Friday, 10 April 2009

Enabling Hardware Virtualization on a Sony Laptop

This post is important to me as this was a real pain for me.

So virtualization is increasingly important today, and today I was needing to run a VM, and it turned out the VM was running a little slower than I was expecting.  This is because my laptop didn't have Virtualization enabled on the bios.

This is normally very simple, just go to your bios settings on bootup and enable it, however I own a Sony.  I love Sony Vaio's however you can't switch on hardware virtualization easily.

In the end I had to hack the bios (very scary).

To do this I created a boot disk on a usb stick (another painful thing), and then run the following tool from dos

symcmos.exe -L

I then opened the literal.txt file and changed register 0285 from 0000 to 0001 (using Edit in dos). 

I then ran

symcmos.exe -v2 -uliteral.txt

This register is specific to my laptop with BIOS (R2090J8) so unless you have the same bios it won't work.

I then powered off my laptop, and hardware virtualization was enabled.

The following posts were very useful to me:

If you have the same problem there is a lot to do, and it's very scary but it's worth it.  Don't follow my instructions literally as it might fry your laptop, and I'm not responsible for that.

Read the posts, and then decide to do what is best for you


Andrew Jones said...

I have a Sony VGN-AR71ZU with the same Bios version and urgently need to be able to install Windows Virtual XP in Windows 7 RC (which needs hardware virtualization). I am just wondering if I am brave enough to try this. I am really annoyed that Sony disable this in the first place. Sony really need to issue a Bios upgrade so I can fully use the processor I purchased.

chrishayuk said...

I'm afraid it's a question of bravery. It will work if you are brave enough, it does make a big difference.

However it is ultimatately your decision.

Obviously I can take no responsibility if your hardware fries. It shouldn't do, as I messed up, and the vaio just reset back to its factory bios settings