Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Sony Vaio Have VT Disable; No Win 7 XP Mode

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 30 comments

Even if there's VT, there is no VT.

One of the great things about Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate is XP Mode. Windows 7 will run a virtual Windows XP so that the OS can maintain full compatibility for old applications that don't work in Vista or 7.

In order for XP Mode to run, however, the CPU must have virtualization support and the feature must also be enabled in the BIOS.

While one would think that being able support virtualization is a great feature and selling point, Sony seems to be intentionally disabling it on its Vaio computers due to security concerns. Whatever those concerns may be, other manufacturers don't appear to be worried enough to cripple their own systems.

Xavier Lauwaert, Senior Manager Product Marketing at Sony, explained in a comment on the Windows blog, "Contrary to perceived opinion, we have received very little if any requests to enable VT technology up until very recently.

"In addition, our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter."

Lauwaert added that with the advent of XP virtualization, Sony will be reevaluating its stance on the technology and will be enabling the feature on select models.

Display 30 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    war2k9 , August 10, 2009 5:40 PM
    Thank you Sony that is another reason for me not to buy laptops from you.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    scook9 , August 10, 2009 5:40 PM
    fail
  • 10 Hide
    war2k9 , August 10, 2009 5:40 PM
    Thank you Sony that is another reason for me not to buy laptops from you.
  • 2 Hide
    NocturnalOne , August 10, 2009 5:41 PM
    It's "DisableD"
  • 3 Hide
    hellwig , August 10, 2009 5:51 PM
    Quote:
    "In addition, our engineers and QA people were very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter."


    Sounds to me like Sony's engineers and QA people don't really understand how VT works. I would think if this was that much of a threat, the OS vendors would not be supporting it. I really don't think Sony (who does nothing but assemble computer components into a working machine) really has any reason to control such a feature.
  • 0 Hide
    yonef , August 10, 2009 5:55 PM
    I hate sony since I bought a LCD-TV and it was not able to represent older system like SECAM and I was not able to watch my sat. receiver (foreigner sat. receiver) on the new sony tv. It's showed a Black&White picture :( 
    1 word to sony: Bollox

    P.S.
    Quote:
    ...VT would expose our systems to malicious code...

    yeaaah right! That's why all servers in the world using it !

    Robbing people with their ultra expensive products that are purposely crippled.
  • 1 Hide
    lifelesspoet , August 10, 2009 5:56 PM
    This is the reason I don't like sony. It's not like they don't make decent products or technology, they have some great ones. They could Just give a rat's ass about their customers. I'm not sure however that is better then microsoft who often make faulty products and bend over backwards for the customer.
  • 1 Hide
    dheadley , August 10, 2009 5:57 PM
    Not saying they are right or wrong, but I remember reading an article on one of the sites recently that was an interview with a Security Researcher that specialized in exploiting VM's to get below the operating systems and could place something below the hyper-visor on systems and render all forms of anti-virus, root-kit detection and security measures useless on the effected machine and in all virtual machines run on the machine or something along those lines. It got to be a boring read after a bit.
  • 0 Hide
    amnotanoobie , August 10, 2009 6:04 PM
    Well it would be easier for the Sony engineers and QA, there's less questions on them for people who might not use them in the first place. Before the XP mode of Win 7, there aren't any typical user apps that would use VT. For the apps that use VT, I think if you are a user that's going to use such apps I think you'd know how to get into the BIOS and change this setting.
  • 5 Hide
    FUtomNOreg , August 10, 2009 6:06 PM
    This, from the company that was busted installing rootkits on their customer's PCs.
  • 0 Hide
    yonef , August 10, 2009 6:15 PM
    It doesn't matter if VT is harmless or not. They could build in simple BIOS option: enable/disable VT and users that want it will have choice to enable it! Simple as that. But forcing VT off is just insolently.
  • 1 Hide
    Upendra09 , August 10, 2009 6:17 PM
    if only they had as much brains as talk
  • 1 Hide
    SAL-e , August 10, 2009 6:28 PM
    Haha... Sony do not want to pay the BIOS developer for the feature! That is all.
  • 1 Hide
    Upendra09 , August 10, 2009 6:33 PM
    If they had VT on they would hike the price up 300 USD
  • 0 Hide
    _SirO_ , August 10, 2009 6:47 PM
    from what I've understood, VT is disabled with no means to be enabled.

    What it takes is a simple BIOS option to enable it and that's it.
    No security compromise unless the user willingly enables VT
  • 1 Hide
    Lowdown , August 10, 2009 6:58 PM
    FUtomNOregThis, from the company that was busted installing rootkits on their customer's PCs.


    I was thinking the exact same thing. There is a whole lot worse things to have enabled then the VT.
  • 0 Hide
    Hanin33 , August 10, 2009 7:18 PM
    i don't know that this is really anything more than a focus on their target audience... which would neither know wot VT is nor use it even if they did... i think the biggest user of XP Mode would be business users and i don't think they'd go for this particular line of laptops and sony stated they would enable it in certain models...

    i think in the end.. anyone that would use this feature would have an idea of what to look for in a new laptop either way... so they would avoid the models that do not have this enabled. the rest would not know how to use it and would be confused by it. so is this really a problem in the end?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2009 7:55 PM
    My Lenovo N100 laptop suffers from the same problem.
    Why didn't microsoft just make VT extensions optional like they did with previous Virtual PC versions?
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , August 10, 2009 8:41 PM
    I wouldn't touch a Sony laptop with a five foot pole anyways so this isn't much of a bother for me. At least when Apple overcharges for their laptops they are built well.
  • 2 Hide
    alantlchan , August 11, 2009 12:05 AM
    Security?? Then install the Sony rootkit as well!

    If there is an easy way to re-enable it, it is ok to disable by default. Even there are security issues, then it is user's choice.

    Anyway, I will not buy a Sony laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    rusabus , August 11, 2009 6:56 AM
    The real security issue with VT is that a key logger or other low-level security threat could run at a lower level than the OS and then virtualize the entire OS without any significant performance penalty. Key loggers and other malware running at that level are impossible to detect from within the OS and could present a huge security concern. That said, I do like the BIOS option to enable/disable it rather than forcing it to be off.
Display more comments