Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Enabling Hardware Virtualisation On A Toshiba Tecra

I've been doing a bit of playing recently with Virtual PC (and struggling, but that's a subject for a longer post). One of the options in Virtual PC is to selectively enable hardware-assisted virtualisation, however the option was greyed out on my Toshiba Tecra. Until yesterday when a chance comment by a colleague (who's also looking at VirtualPC to enable some work with SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services) let me know how to enable it...

As your laptop boots, hit [Esc] to get into the BIOS setup. You should then get a prompt at the top of the screen that reads 'Check system and press F1' - hit F1 to get into the BIOS. On the first page of the BIOS on the right-hand side is a pane for virtualisation, with a setting for enabling it - it was disabled on mine, I suspect/assume that's how they leave the factory. Highlight the setting, hit [Space] to change it, then hit [End] to save your changes and restart the machine. Let it boot into Windows, fire up Virtual PC, and you should now find that hardware-assisted virtualisation is enabled.

Edit: In my excitement to post this, there was something I forgot to add. I'd saved my running virtual machines, however when I fired them up again after enabling hardware virtualisation they would not run correctly. I needed to clear the saved state and fire them up again from scratch. Not an issue particularly, just something to be aware of.

1 comment:

liamwestley said...

Most system leave the factory with hardware virtualisation disabled in the BIOS.

Even worse, some manufacturers, including Sony, are shipping systems where the BIOS does not include an option to enable hardware virtualisation even if the CPU supports this option.

So next time you plan to buy a laptop, don't just rely on the CPU model for hardware virtualisation, verify that the BIOS includes the option to enable it.