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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 believe Sony are doing nothing bout it.VT is today’s movement in advance technology. I used to own one of their products and they really don’t live to their expectations.
Roll on the lawsuit. Where do I sign?

Michael: Right now you are all talk and no action. My contacts with Sony tell me nothing is happening and nothing will happen. If you know otherwise you should stop hinting about it and actually spill the beans. Otherwise you just look like someone trying to protect them.

This isn’t a class action law suit dumb ass! Sony is building crappy computers ever since the world began and you can no longer depend on SONY computers so why bother buying one ? I’d rather get a NEO computer.. Haha..

This is Abdul Kareem Jackolero.. reporting SONY NEWS BEAREU CHIEF! United States of Alkhobar.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Michael: How can you tell me what I believe? Are you me? No I didn’t think so.
I’m glad something is being done about this issue. Intel release excellent Hardware Virtualization technology and Sony wish to do nothing about it? This is the 21st Century. Times move on and so does technology! why hold back?

If only Sony pulled their fingers from their back-sides…..

Trust me Morten, you dont know what Sony is planning.

I’m a few days late – unfortunatly it looks like you dont seem to care enough about this issue to check the site. As I posted earlier in this blog, I mentioned I am only familiar with EU models, and I dont usually deal with non-EU units.

But maybe this will help:

http://genesis.sony-europe.com/instranet/ccil_sony/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=36780

So indeed, apart from the fact Sony Europe are not wrong in not advertising VT (or vPro) on thier models, they still would like to provide the excellent service as they always do.

Discuss, thy naysayers.

-Michael.

Michael: First off, the statement on the Sony Europe and Sony Asia website is about as vague as it can get. It hints that there may be some updates for some computers sometime in the future but gives no specifics on which computers will get an update (old ones, new ones, just certain series) and also doesn’t give any specifics on what that update will consist of. Until I see an actual BIOS update available for free for everyone regardless of geographical location they haven’t really done anything.

If Sony is in fact now releasing BIOS updates for all the VT capable PCs they’ve sold over the years they are all but admitting that they were wrong and giving in to the pressure from this website and others like it. I find it quite amusing that you are presenting this as if it is some sort of vindication of your ealier stance that complaining about this was pointless and that we are all idiots. If anything this new complete reversal of their earlier official stance shows that because so many people are getting involved in this and because a class action law suit would damage their reputation they are backing down.

But like I said I won’t believe it till I see it. There’s a lot of money at stake here and Sony would only very begrudgedly allow their PCs to be modified in this way. The complete absence of any VT statement on the Sony US and Sony Canada sites also make me think they are trying to pull a fast one by allowing VT in Asia and Europe but not in North America. If that happens we have a real fight on our hands.

So, in spite of what you seem to think this is actually a huge win for our side and proof that speaking up is not a stupid waste of time.

And lastly, this is not excellent service from Sony. This is world class back peddaling.

You dont seem to understand. While you might say that Sony are engaging in something wrong, please show me one picture of a Vaio sold that has the vPro sticker on it.
Again – if it is not advertised as having a feature you require – it is not Sonys responsibility. It is up to you to ensure that you purchase a product that is adequate for your needs.

I will post further updates on this issue quite soon. For the moment, let me state that work is already completed on developing the BIOS updates for some models – SR, AW and Z series (these are currently being deployed and tested) and development on other models is underway.

Backpedalling? I would not say so. Believe me, if you think you influenced this decision for Sony, let me tell you, you are quite wrong. This is Sony giving the COLLECTIVE what they want – despite no wrongdoing from Sony (as they did not advertise VT or vPro).

The reason (I would imagine) why Sony is releasing these updates, is because Windows 7 is being released soon. (Unofficially) Sony would like most Business (and some home) users to deploy windows 7 on thier VAIO’s – more than likely due to the fact that every company will admit that Vista was a POS. In order for Sony to push this, they would need to ensure that all possible functionality of Windows 7 is availible – hence some (mostly business) users will require XP Mode to run certain Software.

I’m not posting my updates here in order to justify what I previously said. I’m posting them because you seem to think that you as an individual (and your ~20 class-action-lawsuit followers) can influence a company as huge as Sony – this is worldwide, not some small-time job.

Tell me all, was no-VT actually an issue for you before you heard of Windows 7? For most of you, probably not. Most of you may have gotten all in a strop when you realised that your RC and RTM versions did not have full functionality due to no VT – remember, At the RC and RTM stage, the OS is not released yet – and NO company is under any obligation to support something that is pre-release.

Sony are under no obligation to support Windows 7 on any unit preinstalled with Windows Vista – however they are going the extra mile to help in its deployment.

Sorry for the lack of structure to my message – I’m quite tired tonight – cue some coffee! To all who think I’m deliberatly attempting to prove people wrong – I’m not. This is a discussion and at this stage, I quite enjoy checking this page every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Michael, there’s a catch: In the legal world there is something called presedence – if it is an established fact that in the past things have been done a certain way, then it is equally fair to assume that they are going to be done so in the future. Why does this matter? Well, it turns out that in the past (say 4-5 years ago), Sony and other laptop manufacturers were shipping VT capable laptops and computers without labeling them as such. How do I know? Because I have a couple in my house right now that, though insanely slowly, run VT just fine both under XP, Vista and Windows 7. None of these computers were ever advertised as having VT capabilities, neither in print nor on the box. But the processors (one of them a single core!) were listed by Intel as having VT capabilities.

This establishes a clear prescedent that unless specified, the consumer can assume that ther is no feature in the computer supported by the hardware that has been disabled, even if that feature isn’t specified explicitly in the documentation.

I’m still confused about your position. You seem to know an awful lot about what goes on behind closed doors at Sony yet you say you’re not affiliated with them. The type of stuff you leak is the type of stuff people normally get fired for. I’m genuinely curious to know what kind of role you play in all this.

And seriously, if it hadn’t been for the ton of people calling Sony and Intel to complain, the thousands of articles written on the topic in major publications because of all those people complaining and efforts like the one I’m involved in to take the company to court to force them to do what they should have done a long time ago, none of this would be happening. Considering the hard line they’ve been running until now basically telling people to go buy a new computer because they are never going to support VT (I’ve been told so by many levels of Sony reps including one very high up the foodchain) it is blatantly obvious they are giving in to pressure.

Consider this: If it is true like you said that they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and now offering this new feature up as an added service to all their beloved customers, why on earth were they screaming from the rooftops that they would never do so? Because they want bad publicity? Sorry dude, that’s not how the world works. If this was what Sony was planning to do, they would have said so a long time ago.

Still appreciate your participation in the discussion though. Keeps things lively!

In your first point – you state yourself “It is equally fair to assume”
Unfortunatly, at least where I’m from, assumptions are not hard evidence in a court of law. If not even that, then they would not be viable as an argument against Sony to force them to provide any further features.

My position is my own business. I dont have a blog to tell people about my life. While you may be genuinely interested in my professional experience, I do not release personal information via the interwebz. All I can confirm is that I do not work for Sony.

I think this paragraph may answer your last two. I dont believe that Sony are necesarily releasing these updates just to please the people who argued about this in the past (again, this is related to the fact that vPro and VT is not explicitly advertised on those units, therefore are under no obligation to provide them) but I do believe that they are releasing the updates in order to encourage Business and home users into deploying windows 7 – and also to ensure satisfaction of future customers who purchase Windows 7. I believe It is a business plan in order to generate more profit from the sales of Win7 based machines with fully-fledged hardware virtualization technology.

Something else to back up my claim would be the fact that Sony are certainly not planning to release BIOS updates to modify SATA IDE and AHCI modes – which is something that Vaio users have been griping about for just as long a time as the ones complaining about VT.

Which brings me on to this point. Again, before I continue, I dont deal a lot with the USA support, but here goes. You quoted Sony USA as stating “Sony has no plans to make this function available in any of our computers”. I interpret that statement as exactly that – they did not have plans at the time. Of course all statements are subject to change – unless you can confirm with me that the TSA you spoke to directly stated “we will never ever provide VT”

Despite you not knowing me, and despite the fact I would rather not provide personal information – trust me when I ask you to believe that Vaio EU document I linked to earlier – Sony will definitly be releasing VT BIOS updates within the next few weeks (for current model refreshments) and months (for legacy models)

As you can see – I got my coffee hit! ๐Ÿ˜€

Michael, Sony computers are always crappy and you cant easily buy parts from it unlike DELL.. ๐Ÿ™‚

I dont believe that has any relevance to the current topic. To be honest, I think Dells are pretty dire too. I guess its all a matter of opinion, dont you agree?

@Michael:

With all due respect to your position (you seem to be a smart guy after all), suppose for a moment that Sony, whatever the reason for it, just decided to cancel out one of the processors (cores) in a 2-core system (say, a Core2 Duo). So when you buy a Vaio notebook only one of the two processors is enabled. The other one is there, as you very well know, just disabled. Suppose nowhere in the box or documentation does Sony say “this is a dual-processor notebook”, although it clearly advertises: “Processor: Intel Core2 duo X.XX GHz”.
Now, if you buy this imaginary notebook, having read in the specs you’re getting a Core2 Duo, and after purchasing, you find out one of the cores has been disabled, is the argument of “nowhere in the box did it say that both cores were enabled” convincing enough to refrain you from claiming your money back?
Let me tell you this would be a very bad reasoning, because from the moment they are saying “Intel Core2 Duo” you have all the right in the world to dig out the specs of this processor in its manufacturer documentation (Intel); and if this manufacturer says this processor is dual-core, then you are in your very right to take this assumption as an established fact.

Now, read again, but suppose that instead of suppressing one of the cores, Sony has suppressed the VT feature. The argument of “nobody cares about VT” is an assumption too far fetched, for I don’t think Sony has conducted any long scale poll among their customers to be certain of this; it rather sounds like a last minute made-up excuse. For the sake of it, the majority of users might well don’t care if both cores are working or only one when they browse thru an Excel spreadsheet. So what?

What Sony did in this world and the rest of the Solar System is called FRAUD. Period.

Sign: Yet another conned VAIO customer

Mr. Suscarros – I dont think I’m a smart guy, I just understand Sony’s position.

Anyway,

A fair point, you would imagine.
Its possible that Sony could potentially disable a core in the system, but you would realise that this is preposterous. Why would Sony spend money on placing dual-core processors in VAIOs, and then disable one core? They may as well just put a Core Solo in there.

I understand the point you are trying to make however, but do remember that modifying the BIOS [to disable a core] is entirely up to Sony. It is well within thier capabilities. I do agree that they would have to advertise this fact, I truly do. But again – remember – Sony did not explicitly list VT as being for your model.

Look again at your VAIO. Do you see this on it: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/27/vprodesktop_highres.jpg

If not, then the machine is entirely up to spec.

Your statement is invalid, although quite relevant.

I dont know where you found the quote “Nobody cares about VT” ; can you elaborate on this? (If I had said it, then let me explain.) Its true that VT is a less-publicised and less cared-about feature of Processors. While I agree it is expanding (only now) as a main feature, Sony do not consider it to be a selling point of a machine, therefore do not support it – as I said before, the VAIO’s are configured for the mass market – the mass market in which Intel VT does not have a strong foothold yet, and not something major enough to influence Sony to support it thoroughly on all machines.

Saying that – Sony are rethinking thier ideals, and are creating BIOS’s for most machines – something they are not obligated to do at all, but will release them anyway (even though it is just the minority that are asking for it) This, I see, is adequate customer service.

-Michael.

Well guys I own a SONY VGNFW451J and the heck I just donated it to the charity because of its crappiness. Now I am using an Apple Itouch.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Better than a SONY computer.. Lol!

I’d love to weigh in on this discussion because I’m quite upset with Sony’s position. After reading your lively banter I’d like to state that I believe Sony is in the wrong and do have an obligation to their customers. And, Michael, I don’t think your argument about Sony advertising VT holds water.

When you buy a vehicle, it is made up of parts manufactured by many different vendors, just like a computer. If you order your vehicle with a particular option, it must perform to the specs provided by the manufacturer of the part or by the vehicle manufacturer. If not, your vehicle’s warranty will ensure that the part is replaced. If the vehicle manufacturer makes modifications, it must disclose the actual (modified) specs to the consumer, especially in all of it’s ads. Ford can’t claim OEM specs and performance from a particular part it includes in its vehicles if it makes modifications that affect those specs. I purchased my VAIO laptop according to the specs that were provided by Intel. Sony has an ethical (I’d love to have the expertise to use the word “legal”) obligation to disclose actual (modified) specs due its own modifications. Likewise, as car dealerships are also required to disclose those specs, computer retailers have the same obligation to their customers.

I am an IT student with a budget and I researched the hell out of intel processors until I found a laptop at a low price that included a cpu (core2duo T6670) that would allow me to run Hyper-V virtuals, not to mention XP mode with Windows 7 Pro. Now I’m stuck with a lame duck laptop and I’m not comforted with the prospect of waiting to see IF my VGN series pc will be one of the lucky ones to get the BIOS update.

Let me finish by adding that I take partial responsibility in this fiasco because I should not have assumed Sony reliability and should have researched them thouroughly. I also should have read the PC nation return policy. Sony just happens to be one of the brands that customers cannot return for refunds. I can only return it for an exact exchange — Wow!!!!

Dave,
I’m not arguing. I’m stating a fact.
As you said yourself – Sony are under an ethical obligation to advertise VT being disable. Legally, they already have by not having a vPro sticker on any machine.
And as for supplying VT for the mass-market – they have fulfilled that at this time.

Michael, I still can’t bring myself to agree with your point of view. My professor owns a Toshiba with similar specs as my VAIO and his model bears no stickers relevant to VT. Needless to say, VT is enabled and he can run Hyper-V. I simply can’t agree with the notion that the lack of a sticker absolves Sony from any liability in this case. Anyhow, I’m please to say that my model, although being one of the lowest priced, did receive the bios update. I am now able to copy my virtuals onto a portable drive and work on them at home. Good luck to those still waiting…

I have a Z Series, and noticed that my Vaio update icon was showing in the taskbar. The updates included a bios update, which on googling, is to add VT support.
I now have a VT option under advanced in the bios settings of my laptop.

Another update:

VT has been confirmed for these models, as far as I am aware at this time… VGC-JS, VGC-LN, VGC-LV, VGC-RT, VGN-AW, VGN-CS, VGN-FW, VGN-NS, VGN-NW, VGN-P, VGN-SR, VGN-TT, VGN-Z. This will also correspond with the new naming scheme too, I’m sure.

That pretty much covers most of the current line-up.

I’m from Canada and I have a VGN-Z555DN. You stated that virtualization can now be enabled on the Z but I don’t see any bios updates. Do you know if this model will be supported?

I bought a VGN-FW351 and I never saw anything about not supporting VT and now it turns out that I can’t install windows 7 pro on my machine. It’s a shame that Sony sells laptops that are defficient and although I was happy with it until now, I’m going to sell it and buy something else…Shame on you Sony, I will not buy Sony again

You havent seen the recent BIOS update then, have you. I’m looking at it right now and its applicable for your model.

I have a VGN-FW (463J/B). I was pleased when I saw there was a BIOS update released on 10/19 that states that it enables VT for my model. I downloaded, it doesn’t work. It repeatedly says that “this update is not intended for this model” type message.

Contacted Sony support. The usual checklist of “did you reboot, are you an admin, blah blah blah” rubbish. I tried everything they suggested. 4 different techs looked at the problem and in the end I’m told to actually phone support (I had been using the online chat facility). What the phone techs will be able to tell me to try I have no idea, but I’ll call them when I have another 3 hours to waste. Plain and simple there’s a bug in the installer that incorrectly determines that my model is not compatible.

Quite annoyed at Sony because in general I’m pleased with all my Sony products I’ve owned, but this is the first Sony computer I’ve had. In general I like it, it’s quick but thats not really the point. I highly doubt I’ll buy (or recommend) another Sony computer.

I bought a Core2 based machine because I wanted to use Sun’s VirtualBox program to virtualize several operating systems to do cross platform testing (I’m a web developer and dualbooting is not practical because I need my web server running too). Vbox works without VT, but with it evidently it would be a lot faster. Nothing at all to do with Win7’s XP mode, because just XP alone doesn’t really help my testing environment.

Like I said, VirtualBox works on non-VT enabled stuff too, so if they really drag their feet on it much too long I’d recommend people try that out for their virtualization needs. Doesnt run 64-bit guests without VT though…

Hi Greg,

Thats quite strange. I’m not 100% familiar with the American models and the update types, but this update has worked on other peoples 463J/B’s no problem at all. Its definitly not a case of the update not being applicable for your model.
Have you done any of these third-party BIOS hacks (or at least attempted them?)? Any attempted modification to the BIOS may compromise it to the state of not being able to apply these updates.
Other than that, the only thing I can think of is third party software on your VAIO that may be causing an update. What other software do you have on your VAIO? What antivirus programs? Any apps like Daemon Tools or Alcohol120 installed?

Let me know, I’ll have a look into it for you.

Hi Michael,
Thanks for following up. I have AVG antivirus installed (the freebie version 8.5) but none of the other things you mentioned. I tried uninstalling VirtualBox just in case that was blocking something bios related with some driver or service but that didn’t make any diff. I also reinstalled the Sony Shared Library which was one of the things the support people suggested to do. This morning I called the phone support line (because its my free weekend minutes for my cell phone) and they connected onto my computer and retried a bunch of thing I’d already tried before like Safe Mode and resetting the BIOS defaults and so on. In the end he suggested that I did a full backup and reformatted back to factory defaults to restore the apparently missing registry information that the update is not locating. A bit reluctant to do that because I’m not sure it’ll fix the issue (especially since I’ve not been reg hacking or used any regcleaner tools).

Basically the only thing I’ve done to this machine is to disable UAC and install all my development tools. I had seen about the 3rd party hacks to get VT to work, but have not tried those since I assumed that with Win7’s release Sony would have an update out because of that.

As far as other programs installed, yes I do have quite a lot installed, things like Visual Studio, SQL server, NetBeans and a things like that – mainly applications. No “system” tools or anything like that.

Thanks.
Greg

No problem.

Oddly enough, some applications seem to affect systems on a very low-level, even ones which do not seem to be system tools. For example, I have seen many issues with iTunes on Windows-based machines, which has a nasty habit of mucking around with the registry, and in rare cases, the Intel Matrix Storage manager (which is a RAID configuration utility). Even more confusing – I have seen Sage (which is an accounting and finance management application) do some very strange things to graphics drivers. Most notably, it mucks around with many OEM’s power management software used to control screen brightness!!

I honestly cant say for sure whats causing the issue (I dont usually deal with USA Vaio’s) however I would go with the tech agents advice. You dont need to have registry hack programs or regclean programs to corrupt the registry. Like I said in this post, other perfectly legitimate applications (such as, but not limited to) iTunes can cause issues with the registry. I know its a huge hassle, but if the Tech agents say a reinstall will resolve the issue, I’d go with what they say. Theres benefits to this too, all the crap and viruses that may have build up on your machine will be deleted, and (although I dont agree with this) you have the added bonus of rubbing it in the tech agents face if the reinstall does not resolve the issue.

-Michael.

Thanks for all your help Michael, The update released on the 28th installed for me and VT is enabled properly now. I didn’t have time to do the imaging required to reformat, patch, and reimage in the end. And since it was never a make-or-break thing for me I was just going to wait until I had either the time or there was another update. The 28th update is still the 3110Y0 update too so it’s not a different version of the bios itself.

Virtualization is not the only issue that Sony has punted on recently.

I did an upgrade install of Win 7 last night (Win 7 release day – October 22nd) on my Sony AR notebook. Everything seemed to work ok until I discovered that sound was munged. System sounds work fine, but nothing from Itunes/DvD/streaming video works at all. Realtek, the sound chip manufacturer has published Win 7 drivers, but they don’t work either. When I went to Sony’s support site, there was a small link to a bland notice stating that Sony does not intend to support Win 7 on my notebook model (14 months old and running Vista, no less) and that Sony will not be furnishing updated drivers. Discussions with live support was the usual ‘Read the script over and over until they go away’ stall. I have not investigated what is going on with other Sony models, but would guess that it’s a similar story.

I have been living with other annoying issues with this machine for the last 14 months. I had been ignoring them simply because I didn’t have the time to go through tech support hell. All of these problems seem to stem from the same arrogant Sony attitude.

Lots of difficult to remove installed crapware was the start. Very rapid battery drain when turned off was a nasty surprise. Sony had no solution to the battery drain issue, simply claiming that ‘they all do that’ (i.e., every notebook battery drains to zero in 10 days). Posts on the web indicate that it’s due to a motherboard design mistake, but who really knows?).

Sony’s auto web update service really never worked at all — manual updates weren’t much more satisfactory, and driver updates came slowly or not at all. Their support site is clunky and unhelpful. By comparison with Sony, Dell and HP are support geniuses.

Sony is coasting on its previous reputation, pumping the product out and quickly abandoning it. I thought I was paying more for a better product and better support. How wrong I was. This is the absolute end for Sony for me.

(Incidentally, if you’re from Sony and are reading this, my strong advice to you is to find a job elsewhere quickly. If this is the way Sony treats its customers, I can only imagine how they treat their employees).

I have sony vaio VGN-FW290. sony hasn’t released a bios update for my model yet & when I check for win 7 drivers, there are only 4-5 drivers available. when I checked on the 22nd there was only 1 driver available so that’s a progress I guess…

HI,
I was planning to replace my current Vaio with Z890. Now I am thinking of going with Toshiba, Lenovo, HP or Dell. Does anyone know if Sony will fix the problem with the Vaio z series marketed in the US soon? If so when?
Thanks.

I see some are posting that Z series laptop bios upgrade is available. IS that for the US market? It is a bit confusing since I just called Sony pre-sale customer support in the US and the the person indicated that VT is not available for the Z series. He indicated he was not aware if and when the fix would be available.

I dont think its been released yet for any of the Z890 machines. However, I dont think it will be too long to wait, maybe a month at the most.

I was just on this site where it says “which window 7 is right for you” then it lists the features of the versions..from prmium to profesional it lists “run many of windows xp productivity applications in windows xp mode” is this what you are talking about here..or in other words i cant do that with my sony viao VGN-FW480jt ?? sorry if not related..

SONY computer users are so fvcking gay and they always rely on technical support for assistance even for the lamest thing like turning on the num lock key. You gays should never buy any computer nor use it at all if you do not know how to use it motherfvckers!!!

Wow! What a generalization, especially from someone who should be well aware of how incorrect generalizations usually are.

As a matter of fact, this is the only time I’ve contacted support for something like this where I didn’t already know what the problem was and basically just needed them to send parts (since I’m an IT pro of about 14 years experience myself).

Sony actually released another update on the 28th which ran fine on my machine. So much for missing registry info, and very glad I didn’t reformat in the end. There must have been a bug found in the installer after it was released. It happens to even the best programmers (ever hear of a Service Pack!?), except you of course Abdul.

I would also have to ask this: what the heck are you looking on help forums for anyway??

Good to hear you got the issue resolved. I checked into this, but it doesnt seem that the update was re-loaded onto the Website – may have been some temporary issue with your machine?? Nevertheless, hope your enjoying VT on it.

Mr. Jackolero here seems to just be one of those “internet forum trolls”. He has commented here a few times with nothing relevant to say. Curiously, he has a Sony Vaio, so he must be quite the hypocrite.

I have a VGN-BZ560P22, It is my first laptop ever. I bought it for the xp downgrade feature. I used the microsoft 7 upgrade software and then did the comp chat with the technical support to find out how to turn on the feature in bios. They told me the same statement they always give me. Keep checking there web site for new drivers. I got on the web and found this site. If I new how bad there support was I would have found another brand. They have replaced the fan and the motherboard under warranty. I would need xp mode in 7 so there will be no upgrade. Even if sony does the right thing and makes a bios patch and the drivers I need I will not purchase another sony product. My sister has a Toshiba, Toshiba likes there customers. They made it very easy to put the software on her computer. It is a waste of time to contact sony support in most cases. I get much better info from the forums at Brighthand.

I predict the update for your machine will be ETA November 20th.

I dont think you’re making very valid points in regards Sony support being bad… explain.

@Greg and Michael

I ain’t an internet forum troll and yes you are absolutely fvcking right.. I got a PCVRS560G and I recently installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit on it and its fvcking running just fine without any problems. The bad thing is it does not have VT on it so I cant take advantage of the XP Mode.. =)

@ Michael; I have a vaio AR (EU model) do you know if Sony plans to relese a BIOS patch for it to enable VT; and while they are at it, it would also be nice if they released other drivers to support Windows 7.

I imagine Sony would be releasing a BIOS update soon enough, probably before the year is out. Cant say that for sure though.
As for Windows 7 drivers, not a hope. Sony will only support Windows 7 on certain machines, and the older AR’s (5 and below) I doubt would have any manufacturer support. These are only my opinions however – I cant say for sure.

Anyway, windows 7 drivers would be relatively easy to source for that model. I think theres a Sigmatel audio board in that model though, and as far as I know, Sigmatel dont release drivers very often, so that would be the only difficult driver to source.

Hope all this helps – post back if you need any further info.

@Will

Don’t expect that Sony will release any driver update for Windows 7. That computer is like a dinosaur already so just stick to whatever Windows OS it supports and never dream of installing Windows 7 on it. If you’d like Windows 7 then think about spending some moolas on a brand new computer or better get an Alienware coz its the best machine nowadays.. =)

I highly disagree with that. The price:performance ratio on an alienware is ridiculous.
On an m17x laptop – would you seriously pay over $1000 for just a QX9300 chip?
Or over $800 for 8gigs of DDR3?
You get the picture. The prices are unbelieveable, the battery life is poor at best, and the machines are frying pans in themselves. Oh, and the support is terrible – trust me on that one…

However, its a matter of opinion. Thats just my two cents.

Michael, thank you for your enthusiasm. I have VGN-Z790D. Succesfully upgraded it to Windows 7 from Vista yesterday, then discovered that virtualization is turned off. Found BIOS update on esupport, http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-list.pl?mdl=VGNZ790D&SelectOS=47#div_pos_10 , but got a message during installation “This update is not intended for use with your model”, even though according to the docs, it should work. I really want to make this work, do you have any comments/suggestions for me?

Yeah this update is certainly applicable for your model, so I’m not 100% sure why its not working. To be honest, I’m more familiar with EU models, however I do have a few ideas.

Firstly, I’ve noticed that despite error messages, the update might have applied already – can you check your BIOS to confirm?

Secondly, please post what version of Windows 7 you are using ( including the build number – to find this, type “ver” without the quotes into a command prompt.)

Thirdly, please state if you have tried any BIOS modifications prior to this (This also includes if you have used the BIOS hack from 7loader – if so, shame on you)

Please also post what exact Z790D model you have – post the first 8 digits of your serial number please – its not unique anyway.

And finally – please post what 3rd party software you have installed – sometimes these can cause irritating issues like this.

If anyone else wants to ask me questions similar to Mr/Mrs Oksana, please post the same info.

Sorry for a delay in my answer. Long story short: I restored my VGN-Z790D to factory condition three times before I got it right. Combination that worked for me:
1. Restore system to factory condition, OS Windows Vista Business 64 bit
2. Install all recommended windows updates
3. Run BIOS update http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-download.pl?mdl=VGNZ790D&upd_id=5100&os_id=47 . It is next version from what I tried before.

Previous BIOS update gave me an error that it is only applicable to Windows Vista when I tried to run it on Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.

I haven’t upgraded to Win 7 current combination yet, for now I am just happy that BIOS update finally worked.

Mrs. Oksana

Micheal thanks for the info…i just got my windows 7 upgrade.will i need to update the bios before i do the clean install of the OS as on that sony drivers site under the windows 7 drivers it is not listed..is this because i dont need it with windows 7? thanks Jeff

The BIOS update is not a prerequisite for any version of Windows. All this BIOS update will do is enable “Virtualization Technology”
The main reason nowadays why people would want VT is to run most windows XP programs on Windows 7 without any compatability issues.
Whether you have Windows XP, Vista or 7 installed on your VAIO, you can still run that BIOS update at any time. I hope this clears everything up for you, post back if you need more assistance.

your comment is not true…you have to have the bios update to install windows 7 64 bit…there are 2 bios options to install windows 7 for the Z series laptop. one has virtualization, the other doesnt. If you do not install the bios update for windows 64 bit the graphics drivers and other 64 bit drivers will not work and some of your laptop function keys will not work but win7 will boot with generic drivers. if you unfortunately do not install the bios update then you will have install vista 32 or win 7 32 then install the update to the bios, then format reinstall win 7 64 and then all the drivers and software. I have gotten all my windows XP office and other32 bit programs to work perfectly on windows 7. Using xp mode I am also able to run ancient 16 bit programs with ease. It is strongly suggested to have a min of 4gb of ram, because running 16,32,64 bit programs will need it beause win 7 sets up x86 and 64 layers.

So in bottomline…in the case of the sony Z vista peeps out there…YOU HAVE TO INSTALL THE BIOS UPDATE and pretend your Z is a Z690 ๐Ÿ˜‰

Your comment is in no way related to mine.
You’re talking about 64-bit windows, which has very little to do with virtualization technology in this context. Your post is not relevant to mine, so please clarify why I’m apparently incorrect??
Remember, I’m speaking about the VT BIOS update… thats the subject of my posting here.

I have yet another example of Sony’s arrogant disregard for customers and their published specs. I have a VGN-AR41S; this has a socket for S-Video input (no chance that this is an “assumed” feature, here, Michael) which has never had a driver which allows it to be used. The usual support hell conversations basically told me it wasn’t supposed to work.

As a professional STB/Video developer, I bought the machine specifically for its advertised superior video options — I use S-Video connections to STBs to frame-grab images for documentation. And the S-video input is clearly mentioned in their user manual.

I’ve had other annoying experiences too. When my GPU failed, I tried to get information on recovering data from the RAID0 hard drives, so I could safely send it for repair. It seems that this is not to be found anywhere on the net, and certainly not from Sony themselves. A good reason not to buy a RAID-formatted laptop!

Another one — Sony claim my model cannot take more than 2Gbytes of RAM. This is one more misleading statement; it certainly works. It’s possible that it causes heat problems (the beast certainly runs warm), but I suspect it’s just “we haven’t bothered to test it”.

What is totally bizarre about the Win 7 thing is that Sony is missing out on a revenue stream — if they did the work and included the drivers, I’d almost certainly have bought my Win 7 from them. As it is, my 145 will give someone else a profit.

Like many other posters here, I am totally fed up with Sony’s attitude to customers. I would not recommend ANY of their products to anyone — this hits their TVs, cameras and other stuff too, as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I often strongly advise against Sony products. This vitualization fiasco is just one more nail in their coffin.

I’ll do a reply to each paragraph.

1st+2nd.. the S-Video works. Learn how to use it. It provides very low resolution anyway.

3rd.. Within specifications. Thats not Sony’s fault. You basically complain about Sony’s support, yet this is an issue that happens with ALL manufacturers.

4th.. Its a case of specification. These motherboards are designed by Foxconn for certain specs that are provided to Sony. They will limit the amount of RAM that can supposedly be put into a machine, to defer people from creating a liability. This AR does indeed run hot, and any higher capacity of RAM may compromise the thermal design of the unit. Something that Sony cant, wont and SHOULDNT support.

5th.. Sony do not make much money from the whole Windows 7 upgrade. Most of the revenue would go to Microsoft. It would cost them a lot more money to beta test drivers than what they would make from windows 7. Anyway, its something they are not obliged to support! You have not given Sony enough time. the OS is only out for a month. Sony’s priority is NEW PRODUCTS, not to dedicate thier whole staff to writing and testing drivers for older machines that they are not obliged to support drivers for…

6th.. Good for you, you go to another company. I’m sure no-one really cares to be honest. Anyway, you just wrote a whole post dedicated to things that dont relate to ANYTHING in the origional blog post…

Apart from your last line… I’d respond to it, but I dont want to repeat myself.

@Micheal
Thank you for your prompt reply, even if its tone is a bit condescending. Since you seem to carry a candle for Sony, and are clearly deeply knowledgeable about their product line, isn’t it time you came clean about how you come to be in such a privileged position?

The thrust of my post was mainly to add evidence of Sony’s “f u” attitude to its customers, and perhaps provide more support for those inside Sony who are trying to bring about change. As such, I think it has at least some relevance to this thread.

To respond to your specific rebuttals..

1&2. whether or not the hardware &/or drivers actually work is slightly irrelevant — the point is, it didn’t work for _me_, despite attempts to get help from Sony support, reading all their documentation, and searching hard on the web. It seems I’m not the only one who suffers from this problem — see http://club.vaio.sony.co.uk/clubvaio/GB/en/forum/printthread;jsessionid=AE74CFB721FCFCF9EF43FBB52061EF38.barriss-offee?thread=43156&printall=yes for example.

3. What does “within specs” mean? The beast works as advertised. It’s again a support issue — total lack of help for the standard case of needing to back up data before sending a lappy for repair. Not least an issue because Sony repair centre will (quite reasonably) not make any guarantees about preserving the data.

4. This is sort-of a related problem to the virtualisation. When I bought the product, I was not made aware that the RAM was not upgradeable, and reading the specs for the Core 2 Duo would leave one to expect to be able to upgrade to 4Gbytes. Particularly an issue since Vista sucks so badly with just 2Gbytes; as a top-of-the-range machine, I think one would instinctively expect better from Sony.

5. How do you know what the economics of shipping Win 7 upgrades would be for Sony, since you claim to have no relationship with them? And see the next paragraph for how much not supporting existing customers has cost them in my particular case — the profit on six new laptops.

6. I think you are right — no-one does care, and that is exactly the sad thing. A company like Sony _should_ care about its reputation in the market. I am probably not typical, but here’s my history: I moved from Dell about a decade ago because of dreadful customer support, since when I have personally bought six Sony laptops. But in the last year my purchases have been six non-Sony machines (including a Dell, since their attitude to customers has markedly improved). Carry on not-caring, Sony! Believe that it’s cost-effective, for as long as you can.

I have recently contacted vaio support regarding VT and why they have disabled it and not mentioned it in their specifications; after about 5 e-mails back and forward after which they got the message that I will not move on until I got an answer to my original question, they said that they cannot give me a “satisfactory answer” to that question – that’s a hell of a support service!

In regards to the 4GB RAM upgrade; the AR41S works perfectly fine with 4gb of ram I upgraded couple of weeks ago using two modules of the Kingston KAC-MEMF/2G. (also see http://readmystuff.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/can-you-upgrade-a-sony-vaio-vgn-ar41s-to-have-4gb-ram/)

@ Kim; you are absolutely correct the only reason Sony does not support 4GB of ram on the AR41S is because “this Vaio has been tested only with up to 2Gb memory installed” (quote from Vaio support e-mail).

@ Michael; “This AR does indeed run hot, and any higher capacity of RAM may compromise the thermal design of the unit” that is absolute nonsense the AR51SU supports 4GB of ram and it has pretty much the same specs as the AR41S.

I couldnt agree with you more about the following statement:
โ€œthis Vaio has been tested only with up to 2Gb memory installedโ€

That is true. That model has not been tested with more than 2GB of memory. The reason behind that is because it MAY compromise the thermal design and Sony probably believe that the unit would be suited best to run at a max of 2GB – hence why this is the specification they provide. There is quite a lot more difference than you think between the AR41 and AR51.At the end of the day, its the end users own risk as to what they modify in the machine.

From your post, I can agree with you that Sony support didnt answer you satisfactorily. Would you care to forward me your conversation with them, so I may nitpick at it? Thanks.

@Michael

Looks like a nice lively debate !

I’m in the UK

I’m looking at getting a Z51/55 and VT mode is importnant to me. If I order now is it likely to have the BIOS upgrade already?

As you seem to have some good contacts do you know what the next stage is for the Z-series ? ie is it due for another upgrade/replacement in the next couple of months? ie worth waiting (1.5% off is still worth having at this price)

I like the new X-series but just not enough oomph

The SSD option on the Z series is mighty expensive … even on a premium notebook! Cant seem to find any specific reviews on the web of it? SSD’ds in general seem to get a mixed review. Fast but not good for small files/freezing/only 10,000 writes to any given block (doesn’t seem very much!)

I’ll probably play safe and go with the 7200 HDD upgrade. worth 30 ?

Finally W7 with XP downgrade CD. I assume this is so you can completely replace W7 with XP rather than for use with the VT options ?

Thanks in advance

Check on http://www.vaio-link.com to see if the BIOS update is availible. If its not released yet, I’m unsure as to when it will be released, but no more than 2 months, I would imagine. The Z5xx series are a pretty recent refresh, I doubt there would be any refresh for the next while.

Personally, I’d go for a Solid State drive.
But theres no point asking me, its totally up to you as to what hardware you want in it.

Yes, with the downgrade CD, you will be able to completely replace Windows 7 on the machine.

Hope this info helps.

ok…i have a sony vaio z590…sony doesnt support windows 7 64 bit for that model…but it does for the z690…ALSO since the z690 is business class there is a bios update that allows for virualization to be enabled…and i updated my z590 with that bios and bingo…windows xp mode works great…and all the drivers for 64 bit works great too. Bottomline…the fixes are out there…sony doesnt make it easy to do for the average joe…because the average joe floods their customer service lines who know even less about computers. Sony needs to just place the drivers and bios updates on support that says “use at your own risk”. The reason why they dont put out all the drivers/bios fixes to update machines is because they want you to buy new laptops…the Z series hasnt changed…from 590,690,790,890…all the hardware is the same. The fix is to update the bios to the 690..because it is the Business class Z model and the support is there. I think that sony is just playing big brother. Dumb average joe custmers get things via a dumbed down support..while the business class product that are sold to companies with internal IT support get everything unlocked…but the bottomline is..If you are a computer guru you will search for the hack or mods for anything…its all on the net. If you are a average joe..you will mess up your computer or bug your computer geek friends for help, or complain to the OEM to be force fed. Those people just need to buy a new laptop every year to keep up to date if they want to be customer service bottle fed.

I bought today a VGN-NW230G and chose it specifically over the Toshiba because of the ability to run the virtual thingy…

Thanks all that are trying to provide help in regards to this situation.

Has any of you seen a BIOS update for the VGN-NW230 model? I did not see it on their site. If not, any idea of when is it expected to be available?

I am seriously wondering if I should just take it back to the store and get that Toshiba with similar features…

Thanks again.

I have a VPCCW17FX. It has no option in the BIOS to enable VT.

Anyone have any idea why the BIOS update might not yet be available for my model?

Thats a very recent model, and the first version of the CW series.
It would be hard to tell when the BIOS update would be released, but I imagine it would be sometime in Q1 2010.

Very interesting reading. I stumbled upon this thanks to Google. Awhile back, tired of problems with Dell laptops, I researched and settled on Sony VAIO as a decent notebook, the NR-160. None of us knew anything about Windows 7 at the time, of course, and the PCs shipped with Vista. The PCs performed well and we were pleased. Until Windows 7 came out.

Sony’s website clearly indicated they will not support or provide drivers for those of us wishing to upgrade our NR-160s to Windows 7. I was advised on the phone to buy a new one. Same thing HP told me about my inkjet printer I bought last year, BTW. For comparison, we have a much, much older Dell PowerEdge 1850 server and guess what? Yup. Dell had Windows Server 2008 R2 drivers for it (which is the same as Windows 7 drivers).

I went ahead and installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on both NR-160s anyway. They had 4GB of RAM and they love Windows 7. Sure, I had to hunt down a driver for the memory card reader because Sony didn’t supply any, but I found a generic one that worked.

Already annoyed with Sony’s attitude about drivers and buying a new one, I then discover that my NR-160s can’t run VT. We’d used Virtual PC 2007 quite extensively in our business, and Virtual PC 2007 will not run on Windows 7 because you’re supposed to use Windows 7’s virtual PC which requires VT. Upon Googling I learn that this is by DESIGN? Sony intentionally disabled it?

It’s days like this that I yearn for the early years when most manufacturers left the BIOS with all the options and you could go in and tinker to your heart’s content. Now, they tend to hide everything. [sigh] And some don’t release any details about their innards. I was flying blind when I had to crack open the case on one and replace the dead hard drive.

If I read right, Sony may be working on addressing this issue with BIOS updates through Q1 2010? I will sit tight and wait then before using one of the BIOS hacks to force the VT to work. I can’t wait forever, though. Whether we replace these NR-160s with another Sony when their lifetime has expired depends upon what happens now. If a BIOS update enables VT, I’ll have faith. If I have to resort to the BIOS hack, then it will not be a Sony.

Thanks,
David

Hi David,

Do you know that most Windows Vista drivers will work on your model with Windows 7 installed? The operating systems are quite similar, hence most drivers are compatible between the two.

Secondly, can you tell me what the exact model number is of your NR?
For VT to actually work, it takes a lot more than a BIOS that supports it. You NEED to have a processor that supports it in the first place.
For example, the NR160E/T has a T5250 processor. Its confirmed on the Intel website that the T5250 does not support VT at all.
You cant expect Sony to enable VT on your model if it truly isnt capable of doing so…
Anyway, post the exact model of your machine, and I can check if it actually supports VT at a hardware level.

In regards your issue replacing the hard drive – service manuals are availible upon request from Sony.

I understand what you mean about all availible options should be enabled in BIOS. I remember when I first started building machines based on high-end motherboards, and was drooling at the slew of options availible on mobos with the 780i chipset. OS comp? N/2? Voltage mods? Memory timings? Execute Disable Bit? Disabling cores, onboard audio, C1 sleep states, fan control etc etc……. its amazing to be able to customize your PC to whatever you want, I totally agree with you…
but think about it this way – if an average joe decides to “experiment” they can not only end up bricking thier computer, they may cause damage to property or even themselves! Thus entails an increase of calls to Sonys support by thousandfold, and possibly lawsuits etc… Its not worth it. And even you, David, should understand Sonys point of view on this – its the same with any manufacturer.

If you really want a machine you can do anything with – build one yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

-Michael.

Michael,

Thanks for the response. You’re absolutely right, the CPU doesn’t even support VT so there’s no point. They are NR-160E’s and I thought they had a higher model number CPU in it, but it is indeed the 5250. No VT from Intel and there’s nothing Sony can possibly do for that situation. I managed to get the virtual machines we were using running under Sun’s VirtualBox so we’re going to be okay. I’ll toss the blame back in Microsoft’s court for forcing hardware support only upon us. They really should have a software based option available as well for those who do not have the hardware support. Then only the hardcore techies would worry that their CPU supports it but Sony disabled it. Everybody else would just use the software based like before and not know the difference.

I’m aware of the Vista drivers working under Windows 7, had to go that route for a couple Dell computers that were also not being supported by Dell for Windows 7. In my case, I went to 64-bit, and I could not find 64-bit Vista drivers from Sony. I didn’t mind too much because I already knew most of the hardware was common enough to have drivers available. The memory card reader caught me by surprise. I had forgotten the PCs had that feature because we so rarely use it.

Lastly, yes, you are 100% correct about why the manufacturers try and keep everything in the BIOS and other parts of the PCs so darn simple. Protecting people from themselves. I have even seen the ones where just cracking the case open voids the warranty. I can’t remember the manufacturer on that one at the moment.

I haven’t built myself a PC in a long while, mostly because of time restraints. But I certainly fondly remember the days when I did. Sadly I’m mostly tied to laptops now with my travel schedule. Maybe I’ll try building my own one day.

Anyhow, thanks again for the assistance Michael, and sorry it was all for nothing in the end. I am glad to see Sony is slowly releasing BIOS updates for some folks, and I’ll keep Sony on my short list of favorite vendors.
-David

No problem David,

I find it so peculiar that Micro$oft decided to limit XP mode to hardware-based-VT anyway… At the end of the day, I’ve been running virtual machines on MS Virtual PC 2007 on a lot of machines that dont support VT at a hardware level, so I don understand why Micro$oft crippled the support for so-called “XP Mode” in Win7…

I’ve seen quite a lot of manufacturers claim Void on the warranties if the units are disassembled or opened – which I think is disgraceful. I think that there should be a certain amount of leeway given to consumers in regards slight modification and disassembly – then again, that brings me back to the whole “dumb it down” thing… a vicious circle, I believe.

You should definitly check out http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/diy_notebooks/ and see the range there. To be honest, I’m not sure what kind of BIOS options are availible, but you might be interested in this!

Good luck David!

-Michael.

@ David: you wrote:
For comparison, we have a much, much older Dell PowerEdge 1850 server and guess what? Yup. Dell had Windows Server 2008 R2 drivers for it (which is the same as Windows 7 drivers).

Can you please send a link to the Win7 Dell drivers or discribe which one i have to use. I have a PERC 4/SC in my Poweredge 1850 and would like to install Win Server 2008 R2 for some Tests.

I talked to one of the sony Rep and they claim the Bios update will be release in less than 14 days… just keep checking the site udpate…

I hope he is telling the true though.

how about letting the consumers know that the notebook they’re buying doesn’t support Intel VT instead of surprising it’s customers that they disabled a STANDARD FEATURE INTENTIONALLY and there’s no way of enabling it.

I don’t agree that this will rake up the cost since other manufacturers are able to sell notebooks with VT enabled at a lower price compared to a VT disabled VAIO with slightly lower specs.

I’ve got a vaio cr23g and am very disappointed with the kind of after sales support provided by Sony.

1. can’t do a clean install without losing all the software that came with the OS image and the functionality of the special buttons. the software that came with the image are not available for download.

3. sony has the dumbest support rep i’ve talked to when they refused to send me a dvd installer of the OS for a clean install and argues that there’s already an image included on the hard drive(which isn’t exactly a clean install with all the trialware) and advices me to just by a copy of Vista just for the DVD.

2. lack of windows 7 driver support. I have a compaq dc7800 desktop and an IBM W500 notebook at work and it supports drivers for 3 windows OS including 64 bit drivers so why can’t Sony support at least the next OS release? the driver support for this model is only for 32-bit vista. XP drivers for this model don’t count, see 1.

Unless Sony revamps it after sales support, this will be the last Vaio I’ll get and I’ll make sure that my colleagues and friends knows all about this as well.

For what it’s worth. I just wanted to share with you the fact that VMWARE Player 3.0 (no I am not an employee), is free and comes with Windows XP SrvcPK3 (virtual XP) embedded. Nothing beyond a simple install is required and the virtual xp machine is ready to run out of the box. I am not sure what exactly I am losing by not having the MicroSoft Windows Virtual PC hardware enabled with Virtual XP. I was hoping that it might be a more tightly coupled sharing of disks, etc. across the machine backbone, which I hoped would enable me to run my xp based DiskKeeper 2007 Professional against the Host Local C:\ drive, so I could resize $MFT. I have done so on my external drives. It seems that this valuable feature (FRAGSHIELD) is no longer available in the less expensive versions of DiskKeeper. As for Win7 hardware drivers, they are now available for Canon printers (I have a PIXMA MP600), but not yet for my DYNEX (Best Buy) Express Card eSata adapter. I would like to know what I am missing (in the way of functionality), by not having the VT feature enabled in my VPCCW17FX notebook.
Warmest Regards
PSFTGURU.

@PSFTGURU

One common VT feature is it enables 64-bit virtual machines to run on a 32-bit host. It also improves VM performance since it allows the guest OS direct hardware access.

On a more experimental side, you also won’t be able to run VMware ESXi and Hyper-V without VT. (I wanted to have windows 2008 R2 as my desktop OS for Hyper-V)

I’m thinking that XP mode uses the same technology as Hyper-V.

I have vaio vgn-fw290e and I was never happy with sony E-supp. I did some resirch and found all the bad news about bios and VT. Today I checked Sony E-supp. site and there was BIOS update dated 10/28/2009. After update option is there. ENABLE/DISABLE VT. It was under vista drivers not windows 7. It instaled under windows 7 without a problem under 1min. With any other update it would always say something crazy like this update is for vista and will not install. I was runing vista at the time. What is strange is that sony e-supp. does not list vgn-fw290e, there is vgn-fw290,290j,290jrb. This second part does not relate to the original post but I did read all the replies and we can all agree on one thing[SONY SUPPORT IS BAD].. THANK YOU for initial post and calling them you made some very good points when talking to this Tech. I think they were good enough to make them think…………….

Dear Sonyโ€ฆ

After 6 years of Vaio, Iโ€™m going to left your brand because you are not hopeful to professional workers.

With your products we spend to much time to adjust issue or upgrade that other brands make very easy.

Iโ€™m really sorry that in my future thereโ€™ll be not more Vaio, but as your philosophy, me first

Suck

Hi,
I’m really glad I stumbles upon this site. I might sound like fresh to the tech side, but pls bear with me.
I’ve had almost made up my mind to get myself a CW16FA. But I require to use a lot if Vms and I’m not sure it’s enabled on it. The processor does support VT. But it’s loaded with Home Premium. I’m not that bend on using XP mode as such, I just want Vmware to run properly.
Does the bios need to be VT enabled to get VMWare to run on CW? any help would be greatly appreciated. I donot want to regret after putting in my cash. Else I might consider an SR. Thanks.

I have Vaio VGN-Z820G windows 7 pro centrino duo core 2. I purchased this model because it would allow VT mode for all my old XP software. I downloded the Windows XP VP software without a hitch. Everything has worked just fine until this week. Does any body know if Sony changed something with their updates?

Hey,

I am counting in.

I bought this PC for my school and we work a lot with Virtual environments like VWware and Virtual PC.

Now with the laptop itself is nothing wrong and when not using any virtual applications it performs wonderfull but I did check the speccs before I bought it and I was sure it supported HV!

I felt a bit screwed when I saw it was disabled. :/

I am in i anyone can get a class action suit is possible. I bought two VGN-SZ-750N/C computers because the processor was powerful enough to do this and these babies even support TPM. So why not virtualization like some of the cheaper models have? This makes me crazy. I have written Sony and I think the only way they will getoff their asses is if everyone with this stupid issue writes them too. I have read a few posts showing how to take a big chance and hack the BIOS, but I am afraid to wreck two computers just because Sony is dumb and lazy. Write them, complain and do it over and over again.

We have five Sony Vaio notebooks at home and two of them are expensive SZ eries models. These are the last Sony Vaio notebooks we will buy. I feel like I have been bait and switched. I install network systems and up until now I have reccommended several notebook brands as clients. I have installed a lot of Vaios in the past. I have now stopped reccomending Sony Vaio notebooks. Last week I installed a nice SMB network and it is equipped with HP notebooks that run virtualization beautifully. To hell with Sony. If they don’t care about customers, why be Sony customers.

Hmmm…. People tend to complain so much, yet dont research the fact that BIOS updates may be availible… or even reply when I try to help them. Oh well.

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