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Will Windows XP x64 Disk Drivers Work on Windows 8?

    Question

  • I have a Dell Precision 470 sitting in a corner pleasantly humming and performing as a decent file server.  It was once used as a workstation, back when its design was current, and was originally purchased with XP x64.

    During it's active use I upgraded it to Vista x64, and at the time I had to use the XP x64 drivers for the on-motherboard RAID because the Adaptec CERC SATA2 controller apparently never got driver updates for Vista and later operating systems.  Vista x64 is what it's running now.  It has two (fairly new) WD RE4 spinning disk drives in it in a RAID 0 array, from which the system is run and files are served, and while it's raw processing power isn't impressive by today's standards, it can easily saturate our gigabit Ethernet with file service. 

    I have heard, but have not personally verified, that the same old XP x64 drivers could support Windows 7 x64 on that system.

    I plan on keeping this machine for a while, and though it's working just fine and not necessary/desirable to move it up to a true Server operating system, I'm curious about whether a Windows 8 upgrade is likely to work on it.  I might be able to repurpose it as a test system if I could run Windows 8.

    My question is this: 

    Assuming it's true that Windows 7 can be run off the old XP 64 bit CERC RAID driver, is it possible/likely Windows 8 will work with it as well?

    I suspect it is, but I don't know.  Of course, I could just try it, and if I never get a definitive answer I suppose that's what I'll have to do.

    Thanks in advance for any knowledge you are willing to share on this subject.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 9:46 PM

All replies

  • I do not think users in this forum could give you an accurate answer. Users can only give you a test result, you can also get this result from yourself. Whether the driver is compatible with Windows 8 should be explained by the manufacturer.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    Monday, July 30, 2012 6:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your thoughts, Arthur.

    I was hoping maybe that someone else has already braved this territory (e.g., with the Windows 8 RP) and would be be willing to offer their experience.  That would be helpful.  I doubt I have the only surviving Precision 470 system.  They were built to last.

    It would also be useful to know whether in general people are finding Windows 7 or Vista compatiblle drivers to work in Windows 8.  I sense that Windows 8 isn't too terribly much different under the covers than Windows 7.  It would be good to know if this means many drivers will already be compatible.

    Windows 8 upgrade advisor might also be able to give some useful info in my case.  Is there one of those yet?

    As far as the RAID controller manufacturer claiming Windows 8 compatibility - that's a fantasy, unfortunately.  No manufacturer who stopped updating driver software at the time of Vista is going to claim compatibility with Windows 8.  This is a case where I'm on my own, and must seek information as well as gain information by trial-and-error.   It's possible I can work around the problem if by using a PCIe RAID controller card, though spending more money on hardware for this system isn't high on my list of things to do.

    So yes, ultimately even if I hear no more here I'll certainly try it and see what happens.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, July 30, 2012 1:44 PM
  • Hi Noel,

    As Arthur said, we really can't give you a certain answer, but I have run into similar problems so here are my two cents!

    Most drivers that I have installed on my laptop were either XP or 7 drivers and they work flawlessly. The theory (provided by Microsoft) is that if you install a driver after having set the proper compatibility settings on its executable and running it as an administrator, the driver should work perfectly. As to compatibility mode in general - I feel that it is much better in Win8 overall.

    Of course, this is just theory, and hasn't worked 100% for me.

    So, all you can do is Google and test - which is what most geeks do all day anyway :)

    Disk drivers and RAID controllers are a bit risky as I'm sure you know, so tread lightly. If you have very important data on the drives, I would wait until an official Windows 8 release from the manufacturer. And if it doesn't happen, then you can risk it or use it as an excuse to upgrade (optimism, anyone?)

    Good luck!

    -Julian

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:56 PM
  • In my experience, Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7 usually have no problem sharing drivers.  Likewise, I have had no trouble getting Windows 7 drivers to work fine in Windows 8.

    Vista, Server 2008, Win7, and Win8 have similar driver architecture for most devices, and even Server 2003/XP 64  is often compatible.  I once got an ancient Adaptec SCSI adapter to work with Vista using the XP drivers, which surprised me considerably.

    I can't give you any hard answers, but I think it is likely that the XP x64 drivers will work fine, although Server 2008 drivers would be better if you could get them.  Whatever you do, backup everything securely before doing some sort of "unapproved" test like this.  Please post back with any results.

    Thursday, August 02, 2012 11:08 AM
  • Best way is to try it as everyone said, however if you are looking for specific hardware , you could check its compatibility status on:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/en-US/CompatCenter/Home

    If you want to check series of PCs for readiness in Windows 8, you could use MAP:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/dd537566.aspx

    Saturday, August 04, 2012 10:55 AM
  • Thanks everyone.  I'm encouraged to find that older drivers are likely to work (though not that surprised; my Windows 8 experience has been similar so far regarding compatibility).

    Cyber, that first link is kind of laughable (not that I don't appreciate your providing it).  I entered Dell Precision 470 and it came up with 351 matches.  I sorted by Product Name (A-Z) and began scanning the entries (there's no way to jump by more than one page at a time).  Any number of monitors are listed as compatible (well duh), and even a discrete Dell PERC controller, but nothing about the Precision 470 system nor the on-motherboard CERC controller.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, August 04, 2012 5:03 PM
  • About Windows 8 Compatibility Website, you could post your issue as feedback :

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/en-US/CompatCenter/Feedback

    And request compatibility status for your device and also add feedback about the website itself and problem that you face.

    Sunday, August 05, 2012 9:53 AM
  • Nah, I think I'm done providing helpful feedback to Microsoft just to have it ignored.

    I may just leave that system on Vista on the general principle "if it works dont fix it".

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, August 05, 2012 11:36 AM