How to enable VT in XPS 600 temporarily

I have a very powerful XPS 600 from Dell and I still love it very much.  However, I had only one complaint which is its VT capapility switch in BIOS.  CPU has VT capability but BIOS does not offer VT enable switch in BIOS.  I have contacted Dell a few times before but it does not seem that it will be supported.  So I started looking for a way to get around it.

The following information is what I found online.  The feature control Machine Specific Register (MSR) for VT has two bits.  The first bit is a lock bit and the second bit is a on and off bit.  If the lock bit is locked then you do not really have a choice.  However, if the lock bit is clear then you can enable the second bit from OS temporarily. 

Here is the steps to enable VT temporarily using Ubuntu live CD.

1. Download an ISO from Ubuntu and burn it on a CD

2. Boot with Ubuntu CD

3. Open up a console and escalate privileges

sudo su

4. Edit apt repository source list and uncomment commented repositories at the bottom

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

5. Update repository list

aptitude update

6. Install msr-tools package

aptitude install msr-tools

7. Load msr module

modprobe msr

8. Read the current value from MSR – do this for each core

rdmsr -p 0 0x3a (Core 1)
rdmsr -p 1 0x3a (Core 2)

9. Write the new value for this MSR – do this for each core

wrmsr -p 0 0x3a 5 (Core 1)
wrmsr -p 1 0x3a 5 (Core 2)

10. Restart

** It looks like this value is not changed until any BIOS setting is changed or the machine is power-cycled.

2 Replies to “How to enable VT in XPS 600 temporarily”

  1. This was very useful information. I was frustrated with my XPS 600 as unavailability of bios upgrade had left me with no choice wrt enabling VT (even after upgrading to a CPU with VT). I was desperate to get the XP Mode working in Windows 7 and this is the best solution there is.

    Thank you for the post.

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