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Mandeep Singh Bahra

“HARDWARE_VIRTUALIZATION WARNING: Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU, or is not enabled in the BIOS”

When creating a 64bit virtual machine on bare metal or nested ESXi host, you may get the hardware virtualization warning. This means that the virtualization is not enabled either at the bios or in the nested host. You can still run 32bit virtual machines on the host.

H/W Virtualization

On the Intel based motherboards, you will see the option of Intel VT-x and Intel VT-d. Both these features are for enabling the virtualization features on the physical host so that it can run 64bit virtual machines using the physical host hardware. The motherboard has to support the VT-x feature, though the VT-d is required for passthrough of hardware resources to the virtual machines. So make sure both these features are enabled in the bios. Most likely you will find these features under the CPU settings tab in the bios.

Once you enable the virtualization features in the bios and you still see the warning message while installing the 64 bit virtual machine, you have to perform the following task on the host. If you have a ESXi 5,0 or lower version, you have to enable SSH on the host and then SSH to the host. Use vi to edit the /etc/vmware/config file and set vhv.allow = “true”. If you have a ESXi 5.1 or 5.5 host, then we have to edit the .vmx file of each created virtual machine and add the following line to the .vmx config: vhv.enable = “true”. This will enable the virtual hardware virtualization on the host.

More information can be found on the VMware KB article here.