VirtualBox on Microsoft Surface 3 (not pro)



I am testing a Microsoft Surface 3 (not Pro) this is obviously too underpowered for heavy VM use (i5, 8GB RAM is preferred) but it is worth trying out.

My new Surface 3 now uses the Atom x7 processor but the Internet is unclear whether this device supports virtualisation because the processor specifications have changed over time. I have tested by installing VirtualBox and successfully installing Ubuntu Server. Installing VirtualBox enables the hardware virtualisation flag in the BIOS after a reboot. This can be verified by running System Information.

It is possible to enable this flag without installing Virtual box by opening an command prompt as administrator and typing,
* bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto

The instructions for enabling Hyper-V are here.

I have done this but I have not yet installed a virtual machine under Hyper-V. This is because at home I have the Home editions of Windows so I have always used VirtualBox.

Although the Windows 10 guest runs nicely with 1.5 GB RAM in a host that has 4 GB RAM I have found that I can only assign 1 virtual CPU. This corresponds to 1 of the 4 cores on the host. Unfortunately this is too slow to use.

It should be possible to use 2 virtual CPU and I think it actually worked when I first installed the machine but today it is not working.


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