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Pentium 4 and Windows 8 compatibility


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#91 SilverSolver

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 22:19

This is still another nail in the Windows 8 coffin, as I see it. The UI is controversial and getting a traditional desktop gets more difficult with each release, and now we find that, though it is lighter than Vista and 7, it will refuse to run on certain older hardware, for no better reason than that someone at Microsoft thought that making people "safe" was more important than allowing people to use their software. Whatever would have been wrong with a warning: "Your processor does not support all of Windows 8's security features. Your system may be more susceptible to attack from malicious software. Do you still want to continue installing Windows 8?"

I'm not worried about it. Most of the people I serve (I'm a tech by trade) wouldn't even consider buying Windows 8, for the UI reason alone—they have work to do, and relearning everything is not an option they will willingly choose. The fact that XP/Vista/7 are still working just fine makes the status quo an even more desirable option.

Besides, I think it won't take long for the hackaround community to come up with a solution. It might be a patched kernel, but it would more than likely be a modified bootloader which invokes a TSR to simulate/emulate the necessary functionality. Remember the BIOS SLIC emulation bootloader that pirates use(d?) to fake Windows Vista/7 into thinking you had a particular OEM system so the equivalent OEM Windows would say "Windows is activated" without buying it? It would be much harder, yes, to emulate CPU functionality, but not impossible. It is also possible that the TSR could merely report the existence of said functionality, while the commands would simply be ignored. That would have the same effect as Windows 8 Consumer Preview: it runs without the additional security.

If they don't do it, Windows 8 will just be a bigger flop. Perhaps that wouldn't be all bad. Change for change's sake is rarely good, and "The UI formerly known as Metro" is exactly that. Maybe Microsoft will learn its lesson about making it more difficult to stay with what you prefer.


#92 ahhell

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 22:24

^^ i didnt even get to that part the adviser before setup even began said processor not compatible. It has to be a glitch or this is the most bloated version of windows to date

You probably aren't going to get a lot of help with that kind of attitude. :rolleyes:

#93 Matias Nino

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:04

I have an old P4 (Gallatin core) machine that was a hotrod back in 2004 (extreme edition). It runs Windows 7 like a champ. It's been running non stop for over 8 years with heavy downloading of all kinds of games and programs and NEVER got exploited via executable memory. My 6 year old son now uses it for games and learning and he wants Windows 8.

There is NO REASON whatsoever that Windows 8 should be blocked from running on this machine. I love MS and all but this is an irrationally bone-headed decision.

I realize it's a rare case and they can afford to do away with support for old hardware in the name of security, but it just rubs me the wrong way cause they've never done this before.

This machine is working FINE, and would run Windows 8 FINE, but now I have to drop $100 or so to replace it with more recent hardware.

#94 PGHammer

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:38

Not really true. NX as we currently know it only made it's way into the Pentium 4 range from later iterations of Prescott cores and onwards, which means that all of the Williamette, Northwood, and first iterations of Pentium 4-M, Pentium 4 Mobile, and Gallatin (Pentium 4 Extreme edition) processors have SSE2 but no hardware support for NX, which is well over half of the Pentium 4 range. More specifically the Socket 775 or 5xJ and 5x9J series were the first CPU's to support hardware NX)


That is why I mentioned the Northwood-C.

The Northwood-C series of Pentium 4 CPUs was (unlike Prescott, which would succeed it) entirely socket 478 - however, like Prescott, Northwood-C supported HTT from end to end. (The only previous P4 that wasn't an Extreme Edition to support HTT was the P4 3.06 GHz Northwood-B.)
The Northwood-C was also pretty much a drop-in replacement for older Northwood CPUs (and especially the B) - the issue was making sure your motherboard BIOS was updated.
The tag-team of Northwood-C and DDR had a surprisingly LONG run in the world of Windows - starting with Windows XP, in fact; it took bargain-basement pricing for DDR3 to finally kill off the die-hards as of two years ago. (I have two motherboards with P4 Northwood CPUs - both with AGP slots, in fact - as shelved backups for possible usage in *retro* projects in the future.)

#95 AJerman

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 16:45

Wow, thanks for making me feel better guys. I was thinking how pathetically old my Opteron 165 system is, and you come in here talking about P4s, haha. Seriously though, you can't really complain about Microsoft when you're trying to use a 10 year old computer. You could upgrade that massively for like $150-200.

#96 shoemakerpom2010

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 16:54

Even if you were to get it working somehow someway the experience would be useless since you would have to dumb it down to the point that you would not be able to use the features it presents. The time spent searching cpu's, max ram or even hard drive upgrades to make it work would be a complete waste. If you have bought the upgrade already you have the number code so go to craigslist and get a cheap or affordable windows vista or seven conputer and rerun the upgrade on that. This way you don't lose money on your purchase and you get windows 8 to boot.

#97 Javik

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 16:59

Wow, thanks for making me feel better guys. I was thinking how pathetically old my Opteron 165 system is, and you come in here talking about P4s, haha. Seriously though, you can't really complain about Microsoft when you're trying to use a 10 year old computer. You could upgrade that massively for like $150-200.


Why not? I understand SSE2 to an extent but NX is a completely arbitrary requirement. Plenty of CPUs without NX would run Windows 8 just fine. I've never seen any real evidence that NX improves security all that drastically anyway.

#98 MikeChipshop

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:09

it was the upgrade assistant that told me it wasn't compatible. I would try installing it with a flash drive and see what happens but the computer doesn't support booting from usb I dont think and I don't have any blank dvds


(edit)
32bit says cpu not compatible

c'mon MS you jacked up the requirements too much I heard it doesnt even have aero anymore and they go and make the requirement too high I mean tablets haven't even broke the 2ghz mark yet so I don't see how there will be any win 8 tablets

sorry just a rant but this is such a fail on microsofts part

^^ i didnt even get to that part the adviser before setup even began said processor not compatible. It has to be a glitch or this is the most bloated version of windows to date

He's looking for help and all you guys do is come in here and tell him to upgrade, or bash him for no other reason other than to satisfy your own supremacy. None of you ever give thought to maybe he has low income. I would tell him to just use XP, for Windows. But then you guys would come in and bash about a great and not even unsupported (yet) OS.

So he is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn't. Here is your advice OP: Roll Linux on that rig, Lubuntu to be exact, It's going to do everything you need for that particular machine and it's Modern. You will not have to feel forced to upgrade every time Microsoft tells you to upgrade. For others: Don't bother posting if all you have to contribute is to make the OP feel low and satisfy your need to be a Troll, and I'm not coming back to read abusive comments projected at me, if you got something bad to say about me, meet me somewhere.


The way he approached his question was flawed from the outset. Instead of realizing he has a very outdated system, he decided it was all Microsoft's fault. Quite simply if you want help, behave like an adult.

Same goes for you and your whole "if you got something bad to say about me, meet me somewhere." which is frankly pathetic coming from a grown up.

#99 francescob

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 17:51

It's funny how Microsoft tries to force system requirements to avoid screwing up customers (to avoid another Vista capable fiasco) but in the end they still end up screwing customers anyway. What a paradox.

#100 AJerman

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:06

Why not? I understand SSE2 to an extent but NX is a completely arbitrary requirement. Plenty of CPUs without NX would run Windows 8 just fine. I've never seen any real evidence that NX improves security all that drastically anyway.


The specifics can be up for debate, I'm not saying SSE2 or NX should or shouldn't be necessary, I'm just saying that in the computer world, a computer with a P4 is ancient. I've had a P4 retired in a box for probably about 8 years now. When you can probably build a system that's at least 5 times faster for $150, it's probably time to just do the upgrade. You can debate whether it's fair or not on Microsoft's part, but the argument is entirely and 100 percent useless since you'll never find enough people running systems that old and trying to upgrade to the "latest and greatest" OS. Usually people who are willing to pay for the very latest OS as soon as it comes out are also willing to pay a little to keep their computer at least somewhat up to date. The people who aren't interested in updating their computer usually stick to the OS that came with it like XP which would still run just fine on a P4.

#101 Javik

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:20

The specifics can be up for debate, I'm not saying SSE2 or NX should or shouldn't be necessary, I'm just saying that in the computer world, a computer with a P4 is ancient. I've had a P4 retired in a box for probably about 8 years now. When you can probably build a system that's at least 5 times faster for $150, it's probably time to just do the upgrade. You can debate whether it's fair or not on Microsoft's part, but the argument is entirely and 100 percent useless since you'll never find enough people running systems that old and trying to upgrade to the "latest and greatest" OS. Usually people who are willing to pay for the very latest OS as soon as it comes out are also willing to pay a little to keep their computer at least somewhat up to date. The people who aren't interested in updating their computer usually stick to the OS that came with it like XP which would still run just fine on a P4.


Have to admit you make fair enough points, in modern terms those P4's are ancient given any CPU from 2005 onwards should meet the requirements. Having said that the charity I do volunteer work for rely on hand me downs and we get a surprisingly high volume of Socket 478 Pentium 4 computers come in so old computers are still useful to some people. I think we have... maybe 3 computers out of the 20 odd in service that meet the requirements for Windows 8, even though all but about 5 of them can run 7. Still I'm hopeful we can get some less crappy equipment soon :p

#102 AJerman

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:37

Have to admit you make fair enough points, in modern terms those P4's are ancient given any CPU from 2005 onwards should meet the requirements. Having said that the charity I do volunteer work for rely on hand me downs and we get a surprisingly high volume of Socket 478 Pentium 4 computers come in so old computers are still useful to some people. I think we have... maybe 3 computers out of the 20 odd in service that meet the requirements for Windows 8, even though all but about 5 of them can run 7. Still I'm hopeful we can get some less crappy equipment soon :p


Yeah, I've been in that situation for sure. Sometimes it's hard to get better, and when you need to upgrade a number of systems, I understand that even $150 a piece would be expensive for a charity organization, but those systems are the kind of systems that will keep on running just fine on XP or 7.

Another things to consider is that restrictions can be put in place so that hardware can be phased out. If Windows 8 could install on anything, then people would try it, and people would complain when it didn't work. MS has to have a point where they can stop supporting older hardware or else their testing process would have to be absolutely enormous. You're talking about testing an entire OS. I do software QA for a living and we test about 15 update packages for servers that WE build and sell, and we only run back a few years in models. Now imagine MS having to test a software packages massively larger than ours, on systems made by anyone and everyone, and for how many years? There's quite a possibility that some restrictions are somewhat arbitrary for the exact purpose of limiting older hardware. On top of the testing, think about the code that has to be there to do checks to see what your system supports and how to handle things depending on what it supports. Supporting incredibly old hardware requires a lot more resources than a lot may think.

I think an OS upgrade or two should generally be expected to work fine on a system, past that, you're going to be pushing to see how much more than system can handle without upgrading it. This goes for mobile OSes too. For example, everyone seems so entitled to get the latest and great version of Android, but they still want to use the junk phone they got for free 2 years ago.

#103 J400uk

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:42

FWIW I've got it running on a Pentium D, albeit slowly!

#104 Tony.

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 18:55

People need to remember that companies like Intel and AMD add specific processor optimisations and additional system protection i.e. NX. The fact that it's taken Microsoft nearly 10 years to have these optimisations as default shows that Microsoft is not trying to **** it's customers over (quite the opposite), and believe me, Windows 8 is as slimmed down as Windows XP, it's the fact that we have these optimisations that make the experience that much better and more responsive.

So cut out the stupid 'M$' behavior and live with the fact that your computer is getting old and Microsoft is moving with the times. Be glad that SSE3, 4 etc aren't minimum requirements.

#105 MtnDewCodeRedFreak

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:06

I've installed Win 7 Ultimate 32-bit on my old Dell Dim 8400 computer released in 2004. That Dell has P4 with HT. Win 7 worked fine with it.

What about the HT part? Would Win 8 even install? That Dell Dim 8400 already had many parts upgraded - vid card, RAM, DVD burner, and SATA HDD.



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