Don’t forget to enable hardware virtualization in the BIOS…

It seems that all hardware that Dell ships has hardware virtualization disabled in the BIOS. Laptops and servers alike. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it, but it’s … weird!

Anyway, I’ve been bitten by this at least half a dozen times now. That is, I’ve forgotten to enable it, and only found out later. (Which means I have to physically be at the machine and reboot it, and F2 into the BIOS. Not a huge problem for a laptop, but irritating for a server.)

The symptoms with a laptop and vmware server are more obvious than with ESX/ESXi/3i. With vmware server on a laptop, if you’re running an i386 OS, you won’t be able to run AMD64 VMs. So I recall, at least. They’ll just crash on boot.

ESXi is more annoying though – you might just never notice that you forgot to enable it, because it’s so forgiving. It just boots up and just runs. But it’s slow. You have to really pay attention to notice it, but it does seem to be slower. Without hardware virtualization enabled, if a machine hasn’t been used in a while, it’s as if it’s been paged out or something.

I could be imagining this, and totally over-emphasising the impact of forgetting to enable hw virt (hardware virtualization), but it does seem that forgetting it is very easily done, annoying to fix, and only moderately serious in terms of performance.

Also, I can’t see any way to tell from looking at the VI (Virtual Infrastructure) Client whether hw virt is enabled or not for each CPU. That’d be up high on the list of things I’d like to see fixed in the vi client.


One Response to “Don’t forget to enable hardware virtualization in the BIOS…”

  1. Internet Security & Others Says:

    […] not alone. Other Dell customer found out also that it’s not locked.   [Permanent […]

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