A quick note about 64bit virtualization

loocas | software,technical | Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Naturally, I’d downloaded Windows 7 RC1 x64 as soon as it was available to test it out. Obviously I can’t afford to ditch my current setup and reinstall from scratch on my primary workstation just to see whether Windows 7 really are up to the hype and thus worth the upgrade. That’s where virtualization comes really invaluable.

So I prepared a new virtual machine in my VMWare Workstation and, surprisingly, got an error message saying “This CPU is VT-capable, but VT is not enabled (check your BIOS/firmware settings).” The problem was that I had Virtualization enabled by default in my BIOS!

I searched the net, but all I found was always the same recommendation: enabling virtualization in BIOS. So I checked Gigabyte’s website for BIOS updates as that was the last resort I would be able to go to, if that wouldn’t have worked, I’d have been pretty much doomed and wouldn’t be able to virtualize 64bit guest operating systems.

Thankfully, flashing the BIOS to the latest version worked and I am able to fire up a Windows 7 RC1 x64 virtual OS for some testing.

Just a side note, I run a Core i7 CPU (920) on a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P (BIOS: F7) board, the rest of the HW is irrelevant to virtualization (except perhaps the amount of RAM), no need to brag, besides it’s more like a gaming rig than a workstation, but I’m more inclinable to the value/price ratio than a brand let’s say. ;) Nevertheless, this rig runs faster than a more expensive machine from Dell (Precision T3400) I have here temporarily for rendering.

virt_win7

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