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Windows 8 - BIOS update for older computers?

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Windows 8 - BIOS update for older computers?

This question has been answered by fireberd

I'm using a Dell Dimension 4600 to test the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 (Yes, I know it's a dinosaur).  The Consumer Preview is working fine. However, the Release Preview will not install. I suspect it is because the BIOS is too old. (The version that is currently installed is S12.)  Are there any moves afoot to upgrade the BIOS and expose the NX / XD bit in the BIOS security settings?

 

Or, is there a work around to enable installation of Windows 8 Release Preview on this level of machine?

Thanks

Verified Answer
  • There will be no more BIOS updates for the 4600.  Updates usually do not continue past the end of sales for any given model, once most stability issues have surfaced and been resolved.

    What kind of error are you getting when trying to install it?

  • Dell has a solid history of abandoning any new upgrades for discontinued models and in this case a discontinued line (the Dimension line has been discontinued at least 4 years ago).  I have a newer (newer than the 4600) model Dimension E510 and there will be no further updates for it.  

    One thing to remember, Dell, like any other PC vendor, is in the business of selling new PC's.  

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Sonar Platinum Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

All Replies
  • There will be no more BIOS updates for the 4600.  Updates usually do not continue past the end of sales for any given model, once most stability issues have surfaced and been resolved.

    What kind of error are you getting when trying to install it?

  • I'm sure OneOfTheUsualSuspects is getting "Your CPU is not compatable with this version of Windows." Unfortunately if that Models BIOS does not allow access to the XD bit there's nothing to be done.

    Who knows this may change (again) when Windows 8 goes gold.

    D

  • Dell has a solid history of abandoning any new upgrades for discontinued models and in this case a discontinued line (the Dimension line has been discontinued at least 4 years ago).  I have a newer (newer than the 4600) model Dimension E510 and there will be no further updates for it.  

    One thing to remember, Dell, like any other PC vendor, is in the business of selling new PC's.  

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Sonar Platinum Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • It is really an exercise in futility to install win 8 on such an old computer. The Release Preview is almost identical to CP version. I didn't see much difference except for missing apps and a few added apps. You have seen windows 8 by installing the CP so you know how it works. Don't waste time on the RP version. It really didn't run well on my old Dimension 8400 even though CP version ran fine. It runs smoothly on my xps420 with just a few bugs that were corrected. Read the long thread on the win 8 RP forum at Microsoft. answers.microsoft.com/.../a2c11f2c-d43b-44fc-9bc0-61805a2d95ef

  • Also, not all P4's even support eXecute Disable, so if you don't have a processor that does support it, then this quest is over before it even begins (unless you want to upgrade your processor and then try).  Again, assuming this is the error you're getting.

    http://ark.intel.com/compare/?ids=27449,27450,27451,27452,27453,27454,27455,27456,27457,27458,31732,27460,27461,27462,27464,27465,27467,27468,30767,27470,27471,27473,27474,27475,27476,27477,27478,27479,27480,27481,27482,27483,27484,27485,27486,27487,27488,27492

  • Mary G
    It really didn't run well on my old Dimension 8400 even though CP version ran fine. I

    Just goes to show you never know. I'm running the 8 RP on an 8400 and it runs great. I'm doing a dual boot with 7 on an SSD and 8 on a spinner. Even at that 8 runs as well as 7 does. (both of which run better than the "shipped with" XP did)

    Interestingly I went in predisposed to hating Windows 8, especially Metro but, after a few hours of playing with it I found myself thinking I could get used to it real easy.

    Just a couple a cents worth.

    D

  • Thanks much, all.

    This was pretty much what I expected, but you know, hope springs eternal.

    I didn't want to potentially trash one of my more up to date machines with a test OS that still isn't ready for prime-time. That's why it went on the 4600.

    As Mary said, the CP version is working well.  There are some things that are making me nuts, like no start menu and flipping to the Metro PDF reader when I open a PDF document.  Most of what I do will be in the normal desktop, not metro.  I wanted to see if there would be any compatibility issues with the applications I typically run.  (So far nothing of note.) Fooling with Visual Studio 11 just to see if there are any quirks that we will need to prepare for.

    It's fun and beats watching pseudo-Reality TV.

  • Can I ask how you got this to work on a dimension 8400? Tried installing win8 and got error code relating to enable of NX. Updated my bios to A09, no change; downgraded bios to A05(specifically mentions NX enable update), still can't figure out how to enable NX in bios setup to get win8 installed. Any help appreciated

  • On my 8400 the a09 BIOS offers the No eXecute option as  DELL-Madhur B's screenshot shows in your other thread. It appears we have slightly different processors. It also looks like from your CPU-Z screenshot in the other thread that you have Hyper Threading disabled as indicated @ Cores-1 Threads-1. If HT were enabled Threads would = 2. I don't know if enabling it (HT) would make the difference or not. The other possibility would be that your processor doesn't support the No eXecute bit.

  • Not all P4's support HT or XD.  The 670 does indeed support both.  Check your specific processor:

    ark.intel.com/compare

  • Cheers 'datapod', however enabling hyperthreading made no difference.

    It appears I have the only P4 3.4ghz that doesn't support NX/XD. Cheers for the link 'theflash1932'. Looks like i'll be sticking to win7

  • Looks like a P4 670 is around $25 on eBay ... just a thought.

  • I have a Dell Dimension  4600 and tried 3 times before to install Windows 8 Pro 64bit.  It always gave me the error for the execute bit not being set.  So after much research,  I went to Dell's Support site for the Dimension 4700C, and downloaded it BIOS update:

    http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/GetDriver/InitiateSingleFileDownload?fileId=2731111125&driverId=R115122&isInstallAvailable=False&isKCSArticleTobeShown=False&categoryId=BI&returnUrl=%2Fsupport%2Fdrivers%2Fus%2Fen%2F04%2FProduct%2Fdimension-4700c%3FretrieveState%3DTrue&isUSDownload=true

    Now, I know what you are thinking.  I been in the business of computer repair since 1987 and I have NEVER cross flashed a BIOS with another version because it would be most likely that it would not work, or it would brick the motherboard.  

    Well, I did it and then in the Security setting of the BIOS, sure enough, there was a place to set the execute bit.  I did that and have installed WIndows 8 32 bit and 64 bit and Windows 7 all on it without any issues.   Triple boot now......easy.......

    MY DELL DIMENSION 4600 LIVES..........although now when it boots, it tells me it is a 4700C........what are the chances?

  • I have a Dell Dimension  4600 and tried 3 times before to install Windows 8 Pro 64bit.  It always gave me the error for the execute bit not being set.  So after much research,  I went to Dell's Support site for the Dimension 4700C, and downloaded it BIOS update:

    www.dell.com/.../InitiateSingleFileDownload

    Now, I know what you are thinking.  I been in the business of computer repair since 1987 and I have NEVER cross flashed a BIOS with another version because it would be most likely that it would not work, or it would brick the motherboard.  

    Well, I did it and then in the Security setting of the BIOS, sure enough, there was a place to set the execute bit.  I did that and have installed WIndows 8 32 bit and 64 bit and Windows 7 all on it without any issues.   Triple boot now......easy.......

    MY DELL DIMENSION 4600 LIVES..........although now when it boots, it tells me it is a 4700C........what are the chances?

  • Captain77450, can you please explain to me how your cross flashed the BIOS. When I try to load the BIOS it said it was an unsupported system ID. I tried it both in Windwos and in DOS. I am more willing to brick my 4600 to try this out. Thanks