have all this work to do, but that is a bit of us an over-simplification, as any truly honest Mac owner a would acknowledge.)

One of the things that annoys me on any Windows machine these days is the proliferation of icons in the tray in the bottom right-hand corner. In an effort to clean this up on the new machine I apparently removed a control for the Bluetooth radio. Little did I realize how difficult it would be to get my Bluetooth capability back. The past few days I have been experimenting with voice recognition software and was considering using a Bluetooth headset to do my dictation. When I came to mate the Bluetooth headset to my Sony VAIO I kept getting a message that a Bluetooth radio was not turned on. Seeing no switch by which to turn on the Bluetooth radio I was perplexed. I went online to find out if anybody else had this problem.

Isn't it wonderfully comforting to find other people posting messages about a problem? Apparently the Bluetooth radio switch is so non-obvious that some folks had been doubting whether or not their machine actually had Bluetooth installed.

So, in the hopes of helping anybody else who has questions about the Sony VAIO Bluetooth radio switch, the following pictures are posted, starting with the Vaio Central utility seen here (this can be accessed from the Start menu or the Vaio Support Central app.

Warning! Every Sony VAIO comes with a host of built-in utility programs which clog up the Start menu. I am in the habit of either removing these from the menu or bunching them all together in their own folder. In the past some of these utilities have turned out to be quite frivolous, however, the one that turns on the Bluetooth radio is quite essential, as there is no hardware switch to do this.

What you need is the Wireless Switch Settings. This brings up a dialog which is pretty obvious. If you "Enable the Bluetooth device" you turn on the Bluetooth radio. But it would help if it actually said that, and if the "Bluetooth settings" applet which you access from the Control Panel explained that.

Success in this endeavor is at least rewarded with a cool blue light on the keyboard, just above the mechanical switch that turns on/off the Wi-Fi radio. (I guess that one extra switch for the Bluetooth would have broken the design budget).

As you exist this dialog you are treated to another, which alerts you to the addition of the new icon in the taskbar. Despite my dislike for the clutter these icons create, I am leaving this one in place. Otherwise I might have to search my own blog for instructions on how to get it back.

Note: as with Bluetooth on other devices, it is a good idea to check your settings whenever you have Bluetooth active. You don't want your notebook to be discovered and access by an unauthorized user.
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40 comments:

  1. THANKS so much for your post - I got my bluetooth working on my Sony Vaio!! WHOOOO!!!

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  2. what if on the wireless device switch there is enable 2.f and 5 GHz but it doesn't show the bluetooth thing and I am trying to make my blackberry pearl to use it for a modem....plz help

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  3. Have spent a while trying to remember how to turn Bluetooth on for a Z1XSP.

    You do it by double-clicking the "LAN" icon in the system tray, bottom right.

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  4. Hi, I have a VGN SZ280P and cannot see the "Wireless Device Switch Settings" .. I see the others - Network connection, phone and modem..

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  5. 2 hours i have been trying frivoulosly to get my bluetooth working!

    Gentleman you are going to heaven!!!!

    thank you

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  6. thanks even though mine was different it made me look in a slightly different place than i would have :D

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  7. Thanks.....I was in the same boat for the past 3 WEEEEKKKKKKSSS!

    However your solution probably applies to Windows XP users since I could not locate the utility on my Vaio with Vista OS.

    Fortunately I was able to start the Bluetooth Radio using the SmartWi utility! All the time I was thinking the SmartWi was for wireless networking rather than Bluetooth...what a misnomer.

    The Sony Support site was particularly UNHELPFUL:(

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  8. Thank you so much - even Sony didn't suggest that
    Kristina

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  9. I LOOOVE YOU!!!! I was going crazy...thx

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  10. You are a life saver!!! Thanks!

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  11. I rarely leave a comment, but you are my hero today. I searched the Sony site and was not able to get my bluetooth going on my Sony Viao. It was confusing that my blue light was on at startup and then shut off. Now it stays on and I can print to my bluetooth enable printer. Thanks again for sharing.

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  12. I dont have the option to Enable Bluetooth under the "Wireless Device Switch".

    Does that mean that my VAIO VGN N250N does not support Bluetooth?

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  13. after months of frustration and abandonment of this supposed bluetooth capability on my vaio vgn-t260p... a couple minutes with cobb's clear directions and i'm rockin!
    thank you.

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  14. Thanks for the info worked great.

    Tim

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  15. This is really helpful, but I was wondering if anyone might know where I can download the Wireless Switch Setting Utility as I have deleted it on my new vaio. I have no idea where to get that thing and I have switched off the bluetooth I'd appreciate you help with that!

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  16. "just above the mechanical switch that turns on/off the Wi-Fi radio. (I guess that one extra switch for the Bluetooth would have broken the design budget)"
    Please be aware that this mechanical switch ALSO needs to be turned ON in order to allow bluetooth to work. It controls both WiFi radio AND BlueTooth radio.

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  17. Sony VAIO VGN-CR520E on Vista:

    type "Wireless" on Search tab and you will find VAIO Wireless Wizard.

    Just this easy... But I spent 10 hours to find this... Of course, just after reading this forum...

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  18. Hi, I followed your instruction & only got to the 1st picture you posted. No matter how i click on the "wireless search setting", it wouldnt work, nothing happens.
    I am still unable to switch on my bluetooth. Help!!

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  19. Just to add the little snippet that helped me...

    My bluetooth setting was in Start - Settings - Control Panel - Vaio Control Center - Network Connections - Vaio Control Center - Vaio Smart Network - Advanced Tab

    Slight difference but very much helped out and put on the right track by the rest of the thread ....Thanks!

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  20. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  21. Thank you, this really helped me a lot, Thanks

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  22. Thanks for getting my bluetooth back on again. Much appreciated!

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  23. !!!! WOW i've spent the better part of 1 1/2 days at work to try turning on my Bluetooth!! why didnt i just think of typing it up in google earlier!! thank god for this blog!
    The only trouble is you dont want your bluetooth on all the time! but turning it off might be more painful! can't believe sony would make something like turning on and off SO Complicated and difficult to Find!

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  24. thank you sooo much!! ur blog helped alot!made my day :)

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  25. Yeaaah..you are awesome!

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  26. You sir are a legend!

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  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. Hi,

    I have a VGN-NR280E, and I've gone through all the steps, but i do not have the switch option, and the advanced option doesnt appear to have anything either.... any thoughts?

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  29. Thanks so much for this post. In my model version VGN CS320, the options were slightly different from what you've shown but gave me a good idea and I could solve the problem.

    Keep up the good work!

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  30. It's so simple when you know how! Different model but easy enough to find correct options and voila - bluetooth back. Mega thank you for solving this highly frustrating problem.

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  31. Между прочим, лучший способ обезопасить кого-нибудь от слежки - купить Подавители мобильных

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  32. Cool story as for me. It would be great to read more about this matter. The only thing it would also be great to see here is some pictures of some gizmos.
    Kate Flouee
    Phone jammers

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  33. Thanks loads for your help, it was pretty frustrating not being able to activate Bluetooth,

    DJC

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  34. Ahhh! This is driving me crazy. I tried what you suggested but when I open the Vaio Control Centre and then click on Network Connections there is no Wireless Switch Settings... But it does have a wireless card and there is a little light on the laptop which sazs WLAN is on. Any ideas???

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  35. thanks for you article ! it's help me a lot.

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  36. The bluetooth light on the keyboard is lit up bright blue, but there is no Bluetooth option in the "Wireless Device Switch" dialog box. The icon is still just a green "LAN" icon, and bluetooth does not work. Any ideas what the problem is?

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  37. Thanks, you are a star! Sadly this is the last time i or any one in my company will buy a Sony. When will manufacturers realise that customer support is as important if not more so than advertising?

    By the way, my button disappeared after an automatic update..Despite using it via Viao Central, it does not give me the button to reinstate it to the task bar.

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  38. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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  39. Isn't it wonderful they changed the way to activate Bluetooth so old help forms can't help? Still though, it was nice of you to create this page.

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