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I'm attempting to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a Dell Inspiron 8600, and I am getting a 0xc0000260 error.

Googling around, I found that others get this error when installing on a Virtual Machine without the PAE/NX checkbox enabled. I'm pretty sure my processor doesn't support either one of those. (It is a Pentium M "Banias" 1.6.)

Other notes:

  • I'm trying to install the 32-bit version.
  • I meet the formal system requirements (1 GHz, 2 GB, 16 GB).
  • I've attempted to install from within Windows 7 as well as booting from a USB installer.

Am I missing some other, undocumented hardware requirement (e.g. PAE)? Is there another install method I should try?

error via install from windows
error via usb boot

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It also dosen't work on my HP nc6000 machine which is powered by a Pentium M 1,6 GHz Dothan. Seems to be a misssing PAE. An old Pentium 3 Tualatin and a Pentium 4 Northwood worked fine. –  user120982 Mar 2 '12 at 7:59
    
+1 for a good question. Nice formatting, good included information, clear and specific. I'm sorry I can't help. –  Raystafarian Mar 2 '12 at 18:37
    
Your best bet is walking through these forum answers as well as posting a question in the same forums, alternatively you can go and send in feedback to make Microsoft even more aware of this issue. Including the relevant answers and how they didn't help draws even more attention... :) –  Tom Wijsman Mar 3 '12 at 3:50
    
These things are unclear though: What OS did you use before? Are you trying to install in a VM? What are the (exact) reproduction steps to get this (eg. are you installing to an empty formatted partition?)? You'll need to specify part of these when you contact Microsoft so you might want to give them to us both... Worst case, your laptop might indeed be too old, but they might support it by the actual full release; at some point the newest stuff has to stop supporting the oldest stuff to move on. –  Tom Wijsman Mar 3 '12 at 3:53
    
This is an annoying situation. For all lot of users the Developer Preview was working fine on their PCs. But now the CP version is not working. Please check out the posts on Microsoft support site I hope after the weekend there will be an answer from microsoft....... So go ahead and enjoy your weekend –  user121153 Mar 3 '12 at 8:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Finally have a real answer - PAE/NX/SSE2 are required for Windows 8.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh975398 :

NX requires PAE-capable processors on 32-bit version of Windows. All 64-bit processors support NX, as they are Address Windowing Extensions (AWE) aware. Therefore, the issue of old 32-bit processors that are not PAE-capable has no WOA implications or Windows Server (Windows Server 2012 is 64-bit only) implications. The processor requirement won't impact customers on modern systems, or on systems that meet logo requirements for Windows 7 because these systems have PAE-capable 32-bit processors that support NX and allow NX to be turned on. Only a small set of customers who have Windows 7 running on very old 32-bit processors without PAE/NX support will be impacted.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server 2012 Beta were released with the requirement for PAE, which impacted a small number of customers with old hardware that did not support PAE. Many of these installation failures occurred when installing Windows 8 on misconfigured Virtual Machines (VMs). Windows Setup would fail the installation with error 0xc0000260 and roll back to Windows 7.

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For third party readers that use a VM: Just enable the PAE/NX bit option (and 2D/3D acceleration).

What does this error code mean?

I'm attempting to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a Dell Inspiron 8600, and I am getting a 0xc0000260 error.

First things first, we need to figure out what that error code means.

Ian Boyd's answer explains that this is a STATUS_INVALID_HW_PROFILE, more specifically:

The specified hardware profile configuration is invalid.

What is a hardware profile?

I left a comment on Ian Boyd's answer where I summarized this:

A hardware profile is defined by Microsoft and by TechNet, it defines a set of changes to the hardware configuration. A configuration is invalid if those changes aren't supported, which in this case seems to be that the PAE feature and NX bit aren't supported. Windows most likely has tests to see whether they are supported instead of blindly trying to apply them.

As you have mentioned, the Consumer Preview appears to require support for the NX bit as well as PAE.

Does your proecessor support the NX bit? Pentium M does.

I've searched the oldest Intel Pentium M I could find, which is listed here.

According to that site, Intel themselves, Execute Disable Bit is supported. (NX = XD)

Please verify on that site whether your exact processor does support it.

Does your processor support PAE? Pentium M's on a 400 Mhz bus do not.

Wikipedia mentions it right there on their Physical Address Extension page:

PAE is provided by Intel Pentium Pro and above CPUs, including all later Pentium-series processors (except the 400 MHz-bus versions of the Pentium M).

Both the 1.4 GHz and 1.8 GHz version are 400 MHz-bus versions.

Please verify on that site whether your exact processor is indeed a 400 MHz-bus version.

How do I determine my exact processor and its bus speed?

Well, while you can look it up you can also use software to approach this. As I feel like your processor is no longer listed on the Intel site, it might be required that you need to verify it this way.

CPUID aka CPU-Z allows you to determine your exact processor as well as its bus speed.

It does not list the NX bit though, but we already know for the most par that that was supported.

Thus: Check whether your bus speed is 400 Mhz; if so, your laptop seems to be not supported... :(

Further troubleshooting?

Please check out C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log and other logs in that folder to see why exactly it is failing there, also check out and let me know whether there is a C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP or files in C:\Windows\MiniDump.

While I suppose it's the PAE support, there is a very small chance that it could be something else.

I also left some advice on your question:

Your best bet is walking through these forum answers as well as posting a question in the same forums, alternatively you can go and send in feedback to make Microsoft even more aware of this issue. Including the relevant answers and how they didn't help draws even more attention... :)

And well, if that doesn't help you can try asking for it to be supported or just leave it behind...

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All I can offer comes MSDN:

2.3.1 NTSTATUS values

0xC0000260
STATUS_INVALID_HW_PROFILE

The specified hardware profile configuration is invalid.

Which is also contained in ntstatus.h:

//
// MessageId: STATUS_INVALID_HW_PROFILE
//
// MessageText:
//
// The specified hardware profile configuration is invalid.
//
#define STATUS_INVALID_HW_PROFILE        ((NTSTATUS)0xC0000260L)

Nothing on MSDN or in Windows Internals explains:

  • what a hardware profile is
  • what a configuration of a hardware profile contains
  • what makes a configuration invalid
  • how Windows detects that it's invalid
  • where Windows logs the invalid items
  • how to correct an invalid configuration
share|improve this answer
    
A hardware profile is defined by Microsoft and by TechNet, it defines a set of changes to the hardware configuration. A configuration is invalid if those changes aren't supported, which in this case seems to be that the PAE feature and NX bit aren't supported. Windows most likely has tests to see whether they are supported instead of blindly trying to apply them. For logging, see C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log. –  Tom Wijsman Mar 3 '12 at 4:03

protected by Community Mar 3 '12 at 16:21

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