Some users tried to install the new Windows 8 Release Preview and faced with the message: “Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8.”
If you get that notification, the solution to the problem may lie in your computer’s BIOS.
The first step suggested by Microsoft is to see if the following features are enabled on your CPU: Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX, and SSE2.
Most CPUs have support for these features, so if you receive this error, it is likely because the NX feature is not enabled on your system.To resolve this error, follow manufacturer guidelines to enable NX (“No eXecute bit”), or the equivalent XD (“eXecute Disabled”) feature, within the BIOS security settings.
To get to the BIOS setup page, you typically need to press a certain key, such as Esc or F2, depending on your PC. What happens if you don’t see any of settings listed by Microsoft?
You will have to update your BIOS, assuming it’s not already current. To do that, you’ll need to check your PC maker’s tech support page for a section called Drivers and Downloads. Within that section, you should see several updates, including one for your BIOS.
Updating the BIOS can be a tricky matter if something goes wrong. So you’ll want to make sure that the BIOS update listed is the one for your specific PC. Several manufacturers now offer software that you can download through your browser to detect your make and model PC and pinpoint the correct drivers.
You should run a full backup of your PC before you update the BIOS just as a precaution. But generally, updating the BIOS is a quick and automatic process. After the BIOS has been updated, you can then try to reinstall the Windows 8 Release Preview to see if it works.
After updating the BIOS, the installation runs without a hitch in both Oracle VirtualBox and VMWare Player.
However, it may be noted that users are running into BIOS issues with the Release Preview, but not with the Consumer or Developer Preview. If there is a bug, then Microsoft has to track it down and resolve it in time before the release of the RTM version.