Wednesday, July 19th 2017

Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

As part of its new "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft elected to provide users with a guaranteed, steady stream of updates with virtually no clear, hard-defined EOL. However, Microsoft took refuge, as well it should, from an increasingly difficult support for different hardware sets: a little footnote, saying that you are eligible for Windows 10 for the "supported lifetime of the device." Yes, it's true you now don't have to purchase a new Windows version. But that also means that your devices potentially won't be supported for Microsoft's previous 5 + 5 policy (meaning, 5 years of feature and security updates, and 5 extra years for security updates only.)

The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, they are currently blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703 - the "Creators Update." Attempts to install result in a message saying that "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." The problem is that each Windows 10 update receives security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018 - after which they'll cease to receive any patches at all.
This problem may yet be temporary, however, since Acer has issued an official support response to this issue, which I transcribe below:

"The following Intel Clover Trail processors are currently not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update:
  • Atom Z2760
  • Atom Z2520
  • Atom Z2560
  • Atom Z2580
Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility. If you install the Windows 10 creators update, icons and text may not appear at all, or may show up as solid color blocks or bars. If you have already installed Creators Update and are experiencing problems, you can use Windows 10 recovery options to restore your system to the previous build."

Even if this problem is temporary, though, it begs the question: how temporary is it? And how soon will these systems (or others, for that matter) start encountering compatibility problems again? Because as hardware evolves and Windows 10 carries on with its updates, the amount of possible hardware configurations will only increase - hardware configurations, and hardware platforms, for which the Redmond company will have to bake in support. And it stands to reason that Microsoft will continuously prefer to support new and newer systems, choosing to prioritize these over older hardware configurations. Sources: ZDNet, ArsTechnica
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30 Comments on Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

#1
Steevo
Shitty Intel is shitty on shitty device. Got it.

I'm not sure how many users will actually be effected by this though, part of the user who would buy something this cheap may only be able to afford the very base model, but a life expectancy of 5+ years on such an old device is not realistic either, between batteries and other wear and tear.

It really just confirms what almost everyone here knows, Intel makes shit graphics.
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#2
Rauelius
I installed Win10 on my Q6600 PC this past weekend and it works great. We also have Win10 on a bunch of Wolfdale Core 2's at my job. I hope that these stay supported for the future.
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#3
IvanP91v
The reason those processors are no longer supported are because they use PowerVR based graphics

Intel processors, those using Intel based graphics continue to be supported.
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#4
silentbogo
This kind of sucks. I remember trying out Windows 10 on an old ZBox ID41 (based on even older Atom D525).
At least BayTrail and Cherry Trail are not affected.

BTW, ArsTechnica mentioned this very important aspect of the problem:
The sticking point is likely to be the GPU; Clover Trail uses a non-Intel GPU designed by Imagination Technologies, complicating driver development and support. Later Atom processors used Intel's own GPU designs, a move that should simplify their ongoing support.
Which means that older devices with Intel GMA, IntelHD or NVidia ION on board should be fine.

Steevo
I'm not sure how many users will actually be effected by this though, part of the user who would buy something this cheap may only be able to afford the very base model, but a life expectancy of 5+ years on such an old device is not realistic either, between batteries and other wear and tear.
Clover Trail lineup is barely 5 years old, and the actual devices based on these are even younger. Imagine getting a HP Envy convertible or some ultra-light and ultra-cheap Samsung netbook in 2013-2014, then a couple of years later being actively forced to upgrade to Windows 10 under the slogan "it's free, it's better than 8, and all of your stuff is going to work just fine", then only a year later figuring out that it actually won't.
BTW, Pineview and Clover Trail Atoms in general are very durable. In my personal experience I've already seen a lot of dead BayTrail SoCs, and only one dead atom Z2560 + two dead N450s.
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#5
Prince Valiant
I hope they give up on this Windows as a service nonsense sometime soon. I'd rather pay Microsoft every few years versus dealing with something like this :|.
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#6
DeathtoGnomes
its the little things that get m$ bashed. :banghead:
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#7
Easo
DeathtoGnomes
its the little things that get m$ bashed. :banghead:
There is still the question if this is due to Microsoft or even if the MS is actually going to cut of the support.
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#8
lexluthermiester
Raevenlord
But that also means that you devices
Correction, "But that also means that your devices". You missed a bit of proof-reading. :)

Additionally, Microsoft isn't likely going to be around in 5 to 10 years for this to even be a problem for very long. But time will tell..

Steevo
Shitty Intel is shitty on shitty device. Got it.

I'm not sure how many users will actually be effected by this though, part of the user who would buy something this cheap may only be able to afford the very base model, but a life expectancy of 5+ years on such an old device is not realistic either, between batteries and other wear and tear.

It really just confirms what almost everyone here knows, Intel makes shit graphics.
Actually, I'm still using an Atom N270 based netbook made in 2006. Not running 10 on it, but still. It's on it's third battery and second hard drive, but still going strong, if a bit slow. Still does what is needed of it. So I should replace a working device with a new one, why? Because Microsoft says so? Or maybe because you say so? Microsoft, nor you, get to decide how long something will be useful and remain so. That is up to the owner of the device.

Prince Valiant
I hope they give up on this Windows as a service nonsense sometime soon. I'd rather pay Microsoft every few years versus dealing with something like this :|.
And a lot of people, businesses, and governments are with you.
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#9
Readlight
I use windows 10 only on tablet on z3735g and it works like shit, win 8.1 was super fast, bing recovery died.
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#10
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
silentbogo
This kind of sucks. I remember trying out Windows 10 on an old ZBox ID41 (based on even older Atom D525).
At least BayTrail and Cherry Trail are not affected.

BTW, ArsTechnica mentioned this very important aspect of the problem:


Which means that older devices with Intel GMA, IntelHD or NVidia ION on board should be fine.


Clover Trail lineup is barely 5 years old, and the actual devices based on these are even younger. Imagine getting a HP Envy convertible or some ultra-light and ultra-cheap Samsung netbook in 2013-2014, then a couple of years later being actively forced to upgrade to Windows 10 under the slogan "it's free, it's better than 8, and all of your stuff is going to work just fine", then only a year later figuring out that it actually won't.
BTW, Pineview and Clover Trail Atoms in general are very durable. In my personal experience I've already seen a lot of dead BayTrail SoCs, and only one dead atom Z2560 + two dead N450s.
O ffs you are talking about a total of 4 cpus
which is all the ATOM Z2xxx from 2012 ....

which are fking worthless at any level of use I would't given a ATOM device to my grandmother
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#12
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
I should add that my grandmother is blind and I still would't even give it to her to play her audiobooks on
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#13
timta2
OneMoar
O ffs you are talking about a total of 4 cpus
which is all the ATOM Z2xxx from 2012 ....

which are fking worthless at any level of use I would't given a ATOM device to my grandmother
Does grandma defensively support abusive corporations, too?
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#14
Prima.Vera
Windows 10 support on my old Dell XPS M1710 is zero since day 1. Still no proper drivers for Video and Sound, only default generic ones after all those years....
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#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It sounds like this is related to the GPU component of the Atom processor, not the CPU. Looking at the datasheet, it appears to be a DirectX 9.3 device. I suspect that's where the problem originates seeing as Windows 10 is foundationally DirectX 12 with DirectX 9, 10, and 11 backwards compatibility. Because not many chips have this specific GPU, Intel hasn't given it much love and the updates to other GPUs aren't reflected in these. If they get it fixed, great; if they don't, technology marches forward.
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#16
Melvis
Wait....So if they stayed on Windows 8/8.1 they would continue to get support?

So basically there saying by "upgrading" to W10 you loose support after just a few yrs.

Agree with others that the ATOM's are a :roll:anyway but still, those people that do have them and got this problem wouldn't be to pleased.
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#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
FordGT90Concept
It sounds like this is related to the GPU component of the Atom processor, not the CPU. Looking at the datasheet, it appears to be a DirectX 9.3 device. I suspect that's where the problem originates seeing as Windows 10 is foundationally DirectX 12 with DirectX 9, 10, and 11 backwards compatibility. Because not many chips have this specific GPU, Intel hasn't given it much love and the updates to other GPUs aren't reflected in these. If they get it fixed, great; if they don't, technology marches forward.
Agreed. Seems like all we need is an updated graphics driver from Intel. If that will happen is a different story...
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#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Melvis
Wait....So if they stayed on Windows 8/8.1 they would continue to get support?

So basically there saying by "upgrading" to W10 you loose support after just a few yrs.

Agree with others that the ATOM's are a :roll:anyway but still, those people that do have them and got this problem wouldn't be to pleased.
Windows Anniversary update is WDDM 2.1; Creator's Update is WDDM 2.2. Intel probably told Microsoft they're not releasing a WDDM 2.2 driver for it. The issues described are probably in Microsoft's generic driver and Microsoft hasn't found a way to fix it since Intel doesn't care. Microsoft is trying to fix it but they're only going to try so hard before they give up too.

After all the troubles the Anniversary update created, Microsoft hasn't pushed Creator's Update out over Windows Update unless the manufacturer gives the all clear to do so. In other words, these Atom processors will be stuck on Anniversary update + minor updates indefinitely.
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#19
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept
Windows Anniversary update is WDDM 2.1; Creator's Update is WDDM 2.2. Intel probably told Microsoft they're not releasing a WDDM 2.2 driver for it. The issues described are probably in Microsoft's generic driver and Microsoft hasn't found a way to fix it since Intel doesn't care. Microsoft is trying to fix it but they're only going to try so hard before they give up too.

After all the troubles the Anniversary update created, Microsoft hasn't pushed Creator's Update out over Windows Update unless the manufacturer gives the all clear to do so. In other words, these Atom processors will be stuck on Anniversary update + minor updates indefinitely.
There's nothing stopping them from just shipping the WDDM 2.1 (or even earlier) driver you know. They load fine.
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#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Microsoft likely tried that and it failed due to particularities with those chips. Likely something to do with ClearType font rendering.
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#21
lexluthermiester
R-T-B
There's nothing stopping them from just shipping the WDDM 2.1 (or even earlier) driver you know. They load fine.
Exactly right.
FordGT90Concept
Microsoft likely tried that and it failed due to particularities with those chips. Likely something to do with ClearType font rendering.
An easy fix.
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#22
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Steevo
Shitty Intel is shitty on shitty device. Got it.

I'm not sure how many users will actually be effected by this though, part of the user who would buy something this cheap may only be able to afford the very base model, but a life expectancy of 5+ years on such an old device is not realistic either, between batteries and other wear and tear.

It really just confirms what almost everyone here knows, Intel makes shit graphics.
Atom is slow period
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#23
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
eidairaman1
Atom is slow period
The OOE Atoms were/are decent. I'm kinda sad Intel didn't push for more tablets as you could run Wine on them.
lexluthermiester
Additionally, Microsoft isn't likely going to be around in 5 to 10 years for this to even be a problem for very long. But time will tell..
I have no idea what you're on about here. Why and how would MS dissapear in that time frame?
Posted on Reply
#24
silentbogo
OneMoar
O ffs you are talking about a total of 4 cpus
which is all the ATOM Z2xxx from 2012 ....

which are fking worthless at any level of use I would't given a ATOM device to my grandmother
Well, it's not really about "what a furry evil a$$h0L3 cat would get for his grandma", but about millions of users who bought tablets/netbooks/notebooks/AIOs from many vendors ranging from no-name Chinese manufacturers to prominent names like Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, and ASUS (especially asus). Because regardless of what you, snobs, think of puny atom, it's a popular SoC that sells and gets the job done. Otherwise OEMs wouldn't bother making those devices at all.

And the problem goes back as far as 2015-2016. MS has released the update for a previous versions, but it was more like a bandaid for it, because Intel had no working Win10 driver still (only Generic VGA driver is working).
What possibly went wrong, is a PowerVR SGX545 iGPU. Even though it has an adequate performance for general productivity and media playback, it's still an old arch from 2010. At the time of crisis Imagination Technologies were too busy stamping-out mobile GPUs and probably said to Intel to take a long walk on the beach, cause they aren't gonna work on windows 10 driver (once again, this is just a wild, but calculated, speculation). Intel, in its turn, tried to calm down the community by posting stuff like "a third-party is currently working on the driver" for the next year, until they completely dropped the ball and all netbooks and convertibles were finally out of warranty.

Z2xxx might be a weird CPU and a total f$%k up on intel's side of things (no 64-bit support, only DDR2 bus, third-party graphics accelerator, worse than older 500 series performance), but messing up a whole platform support in such a bad way is very horrible practice. I'm also pretty sure that SGX545 does not have a proper Linux driver either. E.g. not only 3D, but even multimedia acceleration doesn't work. CedarX was problematic not only on Atoms, but also on many ARM SoCs running Linux.

Frick
I have no idea what you're on about here. Why and how would MS dissapear in that time frame?
MS did not disappear. They did a few patches to mitigate the symptoms (no icons/text), but they also said that the problem is basically lack of support from Intel(e.g. no working driver).

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/09/14/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-14926-for-pc-and-mobile/#rTlkiy4RtgXwiQcL.97
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#25
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Prima.Vera
Windows 10 support on my old Dell XPS M1710 is zero since day 1. Still no proper drivers for Video and Sound, only default generic ones after all those years....
Its a 10 year old c2d bases laptop? It isn't Microsoft's job to make drivers for dell products.
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