Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Virtual Machine Issues

  1. #1

    Virtual Machine Issues


    Hi Folks:

    In the near future, I'm hoping to run the Consumer Preview of Threshold, so I'm attempting to get Windows 8.1 installed now to ensure that I'm ready and working. Plus I'd like to play around a bit with Windows 8.1.

    I've realized that my system and my processor in particular won't support a 64-bit guest. So I'm trying to install the x86 build of Windows 8.1. Before I search for a source, will my system support this? My specs should be listed, but here are the relevant processor/system details.

    HP xw8200 (two Xeon 3.68 GHz Processors - Netburst/P4 Style)
    DEP can be enabled. I do NOT have NX.
    Host OS: Vista Ultimate x64

    I really wish I could just find a junker system to test out the OSs and see if I like them, but what is needed for a "junker" PC now is quite substantial.
    Last edited by Jody Thornton; 01 Sep 2014 at 15:28.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Windows 8 and 8.1 require PAE, NX and SSE2. In Windows 7 and prior NX was recommended but not required. It is now required.
    These requirements will likely remain the same in future systems. More may be added.

    All hardware in a virtual machine is virtualized, except the CPU. These features must be present in the CPU or it cannot support Windows 8 in a virtual machine.

    System requirements - Microsoft Windows
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    Windows 8 and 8.1 require PAE, NX and SSE2. In Windows 7 and prior NX was recommended but not required. It is now required.
    I take it that includes the x86 build too right?

    What would be the oldest CPU that supports these refinements? Am I pretty much requiring a DuoCore? Or is that even sufficient?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    NX and SSE2 are required for both x86 and x64. PAE is not used in x64.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    LOL....I should have remembered that PAE was just a 32-bit thing. I just meant processor support for NX and sse2, but thanks for the correction.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    running an x-86 Guest usually has ZERO problems on any hardware that can run probably any Windows OS since Windows 95 !!!. Contrary to info often written in this section you don't even need the VT Virtualisation feature to be enabled or exist at all for x-86 guests using VMWARE -- some old PENTIUIM II processors will work just fine.

    The Virtual BIOS may be able to support PAE even if it doesn't exist on the REAL BIOS - for example you can test some hardware features that don't exist on the REAL machine such as UEFI on a non UEFI machine.

    Windows 7 (as a VM) will certainly work on old machines -- the only way to see if Windows 8.1 will work is IMO to try it - you don't have to activate immediately - although it will require a serial number.

    What you could do for a test is to download the windows 8.1 enterprise trial -- I think (correct if I'm wrong) there is an x-86 version and see if that works.

    To run a Windows 8.1 Guest though you will need to reserve a minimum of 1 GB RAM in your machine for it and your Host should have a minimum of 4GB if you are running Windows X-64.

    Simply install the VM just as you would a Real machine and after powering it on the first time install the VMWARE tools - will be available from the vm menu.

    Although not specifically stated by Ms yet I wouldn't be surprised if they were at least thinking about dropping the 32 bit OS's in future - even the smallest laptop these days is 64 bit capable and maintaining two sets of OS'es is just wasting resources.

    It *Could* be conceivable that Threshold might be 64 bit only -- if not I would expect this to be the last 32 bit native OS that Ms makes.


    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    I installed VMWare Player, and we have lift off with the Eval x86 version. Thanks a million Jimbo!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Thornton View Post
    I installed VMWare Player, and we have lift off with the Eval x86 version. Thanks a million Jimbo!
    Hi there

    Glad all fixed

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Well I had PAE supported, but I had to go into my bios and enable DEP. But then the installation ISO booted.

    What specifically does Windows 8 (x86) use PAE for? Does it have different limits than the usual 3.5 gb of RAM? Can it make use of RAM beyond 4 gb?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    I don't know what Windows 8 does with PAE. PAE stands for Physical Address Extension. DEP implies PAE but aside from that it is largely irrelevant to a 32 bit client OS. It allows the CPU to address RAM beyond 4 GB but all 32 bit client versions of Windows since about XP SP1 ignore all such memory. Server operating systems support PAE but not all support more than 4 GB RAM. All 32 bit client versions of Windows allow a maximum of 4 GB RAM, of which about 3.25 (more or less) will be accessible. This isa licensing restriction.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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