VirtualBox and the Lenovo E420


I have a Lenovo Edge E420.  Overall I like it – it looks nice, I like it’s keyboard, it’s fast and was a reasonable deal when I bought.  However, after 6-8 months it totally died and I had to send it back for warranty repair.  It turns out that there is a known issue with it and they swapped the motherboard (and some other board related to its power supply) .  The whole deal took 4-5 days and if it had come back working, I would have been really happy about the experience.  (When I got it, it wanted me to login as IBM06 – whose password I could not guess.  I ended up having to reimage the machine which took some time and should not have been necessary.)  That’s another story I guess.

Which gets me to the point I wanted to record for my future googling self.  I went to reinstall Debian on VirtualBox on this machine, and no matter which image I used, it kept locking up when I’d hit the first screen where keyboard input was required.  I tried a number of different things but I couldn’t seem to get past this.  Eventually I stumbled across something in a google search – “make sure virtualization is enabled in the BIOS.”  Well, I hadn’t done that so I went and looked – BINGO.  The E420′s BIOS had Intel “Vt-D” disabled by default.  Once I turned on the virtualization features in the BIOS, installing Debian on VirtualBox was no problem.

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