Workaround for “Your PC’s CPU isn’t Compatible with Windows 8” Error Message

by Venkat eswarlu on June 2, 2012

in Troubleshooting

Some users using Windows 8 CP reported on the Microsoft Answers forum that they’re getting a warning message from Upgrade Assistant when they try to run Windows 8 RP setup (online installer) on their Computers. Here is the message shown on the Windows 8 Setup window: “This PC doesn’t meet system requirements. If you want to install Windows 8, you may have to upgrade some of the hardware in this Computer.Your PC’s CPU isn’t Compatible with Windows 8”.

Where the problem lies? Why the CPU that worked in Consumer Preview totally gone incompatible with Windows 8 RP?

First check your system meets Windows 8 System requirements, to run Windows 8, your system’s Processor speed should be 1GHz or more. According to Steven.s, forum moderator in issue reported thread “ to install Windows 8 Release Preview on your PC, the processor (CPU) must support the following features: Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX, and SSE2.”  Where NX stands for “No Execute Bit”.

your PCs cpu not Windows 8 compatible thumb Workaround for “Your PC’s CPU isn’t Compatible with Windows 8” Error Message

Most CPUs coming these days supports the above said features. “Windows 8 requires the NX capabilities of modern CPUs. This is done for security reasons to ensure that malware defense features work reliably. This is important as we want to ensure that people can feel safe using lots of different software including desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store. This means some very old CPUs will not work with Windows 8. In the CP we did not block the installer for the NX feature” said Bill fill of Microsoft.

Based on CP telemetry, for Release Preview, Microsoft made NX capabilities for CPUs as a must. That’s why you’re getting that error message as Windows 8 RP’s web installer set to block for NX features.

Workaround for the error

Enable NX in BIOS Security settings: Your CPU might support NX, but it might not had been enabled in the BIOS settings. You need to look for “No execute bit” or equivalent XD (“Execute Disable bit”) in security settings and enable the same, save the changes and restart your PC.

After making the above changes, when you run Windows 8 RP installation by booting from a DVD/USB drive, RP will be successfully installed. If you get a code 5D  blue screen error, that means, then your CPU doesn’t support NX capabilities.

P.S : I’ve not experienced this error, I produced the above screenshot by disabling “ Execute Disable bit” in BIOS Security settings and ran Windows 8 RP setup after that. I’ve done that to capture the screenshot, don’t play with the BIOS settings.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter June 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

… thanks! For a brief moment, I thought they’d dropped support for my Atom processor… *phew*


Stormdude124 June 3, 2012 at 3:16 am

looks like its the end for my dell 2400 (intel celeron 2.4ghz bios:ao5 revision 2005)


quintin June 12, 2012 at 3:31 am

My Athlon XP Barton at 2.8GHz runs Win 7 fast enough for me. A new processor means a new motherboard, hence a new power supply, thus new memory, say $200 before I can even TRIAL Win8! So nix to NX and Win8, I will just have to stick to Win7 like corporate does to XP! Just one more loyal customer disappearing soon, Microsoft.


Ubu4u June 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I gave up on microsoft when vista dropped the ball. Looking for an alternative I found Ubuntu. A very user friendly distro with all the features you could ever want and more. I’m running on it now with 3-D graphics and the NEWEST component in my system was manufactured in 2003. Pentium4 2.6G, 500Mb ram, and an ATI radeon 8500 video card with 60Mb of memory… AND IT’S FAST! Microsoft seems to have an “interest” (controlling interest) in hardware and therefore designs their OS to render yours obsolete.


Peter June 21, 2012 at 12:51 am

Sorry, but your contribution reads like an advertisement, especially when combined with your name.
The advertisement suspicion is fueled by the fact that your claim lacks substance. On my obsolete netbook, Windows 8 starts and resumes faster than, and works just as snappy as, Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution I’ve tried.


Daniel June 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I probably will switch to linux or make a hackintosh or something unless the NX-bit requirement is removed in the final release.


michael July 25, 2012 at 4:10 am

almost all of the Linux distros work better than win 7 and 8. I love windows but for bang for buck hardware wise go Linux puppy is so small butt a powerhouse with more feachers than win 8 and at least 2x faster than win7 and 8 I run both though grub and use both regurly my laptop is a p3 600 128MB 16MB video and puppy out runs my desktop witch is a p4 3.0Ghz 1Ghz ram 1 Ghz video win 8 slowish and lags and fedora 17 runs fantastic ppl go for both and have the best of both!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A AD!!!!!!!!!!


SC Tom August 9, 2012 at 7:05 am

I can do a clean install, booting from the Win8 DVD, but if I try to do an upgrade from within Win7, I get the CPU error message. Go figure. . .


Matt October 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

I’m not sure you understand the concept ‘workaround’.

A workaround would be a way to manipulate the isntall to ignore the fact you don’t have NX-Bit available, not simply ‘Turn it on’. That’s not a workaround, that enabling the required feature.

A workaround would be ‘Extract x.file from ISO, edit line XX, push x.file back to ISO, mount from USB and install. This will make the installer say you have NX enabled whether you do or not’.


Roland Denning November 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

Windows 8 download just screwed up my PC,thanks Microblow for taking my money and not responding to my E-mails.
Microsoft = Micromob
Microsoft should read some of the forums and stop selling crap that doesn’t work and stealing peoples money……………_*)(*^%$#$%&*()


- December 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

“I’m not sure you understand the concept ‘workaround’…”
I agree with definition in that comment. A ‘workaround’ accomplishes goal when the normal procedure for accomplishing the goal fails.

Anyway, thanks for the “1GHz” in article. I might try ms’s tryout win8 rtm on a 5 year old mini n270 atom.

Some cpu data at

Which of either 1.6 GHz or 533 MHz (internal vs external clock) pertinent?
I can’t find *definitive* answer, but looks like the 1.6GHz is what satisfies Win8 1GHz system requirement.

N270 has nx/xd
implies PAE is OS-dependent and needs XD/NX. So the N270 should satisfy instruction and addressing requirements of Win8, I think.

1GB ram is also Win8 minimum, so this N270 Mini might be the minimum hardware for Win8.


systemBuilder January 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

All you Linux Lemmings who are crowing about how you don’t have this problem : Newer version of Linux require the NX bit, too !!

The NX bit was first released in the Dothan 533 frontside-bus chips, Pentium-M 740, 50, 760, 770, 780., etc. The 400 Mhz frontside-bus chips do not have it (Pentium-M, 745, 755, 765, 775).


Wendy February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I tried installing 8 on my toshiba satallite a65-s126 – It simply wouldn’t boot after that – showed the blue window pane and then went to black with an indecipherable message and numbers with a lot of zeros. I had to format and reload XP. I ran a utility that shows my system actually does have the NX requirement but my bios has no security tab where I can change it to enable it. Why Windows 8 doesn’t automatically enable what it needs to install is beyond anybody’s understanding. I installed from a download but have a disc coming. Maybe that will work, who knows.


Fer March 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm

hey, I have enabled the nx support in the BIOS, coreinfo confirms me required support of PAE, NX and SSE2. even so the upgrade assistant tells me nx is not supported or not activated. I’ve updated the BIOS. any ideas?


Hippo November 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Many of my customers that bought a PC with windows are having mean move them back to Win 7. Navigating in Win8 without a touchscreen is a pain, and almost as bad with a touchscreen. I’d take even Vista over 8 any day.


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