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Sony Laptops Have Hardware Virtualization Disabled, Can't Run Windows 7's XP Mode

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A user backlash began after Sony confirmed it deliberately disables hardware virtualization (required for Win 7's XP Mode) on all current Vaio laptops, due to security concerns. Now the company has said it will enable it "on select models."

This, even though the laptops use Intel Core 2 Duo processors with Intel's Virtual Technology (this, or AMD's equivalent are needed to run Windows XP Mode). Set to be included with Windows Pro 7 or above, many users have been looking forward to XP Mode because it allows software designed for XP to run without breaking like it might in Vista.


Over at the Windows 7 blog, Sony's Senior manager for product marketing, Xavier Lauwaert, responded that the company had:

…received very little if any requests to enable VT technology up until very recently.

In addition, our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.

For these two reasons we have decided, until recently, not to enable VT. However, with the advent of XP Virtualization, there is impetus for us to relook at the situation and I can share with you that we will enable VT on select models.

Though, I fear to say that the Z series will not be part of our VT-enabling effort. Indeed, we will focus on more recent models.


Some good news: There are online guides that claim to run through re-enabling hardware virtualization on Vaio laptops that use either a Phoenix BIOS, or the Insyde H2O UEFI framework (like the Vaio Z). [The Register via Engadget]