Windows

Fix: AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (VERR_SVM_DISABLED)

Several users report getting the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error message when trying to start a virtual machine using  VM VirtualBox. Although this particular issue is mostly reported on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, there are several reports of it occurring on Linux distributions.

AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (VER_SVM_DISABLED)
AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (VER_SVM_DISABLED)

Note: If you’re getting the VT-X is not available – VERR_VMX_NO_VMX error, follow this troubleshooting guide (here) instead.

What is causing the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS error?

We investigated the issue by looking at various user reports. From what we were able to gather, there are several scenarios that will trigger the apparition of this particular issue. Here’s a list with common culprits that several other affected users have managed to identify:

  • AMD-V is disabled from BIOS settings – In essence, the VERR_SVM_DISABLE error code is telling you that your PC does support AMD-V, but the host’s BIOS settings are currently disabling it.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V is interfering with the AMD-V technology – If Hyper-V is enabled, it automatically means that the built-in virtualization technology was turned off. In this case, you’ll need to disable it on order to allow AMD-V to pe used.
  • BIOS version doesn’t support this many CPU cores – As it turns out, the issue might get thrown by VM VirtualBox if the software is forced to create a virtual machine with more than 1 CPU core. In order to do this, it requires hardware virtualizations and will throw the error if the feature is disabled or unavailable.
  • VM VirtualBox Bug – There are several reports of this error getting thrown on machines capable of supporting the hardware virtualization technology. In this case, the issue can typically be resolved by modifying some virtual-machine specific settings.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve this particular error message, this article will provide you with several troubleshooting guides. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have successfully used to get the issue resolved.

Keep in mind that the potential fixes below are ordered by efficiency and severity, so please follow them in order until you stumble upon a method that is effective in getting the issue resolved.

Method 1: Enabling AMD-V  from the BIOS settings

AMD-V is the renamed trademark for Secure Virtual Machine Mode (SVM). The number one reason why the  AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error occurs is because the AMD-V technology is disabled from your BIOS Settings.

Even though on most machines this option is enabled by default, a 3rd party interference or a manual modification might mean that it’s disabled on your computer.

Luckily, you can re-enable AMD-V by accessing your BIOS settings and re-enabling Secure Virtual Machine mode from the CPU Configuration settings.

But keep in mind that the steps of entering the BIOS will be different depending on your motherboard manufacturer. To access your BIOS, you will have to press the Setup key during the initial startup procedure. Typically, the setup key is either one of the F keys (F2, F4, F8, F10, F12) or the Del key (for Del machines). If you are unable to discover the Setup key yourself, keep an eye out during the initial startup procedure for any mention of it or search for specific steps according to your motherboard manufacturer.

Press the BIOS key during startup procedure
Press the BIOS key during the startup procedure

Once you successfully enter your BIOS, look for an entry named Secure Virtual Machine Mode and make sure that it’s enabled. On the most popular BIOS version, it can be found in Advanced > CPU Configuration. Once you get there, make sure that Secure Virtual Machine Mode is Enabled, then save the configuration and exit your BIOS.

Make sure Secure Virtual Machine Mode is Enabled
Make sure Secure Virtual Machine Mode is Enabled

Note: The exact location of this entry might vary according to your motherboard model. If Secure Virtual Machine Mode isn’t there for you, search for specific steps according to your manufacturer. On an Acer motherboard, you can re-enable AMD-V by setting AMD IOMMU to Enabled (you can find it inside the AMD I/O Virtualization Technology menu).

Keep in mind that in order for the change to be enforced, a machine restart is not enough. You’ll need to perform a cold boot. This means that you’ll need to power off your machine completely and then allow it to boot up from scratch.

Once the next startup is complete, open the virtual machine that was showing you the message inside VM VirtualBox and see if the issue is resolved. If you are still seeing the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Disabling Windows Hyper-V

Several users encountering the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error have managed to resolve the issue by disabling the Microsoft Hyper-V feature from the Add/Remove Windows features screen.

Microsoft Hyper-V is Microsoft’s own virtualization technology that is automatically enabled on most of the recent Windows version. This creates a problem because whenever Hyper-V is enabled, the built-in hardware technology is turned off (in this case (AMD-V). Since VM VirtualBox needs AMD-V or VT-X in order to run a virtual machine, you will get an error message instead of the actual VM.

Luckily, you can easily rectify this issue by following a set of simple instructions that will help you disable the Microsoft Hyper-V technology. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up Programs and Features.
    Run dialog: appwiz.cpl
    Run dialog: appwiz.cpl
  2. Inside Programs and Features, use the right-hand menu to click on Turn Windows features On or Off.
    In Programs and Features, click on Turn Windows Features On or Off
    In Programs and Features, click on Turn Windows Features On or Off
  3. In the Windows Features screen, look for a Hyper-V entry and make sure that the box associated with it is disabled. Then, click Ok to save the changes.
    Uncheck the box associated with Hyper-V
    Uncheck the box associated with Hyper-V
  4. Restart your machine and see if the error is resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still encountering the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) when powering up your virtual machine, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Changing the number of CPU cores to 1

If you have used the methods above to ensure that your machine has all the requirements to achieve hardware virtualization and the issue is still occurring, it’s very likely that the AMD-V technology id not supported by your current configuration.

Luckily, you can still fix the error with a few very simple steps of instructions. But first, let’s go over what’s causing the problem – Even if you haven’t customized the virtual machine settings that are displaying the error, the default settings might create the issue.

What happens is, the software assigns more than 1 CPU in the System settings, which forces the system to use hardware virtualization in order to start the virtual host. However, if your machine does not support it (you have a Quad-core AMD or something similar), the procedure will not complete successfully and you’ll see the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error message instead.

Luckily, you can rectify this issue by changing the number of assigned CPUs to 1. This will most likely resolve the issue once and for all. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Oracle VM VirtualBox, right-click on the machine that is displaying the error and then click on Settings.
    Right-click on the affected machine and click on Settings
    Right-click on the affected machine and click on Settings
  2. In the Settings of your virtual machine, go to the System tab (using the left-hand submenu) and access the Processor tab. Next, drag the slider associated with Processor(s) to 1 CPU and click OK to save.
    Go to System > Processor and set the Processor slider to 1 CPU
    Go to System > Processor and set the Processor slider to 1 CPU
  3. Close the settings menu and restart your virtual machine. It should boot up without the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error.

Method 4: Changing the Version to Windows 7 or Windows 2003 (if applicable)

Several Ubuntu (Linux) users that where using VM VirtualBox to run Windows XP or Windows 10 were also getting the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error. The way they managed to resolve the issue is by changing the Guest OS settings so that the specified version is set to Windows 2003 or Windows 7.

Although there’s no explanation why this fix is successful, it seems to have helped a lot of users to regain the normal functionality of their virtual machines. Here’s a quick guide on changing the specified Version of your Virtual machine:

  1. Open VM VirtualBox, right-click on the machine that is displaying the error and choose Settings.
    Right-click on affected machine and click Settings
    Right-click on affected machine and click Settings
  2. In the Settings menu, go to the General submenu and then click on the Basic tab. Next, change the Version using the drop-down menu to either Windows 2003 or Windows 7 and hit Ok to save the changes.
    Changing the image version to Windows 7 or Windows 2003
    Changing the image version to Windows 7 or Windows 2003
  3. Start the virtual machine again and see if the boot procedure is successful without the AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS) (VERR_SVM_DISABLED) error

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Fix: AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (VERR_SVM_DISABLED)

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