AMD's K6-2 incompatible with Win 95, company confirms

An incompatibility between Windows 95 and Advanced Micro Devices' K6-2 processors running at 350MHz or faster can keep systems from booting, AMD officials have confirmed.

According to a notice posted on AMD's Web site, starting Windows 95 OSR2, OSR2.1 or OSR2.5 on a computer with an AMD K6-2 processor running at 350MHz or faster may result in one of three error messages:

* Device IOS failed to initialise. Windows Protection Error.

* You must reboot your computer.

* Windows Protection Error. You must reboot your computer.

"This problem is very intermittent at 350MHz, but occurs more often at higher speeds," according to the notice.

AMD this week at Comdex introduced versions of the K6-2 processor operating at speeds of 400, 380 and 366MHz.

"Note that it is necessary to reboot the computer after the error occurs," the AMD notice continues. "If the error does not occur, the system will run normally."

The problem is caused by a software timing loop in Windows 95 that is sensitive to processor frequency. It is an incompatibility, not a processor erratum, according to AMD officials.

The problem does not occur with Windows 98 or Windows NT, so one fix is to upgrade the operating system.

Another solution is available by contacting Microsoft directly.

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Andy Santoni

PC World
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