Windows 8 Release Preview has been available for download for some time now. Millions of users have already installed and exploring the new features in the latest Windows version. At the same time, it seems, many users are having a common issue while upgrading to Windows 8.
Doing a quick search on Google or Bing reveals that hundreds of users who have been trying to upgrade to Windows 8 are having a common issue. The setup gives “Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8” error even if the PC meets system requirements. According to Microsoft, the error occurs if your PC’s processor doesn’t support one of the following features: Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX, or SS2.
Users who are having the issue may try to enable NX feature under the BIOS security settings. If present, you will see NX or XD settings under Security tab. And if the option isn’t available, you may need to contact the manufacturer and update the BIOS to the latest version.
So, how to install Windows 8 by bypassing the error? At present, there is no working workaround to install Windows 8 on a machine that doesn’t support PAE/NX/SSE2. As some of you may know, Windows contains two installers: the end user installer and the commercial installer.
The commercial installer runs when the PC is booted from bootable media and doesn’t look for above mentioned features. But according to a white paper released by Microsoft, if a user tries the alternative version of the setup (commercial installer) on system that doesn’t support PAE/NX/SSE2, the user will encounter an error during the setup process.
Users who are having issue may download the whitepaper from Microsoft for additional information.
NOTE: If you are getting the error on a virtual machine, you must enable PAE/NX in virtual machine software’s settings or configuration manager.