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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Dead End PC?

Dead End PC?

I finally ran into one. Ok, so it is a 9-year old Dell Dimension XPS Gen 4, but I’ve upgraded her over the years…XP to Vista to Win7 to Win8. And then I wanted to take her just one more step…Win8.1. And no!

Sorry, you can’t install the update because it’s not supported by your computer’s CPU.

I guess somewhere around the beginning of 2004, Intel added all this stuff to their chip: Physical Address Extension (PAE) mode, No-eXecute (NX), CMPXCHG16b support and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2). And the BIOS needs Data Execution Prevention (DEP), which apparently was not a stringent requirement for 64-bit Windows 8. Hard to believe a service pack would change hardware requirements for an operating system.

Another strange thing is that the 32-bit version does not have the same hardware requirements, so I can downgrade. But the smarter solution is to move this machine to Linux. So rather than trashing your old PCs, or relegating it to an attic or closet, just install any one of the Linux distros. I chose Ubuntu for this machine but also use Linux Mint on others.  Think about it….just because your PC won’t upgrade Windows anymore, try a move to Linux. . . .you might like it.

1/16/14: Some additional info:

Windows XP Cyber Time Bomb Set For April 8, 2014
Microsoft offers brief reprieve to Windows XP users – with security fixes until July 2015

1/24/14: And more info:

Microsoft: Unplugging Windows XP PCs From Internet Won’t Keep Them Safe
The death of Windows XP will impact 95 percent of the world’s ATMs


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