[Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

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[Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Mike Friedman
Hi,

Having recently bought a new Windows 8.1 computer, I'd like to give my older computer to a family member.  The latter machine was running Windows 7, but I'd like to be sure that it will support Window 8.1 before he invests in a copy of that OS only to find that it won't install.

My concern was triggered recently by this article in particular:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2058683/new-windows-8-1-requirements-strand-some-users-on-windows-8.html

which refers to the requirement that the processor support the CMPXCHG16b instruction.

The computer in question is a Dell XPS 630i, which I bought new in early 2009.  The processor is identified exactly as follows (taken from the System screen in Control Panel):

    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU  Q8200 @ 2.33 GHz 2.33 GHz

I have run the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant and the only non-software incompatibility found was the lack of support in the firmware for the "Secure Boot" facility (whatever that is).  Otherwise, only a small number of software products were flagged;  no other hardware or processor complaints.

Can someone either assure me that Windows 8.1 will install (and run) on this processor, or else let me know that it won't?

If not, is there any direct test I can do on the computer (which is still running Windows 7) to find out for myself?

Thanks.

Mike

-- 
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com


 
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Re: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Michael Chung-2

Hi Mike,

 

Based on the article you referenced below, it’s not the Core 2 Quad CPU that was the problem (in that scenario), but the motherboard.

 

That being said—I have successfully installed Windows 8.1 (x64) on a Dell Studio 540 running a Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU. This was a predecessor to the Q8200’s (though Intel decided to be cruel and packaged the Q8200 without Virtualization Technology). The Studio 540 uses an motherboard using Intel G45 Express chipset, so take that with a grain of salt (The XPS 630i motherboard uses NVIDIA nForce 650i chipset).

 

I did a little more searching and it does seem like there are reports of folks being able to install Windows 8.1 (x64) on the XPS 630. [1]

 

[1] http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19608364

 

You could always utilize your Work at Home privileges to download copy of Windows 8.1 for testing on this computer. You wouldn’t even get to the activation step if there was a hardware support problem so your product key would remain unused.

 

 

 

Michael Chung

Systems Administrator

Enterprise Computing & Service Management

Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Student Services Building, Room S300D

Berkeley, CA 94720-1900

Tele: <a href="tel:15106433887">510-643-3887

 

Typical Office Schedule

Offsite: M-F

At Haas: On-demand

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Mike Friedman
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2015 4:26 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

 

Hi,

Having recently bought a new Windows 8.1 computer, I'd like to give my older computer to a family member.  The latter machine was running Windows 7, but I'd like to be sure that it will support Window 8.1 before he invests in a copy of that OS only to find that it won't install.

My concern was triggered recently by this article in particular:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2058683/new-windows-8-1-requirements-strand-some-users-on-windows-8.html

which refers to the requirement that the processor support the CMPXCHG16b instruction.

The computer in question is a Dell XPS 630i, which I bought new in early 2009.  The processor is identified exactly as follows (taken from the System screen in Control Panel):

    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU  Q8200 @ 2.33 GHz 2.33 GHz

I have run the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant and the only non-software incompatibility found was the lack of support in the firmware for the "Secure Boot" facility (whatever that is).  Otherwise, only a small number of software products were flagged;  no other hardware or processor complaints.

Can someone either assure me that Windows 8.1 will install (and run) on this processor, or else let me know that it won't?

If not, is there any direct test I can do on the computer (which is still running Windows 7) to find out for myself?

Thanks.

Mike


-- 
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com
 

 
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Re: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Mike Friedman
On 2015-03-15 18:16, Michael Chung wrote:

Hi Mike,

 

Based on the article you referenced below, it’s not the Core 2 Quad CPU that was the problem (in that scenario), but the motherboard.


Michael,

I wasn't assuming the article dealt with the same processor I have.  But the general issue raised alarms for me.

 I did a little more searching and it does seem like there are reports of folks being able to install Windows 8.1 (x64) on the XPS 630. [1]

 

[1] http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19608364

 

You could always utilize your Work at Home privileges to download copy of Windows 8.1 for testing on this computer. You wouldn’t even get to the activation step if there was a hardware support problem so your product key would remain unused.


I had already found that posting.  But downloading a Windows 8.1 ISO file seems to require that you already have a Windows 8.1 system.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the article referred to in the above posting, but it does say this:
In order to perform a successful installation you need to use the .iso which matches the version in system properties
Are they talking about the system running on my XPS630i?  But that machine is running Windows 7.

Also, I don't know what you mean by Work at Home privileges.  Could you clarify?

Thanks.

Mike
 

-- 
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com


 
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Re: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Michael Chung-2
In reply to this post by Michael Chung-2
Hi Mike,

Check out Software Central for the UCB Microsoft Work At Home program: https://software.berkeley.edu/microsoft

Every Faculty/Staff should know that they're entitled to install Microsoft software on a home computer under this particular campus licensing agreement. 

Ignore the details from that article wrt "matching the version in system properties". I think what the person was trying to suggest was using OEM media that matches the hardware vendor in attempt to avoid having to provide a product key. It's irrelevant in this case because you will get retail ISO and a product key.

Thanks,
Michael

Sent from my mobile phone.

On Mar 15, 2015, at 6:58 PM, Mike Friedman <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 2015-03-15 18:16, Michael Chung wrote:

Hi Mike,

 

Based on the article you referenced below, it’s not the Core 2 Quad CPU that was the problem (in that scenario), but the motherboard.


Michael,

I wasn't assuming the article dealt with the same processor I have.  But the general issue raised alarms for me.

 I did a little more searching and it does seem like there are reports of folks being able to install Windows 8.1 (x64) on the XPS 630. [1]

 

[1] http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19608364

 

You could always utilize your Work at Home privileges to download copy of Windows 8.1 for testing on this computer. You wouldn’t even get to the activation step if there was a hardware support problem so your product key would remain unused.


I had already found that posting.  But downloading a Windows 8.1 ISO file seems to require that you already have a Windows 8.1 system.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the article referred to in the above posting, but it does say this:
In order to perform a successful installation you need to use the .iso which matches the version in system properties
Are they talking about the system running on my XPS630i?  But that machine is running Windows 7.

Also, I don't know what you mean by Work at Home privileges.  Could you clarify?

Thanks.

Mike
 

--
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com


 
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Re: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Mike Friedman
On 2015-03-15 21:07, Michael Chung wrote:
Hi Mike,

Check out Software Central for the UCB Microsoft Work At Home program: https://software.berkeley.edu/microsoft

Every Faculty/Staff should know that they're entitled to install Microsoft software on a home computer under this particular campus licensing agreement.

Michael,

I suppose faculty/staff should be so aware.

Unfortunately, as a retiree I don't believe I'm eligible for this program.  Just to confirm this, since I do have an active CalNet ID (for bMail, etc.), I tried going to the download page (http://ucbwah.onthehub.com/), but after logging in via CalNet all I got was a completely blank page (not even an error message).

Ignore the details from that article wrt "matching the version in system properties". I think what the person was trying to suggest was using OEM media that matches the hardware vendor in attempt to avoid having to provide a product key. It's irrelevant in this case because you will get retail ISO and a product key.

OK, now I think I see what's going on.

Earlier today I did retrieve the Create Media program and used it to download an ISO file for the version of Windows 8.1 that I have on my new computer, in order to have backup installation media in case I ever need it for my new system (which came with Windows 8.1 pre-installed and no media).  But until now I didn't realize this is the same procedure people have been talking about with respect to downloading an ISO file for the purposes I'm interested in concerning my old machine.

So, I could try booting from the DVD I created, on the 630i.  But what should I use as a product key?  Not, I assume, the product key of my own Windows 8.1 system since that's already been activated on my new computer (an XPS 8700).  Although I've seen references elsewhere (not in relation to UCB) about being able to install from the DVD using a "generic product key" for 30 days, I wonder if this would work.

Is there a way to get a Windows 8.1 trial period without having a "real" product key?  The whole point of my original query is that I want to know if 8.1 will install and run on my old computer, since the person I'd be giving it to will have to buy a copy of Windows 8.1 and he doesn't want to do that if it might not work.

Thanks.

Mike

-- 
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com


 
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Re: [Micronet] Will Windows 8.1 run on my older computer?

Mike Friedman
For record, in case others are interested.

I solved my problem.  I found a site
(http://winaero.com/blog/generic-key-to-install-windows/) that displays
generic product keys for various versions of Windows.  So, I took my
Windows 8.1 DVD (created from a downloaded ISO file) and used it with
the appropriate key to bring up 8.1 on my old (XPS 630i) computer.  It
seems to work fine, which is all I really wanted to know.

Mike


--
Mike Friedman
[hidden email]
http://mikefberkeley.com


 
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