FIX: CompareExchange128 / CMPXCHG16b problem in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and driver troubleshooting. When he's not tackling... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 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
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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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This includes solving common boot issues like freezes, black screen, blue screen, and more.

Because of this, you will no longer have to go for more drastic solutions, such as performing a total PC reset, especially since they can result in data loss if done incorrectly.

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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.

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