Steps to recover a Sony Vaio SVE1411AJ

I created a recovery media using a 16GB USB3 stick.

Upon switching the hard disk with an SSD and inserting the USB stick, I got "Operating system not found" as expected, but I could not get it to recover from the stick. I read that holding F10 or "Assist" during boot would trigger the recovery process, but it didn't.

So, after trying, I found out, that F2 is the key to enter the BIOS setup (Sony's splash screen does not reveal that).

It turned out, that USB boot and the boot priority did not allow booting. After adjusting, saving and rebooting, the Windows Setup would show up with two options:
  • VAIO CARE revovery (choose this)
  • Windows RE 64bit
The recovery setup asks to make a backup of the disk, which I dismissed, as the disk was empty anyway.

After copying many bytes, you will be asked to remove the stick.Windows will install drivers and reboot very often. This process takes some time.

If you get ask to restart now or later, opt for later. Rebooting while recovering will damage the install.