Windows 10 "CMPXCHG16b / CompareExchange128" Issue on IN-PLACE Upgrade?

I am having problems doing an In-place install of Windows 10 Technical Preview, and I am after opinions please....

Some background may help though:

I am currently running Windows 8 64 Bit, and seem to be one of those people unable to upgrade to Windows 8.1 due to the requirements related to the CPU requiring CMPXCHG16b / CompareExchange128 hardware support (as well as the motherboard), as I have a Core 2 Quad Q8300 CPU, and this is allegedly one of the affected cpus.

I should point out however, that on any of the ten or so plus times I have tried to upgrade Windows 8 over to Windows 8.1, I never get an actual error message that is clear enough to actually say "Your CPU is not supported..." as most others seem to, but instead, my error, right at the end of the upgrade process (and thus roll-back), actually talks of insufficient space for a RAMDISK to be created.

Googling all this back in the day however, seemed to indicate that the real problem was my Q8300 cpu and the lack of hardware support for CompareExchange128, though one wonders why I never got the actual relevant error message etc.

Draw your own conclusions as to that therefore.

In any event, when the first preview of Windows 10 came out, I tried a CLEAN install under a dual boot system, and it happily let me install the 64 bit version of Windows 10 as a clean install, thus seeming to indicate to me that the hardware requirement for CompareExchange128 on 64 bit Windows 10 has been removed?

I'd first ask Microsoft is this is indeed the case?

My issue now however, is that when I try to do an IN-PLACE upgrade install to Windows 10 latest Technical Preview, it fails with the exact same error screen I see when attempting an upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, with the Q8300 allegedly unsupported CPU.

Can I therefore flag this up for discussion, that my findings or thoughts seem to reveal two things:

1) Windows 10 64 bit would not SEEM to have the CompareExchange128 hardware support requirements that came in with Windows 8.1

and:

2) It will therefore let you CLEAN install on such a cpu/mobo, but there seems to be an issue on IN-PLACE Upgrade installs, whereby it DOES fail for this problem.

Any thoughts from Microsoft or others in relation to this?

And I post this as a question, rather than a discussion item itself, as I'd like to know if there is a way around this, to allow me an IN-PLACE Upgrade Install of Windows 10 on a Q8300 cpu without CompareExhange128 hardware support...

 

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Last updated March 24, 2019 Views 20,879 Applies to:

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No problem but just to be clear, some of my findings are fact based, and some are more anecdotal...

Fact based:

1. Systems with a CPU lacking CMPXCHG16b cannot be upgraded/are not compatible with Win 8.1 64 Bit.
2. My CPU (An Intel Q8300 Quad Core) is listed as being one of the cpu's at issue.
3. I cannot upgrade to Win 8.1 64 bit (tried numerous times, both clean and in place).
4. I CAN install Win 10 Tech Preview 64 Bit (but only as a clean install - In-place/Upgrade install fails, but reasons are NOT clear/substantive, but rather guessed at linked to the cpu bug)

Anecdotal:

1. I BELIEVE the reason Win 10 64 bit will not allow me an in-place/upgrade install is linked to the CPU bug, at least in some way, however this is entirely speculative/conjecture on my part.  It does tell me it fails due to an error code known to relate to not meeting system specifications, but that's all it tells me.  Nothing more clear than that.  For sure it doesn't report any CMPXCHG16b incompatibility message

2. I have only tried an in place/upgrade install of Win 10 T.P twice.  It failed both.  However in installing each subsequent update to the Tech Preview, I have had a whole world of pain with failed upgrades, and have had to resort to various drastic measures to circumvent this, including deleting entire windows/old folders, running various Windows Update registry cleaner tools etc etc.  So you never know, my inability to install Windows 10 as an upgrade to Windows 8 may actually just be linked to these issues, and not the cpu flag issue.  Indeed, one of the steps I had to take to allow one of the incremental updates to a later build of Win 10, was completely re-sizing my partition to make more space for it.  So my original inability to upgrade Windows 8 may have been similar.

Repeating what I do know as fact though...

I definitely CAN *Clean* install Windows 10 64 bit edition on a system that has a Q8300 cpu, which is reported to be one of the problem CPU's and certainly doesn't let me upgrade to Win 8.1 (though that fail in itself is not clear enough to say "hey, you have one of the bad cpu's" - it actually fails with a ramdrive error message each time.)

Hi Patrick,

(Sorry for my poor English),

Just to let you know that today, I tried to install  the  In-place/Upgrade Windows 10 on my Windows 7 pc and I got the same error that you. Error message :  Processor does not support CompareExchange128. The installation/upgrade quit without any solution given... sadly...

My processor is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+

So in a way, I'm stuck like you. I cannot get the free Windows 10 as an upgrade from my old Windows 7.

Since, did you get any answer from Windows Support on this issue?

thx a lot

Kevin

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No problem but just to be clear, some of my findings are fact based, and some are more anecdotal...

Fact based:

1. Systems with a CPU lacking CMPXCHG16b cannot be upgraded/are not compatible with Win 8.1 64 Bit.
2. My CPU (An Intel Q8300 Quad Core) is listed as being one of the cpu's at issue.
3. I cannot upgrade to Win 8.1 64 bit (tried numerous times, both clean and in place).
4. I CAN install Win 10 Tech Preview 64 Bit (but only as a clean install - In-place/Upgrade install fails, but reasons are NOT clear/substantive, but rather guessed at linked to the cpu bug)

Anecdotal:

1. I BELIEVE the reason Win 10 64 bit will not allow me an in-place/upgrade install is linked to the CPU bug, at least in some way, however this is entirely speculative/conjecture on my part.  It does tell me it fails due to an error code known to relate to not meeting system specifications, but that's all it tells me.  Nothing more clear than that.  For sure it doesn't report any CMPXCHG16b incompatibility message

2. I have only tried an in place/upgrade install of Win 10 T.P twice.  It failed both.  However in installing each subsequent update to the Tech Preview, I have had a whole world of pain with failed upgrades, and have had to resort to various drastic measures to circumvent this, including deleting entire windows/old folders, running various Windows Update registry cleaner tools etc etc.  So you never know, my inability to install Windows 10 as an upgrade to Windows 8 may actually just be linked to these issues, and not the cpu flag issue.  Indeed, one of the steps I had to take to allow one of the incremental updates to a later build of Win 10, was completely re-sizing my partition to make more space for it.  So my original inability to upgrade Windows 8 may have been similar.

Repeating what I do know as fact though...

I definitely CAN *Clean* install Windows 10 64 bit edition on a system that has a Q8300 cpu, which is reported to be one of the problem CPU's and certainly doesn't let me upgrade to Win 8.1 (though that fail in itself is not clear enough to say "hey, you have one of the bad cpu's" - it actually fails with a ramdrive error message each time.)

Hi Patrick,

(Sorry for my poor English),

Just to let you know that today, I tried to install  the  In-place/Upgrade Windows 10 on my Windows 7 pc and I got the same error that you. Error message :  Processor does not support CompareExchange128. The installation/upgrade quit without any solution given... sadly...

My processor is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+

So in a way, I'm stuck like you. I cannot get the free Windows 10 as an upgrade from my old Windows 7.

Since, did you get any answer from Windows Support on this issue?

thx a lot

Kevin

No I didn't get a reply from MS Support, as I posted it here and via the Feedback tool, so it's more generic, so I didn't expect one to be honest.

My plan is "Wait until Windows 10 launches formally, then RING them up, explain that my PC has a CPU that is not compatible with Windows 8.1 due to the known bug, however Windows 10 IS compatible with it, but ONLY via CLEAN INSTALL.  But MS will only allow people to obtain Windows 10 for free by a first 'upgrade install'.  As I have done nothing wrong, and my machine CAN run Windows 10, but only via CLEAN install, what do you, Microsoft, propose to do, to resolve my situation..?"

If they do not offer me a licence key for a clean install of Windows 10, I will scream, scream, and scream some more, whilst insisting they escalate it up to Senior Support.  And I'll be damned if I don't get them to give me one!

It's not MY fault MS have messed up...  It's good that Win 10 now runs on the errant/problematic cpu's, but they should have sorted it so that it can be UPGRADED, not Clean installed, as they have made an initial 'upgrade install' the requirement for obtaining it for free.

The other alternative for me is a Clean install of the final Windows 10 Preview Build, as those doing this are then also entitled to Windows 10 Official for free on launch, PROVIDED that they continue to agree to automatically install update patches and future test/beta builds.  This is not a course I wish to go down however for various obvious reasons...

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Many thanks - helpful discussion - I'm having the same problem.

It appears that 8.1 is an anomaly in the sequence of OS versions, unique in requiring processor support for CompareExchange128.  Therefore the upgrade path from 8 to 10 for users without this processor feature is blocked.  Microsoft does seem to stress that users must upgrade to 8.1 before they can upgrade to 10.

However, at least there is a possible solution (no matter how inconvenient) which is to do a clean install of Windows 10. 

But is this really a solution to achieving a free upgrade from 8 to 10?  Is the issue not so much technical but one of licensing - is it possible to activate the clean install of 10 using the Windows 8 key (previously used on the same machine)?  Is this something you tested Patrick_Rice?

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Many thanks - helpful discussion - I'm having the same problem.

It appears that 8.1 is an anomaly in the sequence of OS versions, unique in requiring processor support for CompareExchange128.  Therefore the upgrade path from 8 to 10 for users without this processor feature is blocked.  Microsoft does seem to stress that users must upgrade to 8.1 before they can upgrade to 10.

However, at least there is a possible solution (no matter how inconvenient) which is to do a clean install of Windows 10. 

But is this really a solution to achieving a free upgrade from 8 to 10?  Is the issue not so much technical but one of licensing - is it possible to activate the clean install of 10 using the Windows 8 key (previously used on the same machine)?  Is this something you tested Patrick_Rice?

Alas that WON'T work...

A Clean install of Windows 10 (as I just set away this morning before leaving for work), is such that right at the start of the install process, it requires you to enter the Product Code / CD Key.

And by all reports up to yesterday evening, and certainly judging by the one I used once i established what it was, this is a NEW Product Key.  In other words, when you UPGRADE to Windows 10, the installation, when finished, has created a whole new product key for you, different to that of the OS you updated it from.  This was true for me.

Very unhelpfully also, Microsoft do not warn you of any of what I am about to tell you - that you need to establish your new product key, on an Upgraded install of Windows 10, by using something like Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder.  It's incredible that MS require a user to use a third party tool they don't otherwise like you to use, to establish your new Windows 10 Product Code, but so far this is what they are saying - clean installs are only possible AFTER an upgrade install, as you need your new Windows 10 Product Key you get when upgrading, for use on any subsequent CLEAN install!

Thus if you were to set about CLEAN installing Windows 10, and had not first upgraded AND/OR made a note of your new Windows 10 Upgrade Key, then if you were to use the Windows install routine to first Format the destination drive and perhaps choose to wipe out the version of Windows 10 you did as an upgrade, so as to have a true CLEAN version instead, then a couple of steps later when it asks you for your Product Code, you will not have it, and then moreover, never ever have any ability to glean it evermore, having just formatted and wiped your working Windows partition, and product key you needed!

How scary is that?  Microsoft REALLY need to give us much better and more well publicised info on how follow up clean installs need to be done!

Getting back to the Windows 8/8.1 issue however and how it relates to this, what Microsoft support got me to do as a workaround to this cpu problem, was to re-install Windows 7 first, which my machine originally had came with before I had later paid for Windows 8 Pro myself, as they checked that my Licence Key on the side of my machine was still valid for Windows 7.

HOWEVER, MS should NOT be guiding people down this route (aside from the massive inconvenience and that many won't be able to do this anyway if they never had Windows 7), is this...

After doing this, and installing Windows 7 and activating it, so that I now had an upgrade route to official, free Windows 10, I then realised that my Windows 7 version was Home Premium (which I had stated to the Customer Support Member who had checked my CD key), whereas my Windows 8 version was Professional.

Thus the version of Windows 10 I would then receive would only be the Home version, not the Pro one, as it would, and indeed should have been, if upgrading from Windows 8!  But MS feel this is a suitable workaround for the cpu/upgrade path problem they have invented!

In the end I had to PAY MONEY MYSELF to purchase Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL, just so that it ensured I therefore received Windows 10 Pro on upgrade!

All in all, what we are saying and seeing, is that Microsoft have made a supremely monumental clusterf&ck in how they have decided to allow people to obtain Windows 10 legally, officially, and for free, especially where Windows 8 users are concerned who have the cpu hardware issue that prevents them from upgrading to Windows 8.1, which is needed for them to obtain Windows 10 which DOES NOT have this problem in the first place.  Talk about moronic.  

...Bring out a new version of the OS,.that fixes a problem that prevents some people from updating to the previous windows version, but then require them to have this unobtainable windows version first in order to obtain the one without the problem!  Utterly mad!

Utterly utterly ridiculous.  I only wish MS listened better...

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Hi Patrick -

Maddening situation.  I have a 2005-era Compaq that in 2012 I upgraded from a nasty 2 GHz AMD Sempron CPU to a much snappier AMD 64 Athlon X2 4400  (2.2 GHz, Socket 939) CPU and 4 GB of DDR 3200 RAM.  With Windows 7 Home x64 it flew.  However, of course this CPU also lacks the CMPXCHG16b instruction.

Not much help now, because it's too late, but here's how I got around the CMPXCHG16b problem and clean-installed Windows 10 Pro (x64) on this system:

I had joined the Microsoft Windows 10 Insider program on this PC back in November 2014, using a Microsoft Outlook account that I created just for this system, after having researched this missing CMPXCHG instruction issue (Windows 8.1 / 10 TR upgrade failures).

I got right up to Build 10062 build, then downloaded the 64-bit ISO and installed it clean from DVD.  It went fine, and it updated to the 10240 RTM build (which is current).  It runs everything just fine, is fully licensed and authenticated ("Windows is activated"), and it even successfully updated to the latest 1 GB patch from Microsoft, yesterday.

I made a recovery/backup USB tool and cut a full system image onto another drive. I also cut a Macrium Reflect backup, as well.

Just as a sanity check, this morning I wiped the whole thing and did a full Windows 10 restore from the image, and it went without a hitch.

I don't exactly how, or why it worked, but it does.  Guess I'm one of the very lucky ones.

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How to get Windows 10 64 bit on PC's with CPU's with the CMPXCHG16b issue

Initial things to understand before going on:

1. This only affects users trying to UPGRADE their Windows 7/8.0 64bit operating systems to Windows 10 64bit. It does not apply to 32bit upgrades.

2. It does not affect a clean 64bit installation.

3. Product keys for eligible Windows 7/8.0 versions are the same for 32bit & 64bit

For example: if you purchased a full retail boxed version of Windows 7 Pro it came with installation media for both 32bit & 64bit, but only had a single COA (product key) sticker.

IMPORTANT: Back up all your data before proceeding.

The way to get around the CMPXCHG16b issue is to install the 32bit version of your OS that you have a product key for, get all necessary Windows updates, then use the 32bit install to upgrade to Windows 10 32bit.

Once the in place upgrade has been completed, Microsoft will then hash your hardware configuration on their servers and activate your Windows 10 installation.

This type of activation allows you to re-install the OS at a later date without requiring a product key, skip this step.

Download the 64bit version of Windows 10 from Microsoft, using the Creation Media program and select Create installation media for another PC. Choose either USB stick or ISO method, whichever is most convenient.

Once completed do a clean 64bit install over the 32bit install, not an upgrade, remembering to skip the enter serial step. Once re-install is complete and you are online the OS will be activated again.

So although a bit time consuming it allows you to install a fully working Windows 10 64bit OS on older hardware, without having to purchase other operating system.

Just to note, if you only have a 64bit version of your original OS then you need to locate a 32bit copy. Usually this is not a problem, either through friends, workplace etc. All you need is the 32bit installation media.

Microsoft provides a digital download for Windows 7 here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

Hope this is helpful

edited incorrect link

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Just a quick check...

You're certain it lets you do a CLEAN install, and when asked for the CD Key, it allows you to Continue past this step, without entering a product key?

Great news if so, but just checking first.

Oh and a hint of my own - once this is done, and all is finally up and running in the clean Windows 10 Pro install, I would still suggest using Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder to reveal your resultant final generated Product Key issued automatically by Microsoft, so that you have the opportunity of moving to a different PC later, and strengthening your case if any issues arise...

Thanks for that reveal though, for sure!

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I've been following this thread for awhile and when MisterSmifff1961 posted, I thought I finally had a solution to get my AMD Athlon X2 3800+ Socket 939 from Windows 7 64-bit to Windows 10 64-bit.  Everything was going great, I'm currently running Windows 10 32-bit and it's updated and activated.

 

I created the Windows 10 64-bit media using the media creation tool.  In my troubleshooting I created the media multiple times on multiple computers.  I tried both USB and ISOs and each time it would just hang at the blue Windows logo.  I also tried using the Windows 10 64-bit boot disc on another machine with Windows 7 64-bit installed and it booted right up to the language selection/installation screen with no problems.

On my final test I decided to use the media creation tool to download both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and burn this to a dual layer DVD disc.  It boots the initial choose your operating system to install (32-bit or 64-bit), but again when choosing 64-bit it hangs at the blue Windows logo, 32-bit loads fine with no problems.

So in my testing, I cannot boot from any Windows 10 64-bit installation media when Windows 10 32-bit is installed.  Hopefully, someone else has better luck and can report back here.

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Can I just clarify some points..?

  1. Each time "it just hangs", do you mean when trying to CREATE the Bootable/image media, or when trying to actually later USE this media you created to Clean install..?
  2. You are using this boot media (USB is best, as the dual 32/64 bit media is too big for single layer dvd), to try and carry out a CLEAN install of Windows 10 Pro, yes, not an upgrade?  Choosing to Format the destination partition if necessary too (making sure any stuff you need is first backed up elsewhere of course).
  3. A full format then clean install process is best, but if you aren't doing a format first CLEAN install, how much free space does the drive have?
  4. You do have as many as possible external devices etc disconnected when trying the Clean Install, as often this helps.

My key concern here is that the way you have worded things above, it sort of sounds as if you are not trying a full, clean, formatted NEW Install of Windows 10 Pro, but rather an upgrade of some sort...  So I'm just checking...

If indeed you do now have a proper working Windows 10 64 Bit Pro installation media/usb, AND you are formatting the partition as part of the Install attempt, and it has plenty free space therefore, and you are thus doing a completely CLEAN install therefore, and it still fails to install Windows 10, then this points, as you worry, to a Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit incompatibility issue for your machine.  That's weird though, as others have said they got there in the end.  Sure as heck, I am running Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit on my Q8300 Intel CPU, which is one of the offending processors...

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1.  When trying to use the media.  It boots to the Windows 10 logo and just sits there.  It never gets to the install Windows screen.

2.  I have never gotten to that point.

3.  Same as 2

4.  Everything except the main drive is disconnected.

It's like Windows 10 32-bit is actively blocking any 64-bit media from booting, at least with my hardware.

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