Monday, July 13, 2009

Enabling virtualization on a Sony Vaio (The Unofficial guide)

Since the Sony Vaio is a pretty expensive laptop, and Sony won't give full support, an Sony customer needs to be creative to unleash the full potential of his Sony Vaio.

In this case my Sony Vaio doesn't support Virtualization. This is needed to use XP mode in Windows 7. Or if you want to use Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008. My processor supports virtualization, but only the BIOS won't let me enable this :-(

Several mails to sony support al came back stating that it is not supported and won't ever be supported on my model. Sony has made choices on which models to support, and the model I have is NOT one of them...

Since I want the full package if I buy something, and cannot return the laptop, I had to be creative. I started nosing around on the internet and with help I came to the following guide:

This is my guide to enable Virtualization on a Sony Vaio.
· Download HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool (http://www.bootdisk.com/plan040109/hpflash1.zip)
· Download Virtual Floppy Driver (http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd21-080206.zip)
· Download a boot floppy image (http://www.bootdisk.info/modules.php?modid=1&id=55)
· Install and start the Virtual Floppy Driver
· Initiate the floppy drive (Run as Admin)
· Install the boot floppy image on the virtual floppy drive
· Install and Start the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool ( Run as Admin )
o Install as FAT32
o Select Quick Formateren
o Select DOS Startup disk
§ Use the files on the virtual floppy drive
o Click Start
· Copy SYMCMOS.EXE to the USB Drive (ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/utility/Phoenix_bios_utility/SYMCMOS.EXE)
· Copy pedit to the USB Drive (http://www.flaxfx.com/dwl/pedit.zip )
· Restart your Sony Vaio from the USB Disk
· Enter the following commands:
o symcmos -v2 -lcmos.sav
o pedit\pedit.exe cmos.sav
§ Modify the register from 0000 to 0001 on the following place (dependent of the laptop model)
§ SONY MODEL      BIOS VERSION    REGISTER
==========      ============    ========
VGN-AR21S       R0200J6         reg 0195
VGN-AR41S R0030J8  reg 027F
VGN-AR51M       R1050J8         reg 027F
VGN-AR51SU      R1050J8         reg 027F
VGN-AR51E   reg 027F
VGN-AR61ZRU R2080J8  reg 0285
VGN-AR670       R1050J8         reg 027F
VGN-AR71M R2090J8  reg 0285
VGN-AR71S R2090J8  reg 0285
VGN-C290N R0080J4  reg 0318
VGN-CR520E R3041Q0  reg 05BB
VGN-FE890       R0200J3         reg 0195
VGN-FZ11ZR      R0050J7         reg 02D3
VGN-FZ180E      R0050J7         reg 02D3
VGN-FZ21M                       reg 02CD
VGN-FZ21Z       R1120J7         reg 02CD
VGN-TZ27GN R0071N7  reg 0363
VGN-FZ280E      R1120J7         reg 02CD
VGN-FZ290                       reg 02CD
VGN-FZ290E      R1120J7         reg 02CD
VGN-FZ31M       R2110J7         reg 02D0
VGN-FZ340E R2110J7  reg 02D0
VGN-FZ470E R2110J7  reg 02D0
VGN-FZ490N R2110J7  reg 02D0
VGN-FZ91NS      R1120J7         reg 02CD
VGN-SZ          R0112N0         reg 0354
VGN-SZ          R0101S5         reg 02F1
VGN-SZ1XP                       reg 0399
VGN-SZ330P R0096N0         reg 0399
VGN-SZ370       R0096N0         reg 0399
VGN-SZ3XP R0096N0  reg 0318
VGN-TX3XP R0034N3  reg 03A2
VGN-TZ130N      R0052N7         reg 0363
VGN-TZ180         reg 027F
VGN-TZ1RXN_B R0061N7  reg 0363
VGN-TZ91HS R0052N7  reg 0363
§ Save your changes ( Alt-F Save )
§ Close pedit ( alt-x )
o symcmos -v2 -ucmos.sav
·Cold Reboot the systeem and virtualization should be on.

NOTE: Use at own Risks. I am not responsible for any problems which might occur from this change

Created a guide with the information from How to Enable Intel VT and AHCI on a VAIO SZ
Tested on my Sony Vaio

Edit: Updated the list
Edit: modified bootflop download link

50 comments:

  1. Greetings, do you know how I can do it for VGN-CR290 laptops? I bought this for wife 2 years ago and lucked out. http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-download.pl?mdl=VGNCR290&upd_id=3618&os_id=29 is the BIOS.

    thanks - jordan.turner1974 AT Y a h o o DOT c o m

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kyle (Or Jordan),

    I haven't found the register for your machine yet. If I do I'll update this post.
    Have you taken a look at the posting : http://www.virtualization.info/2009/07/how-sony-impedes-virtualization-hurting.html from Alessandro Perilli. He refers to another way of "patching" the BIOS.

    Maybe this wil work for you.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi

    I was wondering if this was possible with the VGN-CS21S Vaio Laptop?

    Thanks
    G

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Gee,

    For your machine I haven't found the register yet. Keep posted if I find it I'll post it here.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Bas

    I foolishly did a BIOS update *after* I learnt that it could be easily hacked to solve this problem :(

    Having said that, I have extracted the .ROM from the update (and the subsequent software), so unless it is compressed, we have an easy way of patching from inside windows.

    I think there are 3 registers we are interested in, EFI (as it is disabled), VT (for obvious reasons!) and the Advanced Menu in the BIOS boot screen (which is also supressed by a flag).

    Are there any obvious tell-tale signs in the ROM I can be looking for to help out?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Gee,

    I don't know for sure tell tails. You could check on the following site if someone can help you: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=189228

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  7. For people looking for an alternative way to patch the VT register. Download VTPatch.rar from http://levicki.net/downloads/
    In the readme.txt are the instructions.

    On Notebookforum are a lot of successtories (http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=350209)

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    PS. Updated the registry list

    ReplyDelete
  8. The boot floppy image link does not work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello LR2,

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Modified the link...
    New link is: http://www.bootdisk.info/modules.php?modid=1&action=show&id=55

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  10. I search a way for update my vaio VGN-bx397xp
    Last version of bios is R0094X7 ivt

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Massimo,

    Take a look at the alternative way to patch the VT register. Download VTPatch.rar from http://levicki.net/downloads/
    In the readme.txt are the instructions.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello everybody,

    Slightly off-topic but hopeful that somebody will reply with a solution I explain my situation: On my Sony Vaio VGN-SZ120P when I launch (with Admin credentials) HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool I can see any external HDD but no USB thumbdrives (the "Device" field is just greyed out if I insert a pendrive) !!! This is driving me NUTS!!! Anybody could provide a solution to this?

    Thanks Alex

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Bas,

    I have a Sony Vaio VGN-AR41S, I followed instructions, but for some reason in the CMOS.save file the reg value (reg 027F) does not exist, Do I need to create it?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Jeremy,

    I don't believe you should create it..
    If you ran the command "symcmos -v2 -lcmos.sav" It should be in there. Otherwise you might have another BIOS version.

    Try installing the same BIOS version and try again. Otherwise try the alternative way to patch the VT register. Download VTPatch.rar from http://levicki.net/downloads/
    In the readme.txt are the instructions.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  15. VGN-FZ485U Register is 02D0.

    Thx for the article.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Bas,

    Could you be so kind to give me an idea why on my Vaio (VGN-SZ120P) HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool does not work? The same version works on any other laptop... Is there something that I need to change in the BIOS?

    Tnx, Anke

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Anke,

    The HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool needs Administrator rights to succesfull run. If you are running Vista you should Right click the icon and choose "Run as Administrator" or an equivilent in your language For instance in dutch : "Als beheerder uitvoeren"

    If your system is not booting from USB disk you must change a setting in the BIOS to allow USB Boot.

    If the above does not solve your issue please explain more about your problem so I can try and help you.

    Grtz,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello,

    i have the sony VGN-CR29XNB with the bios version R1131Q0 is the register: 05BB also valid for my bios?

    grtz,

    Sander

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Sander,

    I really don't know. The register CAN be different with each machine.

    Sorry.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello Bas,

    Thanks for your reply!

    Sony Vaio VGN-SZ120P (XP SP3 / 1 Admin account only).
    I launch with Admin credentials HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
    I can see any external HDD but no USB thumbdrives (the "Device" field is just greyed out if I insert a pendrive).
    As mentioned earlier the same versions (2.0.6 / 2.1.8) work on any other laptop both with external HDD and USB thumbdrives.

    Tnx in advance for your valuable support,

    Anke

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Anke,

    It is strange, I didn't have that problem with my laptop. It could be thtat this version requires Windows Vista. You can however use another laptop to perform these steps and than boot your Sony laptop.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bas: "It could be thtat this version requires Windows Vista."

    Anke: "The other laptops where I used this version also run XP SP3, so I would exclude Vista"

    Bas: "You can however use another laptop to perform these steps..."

    Anke: "Which steps are you referring to?"

    Bas: "...and then boot your Sony laptop."

    Anke: "I have no problem in booting my Vaio. The only problem I have is that on my Vaio I cannot NTFS format thumbdrives (which I do pretty frequently) using the very nice HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool. I hope you can think of something: I would be VERY grateful."

    ReplyDelete
  23. Problem solved!

    Installing HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool v.2.2.3 solved TOTALLY the malfunction on my Sony Vaio!!!!

    Thanks for nothing ;)

    Anke

    ReplyDelete
  24. worked on sony vaio VGN-FZ340E. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I keep getting an error from the HP Tool when trying to create the DOS startup disk in FAT32 saying "The user-supplied DOS system files are not compatible with FAT32." I've used several of the floppy images from the link above, all with the same error. I'm using v2.1.8 of the HP Tool. I also tried v2.2.3 but it automatically changed my FAT32 selection to FAT when I clicked Start. Worst comes to worst, I'll use a different laptop to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Of course, I solved my own problem by finding an img of DOS 7.1...all taken care of! http://ms-dos7.hit.bg/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Worked perfectly on Vaio TZ21WN with BIOS R0071N7 using these instructions http://readmystuff.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/how-to-enable-hardware-virtualization-for-a-sony-vaio-vgn-ar41s/

    ReplyDelete
  28. You can add the following 2 models to those sucessfully tested:
    VGN-FX31M BIOS R2110J7 Reg 02D0
    VGN-FZ21Z BIOS R1120J7 Reg 02CD

    Really useful blog, saved myself and a friend hours!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Correction to my previous post with the new model numbers we tested !

    You can add the following 2 models to those sucessfully tested:
    VGN-FX31Z BIOS R2110J7 Reg 02D0
    VGN-FZ21S BIOS R1120J7 Reg 02CD

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anyone know the registers for the VGN-SZ650N?

    ReplyDelete
  31. as suggested I have tried give a look at the alternative way to patch the VT register. VTPatch.rar from http://levicki.net/downloads/
    But not able update my vaio VGN-bx397xp bios is R0094X7 ivt
    beacause i not found reg value

    ReplyDelete
  32. The register for my vaio VGN-bx397xp bios (phoenix) R0094X7?

    ReplyDelete
  33. The register for VGN-BX397XP (BIOS=R0094X7) is "0285"

    I am looking for ACPI Patch for more then 2GB Memory for VGN-BX397XP!

    Actually installed OS: Windows 7 Professional Build 7600

    Memory: 2GB + 512MB = 2,5GB

    The Notebook works fine!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was looking for more registry paches also, but not anymore. Use my Sony only with Windows 7 and Virtual PC (XP Mode) for the wife. No larger memory requirement. My employer has given me a Dell Latitude D830 which I use now mostly.... This has all the options I want.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi OW-Suiss
    I have tried The register for VGN-BX397XP (BIOS=R0094X7)
    at "0285" i have changed from 0000 to 0001
    in modified.txt
    symcmos -v2 -uModified.txt

    But not work for me because Vistual pc and secureable tell me that virtualization is not enabled

    Can you help me?

    ReplyDelete
  36. @Massimo Belgrano

    You must "Hard Reset" Your System!
    Yuo can Re-Read the NVRAM to control if Value of "0285" is set to "0001"
    My SONY VGN-BX397XP works with Virtual XP!
    Today i have installed the Brand New ATI-Driver V9.11, it works perfect!

    Best Regards
    OW-Suiss

    ReplyDelete
  37. Could you please explain the following steps in more detail?

    · Install and start the Virtual Floppy Driver
    · Initiate the floppy drive (Run as Admin)
    · Install the boot floppy image on the virtual floppy drive

    Thank you, cheers, carl

    ReplyDelete
  38. · Install and start the Virtual Floppy Driver
    ==> When you install the Virtual Floppy Driver you need to start the service before continuing (or reboot, but since I hate reboots ...)
    The command is [vfd INSTALL AUTO] and then [vfd START] or run the GUI and select the appropiate buttons
    · Initiate the floppy drive (Run as Admin)
    ==> Start the just installed application (in Vista or Windows7 right click on the application shortcut and select "run as administrator"
    This does not work in normal mode. use the vfdwin.exe
    · Install the boot floppy image on the virtual floppy drive
    ==> When you start the bootimage it requires a driveletter of your floppy drive. Select the driveletter from the previous step.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi, can I do it for VGN-FZ230E?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Bas,

    I have a VGN-AR51J and I followed the instructions and changed and updated the nvram, however, after a cold reboot I see no changes in terms of available options in the BIOS for enabling or disabling VT-x

    I changed the following register: 027F 0000 to 027F 0001.

    My BIOS version is: R1050J8

    Any ideas?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hello Rumind,

    That is correct. The BIOS will NOT show the option. but the setting should be correct now. you can check this by running the application securable ( http://www.grc.com/securable.htm ) This must tell you that Virtualisation is possible.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  42. I try register 0363 on VGN-TZ160N (BIOS= R0052N7)and I have message "PCI System Error on Bus/Device/Function 0000h". Can you help me?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hello A. Hidayat,

    If you modified the BIOS incorrect and you can still go into the BIOS you can revert back to factory defaults. Or you can load the original file into the BIOS.

    Hope this helps. Otherwise I don't know.

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete
  44. After I revert back the Bios to factory defaults, I follow again your instruction. I registry my VGN-TZ160N with 0363. After exit pedit.exe, I have message "PCI System Error....". I ignore that and shutdown my TZ. After cold boot, I follow the last instruction, and then cold boot again. It's Work!!!
    I think, the registry is depend on BIOS version not type of Sony Vaio. So, firs find your BIOS version in esuppoty.sony.com.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks to OW-Suiss
    I have resolved!
    and now i am using also ATI-Driver V9.12, it works perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  46. GREAT!!!
    Unbelievable, you solved my problem and help me to save money for a new Laptop!
    p.bianco@email.it from Italy... Want to came for a week-end in Milano (Italy) yo will be my guest! THANKS

    ReplyDelete
  47. I got VGN-AR51M i need AHCI enabled, i couldnt find any way to activate it, is there any way ?
    No hex found to change.

    ReplyDelete
  48. WICKED !!! Works like a charm on my old SZ3VP (European Model) now. Many thanks !!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Can I also patch the BIOS for Sony SZ6 AWN/C (German model that is equivalent to the SZ650 or so)?
    BIOS: R0082S5.

    Thanks in advance,

    Christian (Email: ck5 AT aon DOT at).

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dear Christian,

    I Really don't know... You could try it.
    But NO WARRANTY!!!

    Regards,

    Bas Steelooper

    ReplyDelete