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I tried installing Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64-bit on a netbook (Lenovo IdeaPad S110), which has the Intel Atom N2800 (1.86 GHz) as its processor, but I get the following error message when the Windows 7 installation DVD is loading:

Screenshot says "Attempting to load a 64-bit application, however this CPU is not compatible with 64-bit mode".

It says "Attempting to load a 64-bit application, however this CPU is not compatible with 64-bit mode".

The Intel Atom N2800 is a 64-bit CPU according to its webpage.

I am wondering why the Windows 7 installer shows this error message, despite this. Is there something I must configure first before installing Windows 7, 64-bit? Or is the netbook not compatible with a 64-bit OS?

I am trying to format the netbook and install Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, instead.

Other details:

  • The netbook has 2 GB RAM.
  • The netbook initially had Windows 7 Starter (32-bit) installed.
  • I checked the CPU's specs with CPU-Z. It detects that the processor is indeed Intel Atom N2800, but it does not say that the processor is 64-bit (AMD64 or EM64T):
    enter image description here
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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Check your bios settings. Some of the processor features may be disabled there.

In particular look for one called 'No Execute' (Sometimes shortened to NX) which should be enabled.

The fact that CPU-Z does not show EM64T is significant. Since item says it does support it, it seems logical to conclude that the bios is not enabling that feature. Given that the machine only supports 2GB of memory, Lenovo might not have deemed it necessary to upgrade the bios to enable this feature.

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I can't find anything related to 'No Execute', '64-bit' or 'Virtualization' in the BIOS. (There isn't really much CPU settings to change in the BIOS, or all settings for that matter.) –  galacticninja Jun 7 '12 at 13:11
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The fact that CPU-Z does not show EM64T is significant. Since item says it does support it, it seems logical to conclude that the bios is not enabling that feature. Given that the machine only supports 2GB of memory, Lenovo might not have deemed it necessary to upgrade the bios to enable this feature. –  sgmoore Jun 7 '12 at 13:39
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More than likely the 64bit instruction set is blocked in the bios by Lenovo, they only provide 32 bit drivers for that model also. –  Moab Jun 7 '12 at 15:49
    
@sgmoore It appears your comment is right. Could you put it as part of your answer? –  galacticninja Jun 8 '12 at 1:05
    
@galacticninja : Done –  sgmoore Jun 8 '12 at 7:59
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To be sure your CPU is 64 bits, boot a Linux liveCD (knoppix, ubuntu install, whatever), open a shell and type :

grep flags /proc/cpuinfo

If you see the lm flag (long mode), your CPU is 64bits (amd64).

As I suspect your CPU is 64 bits (all CPU are these days), you could also try to boot a Linux 64bits liveCD to see if it works.

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You can do that from Windows command prompt too, using a command that's probably available on the 32-bit install dvd. Open it up using Shift-F10 and type 'wmic cpu get name' or omit 'name' to see a bunch of information. –  Marcks Thomas Jun 7 '12 at 11:24
    
I checked the CPU's specs with CPU-Z, instead. It detects that the processor is indeed Intel Atom N2800, but it does not say that the processor is 64-bit (AMD64 or EM64T): i.stack.imgur.com/JADrn.png –  galacticninja Jun 7 '12 at 11:34
    
Thats wierd since even my old Atom 230 is 64 bit capable –  Journeyman Geek Jun 7 '12 at 23:23
    
@JourneymanGeek It's weird, indeed. The Intel Atom N2800 is one of the newest processors in the Intel Atom line. I reckon CPU-Z states it lacks 64-bit support because Lenovo blocked it in the BIOS as sgmoore mentioned in this comment. –  galacticninja Jun 8 '12 at 1:11
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While you have 2gb of ram, some of it has been allocated to graphics - as such the installer will see less than 2gb of ram. This means that your laptop doesn't meet the minimum system requirements for windows 7 64 bits (though just barely). Its a really wierd error message if its that specific problem (and i'm guessing here), but its plausible.

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I've try installing windows 7 64 bit into many computers with 1GB RAM + Intel onboard graphics without problem. The limit is not fixed and windows 7 installer won't hard check that –  Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Aug 30 '13 at 8:23
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It appears as if some manufacturers are disabling 64 bit CPU support within the BIOS - and not enabling the user to turn it back on via BIOS settings.

Intel has a tiny piece of fine print on the Atom specifications page that states: "64-bit computing on Intel® architecture requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel® 64 architecture. Processors will not operate (including 32-bit operation) without an Intel 64 architecture-enabled BIOS. Performance will vary depending on your hardware and software configurations. Consult with your system vendor for more information."

Here's my BIOS page ("EMT64 Not Supported")

Oh! I would have posted by BIOS page - but Superuser.com needs more than 10 reputation before I can do that. Genius. You'll have to take my word for it.

It's not possible to move the cursor up to any of the settings in gray. In short: the 64 bit support is disabled. My real question is "why?"... Asus wouldn't have disabled this without good reason. My guess is that Intel sold Atoms to Asus at a lower price - but demanded that 64 bit be disabled in the BIOS, leaving them only 32 bit.

Nasty. Intel should update their website - the current specifications for Atoms only tell half the truth.

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Interesting and good answer. Upvoted. "I would have posted by BIOS page - but Superuser.com needs more than 10 reputation before I can do that." Do you mean you can't post the URL? Try editing it into your question again. I think you now have the required reputation. If it still does not work, try posting it in the comments, and I'll suggest it as an edit into your answer. –  galacticninja Aug 29 '12 at 6:11
    
Yes, this is very odd. On the Intel webpage you linked to, under "Memory Specifications" it says: Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type): "2 GB", and under "Advanced Technologies": Intel® 64: "Intel® 64 architecture delivers 64-bit computing on server, workstation, desktop and mobile platforms when combined with supporting software. Intel 64 architecture improves performance by allowing systems to address more than 4 GB of both virtual and physical memory." –  Kevin Fegan Feb 9 at 16:46
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Please check the CPU model in BIOS.

If it is indeed N2800 then it is a 64 bit CPU. But we don't know exactly how Windows 7 is detecting it.

  1. Check CPU model in BIOS
  2. Try to upgrade your BIOS to latest version.
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I checked the BIOS, and it states that the CPU is indeed an Intel Atom N2800. The CPU and the netbook was just recently released (currently, there is no firmware update AFAIK). I also checked the netbook's specs with CPU-Z. I updated my question with this info. –  galacticninja Jun 7 '12 at 11:40
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