1 2 3 Previous Next 108 Replies Latest reply on Apr 5, 2015 11:35 PM by jsbrigo

    VT support for Sony Vaio

    SteveMcG Lurker

      I have just bought an FZ11Z which comes with the Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 processor. One of the key attractions for me was that this processor is 64 bit and comes with virtualisation support. http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2duo/specifications.htm

       

      I also ran the detection utility on the VMWare website and it confirms it is able to run 64 bit guests, so I can create 64 bit Virtual Machines.

       

      Now here comes the problem. Vmware support the processor, but to get it to work properly I need to be able to enable VT support in the BIOS, but the BIOS is rather basic and doesnt give me the option.

       

      The official Sony line is that VT "Is not supported" (a horrible phrase that!) but there is no explanation to support that statement.

       

      Being the devious teccy that I am, I am sure that there must be a BIOS somewhere that is not locked down by the manufacturer that will enabe me to get to those settings. (Losing warranty is not important to me)

       

      Has anyone looked into this before at all, and be willing to share their experiences with me?  (I guess my perfect answer would be a link to a commercially available unlocked BIOS!)

        • 1. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
          saxa Master

          Steve,

           

          bring that notebook back to the shop and purchase some adequate one. Made by some other manufacturer.

           

          >>The official Sony line is that VT "Is not supported" (a horrible phrase that!) but there is no explanation to support that statement.

           

          Well, obviously they don't want to support it \_on your model_. Just marketing trick... They'd preinstalled Vista Home on it, right? It means, your notebook is a consumer product. And consumers do not need VT.

           

          >>I am sure that there must be a BIOS somewhere that is not locked down by the manufacturer that will enabe me to get to those settings.

           

          Sure there could be the one. But you'll never get it. Unfortunately. They won't give it to you.

          • 2. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
            Champion

            The big question is whether or not the BIOS locks the feature control MSR.  If it leaves the feature control MSR unlocked, it is possible to enable VT through privileged software after boot.  Please download this ISO , burn it to a CD and boot from that CD.

             

            If it reports your feature control MSR is locked with VT disabled, you are out of luck.  If it reports that your feature control MSR is unlocked, there is a software solution.

            • 3. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
              avarcher Master

              Hi, I cant get the link to work, forbidden!!

              • 4. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                Champion

                Please try again.

                • 5. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                  avarcher Master

                  Perfect, thanks.

                  • 6. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                    RDPetruska Guru
                    vExpertUser Moderators

                    You might just want to reconsider your Sony purchase, and go with a company that actually cares about their customers and their products.  See http://www.janegalt.net/archives/009884.html for a wonderful story of "How NOT to do Customer Support".

                    • 7. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                      saxa Master

                      >>You might just want to reconsider your Sony purchase, and go with a company that actually cares about their customers and their products.

                       

                      Rob, I would assign 1000 points to you for this sentence only

                      • 8. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                        cvo8210 Lurker

                        Could you please elaborate the "software solution" to enable VT through setting feature control MSR?

                         

                        Thanks

                        • 9. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                          Champion

                          The feature control MSR (MSR 0x3a) has two bits of interest for VT: the VMXON enable bit (bit 2) and the lock bit (bit 0).  If the lock bit is clear, the contents of the MSR can be changed by the wrmsr instruction.  If the lock bit is set, the contents of the MSR cannot be changed, except by cycling power to the CPU, which resets the MSR to 0.




                          For VT to work, both of these bits must be set.



                          A BIOS that explicitly disables VT will leave the VMXON enable bit clear and set the lock bit. If your BIOS does this, your only recourse is to change the behavior of the BIOS. However, some BIOSes may just leave the MSR at its power-on value of 0. In this state, the MSR can still be changed by privileged (CPL 0) software (e.g. a kernel module).



                          Note that on a multiprocessor/multicore system, each core has its own feature control MSR, and the two bits must be set on all processors where you want to use VT. Some BIOSes only set the bits on one core. To further complicate matters, the MSR has to be set again each time the system awakens from deep sleep (S4), since the processor loses power in that state. Some BIOSes fail to set the MSR when awakening from S4.


                          An unofficial kernel module that handles all of this is available for Mac OS.  Linux or Windows users would have to write their own kernel module at this time.  I understand that the Windows module is pretty straightforward, but that a general Linux solution is complicated by the fact that the Linux power management APIs keep changing.



                          Ultimately, this is likely to be addressed internally in some future release of Workstation.

                          • 10. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                            cvo8210 Lurker

                            Thanks a lot for explaining this.

                            • 11. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                              scuderiaconchiglia Lurker

                              I ran the diagnostic  and all I received was "VT is disabled in the feature control MSR".  I got this for each of the two cores.  But there was no indication if the MSR was locked or not. There were a couple of screens that flashed by without any pause,  not sure if those told the tale on the MSR lock or not.  Can you offer any insight?

                               

                              Thanks,

                               

                              Gary

                               

                              P.S. Assuming the MSR is not locked how would one go about finding the privilege level software to enable VT?

                              • 12. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                                Champion

                                That tool could be more informative.  It reports only bit settings that preclude the use of VT.  Therefore, it reports when VT is disabled in the feature control MSR or when the feature control MSR is unlocked.  The messages appear adjacent to each other, so if you saw one, you would have seen them both.  If it said nothing about the lock bit, then the lock bit is set.

                                 

                                In short, you are at the mercy of your system vendor to provide you with a BIOS that allows you to enable VT.

                                • 13. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                                  scuderiaconchiglia Lurker

                                  That tool could be more informative.  It reports only

                                  bit settings that preclude the use of VT.  Therefore,

                                  it reports when VT is disabled in the feature control

                                  MSR or when the feature control MSR is unlocked.  The

                                  messages appear adjacent to each other, so if you saw

                                  one, you would have seen them both.  If it said

                                  nothing about the lock bit, then the lock bit is

                                  set.

                                   

                                  In short, you are at the mercy of your system vendor

                                  to provide you with a BIOS that allows you to enable

                                  VT.

                                   

                                   

                                  I ran it again and only saw the one message for each core.  There was nothing about the lock status at all.  I am a bit confused by "messages appear adjacent to each other, so if you saw one, you would have seen them both".  By adjacent do you mean one after the other or literally one next to the other? And are you talking about the two cores, or the two status indications, ie the VT bit and the MSR lock status?

                                   

                                  I guess from the last sentence about the lock bit, that the app only reports if the lock bit is NOT set.

                                   

                                  Thanks,

                                   

                                  Gary

                                  • 14. Re: VT support for Sony Vaio
                                    Champion

                                    If the lock bit was clear, you would have seen the following two messages on consecutive lines:

                                     

                                    CPU 0: Feature control MSR is unlocked!

                                    CPU 0: VT is disabled in the feature control MSR!

                                     

                                    Sorry.

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