The CPU of your PC is not compatible with Windows 10/8

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Some people trying to install Windows 8 RP report an error. This error was even reported by those who could run Windows 8 CP on the same machine. During the installation of Windows 8, you may receive the following error message:

Windows 8/10 cannot run on this PC

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Your PC CPU is not compatible with Windows 8/10

What has changed since Consumer Preview? Let us see what this error is and what Microsoft has to say about it.

As we can see, this error is related to the CPU requirements for Windows 8 Release Preview. To install Windows 8 RP, your CPU must support the following features : PAE/NX/SSE2.

Let’s see what this means.

No-eXeXecute (NX) is a processor function that allows you to mark memory pages as non-executable. This feature allows the CPU to protect the system against malware attacks. When the NX function is enabled on a system, it prevents malicious software code from being stored in accessible memory areas that are executed when the controller reaches that location. Windows 8 requires that systems have processors that support NX and NX must be enabled.

Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) is a previous standard supported by Intel and AMD processors. All processors that support NX also support SSE2

To use the NX processor function, the processor must be in PAE (Physical Address Extension) mode. PAE is a processor feature that allows x86 processors to access more than 4GB of physical memory on Windows.

The processor requirement does not affect modern systems or systems that meet the Windows 7 logo requirements because these systems have 32-bit PAE processors that support NX and allow NX to be powered on. Only a small group of clients running Windows 7 on very old 32-bit processors without PAE/NX support will be affected.

Check if your system supports NX or SSE2

For this, there is a Windows Sysinternals tool , a command line program. You can get it from here. If you do this from the command line, you get the required information –

For a supported processor function, the character * is displayed next to the function name and a character if not supported.


  • Consult the processor manufacturer’s feature set to determine if NX is supported by the processor on your system.
  • If your system processor supports NX, your system may have a BIOS setting incorrectly configured for NX support.

If NX is supported on your system, it can be enabled via BIOS settings if it is not enabled.


If the BIOS does not display any of these options for NX, use BIOS to check for BIOS updates that might have added it. Very old processors may not contain this feature.

Error 0xc0000260

A corresponding error also occurs when installing Windows 8 in a VM with error 0xc0000260

If the virtual machine (VM) is hosted on a system that supports NX, you must enable PAE/NX in the settings or configuration manager of the virtualization product when configuring the Windows 8 virtual environment.

For more information on PAE/NX/SSE2 requirements for Windows 8, Microsoft has published a white paper – PAE/NX/SSE2 Support Requirement Guide for Windows 8(2)(2).

This document describes processor support for PAE/NX/SSE2 requirements in Windows 8, failures, and scenarios customers encounter. if the machines do not meet the requirements and what to do to install Windows 8 on their PCs. The information in this document applies to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Bill Fill explained in detail about this bug in The Answers Forum. He began by apologizing for the inconvenience caused by this problem and thanked users for trying previewing the version. He also said that Microsoft can contact some of those who have reported this problem if further information is needed, as this may be an error and must be corrected before the gtr.

It then describes exactly what has changed since the PC, since users who could run the PC on their machine encountered this problem when installing RP on the same machine.

What has changed in Windows 8 RP since CP

We have made changes in the upgrade detection logic since CP. The changes concern the default installation program and how it searches for exact CPU functions before continuing. Windows 8 requires the NX capabilities of modern CPUs. This is done for security reasons to ensure that anti-malware functions work reliably. This is important because we want to ensure that people feel safe when using many different software, including desktop applications and Windows store applications. This means that some very old CPUs do not work with Windows 8. In CP, we have not blocked the installer for the NX function. Based on CP telemetry, we felt that adding the block to the facility was justified to respect people’s time. It’s better to end this quickly, even if it’s disappointing. We also used telemetry to find out how many CPUs would not meet the NX requirement, so we could be sure that applying the presence of NX in the ecosystem was responsible. We learned that less than 1% of the processors had no NX capabilities and were properly configured and 0.1% of them had no NX capabilities. On this basis, we believe that applying the presence of NX is a good thing, as it leads to better defense against malware. Now we force NX into the kernel boot sequence.

We have not made any changes regarding EAP detection, but it is good to know that EAP is a requirement for NX on 32-bit processors because NX is implemented in the memory manager page tables.

We modified the SSE2 instruction set recognition based on telemetry from CP and Windows 7.

The result for the user is that his PC is more reliable. We do not check SSE2 in the kernel boot sequence, but if your CPU has NX, it also has SSE2(2)


Before trying this workaround,, please check and configure NX in the BIOS. The bypass solution uses ISO for installation.

Download the ISO and burn it to a DVD or create a bootable USB stick. Start from the media you created. If your CPU does not support NX, you will see a blue 5D screen before installation. This is rare, but if it happens, we can’t help you run Windows 8.

This workaround can be successful because Windows contains two installer programs: the end user installer (setup.exe in the root directory of the Windows DVD) and the commercial installer (setup.exe in the source directory of the Windows DVD). The commercial installer runs when the PC boots from DVD/USB media and does not perform NX/SSE2 checks and attempts to enable NX/SSE2 on supported systems.

Microsoft explained this problem in detail. If someone receives this error, he or she can pass it on and try the workaround.

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