Some recent Windows 7 PCs can't handle Windows 8 upgrade

In theory, any PC that runs Windows 7 is also supposed to run Windows 8. Microsoft has said several times that the system requirements for Windows 8 PCs are the same as those for Windows 7.

As usual, what looks fine on paper doesn't always work in the real world. Informationweek.com reports that a few recently released Windows 7 PCs, mostly in the cheap tablet and netbook categories, won't be able to run Windows 8 after all.

They include products like the Asus Eee PC 1225C netbook, shown above, and the Fujitsu Q552 tablet that was released just four months ago. The blame for their Windows 8 issues lies with Intel's recent Atom processor, code name Cedar Trail.

Simply put, the design of the processor won't allow it to run Windows 8, even though it runs Windows 7 just fine. Paul Moore, the VP of product management for Fujitsu America, is quoted as saying, "Cedar Trail won't support Windows 8 because of the architecture of the CPU."

Intel is launching a new Atom processor, code name Clover Trail, that's designed specifically to run Windows 8. However, Moore says that Clover Trail's design can't run on Windows 7, saying, "You have to make a commitment one way or the other."

Source: Informationweek.com | Image via Asus

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HP TM2 Laptop/tablet works fine, but lack of driver support by AMD for my graphics card leaves me with no card which is a shame but the blow comes when that cripples my HDMI port.

Booo AMD.

(ps it's only 2 years old - hardly an ancient card)

Microsoft clearly stated that windows 8 will work on all computers that had windows 7 home premium.. not windows 7 starter.. they are in the clear in my books

this is exactly why I will not buy an intel atom tablet right now because I know there is a chance I will not be able to get the next upgrade ..

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,
On my Sony VIAO,amd hasn't made any drives yet .
Can't play games no more...

Instead of grabbing the Mobile drivers from their website that lock out various brands of notebooks like Sony/Toshiba/etc, use one of these links that are generic builds AMD provides to notebook MFRs and should work on all laptop brands.

WDM 1.1 Drivers (For Radeon HD 4xxxx and older GPUs)

64bit (x64)
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/le...sta_win7_64_dd_ccc_whql.exe

32bit (x86)
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/le...sta_win7_32_dd_ccc_whql.exe


WDM 1.2 Drivers (For Radeon HD 5xxxx and newer GPUs)

64bit (x64)
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/mo...in7_win8_64_dd_ccc_whql.exe

32bit (x86)
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/mo...in7_win8_32_dd_ccc_whql.exe


If you are a gamer, also be sure to download the latest CAP drivers from AMD for optimal results with games:

Radeon 4xxx and older:
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/ho.../AMD_Catalyst_12.6_CAP1.exe

Radeon 5xxx and newer:
http://www2.ati.com/drivers/ho.../AMD_Catalyst_12.8_CAP2.exe


In the future, do a search for how to find the generic drivers that AMD releases to notebook makers, and you can find the latest versions. For the Radeon 4xxx and older GPUs, the 12.6 are probably the newest drivers that will ever be released.

Win8 works fine on my old and knackered Toshiba Portege M400 although some of the games wont run, which for me is no biggy I have my desktop for that.

Not all *upgrade paths* are possible .. that's common sense surely!

The bottom line is if you want to use Windows 8 , then make sure you buy suitable hardware!

Win 8 works just fine on my Acer Iconia W500 tab . very nice even if it's not the proper resolution.

Not really the CPU.

Intel refuses to release Cedar Trail platform-specific drivers for Windows 8 -- things like newer DX10.1 WDDM drivers -- which means the GPU component isn't supported. And from what folks are reporting in Intel forums, this lack of support causes crashes all the time in Metro apps rendering the machine pretty useless.

Rafael said,
Not really the CPU.

Intel refuses to release Cedar Trail platform-specific drivers for Windows 8 -- things like newer DX10.1 WDDM drivers -- which means the GPU component isn't supported. And from what folks are reporting in Intel forums, this lack of support causes crashes all the time in Metro apps rendering the machine pretty useless.

From what I have referenced, it looks like a chipset problem, and a bad driver, which Intel doesn't seem to care about fixing.

The silly thing is the older Atom processors work just fine with Windows 8 and either have supplied drivers or the Windows 7/Vista drivers work flawlessly.

Intel is dropping the ball again, and they want people to buy new hardware, so how much extra effort does anyone think they will ever put into making this work properly.

There are users out there that have had success with the right combination of drivers, so people with these don't be overly discouraged, and look for solutions online. There are even a few Youtube results of Windows 8 running well.

(It may require using a Vista era driver instead of the Windows 7 drivers, or a combination of the two.)

Windows 7 should mostly work out fine for those people.... for what earthly reason you would want to run Windows 8 on netbook anyways....

Intel : "well, windows 7 is comfy while windows 8 is ... well, a mess. I don't care, windows 8 is not my product neither i earn with it".

This is not the fault of MS. You cant magically change a cpu architecture. Its the same as Apple iOS 6 only working on certain iPhones. Hardware and software change over time and have to break compatibility somewhere in order to progress..

Intel Cedar Trail is piece of crap...no proper driver support

Tried installing windows 8 RTM but cant...because Metro keeps crashing, and no hardware video acceleration, playing youtube videos is laggy and many other performance issues

blame intel for not providing working driver for Windows 8

How did this happen?
Two weeks ago I installed the RTM on a single core Atom (N270) netbook (Asus Eee 901) with 1gb of RAM and a 16gb SSD - it runs fine, although obviously no Metro apps besides PC Settings, so the Start Screen is just a full screen page of desktop app links.
I'm also going to install it on a newer netbook with a dual core N550 Atom and 2gb of RAM, I had the x64 Release Preview on it so I'm fairly sure it'll work.
How is it possible that a newer chip of the same family is incapable of doing this?

JustAnotherTechie said,
How did this happen?
Two weeks ago I installed the RTM on a single core Atom (N270) netbook (Asus Eee 901) with 1gb of RAM and a 16gb SSD - it runs fine, although obviously no Metro apps besides PC Settings, so the Start Screen is just a full screen page of desktop app links.
I'm also going to install it on a newer netbook with a dual core N550 Atom and 2gb of RAM, I had the x64 Release Preview on it so I'm fairly sure it'll work.
How is it possible that a newer chip of the same family is incapable of doing this?

my friend netbook is Asus, atom dual-core Cedar Trail...the performance when running windows 8 is very bad so I had to revert back to Windows 7

on the other hand, my 4 years old laptop with core 2 duo handles windows 8 very good, in fact, it has better performance than when running Windows 7 sp1

The performance of the crappy netbook with the 16gb SSD was really impressive. Obviously the raw power of the thing can't increase, but it's so much more responsive than 7 was. The better netbook, weirdly, didn't like the RP much, but I'm hoping that the RTM will be better - it isn't Cedar, I think the N550 is Pineview.

JustAnotherTechie said,
How did this happen?
Two weeks ago I installed the RTM on a single core Atom (N270) netbook (Asus Eee 901) with 1gb of RAM and a 16gb SSD - it runs fine, although obviously no Metro apps besides PC Settings, so the Start Screen is just a full screen page of desktop app links.
I'm also going to install it on a newer netbook with a dual core N550 Atom and 2gb of RAM, I had the x64 Release Preview on it so I'm fairly sure it'll work.
How is it possible that a newer chip of the same family is incapable of doing this?

Use the resolution scaling trick to get the extra pixels for Metro. The pixel shifting is less noticeable than most people would assume. (Besides you can always just move the slider back to 1024x600 if you don't like either of the higher resolution options.)

Do a Bing/Google search for: DownScalingSupported

You will find plenty of sites that explain what registry setting to change, and reboot. Then you will have the 1152x864 and 1024x768. - The latter is less noticeable, but slightly messes with aspect ratio.

We gave several netbooks to users for testing, and not one of them noticed the resolution was non-native and being resampled into the 1024x600 pixel space.

Performance-wise, and battery life is better on a netbook with windows 8 then windows 7. And yes, i own netbooks and i'm not talking crap. the battery life is really more efficient under windows 8 on crappy devices.

J400uk said,
Define "won't support"? I fail to see why it wouldn't run on one, apart from the min resolution issue.

The resolution is an additional issue, the driver not installing could be just a bug in the installer or in the INF file since the Windows 7 drivers are supposed to work on Win8 too. I've seen Windows 8 working on Intel IGPs much older than that so this story just sounds weird.

Cedar Trail won't support Windows 8 because of the architecture of the CPU.

Why is that? AFAIK both cedar trail and clover trail have the same CPU (saltwell) and GPU (PowerVR SGX 545). What's going on here?

Maybe they just haven't released an updated driver (it could be that they delayed it to merge it with the clover trail one) but I think they will since the platform came out in late 2011 and will still be supported for a while. When Vista came out Intel released final updated driver packages even for the GPUs that wouldn't have supported WDDM to let users use the old XPDM driver on the new Windows. The Asus website listing those netbooks as unsupported could be just because of the resolution.

francescob said,
The Asus website listing those netbooks as unsupported could be just because of the resolution.

Well, the Eee PC 1225C mentioned in the article has a 1366 x 768 resolution, so that's not the reason.

I did some digging. While Clover Trail is an SoC, Cedar trail has a separate chipset, the NM10.
IINM there are no windows 8 drivers for NM10 yet, and perhaps its windows 7 drivers don't work in 8.

Guess intel is just being lazy.

eddman said,

Well, the Eee PC 1225C mentioned in the article has a 1366 x 768 resolution, so that's not the reason.

I did some digging. While Clover Trail is an SoC, Cedar trail has a separate chipset, the NM10.
IINM there are no windows 8 drivers for NM10 yet, and perhaps its windows 7 drivers don't work in 8.

Guess intel is just being lazy.

This is what is strange. XPDM was dropped from Windows 8, but WDM 1.0/WDDM works fine, and that is Vista generation drivers.

Intel producing CPUs that only run windows 7 or windows 8, wow intel really has became a bit pathetic lately.

n_K said,
Intel producing CPUs that only run windows 7 or windows 8, wow intel really has became a bit pathetic lately.

Not really, I don't think you quite understand the context.

How exactly is that Microsoft's fault?

I'm sure someone will figure out a way to get this to work. Also, why would anyone want to run Win 8 on a crappy Netbook anyway?

ahhell said,
Also, why would anyone want to run Win 8 on a crappy Netbook anyway?
Because it's pretty damn fast. Since no Metro apps work it's more like Windows 7, but it boots and runs incredibly well. I've set it up on a 1st gen netbook with a 16gb SSD and it's great, and whirs the fan up less/stays cooler than with Win 7.

JustAnotherTechie said,
Because it's pretty damn fast. Since no Metro apps work it's more like Windows 7, but it boots and runs incredibly well. I've set it up on a 1st gen netbook with a 16gb SSD and it's great, and whirs the fan up less/stays cooler than with Win 7.

Do the screen resolution trick, it is less noticeable than users would expect, and you get the full Metro experience.

Blame Intel's processor SKUs for that. They produce too many CPU SKUs and the lower ones are intentionally crippled like Windows' Home Basic or Starter editions.

MsftGaurav said,
Blame Intel's processor SKUs for that. They produce too many CPU SKUs and the lower ones are intentionally crippled like Windows' Home Basic or Starter editions.

Blame Microsoft too for setting requirements that low. Remember the Windows XP 64mb or Vista 512mb RAM requirements that let computer manufacturers sell all sort of crippled hardware for years where continuous swapping was ensured even with no programs installed? I can't even imagine the amount of perfectly good hardware that was wasted because of those stupidly low requirements.

Same with Vista, they let Intel save money by letting them sell IGPs that despite being called DX9c compliant weren't fully hardware-compliant (some features were emulated through software) because of lax DX9c requirements and when Vista came out with that incompatible hardware still being sold (Intel stopped production just a few months before) everybody with a 915 IGP or lower was screwed and had to run Vista in a glorified VESA mode with an huge performance hit.

francescob said,

Blame Microsoft too for setting requirements that low. Remember the Windows XP 64mb or Vista 512mb RAM requirements that let computer manufacturers sell all sort of crippled hardware for years where continuous swapping was ensured even with no programs installed? I can't even imagine the amount of perfectly good hardware that was wasted because of those stupidly low requirements.

Same with Vista, they let Intel save money by letting them sell IGPs that despite being called DX9c compliant weren't fully hardware-compliant (some features were emulated through software) because of lax DX9c requirements and when Vista came out with that incompatible hardware still being sold (Intel stopped production just a few months before) everybody with a 915 IGP or lower was screwed and had to run Vista in a glorified VESA mode with an huge performance hit.

You are blaming Microsoft for giving Intel a 'pass'. This was Intel's issue with the 915, as they had intended on putting out a WDDM driver.
(Which it can 'technically' do, as the IGP is mainly CPU based. However, implementing the WDM 1.0/WDDM features were too slow, and Intel keep telling Microsoft they would get it fixed, and never did. Microsoft even worked with them, and the horrible implementation of the 915 and how it constricted the CPU was just not feasible to do even the basic WDM/WDDM features.

Intel had sold a TON of these to business customers, and is why Microsoft left the Vista 'pass' happen, as they do run Vista, just not the DWM/WDDM features.


Intel's integrated GPU technologies, going way back, that were basically CPU emulated GPUs, were a train wreck, and Intel and companies that put them in systems should have been black listed.

The Intel and integrated GPU debacle that Apple also was involved with was and still is a mess. It was sadly 'laughable' that when Apple moved to Intel they were using Integrated Intel GPUs in expensive devices.

This also happened when Vista came out (remember the Vista Capable lawsuit?). Intel has really no shame in leaving users of their IGPs, even those still being sold, without drivers.

This is not Microsoft's fault. Why a processor is being released that supports only one version of an operating system is beyond me. They did something similar with Linux support, one of these chips have a graphics core that only has proprietary Meego drivers and not any for general linux flavours.

This is also Microsoft's fault because Windows 8 was supposed to load the same WDDM drivers from Windows 7 so this is either a failure in their hardware logo program in ensuring the drivers were written properly or a failure in the windows 8 WDDM backward compatibility.

Considering the kind of issue I'm pretty sure there will be some workaround to get those drivers to work: it's probably some minor bug in the installer or in the driver INF or code that is causing those issues since those are still WDDM drivers that should be supposed to work as-is.

francescob said,
This is also Microsoft's fault because Windows 8 was supposed to load the same WDDM drivers from Windows 7 so this is either a failure in their hardware logo program in ensuring the drivers were written properly or a failure in the windows 8 WDDM backward compatibility.

Considering the kind of issue I'm pretty sure there will be some workaround to get those drivers to work: it's probably some minor bug in the installer or in the driver INF or code that is causing those issues since those are still WDDM drivers that should be supposed to work as-is.


No this is Intel designing a chip specifically for 1 OS.

Shadowzz said,

No this is Intel designing a chip specifically for 1 OS.

And Microsoft failing at legacy support (WDDM 1.1 legacy drivers are supposed to be work like they do for other older Intel/AMD/Nvidia GPUs/IGPs) and failing at having logo program requirements that let an IGP still on sale to be incompatible with Windows 8. Microsoft dictates the hardware and drivers requirements with DirectX and WDDM, not Intel, so they're just as responsible when messes like this happen.

francescob said,

And Microsoft failing at legacy support (WDDM 1.1 legacy drivers are supposed to be work like they do for other older Intel/AMD/Nvidia GPUs/IGPs) and failing at having logo program requirements that let an IGP still on sale to be incompatible with Windows 8. Microsoft dictates the hardware and drivers requirements with DirectX and WDDM, not Intel, so they're just as responsible when messes like this happen.

But the problem is clearly down to the architect design of the CPU. I'm actually really surprised we have this issue.

Tony. said,
But the problem is clearly down to the architect design of the CPU. I'm actually really surprised we have this issue.

This is not an hardware "designed" to run only on Windows 7, it could also run Windows 8 (the hardware is DX10.1 capable).

Intel in a desperate attempt to cut down the power consumption on their platforms decided to rely on an IGP from another company (PowerVR) but they have failed, and are still failing, at delivering proper drivers. They delayed the platform for months and in the end released DirectX 9 drivers (rather than DX10.1) and only for 32bit versions of Windows. The netbooks/tablets that use that use that platform for some "mystical" reasons also seem to be unable to boot 64bit versions of Windows because the BIOS boots only in 32bit mode (and I wonder what company caused this, maybe Intel knows).

Of course Intel is to blame for releasing that abomination but Microsoft is the one that let them release a DX9-only 32bit-only GPU in Q4 2011, aren't they responsible as well?

Source: http://www.extremetech.com/com...l-ship-without-key-features

francescob said,
Of course Intel is to blame for releasing that abomination but Microsoft is the one that let them release a DX9-only 32bit-only GPU in Q4 2011, aren't they responsible as well?
How would Microsoft stop them releasing a product...Microsoft have no say in this.

mog0 said,
How would Microsoft stop them releasing a product...Microsoft have no say in this.

Microsoft decides what hardware gets their Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) logo so if they enforced better requirements and that POS of a platform wouldn't have obtained the logo no manufacturer would have even remotely consider its use in their tablets/netbooks. That's how they could have stopped them from selling a platform that was nowhere ready for release despite being delayed for months and months.

francescob said,

Microsoft decides what hardware gets their Windows Hardware Quality Lab (WHQL) logo so if they enforced better requirements and that POS of a platform wouldn't have obtained the logo no manufacturer would have even remotely consider its use in their tablets/netbooks. That's how they could have stopped them from selling a platform that was nowhere ready for release despite being delayed for months and months.

Why would they refuse to give hardware designed for Windows 7 a stamp of approval FOR Windows 7?

Also, last I checked, NOBODY here liked Atom processors of that generation and prior, yet suddenly we have OUTRAGEGRRBL that Microsoft ALLOWED this TRAVESTY to happen. /vapors //delicate sensibilities ///faint

If you're sitting on a system with an old Atom CPU inside, holy crap buy a new system. The piece of crap computer probably only cost you $200 total anyway.

Joshie said,

Why would they refuse to give hardware designed for Windows 7 a stamp of approval FOR Windows 7?

Because as I already said it comes with a 32bit-only and also DX9-only driver. It's not hardware from 2004 where that could have been tolerable, it's hardware put on the market at the end of 2011 and still on sale! If Microsoft had better requirements for their logo program crap like this would have never hit the market.

Joshie said,

Also, last I checked, NOBODY here liked Atom processors of that generation and prior, yet suddenly we have OUTRAGEGRRBL that Microsoft ALLOWED this TRAVESTY to happen. /vapors //delicate sensibilities ///faint

If you're sitting on a system with an old Atom CPU inside, holy crap buy a new system. The piece of crap computer probably only cost you $200 total anyway.

Old?! We're talking about hardware PUT ON SALE IN Q4 2011, 10 months ago and it's STILL BEING SOLD. The same identical hardware (PowerVR 545) is going to be used on Windows 8 tablets with Clover Trail. How is that even remotely old?

scorpian007 said,
Can't see why you would want to run Windows 8 on a netbook...

The same reason you'd run any other OS on a netbook? Hell, if anything, Windows 8 is more designed to run on a device like this than any other OS. A netbook likely has specs very similar to many Windows 8 Pro tablets coming out.

scorpian007 said,
Can't see why you would want to run Windows 8 on a netbook...

There are a few cases where it'd be pretty compelling. Asus and Lenovo both offered convertible netbooks with multitouch, and though it wasn't five-point, it would've been enough for a good enough Windows 8 experience.

Unfortunately, netbooks were victims of the race to the bottom, and cheap parts were the norm, especially when it came to display tech. Any 10-12" screen could've started at 1366x768, meeting the minimum requirements for metro snap, but netbooks universally jumped on the bandwagon with the bizarre, frustrating 1024 x 600 resolution that you can do jack shat with.

duddit2 said,
wtf? x86 should be jut that

CPU's haven't been 'just' x86 for a long long time.

Windows 8 requires the NX instruction set on a CPU. Something that Atom CPU's don't have. It doesn't make it any less of a x86 CPU, in the same way AMD doesn't have all the instruction sets that Intel have in their CPUs. MMX etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_bit for more information on the bit that IS required for a Windows 8 CPU. Its nothing that hasn't been said before and most moden CPUs do have NX and have done for quite a few years now.

Edited by sagum, Oct 24 2012, 6:30pm :

Buzz99 said,
nor will my Acer Aspire one netbook will... because of minimal screen resolution. Way to go MS !

There is not minimum screen resolution for an install? Do you mean you don't have metro snap or aren't able to launch metro apps?

Netbooks can't run Metro applications (unless you set a fake resolution with scaling enabled but everything would look blurry) because of the 1024x600 resolution. Even who has a 720p monitor (1280x720) will have this problem. What a weird requirement...

francescob said,
Netbooks can't run Metro applications (unless you set a fake resolution with scaling enabled but everything would look blurry) because of the 1024x600 resolution. Even who has a 720p monitor (1280x720) will have this problem. What a weird requirement...

I'm going to upgrade mine anyways. I'll just put a Start Menu hack. The speed you can get with 8 is amazing when running with very low hardware.
And is just for 40$

Jose_49 said,

I'm going to upgrade mine anyways. I'll just put a Start Menu hack. The speed you can get with 8 is amazing when running with very low hardware.
And is just for 40$

That's actually quite a reasonable idea, as much as I'm against start menu hacks, lower resolution screens may be at a benefit there!

Jose_49 said,

I'm going to upgrade mine anyways. I'll just put a Start Menu hack. The speed you can get with 8 is amazing when running with very low hardware.
And is just for 40$

+1 for Start8 or other start menu hacks. Yet another reason that Microsoft were crazy not to give users the OPTION (back in your boxes, Win8 fanboys).

gb8080 said,

+1 for Start8 or other start menu hacks. Yet another reason that Microsoft were crazy not to give users the OPTION (back in your boxes, Win8 fanboys).
The start screen has the same resolution requirements as windows 7. The metro APPS have a higher requirement. You can therefore use the start screen as a simple start menu replacement without any hacks.

gb8080 said,

+1 for Start8 or other start menu hacks. Yet another reason that Microsoft were crazy not to give users the OPTION (back in your boxes, Win8 fanboys).

Your condescending attitude clearly shows you've taken the high road and are a model citizen every human can hope to someday emulate.

Or you're a shining example of the same sort of camp-vs-camp attitude that makes technology feel like politics. Congratulations.

Buzz99 said,
nor will my Acer Aspire one netbook will... because of minimal screen resolution. Way to go MS !

Just do the Resolution 'trick' so the netbook shoves a few pixels together to give you a 1024x768 or (1180x768?) resolution.

You would be surprised that it doesn't look as bad as you would expect.

Remember that a lot of 720p Televisions - especially plasmas use 1024x768, which is lower than 1280x720 and it smashes the extra pixels together. Yet most users, even with gaming consoles never notice.

We use the resolution trick on the original Acer Aspire One Netbooks, and Windows 8 runs and looks great.

Windows 8 also cleans up a couple of outstanding Win7 WiFi driver issues on some models, and Windows 8 is very noticeably faster than Windows XP or Windows 7 on these low end systems, especially if you have only the original 1gb of RAM.

Anyone with a low end system, whether it is a Netbook or an older P4, as long as the CPU supports the 'required' No Execute Bit (Which appeared in the P4 timeframe.)

Windows 8 has new low RAM modes, that if you can get it installed on a 256mb or 512mb System, it will run faster than Windows XP, which is remarkable, considering the large amount of extra features that are active in the OS.

thenetavenger said,

PS Another reason to put Windows 8 on older Netbooks - Video Quality/Resolution.

On the Atom 270 class Netbooks this was a nice surprise, for example:

Windows XP - YouTube, Hulu and Netflix are all painful.
Windows 7, Hulu was ok at low resolutions, but would skip frames, Netflix was ok.
Windows 8, Hulu is flawless, even at 480p, and Netflix and other Microsoft Video content does 720p without an issue.

So if you watch movies on your Netbook, but video performance has been weak, Windows 8 is worth it for this alone, even if you do have to hack the resolution.