FIX: CompareExchange128 / CMPXCHG16b problem in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Users report having CMPXCHG16b / CompareExchange128 issues when upgrading to Windows 10.
  • The article below will show you what you can do if encountering this particular error.
  • Need more help with your PC? Our Troubleshooting section is filled with helpful articles!
  • For more great guides on WIndows 10, head over to our dedicated Windows 10 Hub as well.
CMPXCHG16b CompareExchange128 Problem in Windows 10

As you probably know, Windows 10 is free for most Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, but that doesn’t mean that upgrade to Windows 10 is always smooth.

Users report having CMPXCHG16b / CompareExchange128 issue when upgrading to Windows 10, so let’s see how can we fix that.

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How do I solve the CMPXCHG16b / CompareExchange128 error?

CMPXCHG16b is a special CPU instruction this is required in order to upgrade to Windows 10, and some processors lack this instruction so you won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 10.

Changing your processor is usually expensive, especially if you have older CPU that doesn’t support CMPXCHG16b instructions, so let’s see how we can fix this issue.

In the following video tutorial, we offer some helpful solutions and advice to work around this issue. Make sure to check it out and then continue with the upgrade process described just below.

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2. Upgrade to a 64bit version of Windows 10

If you’re planning to upgrade to a 64bit version of Windows 10, you will need a processor that supports CMPXCHG16b instruction, but you can upgrade to a 32bit version of Windows 10 without any major issues. This is a workaround and not the best solution, but it’s worth giving it a try.

  1. Download 32-bit version of Windows you’re currently using and install it instead of your current version.
    • Make sure that you create a backup for your important files.
  2. Download all the updates and when you get asked to upgrade to Windows 10, do so.
  3. You’ll upgrade to a 32bit version of Windows 10, and it will be activated on Microsoft’s servers.
    • The great thing about this is that activation is limited only to your hardware, not to the version of Windows 10 you’re using.
  4. Download 64bit version of Windows 10.
  5. Use Creation Media program and choose to Create installation media for another PC.
  6. Perform a clean install of Windows 10 but remember to skip the step when asked to enter the serial number.
  7. Once the installation is complete, you’ll have activated and working 64bit version of Windows 10.

That’s about it, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, just write them down in the comments, below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • This it seems to be a joke! If a cpu doesn’t support this CMPXCHG16B Instruction you can’t instal any upgrade to 64bit That’s all. Bur moreover, if you make a copy as you have written “…Create installation media for another PC.” is like to download a clean copy from MS site. That’s my opinion.

  • Hi i need some help withe errors for win10 explorer.exe aplication error
    The istruction at 0×000005722 referenced memory at 0x000000000 . The memory could not be written. Click OK to terminate the program. And the numbers are evry time differente.