I wanted to buy a computer that would be a virtualization behemoth. After looking in Best Buy’s site, I found the Del Studio 540 very decent: 8 GB of RAM, Quad Core, and 1 TB of hard drive: hardware specs made in heaven for a home-VM powerhouse.
I took the machine to my place and quickly wiped out the OS that was pre-installed. Installed Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, accessed Server Manager, tried to add Hyper-V role and (drumroll)…no cigar. I thought “no biggie just have to enable virtualization support on the BIOS”. Took a restart trip to the BIOS and the Virtualization option is nowhere to be found. My friend, Xavier recently purchased some Dell laptops and he could not find this option either.
I tried the next thing any rational human being would try – called Dell Tech Support. After battling with a plethora of options to reach a human being, I reached a person who could not understood what I was asking. Basically she told me “you bought it from Best Buy, you need contact Geek Squad…kthxbye.”
So I did. Geek Squad (ha!) told me, “you need to contact Dell.”
So I took the machine back to Best Buy and requested a refund, which they did without any issues.
This leaves with some questions Dell and others have yet to answer:
Why do computer manufactures completely disable the option to enable virtualization? What harm could possibly come from this?
Does anyone else find ironic that Macs can run Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V without a hitch and Dell computers can’t?
Does Dell really expect people to buy their machines when their support is nothing short of mediocre?
Until then, I will be purchasing a couple of mac minis to help me with my virtualization needs.
BTW, I found a utility for quickly checking if a machine can have VT enabled, the Intel® Processor Identification Utility. It is an MSI file, so you have to convince the people of Best Buy/Fry’s/Circuit City to let you install it. Like they told me when I was testing: “you break it – you buy it.”