Are you pressing F8 at initial boot to access safe mode... it's just seeing you say "system restore" which is run from Windows... or do you mean "last known good configuration"
Safe mode should load "generic drivers" but the fact you can't even access safe mode is a problem.
There is startup repair but you need a Vista Disk.
Not familiar with the Sony... does it have a recovery partition that holds a copy of the operating system/drivers etc as it was on day one. If so you should be able to access that by a combination of keys at boot... but it's a last resort as it would format and wipe the C partition.