VirtualBox: Diagnose and fix 'VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration' errors

Attention! Accelerate!

Today's tip lists the most common causes of VirtualBox's dread "VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration is not available on your system" error. This error generally makes an appearance during OS installs to a machine, or shortly after starting a new VM the first time:

Virtualbox vt x amd v error dialog Stephen Glasskeys

Virtualization instructions and compatibility

If your VirtualBox is running on a box with an Intel CPU, download and install the CPU-Z tool. Ensure that VT-x is listed in the Instructions pane. If not, you may need to change BIOS settings.

CPU-Z Stephen Glasskeys

For AMD based machines, download the AMD Virtualization Technology and Microsoft Hyper-V System Compatibility Check utility from this support page. The tool will let you know in no uncertain terms if your machine is Hyper-V compatible.

AMD Hyper-V tool Stephen Glasskeys

BIOS settings

Double-check BIOS settings to ensure your machine's CPU and chipset are properly configured. The following screenshots show the BIOS menus and enabled virtualization settings commonly found on Intel and AMD systems:

Intel VT-x BIOS setting Stephen Glasskeys
AMD BIOS Stephen Glasskeys

Update BIOS and check Vbox.log

If all else fails, try updating the BIOS firmware -- older BIOS's have been known to have issues reporting enabled virtualization to the OS. I recently discovered this bug caused problems on one of my older test boxes. The problem was fixed after I ran the latest firmware update utility from the OEM's website.

Firmware update Stephen Glasskeys

Finally if you are still unable to start the VM, use the Machine menu's Show Log feature to view a detailed log of the machine boot process. Another resource that may be of help is's searchable online forum containing posts on a multitude of topics and issues.

This story, "VirtualBox: Diagnose and fix 'VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration' errors" was originally published by ITworld.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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