Virtualization and BIOS Update

First of all, do not try what I’ve done in this post. It maybe a dangerous operation and may destroy your computer.

I bought a Lenovo G50-45 laptop about a year ago intending to convert it to my personal develop machine using Ubuntu. The price tag of approximately 450 dollar seemed right for a secondary computer. As soon as I got it, I installed Ubuntu as I intended. The instillation process went without any issues. Great! I was very pleased until one day I decided to install VirtualBox and configure the hardware to support virtualization; AMD-V. I went to the BIOS setting, and I noticed there was no way to enable AMD-V. I didn’t have time to dig more at the time, so I simply concluded that this particular CPU doesn’t support hardware virtualization without further investigation.

A few months has passed since then, now I decided to run Android Studio on it. Again, the virtualization issue came back. This time I did a bit more investigation. I found out that the hardware can support the virtualization. OK! Great! Except that it is telling me again to go to my BIOS setup and enable virtualization.

sudo kvm-ok
[sudo] password for *****:
INFO: /dev/kvm does not exist
HINT: sudo modprobe kvm_amd
INFO: Your CPU supports KVM extensions
INFO: KVM (svm) is disabled by your BIOS
HINT: Enter your BIOS setup and enable Virtualization Technology (VT),
and then hard poweroff/poweron your system
KVM acceleration can NOT be used

I asked my dearest friend, Mr. Google, and this is what I found out. In short, the BIOS setup utility has a bug and it does not include the virtualization enabler, however, updating BIOS will fix the problem. This solution seemed very simple and reasonable until I realized Lenovo only provided Windows executable. I have Ubuntu…

DO NOT TRY THIS! THIS MAY DESTROY YOUR MOTHERBOARD AND MAKE YOUR COMPUTER USELESS. REPEAT. DO NOT TRY WHAT I SAY FROM NOW. So, I thought if only if I can run a Windows executable on an Ubuntu machine, the problem will be solved. There must be a smart person out there who already figured this problem out. Yes, there was a such a thing called WINE. I tried it, and it didn’t work. Actually, it was great that this didn’t work. Later I learned using WINE could destroy a motherboard to the point requires a new one. Please see this Ubuntu documentation for more details; BIOSUpdate

The document mentioned above also suggests many other ways to update BIOS. However, I haven’t tried any of it yet. Because I simply didn’t have an extra disk that I need to do the operation, most of all it’s a bit tricky thing to do.

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