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I've been attempting to install Windows Server 2012 Standard on some relatively (circa 2007) old hardware. The machine itself is an Intel SE7320EP2 based system running 2x Dual-Core Xeon (64bit) processors. I initially got the 0x000000C4 error upon attempting to install, subsequently I found the fix which invoved updating the BIOS to the latest firmware and then enabling the NX/XD bit.

So after this I got the following message (after the initial installer load):

Your PC needs to restart.
Please hold down the power button.
Error code: 0x00000091

I then tried installing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, which worked without issue. Bingo I thought, I'll do an upgrade to 2012, it's sure to tell me about any hardware issues if it's an upgrade-installation with drivers already loaded.... wrong!

Windows 2012 went through its upgrade/install/update process, then upon reboot the 2012 splash-screen came up, woo! It's working (I thought), hard-drive span a few cycles and then we're back to the old:

Your PC needs to restart.
Please hold down the power button.
Error code: 0x00000091

Does anyone know what the 0x00000091 is related to? I've done some google searching but can't find anything beyond vague references to hardware incompatibility. I know the H/W itself is around 8-9 years old now, however I can't understand how 2012 fails to boot where 2008 runs fine (given they both use 64-bit architectures etc etc...)?

Any answers much appreciated!

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Windows 2012 requires newer hardware than 2008. The error 0x00000091 is usually the result of a hardware failure or unsupported hardware.

  • The Microsoft specs I've researched however would indicate that the server hardware should run 2012 fine. Given that it's not having any issues with Windows 2008 R2 SP1 - (I've just reinstalled again after the 2012 failure), I want to know specifically why it's not working... the reading I've done would indicate it's only really Hyper-V stuff that the hardware can't deal with and I don't really require those features at all. Given that 2012 actually let me perform an upgrade install once 2008 was on there it's rather boggling. Thanks for your answer though. – OBR_EXO Apr 14 '15 at 15:40
  • Have you checked to see if your hardware is on the HCL? The assumption that Windows 2012 should work because Windows 2008 R2 works is naive. – longneck Apr 14 '15 at 16:04
  • No, I'm quite sure it's not on the HCL, the Vendor info on the motherboard I'm using only has it tested up to Windows 2003... I don't really need Windows 2012 (can use Windows Server 2008 R2 for my purposes), however as someone who's done some systems programming in the past I'm boggling as to what hardware feature Windows is looking for that's not there? – OBR_EXO Apr 14 '15 at 16:09
  • I doubt anyone here is going to be able to tell you. That's a question for the vendor, and they probably don't care to figure it out. – longneck Apr 14 '15 at 16:10

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