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MacBook Air 2013 + Hyper-V: Fix the “Virtualization support is disabled in the firmware”

As the PC makers seem to have some problems getting the Haswell based ultrabooks to market, I decided to get MacBook Air 2013 (MBA 13 i5 model) and use it as my main development machine with the help of Boot Camp. Unfortunately I encountered a deal breaker:  I couldn’t turn on Hyper-V in Windows 8:

Hyper-V cannot be installed: Virtualization support is disabled in the firmware

Hyper-V is required when one wants to do Windows Phone 8 development, which I do quite much.

But fortunately, there’s a fix for this, though it has couple problems:

  1. It costs money
  2. The solution is just bizarre

In order to enable Hyper-V you have to follow these steps:

  1. Boot the computer into Mac OS X
  2. Purchase (or get the trial), download and install Parallel Desktop for Mac
  3. Reboot back to Windows 8

And that’s it, the Hyper-V is now available.

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If you turn off the computer at some point, the Hyper-V gets disabled until you boot into Mac OS X and run the Parallel Desktop again. So it’s better just to put the MacBook to sleep.

Bizarre, isn’t it?

I suppose this is just a bug in the firmware as MBA 12 seems to support the Hyper-V just fine. But, until the bug is fixed, this works as a workaround. Thanks to TigerG for posting his findings at MacRUmors.