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Sony Confirms No Hardware Virtualization on Vaio Computers Past, Present or Future

Sony has now released BIOS upgrades to most of their Hardware Virtualization (VX) capable Vaio computers. Visit Sony’s eSupport centre (link) and enter your model number to see if yours has an update. This move, which goes against everything Sony has said, proves that if enough people voice their discontent with bad corporate behaviour, corporations actually do the right thing.

Sony confirms they will continue disabling Hardware Virtualization (also known as VT) in the BIOS of all their Vaio computers even after the release of Windows 7 making the new Windows XP Mode unavailable to all Vaio owners.

A couple of months ago I discovered that in spite of the hardware of my Sony Vaio laptop fully supporting Hardware Virtualization, Sony has decided to disable this feature in the BIOS making it unavailable. There has been much chatter and theorizing about this on the net but no clear conclusions, statements or solutions have been provided. So today I contacted Sony directly to find out exactly what was going on. What I found was both surprising and infuriating.

A quick summary of the back story: I bought a Sony Vaio VGN-SR140D laptop last fall and have been very happy with it. That was until I tried to enable Hardware Virtualization so I could run a virtual machine on it for beta testing purposes. It turned out that even though the processor fully supports this feature, Sony has disabled it in the BIOS making it impossible to run any type of virtualization on the computer. The problem is there is no mention of this in any documentation available about the computer or its product siblings. For this reason it is fair to say the computer does not perform to specifications.

To get to the bottom of this I contacted Sony customer support. After a lot of back and forth, explaining and some feeble attempts at tricking me into giving up claiming that “hardware virtualization has been disabled because there is a conflict with this type of functionality with other hardware in the computer” I was passed on to a high level tech located somewhere on the US west coast, and it is from him I got all the nasty details.

Hardware Virtualization will not be available on Sony Vaios. Period!

Right off the bat the tech told me flat out that Hardware Virtualization not only is not available on older or current Vaio models, both laptops and desktops, but that there will be no support for Hardware Virtualization in future models either! When I mentioned that this would become a hot topic once Windows 7 with its much talked about Virtual XP feature is released in November of this year he responded “Even when we start shipping Vaios with Windows 7, hardware virtualization will be disabled.” And he continues: “Sony has no plans to make this function available in any of our computers.”

Hardware Virtualization is disabled to cut cost!

This of course begged the obvious question of why: “It’s part of our licensing deal with Intel,” he explained: “To retain a competitive edge they sell the boards to Sony with a guarantee from us that we will disable the feature on all our computers. That way we get the boards at a discount and they (Intel) can sell them at full price to other computer manufacturers who want the feature enabled.” At this point I mentioned that I had just been in touch with Dell who confirmed that all their new XPS laptops have Hardware Virtualization enabled and that these computers on average retail for $400 less than the comparable Sony ones. “VT (Hardware Virtualization) is a fairly obscure function that not many people use. Corporate feels that it’s not worth it. That is in spite of us techs recommending they enable it” was his somewhat surprising response.

It’s not on the box, so you can’t return it

As I promised in my first post about this situation I am hell bent on returning my laptop for a full refund claiming either defect or that it does not perform to spec. I asked the tech about this and he at once told me they will not refund the computer under any circumstances: “It doesn’t say on the box that the computer supports Virtualization so they (corporate) feel that you have no case. If it’s not on the box you won’t get your money back is where they stand.” I pointed out that if you look up the specs of the processor on Intel’s website or go to a store and buy it on its own the spec sheet clearly states that it has Intel Virtualization Technology. To that he had no answer. I then pointed out that the box doesn’t say anything about stereo sound or colour screen either but that if they shipped computers that only had mono sound and black and white screens people would be furious. His response was the same as before: “Virtualization is something few people use and corporate doesn’t think this is a real issue. And they are willing to take the hit of bad publicity if people start to complain. They are willing to lose customers over this!” In other words they don’t think enough people will voice their frustration or make life difficult for them so they are willingly screwing their customers to turn a profit. Classy.

Class action lawsuit anyone?

It seems abundantly clear that Sony has deliberately disabled Hardware Virtualization on their Vaio computers to save money. It is equally clear that they have made no effort to inform their customers of this. As a result many customers, myself included, have purchased computers with the perception that they would perform to the specifications provided by the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers – in this case Intel) only to find they do not. Any rational person would agree that under these circumstances Sony should have provided some form of written information or warning stating that in spite of hardware support, Hardware Virtualization has been disabled in the same way that they would have warned that in spite of the screen being able to display colours, the screens on certain computers would only display black and white. Now I’m no lawyer but I think the customers have a valid case for a class action lawsuit here. The argument that Sony is in the clear just because the box doesn’t state that the computer does Hardware Virtualization is logically defeated by the fact that the processor itself has this functionality as one of its main features and selling points.

So, does anyone know a good class action lawyer willing to take on this case and go up against a major multinational corporation? And does anyone want to join forces to show Sony that when you treat your customers like crap they fight back? In the meantime I’m taking my computer back to the store I bought it from and make the guys there sweat for selling me a computer that doesn’t work!

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a staff author at LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com specializing in WordPress and web design and development and an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular speaker and educator on all things design, web standards and open source. As the owner and Web Head at Pink & Yellow Media, a boutique style digital media company in Burnaby, BC, Canada, he has created WordPress-based web solutions for multi-national companies, political parties, banks, and small businesses and bloggers alike. He also contributes to the local WordPress community by organizing Meetups and WordCamps.

177 replies on “Sony Confirms No Hardware Virtualization on Vaio Computers Past, Present or Future”

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-S680 with virtualization disabled. I would gladly join the lawsuit or help put pressure on Sony. I really need this feature.

I also luck this feature. (vaio z11)
Moreover update windows virtual pc would not work at all on windows 7 vithout VT.
that’s crap!

I though the same thing this morning. I’ve a Z11XN and it says Intel P8600 on the box and P8600 has the VT functionality. So I want the VT which I paid for.

I’m searching the web to fix this for months and I couldn’t find anything for H2O BIOS. Also I don’t know what can I do because the distributor and the technical service in my country are so unconcerned and ignorant. In my opinion, they are not applicable to sell even a shaving machine.

So I’m in as you guess and I also though to build a web site against this Sony policy but know few people who needs this feature. I think we can collect much more people in global.

I bought a VGN-FW290 a few months back. I was pretty happy with it until the VT crap came up. Anyone found any bios updates? I have read other blogs and noticed that some Lenovo users got bios upgrades that enabled VT on their machines. What’s Sony waiting for? Class Action?

I really doubt you will get anywhere with a lawsuit, unless Sony had explicitly stated somewhere that they supported VT, and then did not provide it.

This blows though. I really had my sights set on an FW series. Now I will have to go with a different vendor. 🙁

Boo Sony.

VGN-FW298Y. This is a total bs, Sony must get their **s burned for that, what use is Win7 now without the neat feature to be able to run Virtual XP machine…
Switching soon to apple macbooks anyway, the build quality is far better than this over expensive Sony peace of plastic!

This is not the first time Sony has demonstrated it doesn’t care for its customers. Only for its (theirs) money.

You must remember how Sony tried to secretly replace some of the core Windows libraries of its customers in order to enforce control over media it sold them. To make more money and control more efficiently its customers.

I think that it is time that customers remind clearly to Sony that Sony depends on its customers and not its customers on Sony.

Obviously Sony is not a company which serves well the customers and for that reason they should leave Sony and turn to other companies.

By the way, I was about to buy a VAIO, but now when I learned how again Sony despises its customers and their wishes I think to forget about Sony. I was about to also buy a Sony TV set, but it seems that it wont be Sony.

The customers don’t need such a low quality service company and I don’t think that they have plans to accept Sony’s not having any plans “..to make this function available in any of our computers..”.

Don’t buy Sony. Period.

Tough sh!t.

Its advertised on vaio-link.com that the models dont come with VT enabled. If you bought it for its specs, then you should have considered this. Its partially your own fault for buying a machine without it when its blatantly advertised.

Also, your article is incorrect.
There IS ONE Vaio that has VT, and that is the VGN-BZ series.

Regards,
Mick.

Michael.

tough shit? I paid $1500 for a laptop 3 months ago and I expect it to work. The models all technically come with VT, Sony just disabled it. As a paying costumer, I should be able to enable it to use it. Just because the average Joe wont use VT, what gives them the right to deny ALL costumers the right to use it if the hardware supports it?

Yes, Sony disabled it. Big deal.

My problem is this – the models are advertised as having no VT. You cant expect to buy this machine without VT, and then complain to Sony about it, just because you bought the wrong machine. VT may be supported by the processor, but motherboards have a factor in it too – these boards are OEM, made with a specific BIOS that does not allow the option for VT.

If you are griping about this because you cant run XP mode on windows 7 ; remember your machines were not designed to run 7 specifically, they were preinstalled with Windows Vista. Sony are under no obligation to support anything other than the preinstalled OS, regardless of how similar Vista and 7 are.

If you people would stop complaining, and were actually worried about it, then you would realise there is ways and means around the BIOS limitations. Learn how to hack a Pheonix BIOS, or be lazy and google it. I’m sure there are hacked BIOS’s than can enable VT. There has been for a lot of laptops I have.

Michael, you are wrong.

It may be true that Sony Europe now lists no VT on their site (though I checked when I wrote the article and they didn’t back then) but neither Sony USA nor Sony Canada has ever listed this limitation either on the website, in packaging or even informed about it when you contacted them. I had to go through three levels of customer service before I got a clear response from them because not even their CSRs know for sure.

This isn’t simply a matter of us being lazy but a matter of principle when it comes to customer service and treatment in North America in general. Sony and other companies always try to get away with misinforming their customers and it has to stop. this is but one example.

I have no clue why you feel the need to try to prove us wrong. If you search the web you’ll see there are hundreds of threads like this with people in the same situation and none of them have found a single reference to the VT crippling in any documentation. The fact that Sony Europe has changed their web content has more to do with stricter consumer rights legislation in Europe than an actual will to inform consumers by Sony and it doesn’t change the fact that no such information is available for North American customers.

And before you say North American customers just needing to check the Sony Europe site keep in mind that the models sold in Europe are different from those sold in North America. In fact the models sold in Canada differ greatly from those sold in the US. So even if one thing is listed in Europe it doesn’t mean it is true for computers sold elsewhere.

Sony Europe have been listing no VT on thier website since the reintroduction of Vaio-Link, well over 2 years ago.

As for Sony USA – I cannot say. I am an Irish consumer and i do not have any use for the US website.

I would not suggest anyone from the US to check the EU website – the regions are governed by different departments of Sony, as well as all aspects of the Vaios being different – serial numbers, model numbers, Hardware, Software etc.

On my Seldom trips to the US website to research NEVs, I am almost 100% positive that I had seen an article there regarding VT – the last time I visited this website may have been over a year ago. What i must say though, unlike the EU website, the US one is totally haggard and miskempt, so I may have to agree with you there.

What I must also say though, is that I find it strange that consumers do not entirely ensure that a product they purchase is meeting thier requirements – especially if this purchase is costing you $1500.

I’m not trying to make myself a benchmark, and I agree that information should be slightly more readily availible, but I research every aspect of a product – more specifically, IT products – before I purchase it. Just for these sorts of reasons. I have found myself caught before by similar issues, but I must admit I, like you, have made hasty purchases before totalling understanding the potential purchase.

If you feel so so strongly about it, whether either of us are correct or not, then why not stop b!tching about it and actually do something. Go speak to your local court and contact your solicitor – sue sony – im sure they wont mind, but talk is cheap on the interwebz. Take action if you feel right about it.

Michael: The problem is that many others and I myself did do all the necessary research – in fact because I could find no information on VT support at all I even contacted Sony directly and got a vague response saying if the processor supports the technology it is surely also supported by the computer. That was back in October. The problem didn’t surface for me until around April because quite frankly I didn’t have the time until then to play around with VT. And when I discovered the problem and contacted Sony again, they had changed their tone and were pushing questions about it to the side and refusing to answer.

The intention of this article is threefold: To make sure people understand that these computers don’t support VT, to put pressure on Sony to do something about it and to gauge support for possible legal action against the company. I don’t know what more you want exactly.

But if you had done research before purchasing the Vaio, surely you would have googled the simple term “Vaio VT” which lists thousands of results regarding the missing functionality and how to crack it?

As stated earlier on this thread – When advertised, there is no statement that the computer does or does not support VT. Now, I have owned motherboards in the past that do not allow this functionality. It is perfectly normal (whether acceptable or not) for motherboard manufacturers to disable this feature. By not advertising the fact that VT is disabled, you would not be able to hold up in a court of law, unfortunatly. The unit is not misadvertised, as it does not state VT – nor is it “not fit for purpose” as it was not advertised that the unit came with VT.

But I agree with you on one thing – Sony do need to advertise this more. As I stated earlier, VT is specifically listed as being disabled on Sony Europes website. USA, being governed by a totally different department, unfortunatly do not state anything about it, which I think is pretty poor. It should be stated that it does not have VT.

Have you spoken to a solicitor about this issue as I suggested? If you really are serious about legal action, then go for it. Try out http://www.petitiononline.com/ and get people to sign it, then appeal to Sony.

I dont want anything from you – I’m just having a discussion/debate with you. I dont necesarily think you are in the right, but if you feel you are, and feel strongly about this issue, follow my advice above.

Thanks for the post. I found this page through another site. I tried getting an answer once before from Sony but all I got was “it’s not supported”.

I myself have a Sony Vaio Z17 and like you was unaware that VT was disabled when I purchased the notebook.

Recently and luckily thanks to this site (http://feature-enable.blogspot.com/2009/07/enable-vt-on-insydeh2o-based-sony-vaio.html) I was able to enable VT.

I for one won’t be buying a Sony notebook in the future if they don’t get their act together.

I’d love to see Sony taken to court over this and see the customers win.

I don’t understand why you all keep blaming Sony about this? I think you should blame Intel instead. They have their CPUs listed with available features and doesn’t mention anywhere that different HW vendors might disable some of these features.
I would even blame Intel for allowing Sony to sell these crippled Intel CPUs.
If (which I doubt) Intel has required Sony to disable certain features to get a discount it is even worse. Then Intel has encouraged Sony to do this.
Say Sony was considering using one of the CPUs in a next-gen PSP. Then it would make sence for Intel to say they might get a discount if the promised not to use certain features of the CPU. This could actually be an Ok situation, since the PSP (and PS3 and the like) are non-standard computers. A PC on the otherhand, is expected to be open for change of hardware and software.

Sony ship nice products, at least at the brochure side of things. They clearly tend to care about design, and care about at least a level of quality. I’ve been a sony buyer in the past and I am an occasional buyer now.

But let us be clear. Sony is a company that is morally wrong. Its broken at the management level. It not only ships bad products, products loaded with DRM, features turned off, or features that are benficial for Sony, but opposite for their customers.

They don’t give a crap about security, they ship windows, not security products, and have always left that to the user and vendor to face the music on. That’s when they as a corporate entity are not attempting to load up people’s computers with a root kit that is a far larger threat, and abuse of their ‘customers’. It took them years to finally concede and allow MP3 on their music players, usually in complete fly in the face attitude towards what the customer wants.

In between the usual sony behaviour of fitting unwanted DRM, or cutting off features that the end buyer has paid for, or in NOT supplying new updated drivers or BIOS (a very sony trait, people paying a premium for equipment with Sony written on it are to get and fully deserve cronic abuse and fundamental lack of care and support)

If anyone bothers to ever explore Sony, properly, the conclusion is always quite grim, but let us be clear. These are not ‘mistakes’. They are quite literal corporate decisions taken to your net negative loss.

Please don’t buy sony, and please don’t succur this continual Sony nonsense. They are a company that needs a very serious and complete and total change of culture, and an absolute end of this idiocy.

If you persist in buying this nonsense, and their equipment, you really have only yourself to blame.

The onus is up to Sony to inform customers of a choice they made, not on the consumer to do 3rd party research to determine what it is exactly they are being. I’d be onboard for a class action lawsuit. Sony is a joke and clearly doesn’t have a customer centric culture and will continue to bleed red if they don’t shape up.

No VT, no more Sony products, no more Sony clients!
I feel ripped off buying my Vaio product.
Intel VT is fully supported by hardware but there is no official way to enable it. Low end laptops, with very low price give us more choices in BIOS than Sony.
I’m really disappointed!!!

Sony has a great history of insulting its’ customers with root kits etc. Some Vaios have BIOS limited hard disk sizes, so that you can’t fit a bigger hard disk. I don’t know if they still do that, but I had to retire my own Vaio because of it years ago. I’ve never bought a single Sonny product since.

Meh. I fixed this the easy way: sold my VGN-AW150Y to a sales guy at work and upgraded to a Dell M17X for a couple hundred more than I got out of the Vaio.

Problem solved.

I got my VGN FE890 second hand with the express purpose of using with VMware Workstation (I am in software development and I frequently code and test on many platforms). After I “discovered” the missing VT I promptly opened a browser and found a thread on the VMware support site. A few “guesses” on the right register for my BIOS later and I was happily running 64bit VMs. Of course I shared my findings as did others and before you know it you can find guides on the Internet teaching you how to do the same. Do I like the fact that I had to “hack” my NVRAM to get the support I needed? No, but I don’t care that much either because everything about Sony is like this missing feature. Hope you don’t have to watch any DVDs on your VAIO anytime soon, because unless you get stick with one region you are hosed… That’s right, Sony uses Matsushita drives which are region locked and all the AnyDVD in the World won’t help you there. Moral of the story, Sony sucks, want to get back at them? Don’t buy Sony. Otherwise, hack that BIOS, enjoy the VT and several other “cool” features Sony chose to hide from you and consider yourself one of the elite who pulled one over on the “Man”.

I’m still waiting on one of you to post an update about this “Class action lawsuit” that a lot of you seem to be talking about. Get off your keyboards and actually do something, instead of just whinging about it.

Dear Morten,

I’ve just discovered your site and this thread when trying to turn on Virtualization on a Sony VGN 140E. I will join in your lawsuit. The list of complaints I have against Sony, especially in the US and in relation to the near impossibility of downgrading Vista, is long, but you have articulated the situation beautifully in this particular instance. Sony’s behaviour is disgusting. Reading their customer service dialogues is like Hal (2001) meets the Stepford Wives.

In my own case, most of my problems were solved by replacing the Hard Drive and installing Windows 7 RC. This took care of the Vista Nightmare side of the equation. Sadly I can’t escape the Bios issue and don’t have the technical expertise to try any of the patches that are out there. Thus I still can’t run many applications that I would like to.

Good luck with this and keep me updated on your progress. At the very least we may be able to force Sony into publishing an acceptable fix. I’m also enjoying many of your blogs.

Thanks for what you’re doing.

Andy Harmon

I’m interested in participating in the class action.

All the googling in the world for hacks doesn’t help me with my Vaio TZ or my Vaio P. They both have VT-capable cpu’s and they are both locked off by the bios. And the hacks for the Z series do not work on either the TZ or the P. For instance, even though the P has an InsydeH2O EFI bios, it does not load an efi application from /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI as supposedly all implimentations of that bios do.
Which leaves disassembling, editing, and flashing a full bios. My notebooks may not be able to run full virtualization, but at least they run. Attempting to futz at that level with no authoritative instructions or inside data and bricking a $900, $1500, or $3000 laptop is in no way a reasonable or responsible or ethical suggestion to make to people.

Buy some other brand?
OK show me the other brand of EITHER the TZ or the P.
The only thing that competes with the TZ is just later models of Sony such as the TT. No Dell or anything else even comes close.
For the P, there is now a very questionable looking thing that looks like a P but with crappy specs, made by some questionable looking Chinese company. Are you seriously suggesting that a smart consumer in the usa should send money to China never to be seen again? No thanks!

Saying “most users don’t use that feature” is inherently broken. Most users use whatever feature their ever-changing software requires.
As Windows 7 becomes the new most popular OS, so will suddenly many users “use this obscure feature”. At one time using a computer at all was an obscure feature that most people didn’t use.

I’m all for requiring people to do their homework and be responsible for their own actions and choices. But I don’t see why that should extend to not holding a vendor or other large organization to THEIR actions. I’ve owned both my notebooks too long to make returning them practical even if there were suitable alternatives from other vendors.

Oh, and here’s another interesting little item for the “buyer beware / it’s your own fault” crowd:

Clipped from iNave’s Blog

—quote—

One can read here, how Sony advertises what CPU a VAIO has:

“…The vPro logo sticker on VAIO computers indicates that the computer meets the requirements for the following vPro features:

Intel Active Management Technology (AMT)
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT)
Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)…”

—quote—

I have no idea if my TZ or P originally had a “vPro” sticker anywhere on it or it’s box. I’ll be looking over the boxes and the models on display at the SonyStyle store in the mall near me.

*sigh* Well I DID eventually manage to get VT enabled on my TZ after all but the P is still a no-go. It’s true people have managed to get this done despite the bios but that is not any sort of validating fact. I mean, just look at what you have to do:

If you have a Phoenix bios (example models: AR, C2, CR, SZ, FE, TZ, FZ, TX, UX):
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=189228

If you have an AMI Optio EFI bios (example models: FW):
http://levicki.net/articles/tips/2009/02/20/HOWTO_Enable_Intel_VT_on_Sony_VAIO_notebook_with_AMI_Aptio_EFI_BIOS.php

If you have an InsydeH2O bios (example models: Z):
http://feature-enable.blogspot.com/2009/07/enable-vt-on-insydeh2o-based-sony-vaio.html

But note: Vaio P has InsydeH2O and the method that works for the Z does not work on the P. There is no solution for the P yet.
None of these procedures are certain or safe.

insyde H2O on my recently purchased CS series viao laptop won’t load the efi via usb either// is there any way to load the efi file like writing it to cd/dvd something

I’m pretty disturbed. I purchased a Vaio FE35GP a couple of years back and have installed Windows 7. I need to use virtualization for development purposes and now i realise I can’t!

I like my Vaio but I won’t be buying another Vaio in the future with this very important feature coming disabled.

Thanks for the ride Sony … while it lasted.

This is the biggest among several reasons why I will never purchase nor recommend a Sony machine again. I say it really is time for a class action suit despite Sony’s claims that people aren’t complaining about no VT.

Sony were never quoted to saying no-one was complaining about VT – can you please elaborate on this?

Sony are aware that this is a big issue – but, again, the VAIO’s are all within spec. VT is not advertised on the models as being a feature in the first place.

Michael: The problem is that the hardware does support VT and Sony deliberately disabled it. They took away a feature that would have been present if they did nothing. And because the feature is listed as a main feature in the processor and Sony deliberately turned it off, it is reasonable for the consumers to expect that they made this very clear in both advertising materials and spec sheets. They did not.

The processors in Vaios are OEM/tray product/manufacturing line.
These are sent from Intel in a specific batch to Sony, and are placed in the machines. There is no warranty provided by Intel, and any hardware is configured by the OEM – this does not break any laws.
I totally understand it wasnt clearly stated that the processor does not support VT, but, again, it was never advertised that the Vaios DO have VT.

In your eyes (not mine) it seems to be ethically wrong to do so. Maybe it is, but its certainly not breaking any laws.

When the processors are purchased OEM from Intel, Intel provide Sony with a contract that lets them modify the chips or the surrounding architecture whatever way they want.

This of it this way… this is just an example.
Two different brands of Laptop, lets say Dell and HP, may have the same graphics processor – an ATI HD3200. These GPUs are provided by AMD/ATI to the OEMs for the machines. If you look at the motherboard of these machines, more than likely, the physical layout and arrangement of the graphics cards may be different. OEM’s have the RIGHT to change features and physical configuration if the parts are origionally purchased OEM from the manufacturer. Legally, not breaking any rules.

-Mick.

But if you place the processor name in the advertisements and documentations and one of the main features of the processor as listed by the original manufacturer is that it has VT, it is the responsibility of the vendor to notify the consumer that in spite of the hardware technically being able to do something, it has been disabled. Not doing so leads the consumer to believe the hardware performs to original spec and that’s where the problem lies.

Michael:

You claim that Sony is not to blame because they never SAID they supported VT.

If I sell a computer that has some of the lesser-used CPU instructions disabled, is that okay too? Do we expect consumers to check to make sure that every CPU instruction that comes standard on an Intel processor is supported by the computer they buy?

VT mode is a feature that is enabled by default and it is a reasonable expectation that every computer carrying the newer 64-bit Intel CPU’s will have that feature.

It is not a feature that consumers should have to look for specifically.

Sony took extra steps to DISABLE that feature, and so the burden is on them to inform the consumer by stating that fact plainly and clearly on the box.

They did not.

I would be interested. I have a Vaio VGN-AW150Y and I use it for development. Very frustrating!! I have always used Dells but I thought I’d try something different. Big Mistake. Shame on you Sony!

I bought a Sony Vaio and I ran into this problem.

But I didn’t even know to look for “VT” technology or whatever that is. How was I supposed to know to look for that?

I have been using VMWare guests for several years now across many dozens of machines, and VMWare has always just worked on every machine I have **EVER** used it on.

It never occurred to me that there could be something so very wrong with a computer that it could run an OS and yet NOT be able to run VMWare.

I just figured if the Vaio could run Vista, then surely it could run VMWare. I think that is a reasonable assumption based on my experiences that any judge or jury would agree with…especially in light of the fact that Sony took active steps to disable this feature without advertising that fact on the box.

Words cannot express how angry and shocked I am right now. They have effectively bricked my laptop by taking away a key feature I needed.

I have seen many references to BIOS patches to fix this, and I have tried the BIOS patches and they did NOT fix anything.

I’ve found other articles that suggest that Sony (or Intel) have disabled the VT features at the CHIP level (on some models of Vaio) and that no BIOS setting can fix this.

Lots of people from all over my company come to me for recommendations on computers, and so naturally I will be telling them to stay away from Sony at all costs. But even with my considerable sphere of influence, I doubt I will cost Sony more than 50 to 100 laptop sales, and that’s still not enough for them to notice or care.

So I’m willing to join and even help finance a class action suit if someone with some legal knowledge can tell us how to get the ball rolling on something like this?

I am definitely in and I have VGN-FW4ZTJ.
I am from Turkey and I am taking this to the courts of Turkey and let me say, here, even you can sue a website, e.g. youtube and it is banned permanently. It’s very likely that I win in the court and i start to prepare the documents and I am IT specialist and prove the state that the VT tech is crucial, Sony has no right to remove it and they say, it is a security issue and I can prove that this is not a security issue.

creo que esto cre esta mal xq todos necesitamos ino esjusto q gaste en una lap paraq nocirva denada sony deveria acer lascosas bien y ser cincero no vender porquerias creo asi yegaran muy lejos jajaja inutiles

I’m in. I have a VGN-FW290 and it is really disappointing that i can’t use VT. This will definitely make me not buy another Sony.

I bought an Vaio SZ back in 2006 and have still not yet managed to enable VT on it. One reason for bythe Vaio with the Intel Core Duo on it was because it had VT on the chip. I use virtulisation quite alot.

Yeah, in the “Sony car” the reverse gear would be disabled because going backwards is dangerous and that it was not tested and is not fully supported anyways. Sony and their car drivers are proud that they never look backwards so this function is not needed at all.
And to retain on the competitive edge, the 6th gear would also be disabled, because the gear manufacturer gives a special discount if Sony disables the 6th and keep it a secret.

I do not see much difference in the real story. It’s just stupid.

Screen rotation, like VT is also disabled in BIOS possibly in all VAIO models. This means that you cannot rotate orientation on external monitors either, no matter you bought an expensive monitor with this feature, say ’cause your job requires that. I had my hard time with Sony Support on this, no success. They said that if i’m not satisfied with the product, over the return period I can always sell my vaio. Nice.

I agree with all of you who feel being ripped off by Sony. To me Sony Support is just the great wall to keep the customers outside the empire. Funny how they make it a success.

I’m not biased – I just have a lot of experience in this field, and from what I can tell, no-one here will be able to get much from Sony in the wake of a lawsuit.

I *dont* work for Sony.

Believe it or not – I will be posting an update here soon – something regarding Sony actually releasing BIOS updates for Past, Present, and Future Vaios. I believe this will be a lot more interesting than any Class Action Lawsuit…. 🙂

Michael: If you have info on future movement from Sony please tell me so can verify with my people. We are in the middle of prepping something major here so that kind of information is of utmost importance.

I am a Vaio SR user and used to love Sony, until I needed VT for Virtual XP mode during testing Win7 and found it disabled….well its sad…I’m in…

I’m an FZ owner and was happy with my Vaio until I tried to run a VM for work. I want to run x64 Win7, but need to run a VM so I can log on to my clients’ systems via Cisco VPN (Cisco says they have no plans to support a x64 client). I’m in and looking forward to Michael’s update.

I flashed my VGN-FW465 BIOS to support VT using the BIOS fix written by Igor Levicki. You can read all about it forum.notebookreview.com.

It turns VT back on and does not turn your Sony into an expensive brick.

Trust me, it was a pants wetting experience, but I soon saw on the screen that Igor is a masterful programmer and his patch friggin rocks!

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