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looking for info on running win8.1 on modern hardware (cpu, mobo)


Posts
4
#1
Hi, in the effort of keeping this as short as possible I'll cut right to the chase. It is still a bit long but please bear with me.

I am about to build a new PC, I've always wanted to but now I have to as my old machine suffered an accident (rip). Here's the thing, I won't use windows 10. Can't, won't, its not an option so please kindly do not suggest I just 'get used to it'. Ethical issues aside, it will not run many of the (older) games I still regularly play whereas older versions will, and I won't use an OS I have no control over. I am planning to move to linux but I still would like to dual-boot a windows install as well for certain things. So my plan is to install win8.1.

The issue is I've read a ton of things about how in an effort to force all onto win10, modern hardware only comes with win10 drivers (would it be possible that the win10 drivers could be back-compatible with win8?) and M$ blocks all updates (which some say can be 'fixed' or worked around) to older OSs on new hardware. Also something about having to patch in USB drivers into the install media? However I have also read that there are people who have gotten 7/8.1 working on modern hardware so it seems to be possible with the right setup..

However this is my first PC build and I am very lost on how to proceed. The way I see it I have these options:
1)Buy current-gen hardware and find a way to make sure I will be able to find all the drivers and keep it updated
2)Buy older hardware (at near the same price...) and cut my losses in order to use 8.1
3)Abandon windows altogether and hope modern hardware is enough to emulate what I need

Is there anyone here who could maybe help me figuring out which is the best path to take here? Has anyone successfully gotten older windows running on a new build? I can't be the only one out there with this issue, but asking around many places has yielded little results.. any input or resources would be very much appreciated.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
121
#2
Here's a really nice Windows 8.1 refurb computer:
https://www.dellrefurbished.com/desktop-computers/dell-optiplex-9020-143878.html

You can be confident that Windows 8.1 will work on this computer, because that what it comes with.

I like the fact that it has PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. Also, it has a whole bunch of video ports, which means you can run multiple digital monitors straight out of the box.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.
Posts
4
#3
I'm building my own, and buying refurbished isn't something I'm interested in doing. At that point I'd just build with pre-7th gen anyways, since that's what would be inside.

Thanks anyways, but this thread is specifically about how to get 8.1 working on current-gen hardware, so that wasn't very helpful. =/
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Posts
7
#4
You can run Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on Ryzen 1 and Kaby Lake. Ryzen 2 should be OK too apart from the iGPU in 2200g and 2400g.

1. You will have to integrate USB, AHCI drivers, etc.
2. Microsoft will try to block you from using Windows Update (I don't know if that's a good or bad thing :) ) google "wufuc" for that.
3. The latest HD Graphics drivers from Intel don't support Win 7 and Win 8.1 but you can mod and install a driver from 2017 or use a dedicated graphics card.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Professional x64
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    No antivirus
Posts
4
#5
Hey, thanks for the response.

Okay, Kaby Lake is gen7 right? I was hoping to get 8.1 running on Coffee Lake, I just found a page for people installing 7 on Kaby Lake and it seems some people there got 7 working on coffeelake just with no igpu (doesn't matter here, got dedicated card) though tbh I'm having a hard time piecing everything together. I'm assuming 8 should work similarly, is there any reason you didn't include coffee lake in that list before? Is it maybe because of the new chipset on the boards required?

It seems the issue here is the intel chipset drivers. Some people say their mobo manufacturer provides non-10 drivers but I was getting a sweet MSI board on the cheap and they don't seem to have anything listed there. It seems though that chipset mostly controls igpu and perhaps usb ports? Now I need to learn how to integrate drivers to install media, shouldnt be too hard I guess, I feel like I used to know how.

Regarding #2, would that patch be necessary if I just update with something like WSUS and avoid the 'sabotage' update? I already use WSUS and keep WU disabled so I am sure I could exclude anything I needed to. I also remember hearing somewhere that it was only a temporary fix, but the wufuc github page seems to say "...which means it will usually keep working even after new updates come out"..

Worst comes to worse, I guess gen7 is always an option then. But those 2 extra cores in gen8.. I want them lol.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Posts
7
#6
But I don't have experience with coffee lake. I'm not sure if the iGPU drivers can be modded. But since you have a dedicated graphics card, you should be OK. Get yourself an i5-8400 and you should be good to go. Just don't expect everything to work right out of the box (as you already know).

Yes, wufuc is necessary if you want to install security updates. The "your hardware is not supported" crap is included in many updates and even in the security only quality updates. The only way to avoid it is to update Windows to December 2017 and stop there.

On Windows 7 it works like this:
Security Monthly Quality Rollup is cumulative but it includes non security updates a.k.a. telemetry crap.

Security Only Quality Update
is not cumulative but at least it doesn't include spyware.
(apart from the "Unsupported Hardware" message in Windows Update, google "wufuc" for that)

So you need to download ~120 critical updates and ~21 Security Only Quality Update.
Integrate them into your installation media so you don't have to download and install them every time you clean install Windows 7.

You need to download and manually install these two first, otherwise Windows Update will take ages to scan for updates.
kb3102810
kb3177467
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Professional x64
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    No antivirus
Posts
4
#7
But I don't have experience with coffee lake. I'm not sure if the iGPU drivers can be modded. But since you have a dedicated graphics card, you should be OK. Get yourself an i5-8400 and you should be good to go. Just don't expect everything to work right out of the box (as you already know).

Yes, wufuc is necessary if you want to install security updates. The "your hardware is not supported" crap is included in many updates and even in the security only quality updates. The only way to avoid it is to update Windows to December 2017 and stop there.

On Windows 7 it works like this:
Ok, I think I am going with i5-8500 cause there is a nice sale on newegg right now, no reason to think that'd work any different. The sale ends in half a day so I am just gonna take the plunge and do my best, worst case scenario I will just run 8.1 in VM on Linux which tbh is starting to look like the superior option anyways. Thanks for the help, I'm confident I can work this out now.

I'll update this thread when my parts come and I get a chance to try this out, provided I haven't been driven crazy by it by then :p
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop