[OT] Can Vista run on others than x86 and x86-64

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Drivers' started by Kerem Gümrükcü, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    i want to ask a OT question here since i
    think, i will get the best answere here. I
    remember the NT basis (NT4) being able
    to run on different processor architectures,
    because of the majority of the os (excluding
    hal and other core components) written
    in C. Are the Vista Kernel Components and/or
    Usermode parts still able to run on other
    architectures with a costumized kernel/hal layer
    or has this definitly been dropped from the OS



    Kerem Gümrükcü, Oct 12, 2008
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  2. Windows 2008 (Vista SP1) also has IA64 (Itanic) flavor.
    Alexander Grigoriev, Oct 12, 2008
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  3. Hi Alexander,

    thanks for the information. What i was talking
    about, was whether the Operating System is
    still developed that way, that it can run on
    exotic Processors for which compilers are
    available. I mean is the Hardware Abstraction
    Layer still modularizable/exchangeable as it was
    on NT4,...long time ago,...



    Kerem Gümrükcü, Oct 12, 2008
  4. Kerem Gümrükcü

    Don Burn Guest

    The hardware abstraction layer was never as much of the special glue as
    various authors implied. There were definitely always significant portions
    of the kernel conditionalized on a per processor basis. In general the OS
    is still built so it could be moved to another architecture, but like any
    "portable" OS this is not a small effort. And like always with NT, there
    is a little-endian byte order requirement.

    Don Burn (MVP, Windows DDK)
    Windows Filesystem and Driver Consulting
    Website: http://www.windrvr.com
    Blog: http://msmvps.com/blogs/WinDrvr
    Remove StopSpam to reply
    Don Burn, Oct 12, 2008
  5. Hi Don,
    Yes, that was the answer i was looking for,...
    I know,...
    Ok, i see,...

    I was asking this, because maybe someday there
    will be very powerfull processor, possibly totally
    different than the IA Architecture, i mean who knows,
    so the operating system must be as portable as possible.
    So MS ist still going the way coding the os "portable",...
    Thats good to hear,...



    Beste Grüsse / Best regards / Votre bien devoue
    Kerem Gümrükcü
    Latest Project: http://www.codeplex.com/restarts
    Latest Open-Source Projects: http://entwicklung.junetz.de
    "This reply is provided as is, without warranty express or implied."
    Kerem Gümrükcü, Oct 12, 2008
  6. Kerem Gümrükcü

    Tim Roberts Guest

    That requirement is more than just NT. Every version of Windows ever
    produced (1/2/3, 95/98/ME, NT, and even CE) requires little-endian
    Well, the Itanium is "totally different than the IA Architecture", so I'd
    say that day is today.
    Tim Roberts, Oct 13, 2008
  7. Thanks for your reply,...



    Kerem Gümrükcü, Oct 13, 2008
  8. exotic Processors for which compilers are
    Windows code base was never supporting big-endian CPUs, but yes, Windows is
    portable (to little-endian at least).
    HAL has nothing to do with ports to other CPUs. Ports to other CPU are done
    using macros in the kernel source.

    HAL is about "CPU-surrounding framework" like timers, interrupt controllers,
    hardware shutdown etc.

    The Windows kernel binary is the same for all machines with this CPU
    architecture (except the build options of PAE/noPAE and SMP/noSMP, I think
    the latter is dropped from Win6 completely).

    So, the Windows kernel binary cannot contain any code for particular
    CPU-surrounding hardware like timers. HAL is the separate binary which
    contains all this code - interrupt controllers (and the implementation of
    IRQL), timers, hardware shutdown, interprocessor interrupts etc. Just look
    at the list of HAL exports.
    Maxim S. Shatskih, Oct 14, 2008
  9. That requirement is more than just NT. Every version of Windows ever
    IIRC some flavours of ARM, including the one used in iPaq devices, are
    big-endian, and WinCE runs there for sure.
    Maxim S. Shatskih, Oct 14, 2008
  10. I believe ARM has both LE and BE modes.

    Alexander Grigoriev, Oct 14, 2008
  11. Am I wrong that Platform Builder/eVC++ for ARM uses big-endian mode?
    Maxim S. Shatskih, Oct 14, 2008
  12. Kerem Gümrükcü

    Tim Roberts Guest

    You are wrong. Windows CE requires that the ARM be set in little-endian

    Originally, Windows NT was planned to have big-endian support. There was
    even a processor enumeration for it. Those plans were quickly dropped.
    Tim Roberts, Oct 15, 2008
  13. Kerem Gümrükcü

    Jeff Henkels Guest

    IIRC, that was the Intel i860, the first CPU NT ran on. Back in the early
    90s, I did firmware & software for an i860-based coprocessor board. I
    implemented the firmware and most of a SVR4-based kernel before the project
    was cancelled for lack of funds. The i860 was one of Intel's rare misses --
    a RISC core surrounded by a floating-point unit reminiscent of Floating
    Point Systems' vector processors for DEC VAX.
    Jeff Henkels, Oct 15, 2008
  14. Kerem Gümrükcü

    Tim Roberts Guest

    Yes. While double-checking this, I cam across a fascinating web site that
    describes a part of this story I never knew:


    When it became clear that the i860 was not going to ship, the NT team
    switched to a MIPS R3000 chip, in big-endian mode. So, the very first
    computer to run Windows NT was a big-endian system!

    It wasn't until shortly after that that they moved to the i386, swallowed
    the little-endian pill, and the rest is history.
    Tim Roberts, Oct 17, 2008
  15. When it became clear that the i860 was not going to ship

    i860 was more-or-less widely used as a 3D graphics processor, the role now
    played by GeForce and Radeon.

    It was used this way in some high-end expansion boards for usual PCs, in
    some Silicon Graphics machines and IIRC in NeXT.

    It was never widely successful, being beaten by other RISC CPUs like Alpha
    in speed, and then abandoned by Intel in favour or Pentium.
    Maxim S. Shatskih, Oct 17, 2008
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