Sonntag, 19. Juli 2009

Enable VT on InsydeH2O based Sony Vaio laptops, the EFI way

**** UPDATE **** (16.10.2009)
Seems like Sony finally decided to officially enable VT in the new batch of bios updates for at least the following models:

Desktop PC
VGC-JS Series
VGC-LN series
VGC-LV Series
VGC-RT Series

Notebook PC
VGN-AW Series
VGN-CS Series
VGN-FW Series
VGN-NS Series
VGN-NW Series
VGN-P Series
VGN-SR Series
VGN-TT Series
VGN-Z Series

Good move - if they can't prevent VT any more, they enable it :)
****************

The past couple of days I have been somewhat compelled to get VT (Virtualization Technology) running on my Sony Vaio Z11 laptop. I've bought it back in the days (about a year ago) in good faith that it supports this, for me crucial feature, but of course for some reasons, Sony decided to disable VT and give the casual user no means to enable or use it. I am not going to describe how they do it, you can read that somewhere else. Support requests have been fruitless and although I invested a couple of hours into reversing the "bios" I've soon discovered that this is everything else but a simple module-swapping bios - its InsydeH2O, an EFI 2.0 implementation ... I had known next to nothing about EFI.
University and different spare-time enjoyments kept me from pursuing this matter more actively until recently I discovered by accident this blog entry. Marcan, you also know him as a member of the Iphone-Dev team, extensively describes the inner workings of the InsydeH2O EFI implementation and wrote a set of tools to decompress and extract the firmware. Even more he also developed a tool to visualize the SetupUtility forms. Luckily, all InsydeH2O OEM customers (that I encountered up until now) decided to leave a hidden advanced form in the SetupUtility, so that it is quite easy (with Marcan's tools and a little disassembling) to match the Setup variable offsets to the forms and thus actual functionality.

Yea, about the Setup variable: In EFI, all non-volatile (and changeable) configuration is stored in the Variable Storage Space (VSS). This can be any non-volatile memory like EEPROMs, available space in the RTC (aka CMOS), ... or even in a
n Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) flash part. The same flash part where the firmware itself is located in recent InsydeH2O based laptops. This saves costs, but also increases the risk to carry out (more importantly: reverse) any modifications.
Back to the Setup variable - it is also stored in the VSS and contains a lot of configuration data regarding system configuration, including VT. Each byte offset within the variable matches to a specific configuration setting and not all of them are modifyable within the so called "SetupUtility" (on Sony Vaio models, press F2 during boot to enter).

Well, the plan is to modify the Setup variable - one of those offsets controls the VT feature and we only need to flip a single byte (actually a single bit). There are two ways to go about it - one is described by Marcan on his blog where he has been able to modify the contents of the VSS by patching and reflashing a dump of the firmware itself. Using the vendor tool to flash back a dump is at least on my specific Vaio model a nogo: firmware images from Sony contain a lot of extra information (header?) that confused other insyde H2O tools (e.g. ezH2O cannot find a valid Firmware Volume (FV)). Maybe it works, but I didn't take the risk - instead I used flashrom on Linux (and flashed only the sector that contains the VSS). Long story short: if you aren't perfectly familiar with C-programming, embedded system programming (flash programming), and Linux you better stay away from this method (flashrom). Last but not least, here seems to be a first indication that the VSS format can be different across models/vendors. This introduces another source of error - different VSS formats require different methods of patching.

So - I continued looking into a different more easy way to modify this variable within the VSS ... and by further reverse engineering I discovered that the firmware will run EFI applications before "legacy mode" is entered where all access to the EFI from the OS is lost.
Within an EFI application (or an OS that is booted by an EFI bootmanager) EFI routines can be accessed - also routines to safely read and write variables from and to the VSS => the very same routines the SetupUtility uses to read/write the configuration.
Jackpot - the rest was simple: I took GRUB 2, added a custom command that allows the modification of the Setup variable and now - anyone on current InsydeH2O based firmware should be able to modify their Setup variable.

Before I am going to describe how to use my tool, I must also warn you about the risks and the worst case that can happen.
First the risks (things said last hopefully stick best):
- it may not work: simple as that, maybe your vendor decided to go somehow differently about things. Currently I only have success reports from people that run Vaio models. For Acer you should definitely contact Marcan and/or follow his blog. Other users from other vendors need to either wait until someone steps up or tries on his/her own responsibility (actually you're always on your own responsibility! Something goes wrong - you're the only one to blame!)
- something else may not work: the laptop still boots, but e.g. Shutdown does not work, or it reboots after a couple of minutes, etc. This could happen if you modified the wrong offset and have been lucky enough to still be able to boot. -> Reverse what you did (if you still know it). Enter the SetupUtility and restore default settings. If strangeness persists, you may need to reflash the firmware (perform a firmware update as usual: This will definitely restore a default VSS).
Now to the worst case: the laptop does not boot - You most definitely strayed from my instructions and touched something that you shouldn't have. Maybe there is a hotkey (I've heard about [fn]-[esc] or [Windows Key][ESC] during power-up) to enter a special firmware rescue mode where you can try to restore the firmware (and reset the VSS) from an USB stick -- maybe not. In the absolute worst case, you need to send your laptop in for repair. This could take a lot of time (months), and can cost money. So be warned and don't do anything stupid! :)

If you still want to go ahead, you need a firmware installed where the Setup variable offset has been verified. On Sony and Acer laptops that seem to be always 0x1af. If you want to go sure, either if you're able, do it yourself or (for Sony) comment below or (for Acer)
contact Marcan. Include a download link to the firmware. In case you can report that your firmware has the same offset, please use the comments and I'll update this post.

On to the procedure:
  • Put this EFI application (source code: patch to GRUB2-1.96+20090709 [not required to run the EFI application]) on an USB-stick that is formated with FAT32 into the following directory:

    \EFI\BOOT\

    When the stick is attached to your laptop, it should boot from it regardless of the boot order or whether your allow or deny booting from external devices (actually a security risk of the firmware itself!). Currently I have only reports of Vaio owners that this works. If it doesn't and the boot order/and or booting from external device setting has no effect for you, then I can't help you. You probably need to patch a dump of your flash contents (see Marcan's blog).

  • If everything goes well, you should see the following message

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

  • At first, type:

    setup_var

    and press ENTER, a license text should inform you about the risks. More importantly, you should see at the bottom that the tool is looking for the Setup variable and found it. The GUID should match the expected GUID - if it does not, don't continue (comment below the output)!

  • Next, we'll look at the current setting of the VT offset, which is at least on all recent Insyde H2o firmware based laptops that I've encountered up until now at 0x1af.

    setup_var 0x1af

    again press ENTER and verify that the variable is set to 0x0. Abort if it does not contain 0x0.

  • The last step is to set this single byte to 0x01 by executing (WARNING: THIS WRITES TO THE VSS):

    setup_var 0x1af 0x1

  • You may verify your changes by executing once more

    setup_var 0x1af

    This time the byte at the offset 0x1af should read 0x01.

  • After that you may reboot by pressing [ctrl][alt][del], remove the USB-stick and check with your favorite tool whether VT really is enabled or not.

As a side note, in all Vaio firmwares up until now, I've seen references within SetupUtility that control the suppression of the Power and Advanced forms located at offset 0x25a. You may try to set it from 0x0 to 0x1 by following the same procedure like we used to enabling VT. Within the Advanced form (SetupUtility) it is possible to control the VT setttings directly. Also, beware that there are a lot of other tuneable options concerning CPU, memory, graphics adapter and others, but I wouldn't touch them, as they could prevent the system from booting and as already said there is no easy way to restore default settings once there is no way to enter the SetupUtility anymore.

I hope this works for all of you! I am relatively confident that Sony and other vendors will close the "EFI"-hole altogether or introduce security. But then I am no longer going to buy their products, if features you just assume to be present (like VT) are kept disabled.


List of verified firmware versions:
Sony VGN-Z11, V: M3a R2168M3 05/20/2009
Sony VGN-Z17, V: R21862M3
Sony VGN-Z27, V: R2168M3
Sony VGN-Z36GD, V: R3054M3
Sony VGN-Z5xx, V: R2168M3
Sony VGN-Z31, V: M3b R3054M3 05/19/2009
Sony VGN-Z21, V: M3a R2168M3
Sony VGN-Z31, V: R3052M3
Sony VGN-Z79, V: R4040M3

ATT: (No advanced menu! - apply only the VT enable procedure on the following models - the advanced menu, if present at all, is most likely differently
disabled than on Sony Vaio models)
Acer Timeline 3810T-6415: V1.08
(SU9400)
Acer 8731: V1.08 (SU9400)

Kommentare:

  1. Also works wth VGN-Z31WN/B, V:R3052M3

    I tried it with the Advanced Form.
    And I think this also enabled AHCI.

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  2. Works with Z21WN/B, M3a-R2168M3

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  3. Possbile to post a dump of other references you mentioned? As well as a bootable iso for non linux users?

    Yes I'm asking for too much ;)

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  4. What other references?
    What Linux?

    All you need is an USB stick, FAT32 formated. The EFI application runs directly within the EFI framework which is kind of a small embedded operating system itself.

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  5. Could you elaborate on how you found the bit at 0x25a? My BIOS already has the bit at 0x25a set so I am assuming the layout of mine is different (as I have a HP notebook).

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  6. Did not work for me, wouldn't BOOT from USB stick. Acer Aspire 6935. Does it matter that the USB disk is not blank, and has bootable stuff on it otherwise? I only have one stick lying around and it is also my USB rescue disk.

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  7. ad offsets) They are connected to forms. The procedure to find them are documented on Marcan's blog. The tricky part is to obtain the string table and form offsets within the SetupUtility. I used my disassembling/reverse engineering skills, but those are not easily "elaborated". Basically the form offsets are referenced starting from the data section - sequentially. The last reference is the string table. You may take a look at Marcan's firmware and his excellent python script to dump the forms.

    ad nonworking on Acer) Well, I can only suggest to try a different stick where you're sure that it is formated FAT32. Those rescue usb sticks could be some how special. However, it does not matter if the disk is bootable, contains other files or is blank. It needs to be only FAT32, and the correct path and filename.

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  8. What was the name of the option at 0x25a?

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  9. I can confirm that this method does NOT work on HP Insyde BIOS's (at least for mine). I tried formatting as FAT32 on two different flash drives but to no avail. :( The HP Insyde BIOS also does not seem to have an option in the advanced setup to enable/disable the advanced menus.. unless you found this option by some other means than marcans dumpsetup script?

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  10. working on a z690 - most recent firmware. Very impressive work - vaio users across the world should be more than grateful

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  11. Tested and working on:
    Sony VGN-Z17GN_B
    BIOS: R2168M3 (updated from R2140M3)

    I am extremely greatful that you dedicated the time to finding a solution to this crazy problem Sony decided to introduce.

    This will make many people across the world very happy.

    Now we just need a solution to the battery drain problem on these notebooks.

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  12. is it possible for the Sony VGN-AW Series ???

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  13. on vaio sr-series no boot, just an error message: "error: press any key for restart" after the vaio logo appears. without boot-setting "boot from external device" just windows starts!

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  14. Will this work for Sony Vaio VGN-TT11 using BIOS M4-R2020M4a from ftp://ftp.vaio-link.com/pub/VAIO/Updates/EP0000181116.exe ?

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  15. Tested on a VGN-Z590
    BIOS R2168M3

    Works great!

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  16. ad "option 0x25a") This offset is used in within the suppression opcode. You may think of it as an attribute to a form element. If it is set to 0x0, the form element is not displayed. If all form elements within a form are suppressed, the whole form is suppressed.

    ad HP, Acer & others) As reports indicate this unfortunately seems to be a Sony VT-fix only (for now). Further investigation is needed.

    ad TT model) I have one report that it worked for a TT user. I can verify the offset within the Setup Variable of the Vaio bios probably in 1 or 2 days. Sorry, busy week.

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  17. This is AWESOME!!!

    Applied change on VGN-Z27 with R2168M3 Bios.

    works perfectly.

    Thanks so much, this is now my perfect laptop :)

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  18. please BF...
    i need your help for this tool. I look for the same tool to unlock the Vaio AW Bios Series..
    thank you

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  19. @Martin
    For now this works only if you're able to boot an EFI application. If and only if you see the "Welcome to GRUB!" message, the procedure will work. Note that you can safely abort anytime before you actually write to the VSS.
    In the meantime (please give me a few days), I can verify the VT-offset in your currently running bios (post download link!).

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  20. Can anyone verify this works on a VGN-Z750D?

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  21. Both features works on Vaio VGN-Z21ZRN/X

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  22. Can anyone verify this works on a VGN-Z11XN?

    I have this BIOS M3a - R2168M3 20/05/2009

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  23. @VGN-Z11XN: should work. The bios version is already verified!

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  24. Read that after a posted it. Thx anyway.

    And it worked like a charm. :)

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  25. Tested on a z790 bios: r4040m3.

    Works great!

    Great job, thanks!

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  26. Works fine on my Vaio VGN Z45x.
    Including the advanced settings menu.
    Thanks a lot!

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  27. "again press ENTER and verify that the variable is set to 0x0. Abort if it does not contain 0x0."

    So mine says 0x00, I suppos this is correct?

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  28. Can anyone verify this works on a VGN-P15G? There is InsydeH20 bios with EFI 3.5. Thank you very much.

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  29. Any help for Acer?

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  30. I have CGN CS-190. I copied the BOOTX64.EFI to blank USB thumb drive with FAT32 parition.. to \efi\boot directory. Tried to boot with USB device and no luck. Am I MISSING SOMETHING?

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  31. Verified it works on a VGN-Z750D/B

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  32. Worked perfectly on my Acer Timeline 3810T-6415 (SU9400) with BIOS 1.08. Virtualbox now supports 64-bit OS's.

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  33. Hi good news Acer 8731 BIOS 1.08 SU9400 ,efi mod work VT check Enable thx

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  34. Okay - I've received f a r more requests to check bios versions and models than I can possibly handle. Please either try out (I've absolutely no report of either a bricked laptop nor a report that the VT offset hasn't been 0x1af) or wait until someone tries out before you or even better: learn how to check the offset yourself (see Marcan's blog).

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  35. @many reports of success)

    Thanks for your reports. I try to keep the list up to date!

    @some reports of failures)

    Strangely there seems to be some USB-sticks that are EFI-incompatible: I have one report of a Vaio Z owner who is in possession of both: a working and a non-working one... unfortunately he didn't tell me the models. E.g. I know for sure that a SanDisk, Cruzer u3 smart, 4096MB works (thats mine).

    Of course there is also the strong possibility that your vendor really has disabled any EFI-boot option. In that case, I am sorry - I can't do much for you!

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  36. thanks for the guide.
    works great on my VAIO VGN-Z12 :)

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  37. works on my VAIO VGN-Z37GD, Thanks mate.

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  38. Bad news, BIOS 1.10 on the Acer 3810T-6415 appears to disable EFI boot. The previous BIOS (1.08) worked fine. Acer sucks.

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  39. Thanks, worked fine on my Z11. That is was really great help.

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  40. thx, works on my Sony Vaio VGN-Z41WD

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  41. Hi
    BOOTX64.EFI is for x86-64 platfom?
    Can you recompile program for x86 processor?
    I have sony vaio p11zr and checking bios code now.

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  42. Works on VAIO Z21VRN
    BIOS ver. R2168M3

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  43. Worked on sony vaio z26gn, V: R2168M3.
    You're legend!

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  44. please recompile for x86.
    I would like to enable VT (and hopefully advanced menu) on Vaio P90.

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  45. Works great with VGN-Z550B. You are AWESOME! Thanks.

    -- Kenny N

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  46. keep this way!
    works for VGN-Z41ZRD
    thanks guys!

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  47. Worked on sony vaio Z21WN
    BIOS: R2164M3
    BIOS: R2165M3
    BIOS: R2168M3

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  48. Worked on TT21WN
    Thanks a lot!

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  49. Thanks, works perfect with a VGN-Z11WN.

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  50. My previous post
    "Anonym hat gesagt…
    I have CGN CS-190. I copied the BOOTX64.EFI to blank USB thumb drive with FAT32 parition.. to \efi\boot directory. Tried to boot with USB device and no luck. Am I MISSING SOMETHING?

    26. Juli 2009 18:29"

    i did again tried few other ways not listed here and trid enabling vt for last 10 days and no luck. Same thumb drive - san disk cruzer micro 2 gb and only 1 file at same path and it worked today after many tries and reboots. sometimes screen freezes on command prompt after grub message, unable to boot from external device etc.

    after "setup_var 0x1af 0x1" laptop rebooted automatically and I did removed the thumb drive and booted to vista.

    vgn cs-190 + lastest bios update + efi 3.5

    tried nstalling esx 4.0 and windows 2003 64 bit on vmware workstation and it works. virtual pc shows hardware virtualization option enabled.

    Thanks will be a small word to describe your assistance.

    Keep up your great work.

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  51. Thx, it works on my Z31WN/B.

    Oh wie habe ich auf diesen Moment gewartet !


    #dr.schlau

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  52. Hi

    I am struggling to get my vaio to boot from usb (I hope the latest bios update didn't zap EFI!) - it keeps saying there is a drive error :(

    Is it possible to make a bootable cd with your tool/bootloader on?

    I can host the .iso image for others if needed!

    Thanks
    Gee

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  53. Thank you for this great piece of software.
    It worked on my UK Z21 WN, R2168M3.
    I couldn't boot from a 16Gb Cruzer USB flash drive but a Cruzer 512Mb drive worked once I'd removed the bootable flag and the old grub 1.5 install.

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  54. You deserve a medal for this guide.

    Works great on Z31XN

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  55. Hi,

    I've got a Vaio Z11 (verified firmware). Instead of

    > error: file not found

    I receive

    > error: unknown filesystem

    When I try to invoke setup_var, it states 'unknown command'. Booting into grub works flawlessly.

    What can this mean?

    Thx

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  56. Thank you so much!

    I've applied the patch without any problem on a VGN-Z25W (custom model in the UK) with R2168M3 Bios (updated from original bios).

    XP mode in Win7 x86 didn't work before the patch, worked perfectly after.

    I used a Sandisk Micromate USB reader with a Simpletec 512Mb SD card, but I'm sure any card would work.

    You rock!

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  57. Hi again,

    I'm the one with the message unknown filesystem.

    The reason: 8GB USB-Stick. No Problem with 2GB one.

    Thx a lot!

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  58. Thanks heaps for your efforts!

    Worked flawlessly on my VGN-Z16GN (R2168M3). I booted from a FAT32 formatted 16GB Sandisk Cruzer Contour without a problem.

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  59. WOW! works perfectly on a z690 (bios R3054M3)! In the newly available Advanced form you can also enable VT-d in addition to VT-x.

    The fine grain tunable parameters in these new tabs are enough to satisfy even the most advanced users.

    Now the z is truly the perfect power notebook.

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  60. It worked perfectly on my Vaio Z555DN with latest bios R2168M3. Virtual PC now allows setting hardware virtualization to on. Thanks a lot for your effort, much appreciated! Oh, and shame on Sony.

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  61. Works great on my Sony VGN-Z11 WN/B with latest BIOS Version "M3a R2168M3 05/20/2009".

    Thx, Bro, and keep up your good work!

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  62. It worked on my Sony Vaio VGN CS11S with HydroH2O Bios version R0270Q2!
    I had had some initial problems to boot with EFI (I got message saying I had to remove external devices and reboot) but after some tries it booted correctly (I used an old OCZ USB stick 1Gb).
    Thank you for your effort and shame on Sony!

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  63. Any idea how to enable ET on a Vaio NR?

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  64. Errr.. Sorry. I meant VT on a Vaio NR. I'm hoping to run VMware for some development.

    Cheers!

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  65. Update: on my Vaio VGN-CS11S it works also with latest bios revision R0280Q2. Keep up the good work!

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  66. Thanks alot. Worked with my Sony Vaio Z46GD

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  67. Can you verify if it works on a VGN-SZ71WN using bios R0122S5 ?
    Many thanks in advance.

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  68. Worked great, I have a Vaio TT. Thanks

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  69. This worked for me on my new VAIO TT15GN - thanks !

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  70. @VGN-SZ71WN: No, I believe the SZ series (also the more recent one) does not use an EFI based firmware but a legacy (Phoenix) bios. I cracked that case some time ago: http://communities.vmware.com/message/748766

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  71. Z610y - I formatted a usb stick to FAT 32. I created new folder EFI and another inside it BOOT. so EFI/BOOT/ then inserted the BOOTX64.EFI file.
    Using Windows 7 RC when I reboot, it does not boot at all via the memory stick. boots normally. Am I doing something wrong?
    remarzouka@gmail.com
    any help would be appreciated
    Thanks in advance

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  72. Your procedure seems to be working in a Z620D laptop, I didn't do all the steps just the first ones, I will wait for a clear answer from Sony first. But I expect your patch to work on my laptop too ... thanks

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  73. The procedure works on the VGN Z11VN (UK), the advanced option menu is now present and VT tech can be enabled. Securable shows 'locked on' rather than 'locked off'.

    The only side effect I have noted is that the initial BIOS boot takes longer. There are also several other options in the advanced menu looking at other 'intel technology' which are all disabled. Anyone provide any more information about these ?

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  74. Rogerio from Brazil!!!

    It worked for my VGN-CS118!!! Bios R0280Q2. I've received many times the error: "Remove disks or other media. Press any key for restart".
    I used a new Kingston 32GB with FAT32 16K allocation Unit and it worked for me. I've tried Sandisk Cruzer 4GB U3 and a old USB Kingston 512MB and they dindn't worked!!!

    Thanks!!!

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  75. It worked on a Sony VGN-Z47DGX (320HD, BlueRay). Used a Kingston 32GB FAT32 to boot. Also did the advanced menu which worked... yeah. Thanks soooooooo much

    and SCREW YOU SONY for disabling this.

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  76. Thanks a lot ;-) On my VAIO Z41WD/B works, I change bit for advanced BIOS section, and rest change in BIOS. Virtual PC works, VMvare works with 64-bit host/guest (without VT works only 32). I hope, that will work still...

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  77. Woops, I meant

    Model: VGN-Z47GD_X (Australian version)
    BIOS: R4040M3

    :)

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  78. I have a Sony Vaio SZ90 [Japanese model]. VT is disabled and this has long been a gripe of many SZ owner around the world. Does anyone know whether the method above might work with the SZ, and in particular the SZ90?
    Cheers.

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  79. I can confirm Acer Aspire 4736G has the same offset. The EFI boot did not work on my machine, though (I guess it was the flashdrive problem); flashing the whole bios worked.

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  80. Sorry; just to be clear: the above was Acer Aspire 4736G (P8700); BIOS version 1.05.

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  81. Hello everybody,

    Their might be problems with Vaio Z & VT-x & 64 bit OS.

    My computer is a Vaio Z11 (first generation Z laptop).

    I enabled VT-x using the advanced menu. I had Vista Business 32bit installed. Everything worked fine. No Problems, no BSODs, everything as before - just with VT-x.

    Yesterday I tried to install Windows 7 x64 (RTM). Lots of problems: BSOD, reboots, freezes. There's one way to reproduce: Installing 7-zip 64bit version. Just after pressing the install button, the system freezes. After turning of VT-x, everything seems to work as expected...

    My guess: Vaio Z has problems with the combination VT-x and 64bit OS! What do you think? Can anyone reproduce?

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  82. Mustafa Yalcin18. August 2009 08:27

    I have a VGN-FW190. This method works for my vaio to?

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  83. does not seems to work on vgnfz11m it does not even but from usb

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  84. This procedure works on my Acer 3810T 944G32n bios version v1.08 (reading the comments I did not upgrade to v1.10)

    I made a post on my blog referring to your procedure.

    http://blog.bettiolo.it/2009/08/enable-intel-vt-on-acer-aspire-3810t.html

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  85. Thanks, it works on Sony TT.

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  86. Addition to the issue with VT-x & Vaio Z11 & x64:

    The problem was caused by EFI. Installing windows using Bios emulation solved the problem. Don't know why. Should not make any difference to the running system.

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  87. To Anonym on August 2009 03:27:
    Could you please tell more about that BIOS emulation you mentioned? Where, when and how should this feature be enabled?

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  88. Any chance that you recompile your EFI application for 32 bit?

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  89. This worked great on my Acer 3810T-6415. Thanks for your effort and posting it.

    jbezdan

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  90. Thanks a lot for your effort.
    It works with Sony VGN-Z530N, also for advanced forms.

    Thanks again.

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  91. Thanks a lot !!!!
    Works on a Sony Vaio VGN-Z21/WN
    BIOS M3a - R2168M3

    greetings from germany

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  92. Thanks, thanks and thanks
    Works on VAIO VGN-CS270T/R
    BIOS R1090Q2 UPDATED

    GOOD WORK!!!

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  93. Works on my VAIO VGN-Z11VN/B

    Advanced BIOS and VT
    I have installed W7 RTM (32 bit) and XP-Mode works great

    Thanks for this great job.
    sony with his politics sucks.

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  94. This is a great effort! Can anyone with a newer CS please post what UBS stick (brand / size / formatting) that worked for you? I can't get my cs230 to boot efi...
    Thanks!
    -Shawn

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  95. laptops computer - compare and buy low price laptops from online laptop shop in india, naaptol.com offers facility to compare laptops online in india, now compare and buy online

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  96. Hello, (sorry for my english, I'm spanish...)
    congratulations, great article... I bought an HP Laptop (Pavilion DV6-1115es). I was fighting for some time to enable de VT bit. At last, I give up the idea. Why? Because the Intel core 2 Duo processor T6400 don't support the virtualization Technology (Specifications
    So people, pay attention to what processor includes your laptop, before you buy it. I didn't so... :-(
    Regards

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  97. Worked on my SONY VGN - Z11MN
    BIOS: R2165M3

    Great.
    thanks

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  98. I worked on my acer 3810T (SU3500).

    Tanks a lot. Now I can use XP Mode on Win7!!

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  99. Just done this procedure on my Acer 3810T 944G32n bios version v1.08 and worked a treat, many thanks for this info!

    It puzzles me why manufacturers do this, what are they acheiving in locking functionality away?

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  100. Just an update: the 0x1af offset is also correct for bios version 1.07 for Acer Aspire 4736G (P8700).

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  101. did anyone try this with Sony Vaio VGN-AW190?

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  102. works on sony vgn-cs11z. Thanks a lot for this, now I can use virtual machines with ubuntu. When buying the laptop I checked before the processor capabilities but as many others I didn't expect that someone blocks it permanently by bios.
    Hint: I failed with 2 usb-sticks, but it worked finally with an old 1GB stick where I copied your BOOTX64.EFI to \BOOT\EFI\, \EFI\BOOT\ and \ on the fresh FAT32 formatted stick.
    Again, thank you very much ....

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  103. Hi,
    Worked on my Vaio Z41wd/B (Belgium)
    Bios: R4040M3

    I used
    "setup_var 0x25a 0x1"
    instead of
    "setup_var 0x1af 0x1"

    which effects does it have?

    With setup_var 0x25a 0x1 everything went fine!


    Thanks,

    Best Regards,

    Sini

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  104. work with Sony VGN-Z17GN (Singapore)

    What is advance form btw?

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  105. Works great on my Z41 with both VT and Advanced Menu (0x25a). Thanks!

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  106. works with VGN-TT36GD
    Thank!

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  107. You did a great Job! thank a lot.

    It works with VGN-Z41MD

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  108. hi,
    works on my sony vgn-z31wn/b with bios-rev M3b R3054M3 ! swEEEEt !!

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  109. GREAT JOB!!
    Works with VGN-Z590e

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  110. I tried it on my Vaio VGN-Z12 gnb and works 100% !!!
    Thanks so much!

    Maurice van der Merwe

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

    Sergio

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  112. errata-corrige for post before, my cpu doesn't support vt... :)) sorry

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  113. @all acer timeline owners: the latest bios 1.28 supports VT by default :))).

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  114. Didn't work for me
    VGN-FW190

    Tried with KINGSTON USB
    and with CoreMicro USB

    Kingston said "No Bootable partion" (Or something similar)
    The CoreMicro made a really loud continuous beeping type alaram when it tried to open (Muting computer did nothing)

    So whether it's the USB's or the PC...

    didn't work for me... :(

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  115. great job ! Works on VGN-Z41XD. Thx a lot !

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  116. It works perfect on my Z21 with Win7 64 RTM
    Thank you very much for this information
    Greetings from Berlin, Germany

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  117. after bios update my vgn-z570n is dead, i mean no light is lit if i plug the adapter or try to turn it on. I think is a bios flash gone bad. what can i do to reflash it again.....help

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  118. This worked on my Sony VGN-Z46GD. The laptop qualifies for the upcoming windows 7 upgrade, but I note on the Sony site that
    "The Windows® 7 upgrade kit will include the below two discs.
    1. VAIO Windows® Supplement Disc (Contains BIOS, driver and utilities for VAIO original software)
    2. Microsoft Windows® Upgrade Disc (Contains the Windows® 7 Operating System)

    Does the fact that there is a BIOS disc mean mean they're going to pull some trick to prevent the VT enable?... We'll wait and see..

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  119. what is the issue with the advanced menu and thre aspire timeline 3810T-6415

    I want to overclock

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  120. I would like to confirm both operations for Vaio Z 790 (VGN-Z790).

    I also verified that SOME PENDRIVES don't work. I managed to use a Cruzer. But a Kingston didn't do the booting trick.

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  121. Don´t work no mi Acer Timeline 1810T, don´t boot from USB in any devices. Anyone has tried it in the 1810T?

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  122. Anyone tried it with VGN-FW495J?
    I really need the Virtualization features for use with Vmware :S
    Please help!

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  123. hi
    first thak you for taking time and helping people to solve that problem.
    I have a question dose it works with Vaio VGN-FW41Zj ? please if anybody could confirm I appritate it.regards

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  124. Hi,
    worked for VGN-TT11VN Bios Version: R0200M4

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  125. I have a VGN-Z21 with R2140M3 Bios

    I tested and get the result 0x00 and not 0x0 like you suggest after entering setup_var 0x1af

    So i was afraid, and have first done the Bios Update to R2168M3

    After then i still get 0x00 after entering
    setup_var 0x1af

    But this time i do all you suggest, and have done also the things for Advanced Bios Settings (same procedere for 0x25a)

    Rebooted, and works fine - thank you much!

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  126. Hi!

    I've tried on a VGN-TT11LN/B and setting 0x1 at 0x1af worked flawlessly! (except for having to reboot several times until it booted from USB)

    Thank you!!!

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  127. Hi,

    thanks a lot. It works on Z11MN Bios: R2168M3
    I have changed both and what a surprise, the bios has a new button "Advanced"
    Greetings
    Wolfgang

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  128. Hi Bernhard, thank you soo much for sharing this little gem with everybody - great job! I found the comments made by Sony why they disabled this feature very amusing: http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/partner/archive/2009/07/29/sony-executive-weighs-in-on-win7.aspx

    I do have a question about the advanced menu though and hope you can shed some light. In your post you mention to best leave any other features alone. I would like to enable HPET, AHCI, XD, VT (of course), ACPI 2, S3 sleep and speedstep if available on my Vaio Z720D.

    Have you (or anybody else) successfully changed other settings in the advanced menu? How can i minimise my risk if i want to play with these features?

    Vielen Dank!

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  129. I am surprised that HPET, AHCI, XD and ACPI S3 are not already enabled by default. On my model those settings are currently turned on/enabled, and I don't think that I've ever changed them beside AHCI. I temporarly needed to operate my storage controller in IDE mode to update the firmware of a SS HDD.
    I don't know anything about ACPI 2 - I don't seem to have this setting.

    > How can i minimise my risk if i want to play with these features
    Actually, you can't. If the laptop doesn't boot anymore, your only chances are to either find a way to restore the firmware by USB-stick (there seems to be an undocumented rescue mode in the bootblock) or have to send the laptop in for repair.
    But on the other hand - if you only want to play around with those settings (and not some frequency,voltage,timings, .. etc.) then the worst case is probably that your operating system isn't booting and you need to change the setting back => of course no guarantees!

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  130. Hi Bernhard - thanks for getting back to me!

    > => of course no guarantees!

    Of course! :) When i wrote this i hadn't actually enabled the advanced menu yet and yes you're right they're all enabled except VT of course.

    However what i'd really like to try is play with the display/graphics settings, particularly the graphics output as this is controlled by the SNC driver under Windows. Such a driver has been written for Linux but doesn't exist for (cough) other popular OS's.

    From looking at these settings the worst thing that can happen SEEMS that i would have to attach an external display (HDMI or VGA) to change my settings back.

    What you think? Do you you know what the default setting stands for (can't remeber what it actually said)?

    Also, would like to try and change some of the USB/UHCI settings... The fact that you didn't have any issues changing to IDE mode sounds promissing but obviously like to hear your opinion. The amount of settings you can change is amazing btw but i would definitely not wanna touch any CPU settings for sure.

    Thanks for taking the time!

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  131. Quick update, did some more research and found someone who changed 'VGA switching policy' to static which doesn't break the laptop :) but only disables switching GFX under OS. Am i right in thinking that the whole Video Config section in the bios is only affecting the Intel card? So changing IGD Boot Type wouldn't have any effect an the nvidia card anyway?

    Also if anybody is interrested, here is a listing of strings and memory locations found in the Z's BIOS: http://pastebin.com/f4413454

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  132. Hi all; just zqnted to let you know that my Sony Vaio VGN-FW41ZJ was succesfully patched with the VPATCH tool that you can find here:

    http://levicki.net/articles/tips/2009/02/20/HOWTO_Enable_Intel_VT_on_Sony_VAIO_notebook_with_AMI_Aptio_EFI_BIOS.php

    It is a really easy tool and... it works :-)

    Cheers and good luck!

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  133. Changing 'VGA switching policy' to 'Static' gives you different options under 'Video config'. With switch on speed setting you'll get Nvidia options, but all you can change is aperture size, ASPM and Extended Sync.

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  134. I've enabled the advanced form.
    Working perfect with Vaio Z31MN/B (Bios: M3b - R3054M3).
    Set vt-x and vt-d to enabled.

    Did anyone tried to enable "Intel trusted execution technology"? And what is it :)

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  135. Working on Z13GN
    Bios R2164M3
    India

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  136. Well Sony finally released a new BIOS, in Europe at least, R2169M3. No sign of it on the US site at this moment. It enables virtualization. Sony has capitulated.

    You need to upgrade to the new BIOS then reboot holding down (in the case of my VGN-590N) F2 and go into Advanced to set Virtualization ON. If you reboot without doing this, virtualization remains off.

    I then used Securable.exe from www.grc.com/securable.htm to confirm that everything is OK. It reported virtualization "Locked On".

    End of problem, I hope.

    Ian

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  137. Works on VGN-CS36GJ too!

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  138. pleae help to enable VT on my sony vaio VGN-CS15GN/B.
    i dont know nothing about linux or c-prg or embeddded systems.

    please let me know how to use EFI and how to put it into \efi\boot

    please email me at nand.mantrigari@gmail.com

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  139. Works nicely on a Sony Vaio VGN-TT11LN_B. Thanks!

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  140. Version of the VGN-TT11LN_B's Firmware is: R1061M4

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  141. Hello
    My name is Peter and I would like to ask you
    Can you please help me ?
    I have Vaio VGN-AW11S/B and I really need to ''uncover'' that advanced menu in BIOS ...
    I have seen happy guys on forum they have succesfully done it on Vaio Z but what about vaio AW? Is it any chance to make some hack on AW-series please ? I really want USE RAID feature because I have two SSDs and RAID is off on my AW
    Thank You Very Much .

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  142. The AW has an Ami Aptio Bios.
    So there exists no advanced menu!!!

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  143. so what when I another BIOS
    it is hidden aas well
    I don't belive that on vaio z and tt vas hidden
    and boom allsudden is unhiden
    and on AW is not ?
    that is bullshit
    there must be otherwise laptop will not work !!
    if there will not be any config options
    think man

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  144. You have no idea how bios are programed and configured. Vou have to accept the reality (regardeless of what you believe or not) that in modern bios there are no hidden menus. They are all removed before deployment.

    It was an error that the menu was still present in the old Vaio Z H2O bios. In the newer ones it has been removed and is no longer available.

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  145. You dont need to tell me that I have no idea how's bios is programmed and configured haha naive
    what do you think that vaio z has old bios ?
    it's new as well ..
    why when I updated latest bios in advanced menu appeared VT enable/disable???
    thej just configure in AMIPCB what the want hide or not ...and they will save firmware data they will create assist file and WPH file
    where are informations then with wbflash you can update bios fimware ...
    http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/4381/amibcp.jpg
    this editor I can have
    has to be licensed on an annual basis from AMI
    cost 800 dollars
    I can set what can be shon and what not man
    they cannot be removed
    I can change vaio logo to mine name for example .. by change logo program
    it must be there ..think logicly
    if will be removed the system will hung it will brick there must be adresses to send command from bios to all electronic devices on main board

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  146. You talk b....

    Yes the information must be present but not the menu to change it.

    But it's like explaining a fish what running means.

    Just pick up two different Ami V8 bios and use your tool. And what surprise - they have completely different menus and options.

    And you can't even read!

    He is talking about the Vaio AW.
    This notebook uses a completely different bios.

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  147. Sony has disabled EFI boot in his new bios.
    Any ideas how to enable the advanced menu in the new ones?

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  148. anonym
    Who is talking about AW
    It was me you mong Fish
    You talking so rubbish really
    you must be you are from planet earth ?
    I think no ..
    what do you talking about V8 ??
    Who said about V8 ??
    You should stop blabling here ..!

    Riddler
    This might be good web :
    http://forums.mydigitallife.info/forumdisplay.php?f=25

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  149. I have an Acer 5720G (Insyde-based), but it doesn't seem to support EFI boot & locks down VT. Is there any way to do this hack on this machine? (I have BIOS v1.45.)

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  150. i can help users with cs-170f contact in dcb_zap@hotmail.com

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  151. I have succesfully enabled VT от ACER ASPIRE 5720. HowTO: http://acerfans.ru/forum/topic_4897/1
    !!! vtenable.py for 7720

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  152. I have just done this all OK on a Sony VGN Z45 but I did find one odd thing. The first USB key I tried refused to boot, it was only a free 128MB one I got from somewhere so I tried another and that worked perfectly.

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  153. hello
    when i ran setup_var i got 0x00 instead of 0x0 - i presume that is equal but is 0x01 = 0x1 or 0x01 ?

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  154. Try running on the new vaio X. But, it didn't work...

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  155. I can confirm that for the Z48 this does work however the initial setting is 0x00 and needs to change to 0x01

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  156. Re sonny_mv's comment (21Jul09) "on vaio sr-series no boot" - is this true for all SR models?

    Can anybody confirm that booting from an USB stick and enabling VT worked on any SR model (or specifically, on a VGN-SR51MFW Notebook)?

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  157. tested on VGN-FW11M works fine.

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  158. Can someone verify if it works on a vgn-n230e?

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  159. New version of BIOS from sony allow virtualation.

    just visit this site -
    this is link to sony site - tinyurl.com/ydnaxc9

    update the bios and enable virtualization from bios first.

    worked with VGN CS version for me.
    naveen sharma http://hostrightnow.com

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  160. http://www.sony-asia.com/support/download/355474/product/vgn-cs17g/sectionfirst?subpage=detail
    is the direct link to download bios update.

    Naveen

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  161. I have a VGN-Z46GD. When it was running Vista 64bit I was able to enable VT-x as described by your methods above. I have recently upgraded to Windows7 64bit and after the BIOS update the VT-x has been disabled again. I can not use the same method to enable the VT-x again.

    I have checked status of VT-x with Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool and it has confirmed that it has been disabled.

    Has anyone with a similar setup been able to get the VT-x enabled again?

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  162. Re: Last post. I checked through the forum messages again and someone mentioned that there is an advanced option in the new BIOS that came with the W7 upgrade. I have found this advance button and the VT-x was disabled. I have enabled it now and everything is rosy again :) Thnx all!
    VGN-Z46GD with W7 64bit is VT-x enabled

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  163. I have a new VGN-NW21JF but don't know if your method to enable VT-x works for me. My question is therefore: how can I check if the firmware is installed where the Setup variable offset is 0x1af? The installed BIOS version is R1120Y4 (Software Version: 1.23.11.09) and here are some other information http://support.vaio.sony.eu/computing/vaio/downloads/preinstalled/index.aspx?l=en_EN&m=VGN-NW21JF_S

    Please help!

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  164. Hi...
    I was trying this on my new "VGN-FW31E" with BiOS "R2060Y0" But it's not working.
    My laptop never boot from the flash drive. even i force it to boot from external drive by changing the BIOS option.
    here is what i did.
    i formate my flash drive using FAT32.
    created a folder name called EFI and inside of it created another folder called BOOT and i kept the file BOOTX64.EFI inside the BOOT folder.

    I was doing all this to use VMware to install MAC OSX.. and now im sick and tired of this expensive laptop it costed me 700 quid and i can't change the BIOS option.. thanks sony.

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  165. @Pradeep - No.1 If you google you will see your that BIOS version supports VT - already.

    Secondly you spent $700 on a vaio to Hackintosh? Do you even know what you are doing? Did you even bother to do your research? There are so many more better hackintosh candidates out there.

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  166. Hi there, thanks for replying.

    sorry if i have confused you. i brought sony viao laptop for 700 pounds, not that i spent 700 to Hackintosh it.

    i have seen people have installed MAC OSX onto there PC's and i was trying to install it on my laptop. when i installed VMware the first error that i got was you have no VT enabled, and i started googling to enable it, and i ended up in this blog.

    now after all that trying and searching im able to use MAC OSX (VMware version). But its slow and there is no sound. i know if google it i'll some how enable the sound but i already lost the excitement coz its damn slow working on MAC OSX through VMware.
    Please let me know if you have any clue how to do it. many thanks for ur help and sorry i have written too much crap.

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  167. advanced menu was enabled on my Z41WD
    bios version R4044M3
    EC Ver. K1300M3

    just needed to enter bios, select advanced menu and enable virtualisation.

    thanks bf for your good work... probably you contributed to theis change of mind...

    btw: booting from stick with your efi\boot trick dont work no more :-(

    regards
    andy

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  168. Lumberjack

    Good news, it is working on Sony Z570N. I like it.

    Thank you so much for the help.

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  169. Just upgraded my Acer Aspire 1080T to the 1.313 BIOS and VT was automatically enabled!

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  170. Secondly you spent $700 on a vaio to Hackintosh? Do you even know what you are doing? Did you even bother to do your research? There are so many more better hackintosh candidates out there.
    Term paper

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  171. Works this bios with vgn-fe series?
    thank you...

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  172. VT worked on VGN-Z690T , gotta try the advanced menu now. Thax a lot!!

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  173. VAIO REALY SUXXXX never again ...NEVER
    SONY FUCK U

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  174. VAIO is a sub-brand for many of Sony's computer products. It was originally an acronym for Video Audio Integrated Operation, but since 2008 amended to Visual Audio Intelligence Organiser to celebrate the brand's 10th year anniversary. The branding was created by Timothy Hanley to distinguish items that encompassed the use of consumer audio and video, as well as being conventional computing products. One example of this was the Sony VAIO W Series personal computer, which functioned as a regular computer and a miniature entertainment center. Although Sony made computers in the 1980s for the Japanese market only, Sony withdrew from the computer business around the turn of the decade. Sony's re-entry to the computer market, this time globally, under the new VAIO brand, started in 1996 with the PCV series of desktops.

    hamza@samruz.com
    http://www.jobspert.com

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  175. This will make me busy all day, or maybe even longer. Thanks for the information.

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  176. Thank for the help. I just got a new Z Series and was able to activate the virtualization in the bios with no problem. Still waiting to hear from Sony support if it's going to work because the first time I installed it (before modifying the Bios) resulted in a catastrophy during the uninstall.

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  177. Back to the Setup variable - it is also stored in the VSS and contains a lot of configuration data regarding system configuration, including VT. Each byte offset within the variable matches to a specific configuration setting and not all of them are modifyable within the so called "SetupUtility" (on Sony Vaio models, press F2 during boot to enter).
    jump higher earth4energy Electronic Cigarette tava tea error fix

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  178. Thank you so much for sharing!

    This does not seem to work on VPC-Z12Z9E/X with BIOS version R2074C3. I can't boot the EFI application from either USB og SD card, have tried with several different ones. Anyone successfully patch the BIOS on Z12?

    I think that there is no support for EFI with this BIOS version - anyone know if the BIOS can be patch some other way?

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  179. Hi, whats up? Nice article. But it`s not work on HP

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  180. Resources like the one you have mentioned here are very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find this very useful.

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  181. These are the new types of the power tools that are closely defined by the all users who has written this topic. It seem to be extraordinary.

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  182. Enable VT on InsydeH2O based Sony Vaio laptops, the EFI way, I think this is a good thing to do because enabling it can make the work more good on the laptops, such information is really nice one to take for your own good.

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  183. I bought a Sony Vaio VGN-SR140D laptop last fall and have been very happy with it.

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  184. I made the modification written above.
    Worked perfectly.

    Now there's an official update from sony.

    Can I perfom the BIOS update even if I modified the two bytes?

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  185. Laptop computers are almost systematically equipped with an operating system when you purchase them but some offers also include a whole package of useful software such as office tools, an encyclopaedia or even antivirus software. It is a good idea to keep this in mind when you are buying a laptop.

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  186. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

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  187. This is alot of good information. It is really nice when you get a chance to learn. This would be something good to share with our class.

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  188. This is a good information.Thanks for sharing such a interesting information.

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  189. Z series - VPCZ128GG
    This didn't boot from usb for me. But didn't need to. I have enabled the VT in the BIOS by:
    On booting up, pressing F2 to get into the setupUtility. Move to the right tab heading "Advanced". Move white colour of writing up/down to highlight "VT disabled". Press enter to open options. Move highlight to "enabled". press enter to lock in. Then press F10 which will save changes and restart.

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  190. Yes this is true. I want to see something new from sony this year. This is a good point and we will share this with the class.

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  191. jack asses, VT is enable is all VAIOs

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  192. don't you have any thing better to do?!

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  193. hey guys,

    great work! is the link to the efi-app broken? where can i get the needed files?

    thx

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  194. I also need this BOOTX64.EFI file!

    Can someone upload it please?

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