in Future Howard, Hardware, Virtualisation

Enable VT on Sony Vaio Z11

Some time ago I posted at length about Sony’s decision to disable the Virtualization Technology features of the Intel chips in their high-end laptops, namely my Vaio Z11.

VT enabled Well thanks to the sterling efforts of one man and his EFI hacking skills, we now have a solution as this image demonstrates. The image on the left shows the result of the VMWare Virtualization Technology test CD confirming that VT is now enabled on my Vaio Z11.

I’ve mirrored his code and instructions here in case his site disappears, read more after the jump…

Download this EFI application and put it on a FAT32 formatted USB stick in the \EFI\BOOT directory.

Boot from the USB stick. When this USB stick is plugged in to your laptop it will boot from it regardless of your settings to deny booting from external devices.

If all goes well you will see the following message:

> Welcome to GRUB!
>
> Entering rescue mode...
> error: file not found
> grub rescue>

At this prompt, type:

setup_var

GUID match

You’ll be informed of the risks but most importantly you should see confirmation that the tool has found the correct setup variable. You want to see the message say “the GUID should match the expected GUID”. If it does not don’t continue – visit the site of the author and let him know.

Since this definitely works on a Vaio Z11, you should have got this far and can now look at the current setting of the VT offset which is at 0x1af. Type:

setup_var 0x1af

Verify that the variable is set to 0x00. If it is not, do not continue.

Assuming that the variable is as expected, we’ll change the setting, locking VT for your processor to ON:

setup_var 0x1af 0x1

You can verify that this change has been accepted by typing:

setup_var 0x1af

And confirming that the output is now 0x01.

SecurAble confirms

That’s it! Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and remove the USB stick. You can now check that VT is enabled using whichever tool you prefer. I confirmed mine from a VMWare boot CD and also within Windows using Steve Gibson’s SecurAble tool.

  1. Thank you for that great manual, it worked fine with my sony vaio vgn-z11wn.

  2. Good post. I was also pissed that Sony turned off VT, but it turns out that VT does not make much difference for performance. It may enable running 64bit on a 32bit OS, if that’s important.

  3. You’re awesome!!!
    This also worked on my Vaio TT11WN! Yes, TT!
    Now running Win7 x64 with Virtual XP flawlessly :)

  4. Btw i just got an email from Sony, they say they will enable VT on their models once they start shipping with Windows 7.
    If they will offer BIOS (EFI) updates for older models remains to be seen…

  5. here’s the official email our company got from Sony on this issue

    >>forwarded email<<
    below is current plans for VT support.

    Regarding legacy support of VT, confirmed the following models will be supported:

    – Z series (Z500, Z600, Z700 series)
    – SR400 series
    – TT series (TT100 and TT200 series)

    Misc need to knows:
    – Note that not all CPU’s support VT With that said, we currently support VT on the BZ series When Windows 7 will become available we will enable VT on the Z500, Z600, Z700, SR400, TT100 and TT200 series As for models to be released in the holiday ’09, more news will become available once the line-up is announced to public.

    Lastly, VT-enabled BIOSes will be made available through our Windows 7 upgrade program and/or the web at the time of Windows 7 release

  6. Hi,

    I executed the tool as described, everything’s working fine now. But the tool securable is states now that vt is still disabled, which seems to be wrong, because virtualbox says that vt i enabled?!?

    Nevertheless. looks like a great job guys :)

    brgds,
    Bert

  7. Tried it on my VGN-BZ11EN with last InsydeH2O bios (R0330Q1), but nothing changed. securAble says that vt is turned off and also advanced submenus aren’t displayed..any suggestion??

Comments are closed.

Webmentions

  • Pascal’s Blog – A brain backup » Activate VT Virtalization support on a Sony Vaio VGN-Z11WN September 10, 2009

    […] I found a nice tutorial how to enable the Support for Intel VT on a Sony Vaio, with Firmware. Just follow the tutorial on this site. […]