29 August 2013

Sony Laptops: Bad for programmers who use virtual machines

I'm trying to deal with this problem right now, with little luck (source: http://www.virtualizationteam.com/server-virtualization/sony-vaio-laptops-disabled-intel-vt.html):

Sony VAIO laptops disabled Intel VT

This article title say “Sony VAIO laptops disabled Intel VT“, but what should that mean to you. It should mean the world to a lot of us. It should mean think twice trice before you buy a Sony VAIO laptop, due to the amount of limitation that come with disabling Intel VT. Ok, let’s see some of the most obvious limitation:
1- Sony VAIO Laptops will not support Windows 7 XP mode, which require enabling hardware Virtualization:
Windows 7 will be offering a great feature which is called XP mode, which will allow you to run most of XP applications on Windows 7 without having to worry about application compatibility with Windows 7. As Windows 7 XP mode requires Hardware Virtualization which Sony has decided to disable on their laptops. This means if you are upgrading to windows 7 then Sony VAIO laptop might not be for you.
2- Sony VAIO Laptops will not support MS Hyper-V.
If you are the average Joe, & you don’t care about testing stuff and Virtualization is only a buzzword to you then this might not affect you. Though if you care even a bit of running Hyper-V on your laptop for testing Hyper-V it self or test multiple OS on your laptop at a time then again Sony VAIO is not the laptop for you. Thanks to Sony disabling Intel VT on their Laptops.
3- Sony VAIO Laptops will not support vSphere.
I know, I know vSphere was not meant to run on a laptop. Though its nice to be able to run vSphere on your laptop inside VMware workstation, just to show it up to customers as an immediate POC or just for testing the new features of vSphere. I know this might be only for Virtualization geeks like me, but I know a lot of us exist out there. This again means Sony VAIO Laptops are not for us (All Virtualization Geeks out there).
Background & Credit:
I owe to give a bit of background and credit about how I discovered these limitation. Actually one of my friends had bought one of these nice Sony VAIO Laptops for over 2,000 CAD from one of the large computer stores. When he went home he installed Windows 7 on it, but failed to enable the XP mode on it. He gave me a call, and again we both tried to enable Intel VT which is required by XP mode on Windows 7 to no success. I have turned around to google and a fast search landed me on the following post by virtualization.info Sony explains why it disabled Intel VT in VAIO laptops , which make us certain we will never succeed doing that and reading the post further I found out the above limitations & decided to share it with my readers. I know all of you are a virtualization lovers, so you might want to avoid buying VAIO Laptops at the moment till sony fix this issue. Or maybe take a step further, and let Sony know that you need them to enable Intel VT on their laptops.
Note: Sorry Sony, but my friend has just went back to the store & replaced his laptop by another brand which worked just fine. I believe this will happen a lot in the next few months unless these limitations are resolved, not to mention Windows 7 official release is very close.
Any update on this issue & when it will be resolved can be posted inthe comments area below, and will highly be appreciated by me & my readers.

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