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Have you tried applying latest BIOS updates for the laptops and reimaging? You could also try putting the SATA controller in "compatibility" mode, instead of native/AHCI.
The only reason I say reimage, is it sounds like these are test machines. It would be easier to test from a reimage, than trying to fix/decrypt it.
There is known problem with Sony laptops. Make Safetech (BartPE) boot cd disk with sony vaio drivers and manually remove Safeboot.
Before setup safeboot on Sony Vaio it is necessary to remove sony vaio recovery system.