What is SVM Mode?

Most computers have an option called SVM Mode in their BIOS Settings. It is not a commonly used feature but users who run emulators on their computer require this feature.

SVM or Secure Virtual Machine is a virtualization technology that divides the host computer’s CPU, memory, and disks to create a separate virtual environment for each operating system called Virtual Machines and allows you to run operating systems like VirtualBox and VMWare, and emulators like Bluestacks and Nox Player.

In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions regarding SVM Mode, what is it doing in your BIOS, and how you can enable/disable it.

What Does SVM Mean?

SVM simply divides the host computer’s hardware resources into several parts and each part can store its own operating system to run programs and deploy apps without affecting others. Every software or app stored in that virtual environment doesn’t interfere with the host computer’s Operating System.

For example, SVM allows you to run Windows 7 or Windows 10 Operating systems on an Apple MacBook using Virtual Machines. Similarly, you can also run a mac OSX Operating system on Windows computers using this technology. Not only that you can even run Windows 7 and Windows 10 on your PC with SVM and you won’t require DualBoot.

SVM is used to run emulators like Bluestacks that allows you to use Android apps and games on your PC. It also allows users to run software that requires different operating systems, test software on different operating systems, and improve gaming performance on emulators.

What is a Virtual Machine?

A Virtual Machine is a virtual environment that behaves like a standalone computer with its own operating system, CPU, memory, disks, and network interface. These are not actual computers but instead, they are disk images that can run different pieces of software and also deploy apps.

A virtual machine runs like a system application process that requires a log file, NVRAM setting file, virtual disk file and a configuration file to run properly on your computer.

What is SVM Mode in BIOS?

In BIOS, the SVM Mode feature allows you to enable or disable the SVM virtualization technology for creating virtual environments. If the feature is disabled then you won’t be able to create virtual environments by installing software like VMWare.

SVM Mode in BIOS

Not all computers have the SVM Mode in BIOS. Only the computers that are virtualization compatible have the SVM Mode in their BIOS. You can check if your computer has SVM Mode by checking the BIOS Settings or using a system information tool like SIW(System Info) to check if your computer is SVM compatible.

What is AMD SVM?

AMD SVM known as AMD Secure Virtual Machine is a virtualization technology developed by AMD which was their first virtualization extension for operating systems with the x86 system architecture or 32-bit CPU.
Later, they have changed the name of their SVM technology to AMD-V which stands for AMD Virtualization.

How to Enable/Disable SVM Mode in BIOS?

To enable or disable the SVM Mode in BIOS, follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Turn on your computer and once it boots up, press the desired key to enter the BIOS Settings. The key for entering BIOS will be shown at the bottom of the boot screen which will most likely be ESC/F1/F2/F3/F4/F8/Delete depending on your computer’s Motherboard.

2. After entering the BIOS Settings, go to the Advanced Mode by pressing the F7 key. This only applies to Gigabyte, ASUS, and AMD motherboards. If you have an ASUS ROG motherboard then you don’t need to press the F7 key.

3. Go to Advanced > CPU Configuration > SVM Mode.

4. To enable SVM Mode, click on the drop-down menu next to SVM Mode, select “Enabled” and then click on “Save.” To disable SVM Mode, click on the drop-down menu, select “Disabled” and then click on “Save.

The steps might differ slightly depending on your motherboard manufacturer. Some motherboards manufacturers like MSI and Gigabyte have a search button so, if you can’t find SVM Mode, simply use the search box inside the BIOS Settings to find SVM Mode and then enable/disable it.

If you are finding it difficult to enable/disabled SVM Mode, you can check the video below that shows exactly how to enable SVM on computers with Intel chipsets and AMD chipsets.

Does SVM Mode Affect Performance?

The SVM Mode allows you to create Virtual Machines on your computer to run emulators or operating systems. It doesn’t affect the performance of your computer while gaming or during regular usage.

SVM Mode has been seen to increase the performance while playing games on emulators like Bluestacks because it has a completely independent virtual environment with its own system resources.

However, if you create a Virtual Machine improperly, you won’t be able to use that Virtual Machine and it could cause a few issues with the host computer but this can be solved by removing the Virtual Machine.

Should You Enable SVM Mode?

You should enable SVM only if you want to create a Virtual Machine to install another Operating system, run software that requires a different operating system, or run emulators like Bluestacks to use Android apps and games.

If you don’t need any of the above then it’s better to keep this option disabled. A few users have complained that enabling SVM Mode decreased the performance of their system but we haven’t found any decrease in performance after enabling SVM.

Pros and Cons of SVM Mode

Every feature has an advantage and disadvantage associated with it and below you’ll find the basic pros and cons of the SVM Mode feature.

Pros

1. SVM Mode improves the performance of virtual environments created using software like VMWare. It also improves gaming performance and regular performance on mobile emulators like Bluestacks while playing Android games and using Android apps.

2. SVM Mode provides a safe virtual environment to install multiple operating systems together on one computer to test different software. You can install macOS and Windows on one computer and use native software for both operating systems. Without this feature, you won’t be able to install multiple OS and create virtual environments.

Cons

The major disadvantage of SVM Mode is that if you install three or more Operating systems on your computer like macOS, Windows and Linux then your hardware resources will be divided among them. Now, if you run resource-intensive software on all three operating systems simultaneously, you might notice a drop in system performance and other performance issues.

However, if you are just using an emulator and one OS or two different OS and don’t run resource-intensive software then you won’t come across any performance issues.

No SVM Mode in BIOS Settings?

Since all motherboards are not designed the same, you might not find SVM Mode simply because you’re not looking at the right menu section inside the BIOS Settings.

In most motherboards, you can access SVM Mode by going to BIOS Settings > Advanced > CPU Configuration > SVM Mode.
From there, you can click the drop-down menu and choose to enable/disable this option by selecting “Enabled” or “Disabled.”

Some motherboards like AORUS and ASUS ROG don’t have the Advanced mode while other motherboards like MSI have a search bar that allows you to easily find any settings by searching it.

If you cannot find SVM Mode on your computer then chances are that your computer doesn’t support SVM. You can use a tool like SIW(System Info) to check if your device is SVM compatible or not.

SVM Mode Caused Black Screen

In some cases, your computer might not boot up after enabling the SVM Mode and you get a black screen of death. This black screen could be caused by outdated chipset drivers or outdated BIOS.

There have been some cases where the computer booted up without any issues after enabling SVM Mode but as soon as an isolated desktop environment program like Windows Sandbox was opened, the program refused to open and a dialog box appeared that read “Virtualization is disabled in the firmware.”

We have mentioned two ways to fix the SVM Mode black screen issue and the “virtualization is disabled” error message in the next section.

How to Fix SVM Mode Black Screen?

Here are the two ways to fix the black screen issue caused by the SVM Mode feature:

1. Update BIOS and Chipset Drivers

If your computer cannot boot up after enabling the SVM Mode then enter the BIOS Settings and disable the SVM Mode feature. Once SVM Mode is disabled, your computer will boot up without any issues. Now, you have to update the BIOS and chipset drivers to the most recent versions.

Once it is done, make sure to download updates for your Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system so that it is also updated to the newest version. Now, enable the SVM Mode, and hopefully, it will work properly and you won’t get any black screen issues.

2. Disable Windows Sandbox and Enable It Again

If there are issues with the current version of the Windows Sandbox program installed on your computer or if it is corrupted then also you might get black screen issues and the “Virtualization is disabled in firmware” error messages.

To fix this problem follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Open Control Panel on your Windows PC.
  2. Go to Programs and features.
  3. Click on the “Turn Windows features on or off” option on the left side.
  4. A dialog box will open. Scroll down and uncheck Windows Sandbox to disable this program.
  5. Restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, make sure that SVM is enabled, then follow the steps above till you get the dialog box, then check Windows Sandbox to enable the program again.

If you’re using a different desktop isolation virtual environment programs like VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation Player then uninstall the program and re-install it to fix black screen issues.

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