Sunday, June 10, 2012

Error when installing Windows 8 Release Preview: “Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8.”

To install Windows 8 Release Preview on your PC, the processor (CPU) must support the following features:  Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX, and SSE2.  Most CPUs have support for these features, so if you receive this error, it is likely because the NX feature is not enabled on your system.

To resolve this error, follow manufacturer guidelines to enable NX (“No eXecute bit”), or the equivalent XD (“eXecute Disabled”) feature, within the BIOS security settings.

If the BIOS setting for the NX support option is not available on your system, you may need to contact the manufacturer for updating the BIOS.  Note that some older processors may not contain these features and will be incompatible with Windows 8 Release Preview.

Similarly, if you are using a virtualization product to install a Windows 8 Release Preview virtual machine (VM) and receive this error (or error 0xC0000260), you must enable PAE (or PAE-NX) in the virtualization product’s settings or configuration manager when setting up the Windows 8 virtual environment.

A whitepaper has been published with further details about the PAE/NX/SSE2 requirement for Windows 8, error cases and scenarios that customers encounter when machines fail to meet the requirement, and what to do to install Windows 8 on their PC’s.  You can download the whitepaper at

Thanks .Steven.S

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