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


Whenever I try to install Windows 8 Release Preview, I get the following error:

Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8

✍: Guest


To install Windows 8 Release Candidate 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 settings. This feature is typically found in the Advanced or Security tabs within the BIOS settings, and can be referred to by a variety of names, including but not limited to:

· No Execute Memory Protect
· Execute Disabled Memory Protection
· EDB (Execute Disabled Bit)
· EVP (Enhanced Virus Protection)

If the BIOS setting for the NX (XD, EDB, or EVP) support option is not available on your system, you may need to contact the manufacturer to update the BIOS. Note that some very old processors may not contain these features and will be incompatible with Windows 8 Release Candidate.

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

If you are using a virtualization product to install a Windows 8 Release Candidate 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.

Note that if you tried to install Windows 8 on the VM hosted on a system running a previous version of Windows with NX disabled, you will need to enable NX on the system before PAE/NX can be enabled for the VM. Please follow the instructions described in the whitepaper under “How Do I know if My System Supports NX or SSE2?” and “If NX Is Supported on My System, How Do I Turn on NX?” to enable NX on the system.

2012-07-30, 4192🔥, 0💬