Question Do the latest CPU's support older versions of Windows?

Leo999

Commendable
Mar 11, 2017
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1,510
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Hi,

I put off building a new system because I understood that Microsoft would not allow older versions of Windows to run on the latest CPU's. Is this still the case?

I need to run older versions as there are no Win 10 drivers for some of my hardware.

If Microsoft still does not allow this, can I run Linux or Win 10 and run older versions of Windows virtualized?

Obviously I could keep my older system to run the older Windows versions but I am really tight on physical space, so it would be best if I could just run the new system.

Thanks
 

WaltzWorker

Reputable
Mar 18, 2015
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4,715
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Technically speaking no... Technically CPU's don't have a support requirement per-say its the other way around... I remember way back when drivers were a SERIOUS issue, not like today where you can virtually get any driver you ever wanted just by network connection. As opposed to back then - at times drivers didn't work, the disk failed, or some other reason made it impossible to get the system up and running... But now since about Win7 or even XP that hasn't been the issue at all..
Just curious as to why you need 'older system' and what is that exactly? My wife used need a 'true' Serial port on her laptop because of the equipment she needed to connect it to... I don't know how many 'adapters' we went through, but finally a couple worked...
 
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Leo999

Commendable
Mar 11, 2017
11
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1,510
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I meant the issue the other way around. I know the CPU doesn't have a requirement but my understanding is that Microsoft won't allow older versions of Windows to run on the latest CPU's.

I have many devices that will only run on Vista and some older software too.

My plan was to either run Linux or Win 10 and then run the Vista and Win 7 virtualised.

That way I don't care that Vista/Win 7 never get updated as they will never connect to the Internet.

But I don't know if that will work. Will Microsoft still block it?

I don't actually know what happens if you try to install pre-Win 10 on the latest CPU's?
 
A lot of modern systems have no drivers for windows 7 and earlier. You will find one common issue with Windows 7 on modern systems is USB support. You often can't install windows since your keyboard and mouse won't work.

There is some cases where older windows versions don't support newer hardware. For example, the original version of Windows XP cannot be installed onto a SATA hard drive as Windows XP predates SATA drives.

SATA drive support did eventually make its way into XP. I have successfully installed Windows XP onto a Kingston Sata SSD.
 
I don't actually know what happens if you try to install pre-Win 10 on the latest CPU's?
For windows 7 - installation will be rather tricky. USB drivers (also NVME drivers and related necessary hotfixes) have to be integrated into installation before you can install.
Next - windows update is initially broken after clean install. Several security updates have to be installed manually.
Next - you run windows update and install updates (number of updates is in hundreds).
And last - at some point you'll get nag screen about unsupported hardware and windows updates will get disabled.

 

Leo999

Commendable
Mar 11, 2017
11
0
1,510
0
For windows 7 - installation will be rather tricky. USB drivers (also NVME drivers and related necessary hotfixes) have to be integrated into installation before you can install.
Next - windows update is initially broken after clean install. Several security updates have to be installed manually.
Next - you run windows update and install updates (number of updates is in hundreds).
And last - at some point you'll get nag screen about unsupported hardware and windows updates will get disabled.

Thank you. That was really helpful.
 

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