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HP Intel Hardware

HP Disables VT On Some Intel Laptops 258

Posted by kdawson
from the fixed-soon dept.
snoukka writes "I just bought a new HP nx9420 laptop in order to use it with Linux, XEN, and windows on XEN. I was very disappointed when I noticed that the processor had this feature but VT is disabled in BIOS by HP and cannot be enabled! Disabled!? It's like buying a car with turbo and finding out after buying it that this turbo 'feature' was disabled." The forum thread goes back to last August and is still live. The latest post from an HP rep indicates that new firmware for the nx9420 should be available later this week in which the ability to switch on VT is enabled. It's not clear whether other HP products, in which VT was also disabled, will also get new firmware.
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HP Disables VT On Some Intel Laptops

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  • VT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by M0b1u5 (569472) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:04PM (#17637670) Homepage
    What is VT? That'd be nice to know.
  • Not surprised... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by innosent (618233) <<jmdority> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:15PM (#17637872)
    Enabling VT is a huge security risk with no benefit for most of HP's customers. You probably should be able to turn it on, but having it on leaves open the possibility that a rootkit could be installed as the hypervisor/VMM/whatever, making it undetectable to the OS. Even having the option seems dangerous, as many "power users" will probably enable everything in the BIOS they can, regardless of risk/reward. On second thought, there are probably only a few hundred people that would run Xen on their laptop, so why have the "bug" available on the other few hundred thousand laptops? I suspect there may be many legal reasons why it is disabled by default, whether or not disabling the option to turn it on was intentional or not.
  • by Target Drone (546651) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:16PM (#17637906)
    At least HP responded to the thread, acknowedged the problem and have said that a patch is comming on the 22nd. I guess it did take 6 months to get this fixed but I imagine BIOS updates aren't easy to push through.

    At least they didn't just delete the post. *cough* apple [slashdot.org] *cough*

  • by LunaticTippy (872397) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:36PM (#17638180)
    Try searching around for "male lactation"

    It's actually not uncommon. If you feel cheated, there are drugs you can take to enable this feature. Some models autoenable this feature for no reason.
  • WTF is VT? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:55PM (#17638468) Homepage Journal
    This is yet another Slashdot article that assumes too much. I don't think the average reader is going to know what "VT" is. I certainly don't. It shouldn't be necessary to click through a link to understand the gist of what this story is about. VT should be explained in the synopsis.
  • Re:VT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:09PM (#17638652) Homepage Journal
    Because, of course, it's better to send 5000 users to Wikipedia for a two-letter acronym search than for the author who already know the meaning to include it between parenthesis.

  • Re:VT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:16PM (#17638728)
    In this particular case, the Wiki page you linked to is a list of 29 possible meanings, 13 just in the tech section, where the appropriate meaning is 7th of the 13. I'd personally say that a wiki seart on VT would just add more confusion.

    I know it's fun to say RTFM when you're frustrated at poeople who chose not to read, but in this case a @two letter acronym would really be helped by a definition or a link.
  • Re:WTF is VT? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vga_init (589198) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:59PM (#17639304) Journal

    I really don't think it assumes too much. This entire site is geared toward a demographic that has been following VT for some time.

    Therefore, instead of complaining, you can...

    • Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn something new and do some research. You've already got the Internet, which will tell you everything you want to know.
    • Stop reading Slashdot. If the stories aren't hitting home with you, then maybe you'd like to try another site. You've got the Internet for that too.
    • Skip it and focus on the stories that interest you. If you're not concerned enough to research it, and you're not alienated enough to quit Slashdot, it's time to move on. What, did you think you could get us to stop posting articles about VT just because you don't like it?
  • by caitsith01 (606117) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:17PM (#17640282) Journal
    Which is not that the OP couldn't find the meaning of 'VT', but that it's a basic writing skill to define any acronyms or abbreviations the first time you use them.

    I'm sure they know what Wikipedia is, they were merely pointing out an obvious problem with the story.
  • by TheOrquithVagrant (582340) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:57PM (#17640736)
    No. It is explicitly disabled. You have to write a "not enabled" value to a specific MSR, and then a "LOCK" value to another MSR to put VT in an "un-enableable" state like is the case on the HP BIOS. This is entirely intentional, and "fixing". It's a whopping 4 assembly instructions to "fix" this.
  • by name_already_taken (540581) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:15PM (#17640950)
    Acronyms are a way in which like minded people can quickly and efficiently communicate; countless businesses, academic institutions and social groups freely use acronyms as part of an established and understood vocabulary.

    Except that in this case "VT" is not part of an established and understood vocabulary.

    Of course, we wouldn't ask that question because everyone knows what HP is already. Why's that? Because this is a tech orientated site, of course.

    This isn't really a good comparison. Even people without a technology background know what "HP" stands for.

    I've been involved with and around computers and electronics since the late 1970s, and today is the first day in a long time that I've encountered the abbreviation "VT". It means "Video Terminal", right? Or is it "Video Tape"?

    It's AEP (accepted editorial practice, but you knew that already, right?) to put the meaning of an abbreviation in parentheses next to its first use in a journalism piece, so you're sure the reader understands what you're talking about - unless you're writing an abbreviation knowledge test.

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