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VAIO owners angry - Sony lock blocks XP virtualization in Windows 7

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Aug 2009 20:00 User comments (40)

VAIO owners angry - Sony lock blocks XP virtualization in Windows 7 Owners of some Sony VAIO laptops have voiced their anger about a Sony-imposed limitation that will block XP Virtualization in Windows 7. We all know VAIO isn't exactly cheap, and this is not a case of the VAIO missing hardware required for the welcomed Windows 7 feature. The affected laptops (such as the Z series) utilize an Intel Core 2 Duo processor that has Intel's Virtualization Technology (VT) built in.
However, the Intel VT is disabled on the affected laptops, and it doesn't appear that Sony is willing to change that anytime soon, but did say it would enable VT on "some" VAIO models in the future. The question is being asked whether Sony has the right to do this, considering owners did "buy" the laptop with the VT-capable processor built in - yet they are being prevented by Sony from utilizing it fully.

Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."

Some owners have demanded refunds while others are going further and calling for a class-action lawsuit, alleging the company was not clear on the fact that the VAIO machines were made incapable of using a core feature of the Intel Core 2 Duo chip inside.

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40 user comments

110.8.2009 20:06

This is $ony...Go Figure.

210.8.2009 20:26

Just disable the Windows 7 compatibility assistant service and run M$'s Virtual PC 2007 (which is still free) and install your own copy of XP. M$ was only going to offer "XP mode" in Win7 for Business and Ultimate users anyway, when most people would have Home versions.

310.8.2009 21:04
oappi
Inactive

Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."

Maybe sony should also prevent users from installing windows and linux operating systems then, and give knoppix dvd media with their laptops.

Sony most likely knows what they are talking about since they are experts on hiding drm stuff on your computers anyway (sony rootkit remember?) I dont even know why anyone would buy SONY laptop after their rootkit experiments

410.8.2009 21:34

Originally posted by oappi:

Sony most likely knows what they are talking about since they are experts on hiding drm stuff on your computers anyway (sony rootkit remember?) I dont even know why anyone would buy SONY laptop after their rootkit experiments
That's exactly why I don't own a vaio. They are too damn expensive as well. You are only buying Sony's logo.

510.8.2009 21:47

So if I install a whole copy of win7 it should support windosexp mode?

610.8.2009 21:55

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
So if I install a whole copy of win7 it should support windosexp mode?
Only if it's Business or Ultimate Editions (if you have the right CPU...like Core 2 Intels or Phenom/Phenom II AMDs)...M$ doesn't support it in the Home Editions.

710.8.2009 21:58

Quote:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
So if I install a whole copy of win7 it should support windosexp mode?
Only if it's Business or Ultimate Editions (if you have the right CPU...like Core 2 Intels or Phenom/Phenom II AMDs)...M$ doesn't support it in the Home Editions.
Good good, its not like I will touch home editions after the hell I went threw with vista home....

810.8.2009 22:19

I avoid sony products as much as possible. I bought pioneer speakers for my car and they lasted me the whole time i had them but i just sold the car with the speakers, they will be missed, but the sony cd player crapped out soon. Sony has a big name and I don't see them making quality but using there name as a selling point.

910.8.2009 22:24

Originally posted by pollution:
I avoid sony products as much as possible. I bought pioneer speakers for my car and they lasted me the whole time i had them but i just sold the car with the speakers, they will be missed, but the sony cd player crapped out soon. Sony has a big name and I don't see them making quality but using there name as a selling point.
Well thats how the manufacturing game is played you have to research the models within the brand some are great some suck....

1010.8.2009 22:36

Sony are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. They spend millions to prevent piracy of their movies, games, and music. On the other hand, they sell DVD burners which is where most of the things are used to burn.

Trying to stop you from running XP in a virtual environment is just really stupid.

I agree when you buy a Sony laptop. You are buying the name. You can get the same specs in a Toshiba, HP, or Acer for a cheaper price.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Aug 2009 @ 22:37

AMD Quad 9950, Asus Motherboard, 2G Kingston Ram, 512MB Asus 8600GT, Samsung DVD Rom sh- d162c, LG Rom GDR8163B,
LG Burner h62n

1110.8.2009 22:42

EricCarr, edit your sig to conform to forum specs ASAP. yours is 7 lines of text.
1. Text-only signatures should have at most 5 lines of text.

1211.8.2009 0:53

If Sony engineers have found an exploit for Intel's VT, why didn't they simply forward knowledge of the exploit to Microsoft so they could patch it? Do they intend to use it themselves for their latest DRM or something?!? Virtualization is really big right now, I think Sony is making (another) mistake by stepping out of the picture on this.

1311.8.2009 1:00

You can apply a patch to the bios to enable.

It quite simple actually; I have been running virtualization since it first became available with win7.

1411.8.2009 4:07

You souldn't have to flash an aftermarket, hacked, unsupported bois to enable the features that are included in both hardware and software. This does not even prevent the use of virtual machines, just the efficient use of virtual machines.

Sony should sell laptops without screens, this would make it much harder for people to mess up their laptops.

1511.8.2009 5:15

Quote:
Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."
I just dont believe it.
Something else is behind that, dont know what, and why, but thats not the real reason IMO

*edited by Jannejt: changed "code" tag to "quote" in order to avoid horizontal scrolling*
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 10:40

1611.8.2009 5:53

Originally posted by SDF_GR:
Quote:
Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."
I just dont believe it.
Something else is behind that, dont know what, and why, but thats not the real reason IMO

This could be true if the following happened:
1.) Sony engineers find massive problems with the crummy parts sony sells. They tell their superiors that they are so problematic that they may cause the PC to stop working completely.
2.) Their superiors refuse to replace the bad parts, and instead have the engineers write a modified bios that bypasses the hardware issues.
3.) The superiors don't tell anyone untill the complaints start coming in. At this point, they blame the engineers.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 10:39

1711.8.2009 6:25

Originally posted by oappi:
Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."

Maybe sony should also prevent users from installing windows and linux operating systems then, and give knoppix dvd media with their laptops.

Sony most likely knows what they are talking about since they are experts on hiding drm stuff on your computers anyway (sony rootkit remember?) I dont even know why anyone would buy SONY laptop after their rootkit experiments
About that Linux thing...
I've tried to install Linux on my Song Vaio FW145 (Back when I hated Vista more than I do now, I still dislike it, just not as much)and I failed. I tried different versions of Linux. Ubuntu & Xubuntu for example. It would always fail. I could (if I got lucky) install it and boot up into it straight from the install once if I changed the troubleshooting options to screen compatibility mode, but if I rebooted into the OS again, my screen would always have...issues. Where I couldn't see anything but horizontal lines. I also tried installing Windows Xp Pro, Windows 2k, and Windows 98 on my Vaio to run older programs that won't work on virtual PC's. They all failed... The only OS I've been able to dual boot with on my Vaio is Windows 7 open beta. (Haven't bothered upgrading, it's just a back up OS). It's a real shame that they do this to us.

1811.8.2009 9:58

This could be true if the following happened:
1.) Sony engineers find massive problems with the crummy parts sony sells. They tell their superiors that they are so problematic that they may cause the PC to stop working completely.
2.) Their superiors refuse to replace the bad parts, and instead have the engineers write a modified bios that bypasses the hardware issues.
3.) The superiors don't tell anyone untill the complaints start coming in. At this point, they blame the engineers.


You are stating the Golden Rule Of Business, Make as cheap as possible, slap a name on that ONCE meant a quality product, sell dear, then blame someone else when product doesn't perform as it should, and hope the chumps buy another, some people are far too brand fixated (or a loyal customer) but big business doesn't show much in way of loyalty.

1911.8.2009 10:30

there's an easy fix: don't buy Sony... couldn't be simpler... :)

2011.8.2009 11:18

Originally posted by KillerBug:

This could be true if the following happened:
1.) Sony engineers find massive problems with the crummy parts sony sells. They tell their superiors that they are so problematic that they may cause the PC to stop working completely.
2.) Their superiors refuse to replace the bad parts, and instead have the engineers write a modified bios that bypasses the hardware issues.
3.) The superiors don't tell anyone untill the complaints start coming in. At this point, they blame the engineers.
Thats seems to be more real, cause this will not apply to all Vaio series.

Originally posted by tefarko:
there's an easy fix: don't buy Sony... couldn't be simpler... :)
The error here is that most of the people will buy it cause
"it is a VAIO"
no matter what the specs or errors are.

2111.8.2009 16:39
pphoenix
Inactive

Originally posted by ivymike:
This is $ony...Go Figure.
there is no defence of this company in any business sector. they are possible one of the worst corporate entities on the globe for being against the public.

overpriced sony is not worth the bother imho.

2211.8.2009 20:22
pphoenix
Inactive

Who wants overpriced defective hardware anyway!


Quote:
Sony admits to failing Nvidia chips 13 months late

SONY HAS FINALLY confessed that it used defective graphics chips in 14 models in its Vaio laptop range. The defective chips, manufactured by Nvidia, can cause distorted video, graphics display artifacts, random characters and blank screens.

Some manufacturers initially attempted to cover up the chip problem by supplying system patches that continually activated cooling fans to prevent further damage and stave off expensive warranty repairs.

Throughout this whole debacle, Sony remained tight-lipped, insisting that its products were unaffected.

Until now, that is.

A statement from Sony, dated August 4th 2009, reads as follows:

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news...hs-late


Here's the list of Sony Vaio models affected:

VGN-FZ11x, VGN-FZ18x, VGN-FZ21x, VGN-FZ31x, VGN-FZ38x,

VGN-AR11x, VGN-AR21x, VGN-AR31x,

VGN-C1Zx, VGN-C2Zx,

VGC-LM1xx, VGC-LM2xx,

VGC-LT1xx, VGC-LT2xx.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 20:24

2311.8.2009 20:29
varnull
Inactive

Here comes an odd comment from me.. I quite like the vaio series. They run a little hot and the displays don't seem to be as bright as they could be.. and the BD drive/dvd burner combo drives burn 100 and die.. but apart from that they are nice machines.

People having problems installing linux? .. I don't get it.. I have installed mint and arch on maybe 50 vaio series without any problems (apart from that bloody inbuilt bluetooth garbage) BUT .. xubuntu and variants have a fault.. they try to boot from /dev/hda1 by default.. but the $ony has a sata drive so will need to have the boot files edited to point at /dev/sda1 instead.. a little bit of experience goes a long way..

This other nonsense about virtualisation.. just install friggin xp if you want it.. obsolete it may be.. but it works better than fista or 7 on any hardware you care to throw it at.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 20:31

2411.8.2009 23:40

Originally posted by varnull:
Here comes an odd comment from me.. I quite like the vaio series. They run a little hot and the displays don't seem to be as bright as they could be.. and the BD drive/dvd burner combo drives burn 100 and die.. but apart from that they are nice machines.
That sounds like sarcasm...I like my car, except the wheels keep falling off, the engine keeps starting on fire, and it costed a fortune.

Bad display, bad burner, bad cooling/overall design, no virtualization...what do you like about them?

2512.8.2009 4:21

Quote:
However, the Intel VT is disabled on the affected laptops, and it doesn't appear that Sony is willing to change that anytime soon, but did say it would enable VT on "some" VAIO models in the future. The question is being asked whether Sony has the right to do this, considering owners did "buy" the laptop with the VT-capable processor built in - yet they are being prevented by Sony from utilizing it fully.
Of course they do not have the right to do this its up to the consumer to decide whether or not they want the feature or not. It's like Microsoft saying that users must use the UAC feature but No. even Microsoft realises that this is the users choice.

Wouldn't the answer just be to get another copy of Vista and install that and get rid of the Viao version.

Quote:
Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "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."
This is absolute garbage if this was there problem in the first place then why don't they just create an update so that users can download to update their security features within their system instead of removing a major attraction to the new Microsoft Windows.

I am Disappointed Sony. Maybe in this case Sony should just stick to making TV's and other appliances and leave the computers to the professionals.

2612.8.2009 15:36

My last Sony purchase was a HDtv in 2005 but now I don't recommend any of their stuff due to such horrible company management and policies.

And if you want a good laptop, get the Asus G71GX-RX05.



2713.8.2009 8:41
ckwan
Inactive

"http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news...hs-late"
What is this website about? How did you obtain the list?

2813.8.2009 8:44
ckwan
Inactive

I have a VGN-FZ480 E/B. Wonder if it's an affected model.

2913.8.2009 9:33

Let's see, first the root kit mess, both deliberate and stupid. Next the BR scandal where the player called home to let Sony know what was being watched on their player. None of there business and an unforgivable breach of the customer's privacy and trust. Now this. I vowed that I would never buy another Sony product after the first shot. Happy to keep that vow. Lots of better products at lower prices where the customer is not viewed as the enemy. Perhaps Sony's total disregard for their customer's rights and their customer's privacy indicates that audio visual communication equipment manufacturers should not be in the music or movie business. It confuses them and drives then into making war on their customers, like their other buddies in that business. No more Sony for me. Ever.

3014.8.2009 21:33

Why would you buy a VAIO then ? buy some other brand that allows you to run XP, very simple.

3116.8.2009 9:32

Bought Monopoly PC game a few months ago. It installs Sony Securom. Took it off my computers. Sony Booray. Toshiba is asking permission to produce Booray machines. HDD should have won the war. Haven't bought anything Sony for years. Last bought their crappy floppy discs and a couple dvdrws. Would never buy a Sony burner. My Samsung 19" lcd crapped out after 3 1/2 years but their burners work well and update firmware automatically. DOWN WITH THE SONY CAPITALISTS.

3216.8.2009 11:53

Originally posted by wazzat:
Bought Monopoly PC game a few months ago. It installs Sony Securom. Took it off my computers. Sony Booray. Toshiba is asking permission to produce Booray machines. HDD should have won the war. Haven't bought anything Sony for years. Last bought their crappy floppy discs and a couple dvdrws. Would never buy a Sony burner. My Samsung 19" lcd crapped out after 3 1/2 years but their burners work well and update firmware automatically. DOWN WITH THE SONY CAPITALISTS.
Ya know sony is only 1/3rd of Booray and they didnt even make it...really...

3317.8.2009 3:17

Once upon a time, Sony and National Panasonic were really Great, made well made and well priced products, lasted and performed, were trying to get a good market share, were good to consumers, and had honorable business practices. However, now they have a market share, no longer care about consumers, product are made cheaply and use low paid, easily manipulated workers, and profits and profit margins rule. When people stop buying from companies like this, and choose another that sells better made goods, with an understanding that continued manufacturing good products and at a fair price will be good for all.Simplistic, yes, but sometimes simple things work best. Law of supply and demand, supply crap, no demand.(unless you're a gardener and need crap to condition the soil for better growing of plant.)


warlock

3418.8.2009 12:43
pphoenix
Inactive

Originally posted by bmlshane:
Once upon a time, Sony and National Panasonic were really Great, made well made and well priced products, lasted and performed, were trying to get a good market share, were good to consumers, and had honorable business practices. However, now they have a market share, no longer care about consumers, product are made cheaply and use low paid, easily manipulated workers, and profits and profit margins rule. When people stop buying from companies like this, and choose another that sells better made goods, with an understanding that continued manufacturing good products and at a fair price will be good for all.Simplistic, yes, but sometimes simple things work best. Law of supply and demand, supply crap, no demand.(unless you're a gardener and need crap to condition the soil for better growing of plant.)
to add credence to your reply the gadget show on channel 5 (UK) last night compared 3 screens, a Panasonic, a Sony and a Sharp.

The best picture was awarded to sharp the cheapest of the 3 screens with the Sony which was the most expensive of the 3 coming in last, with what the presenters said to be "overpriced with a very poor & dull picture".

http://gadgetshow.five.tv/gadget-show/blog/boxes-for-your-boudoir

follow the link for the video.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Aug 2009 @ 12:47

3519.8.2009 7:28

While I have said a lot about Sony, I have a PSP, bought about 4 to 5 years ago, prefer my NDSL, Have a PS2 slimline, its good, several years old, and a 60 gig PS3, yes the backwards compatible, works great, but I don't use it on the web for updates,friends had Sony DVD player, TV and I think a VHS recorder, not anymore, all crapped out, the TV lasted the longest.


warlock

3621.8.2009 2:21

Harvey Norman (Australia is having a sale on computers, Sony Vaio about $100 more than other equivalent computers, most expensive has blue ray Rom in fact none have blue ray burners, only computer with that feature. Nut Harvey Norman aren't sellers of cutting edge computers, just computers for masses.

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