Microsoft won’t stop you installing Windows 11 on older PCs

Gangelo

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Microsoft is announcing today that it won’t block people from installing Windows 11 on most older PCs. While the software maker has recommended hardware requirements for Windows 11 — which it’s largely sticking to — a restriction to install the OS will only be enforced when you try to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Windows Update. This means anyone with a PC with an older CPU that doesn’t officially pass the upgrade test can still go ahead and download an ISO file of Windows 11 and install the OS manually.

Microsoft announced its Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements in June, and made it clear that only Intel 8th Gen and beyond CPUs were officially supported. Microsoft now tells us that this install workaround is designed primarily for businesses to evaluate Windows 11, and that people can upgrade at their own risk as the company can’t guarantee driver compatibility and overall system reliability. Microsoft won’t be recommending or advertising this method of installing Windows 11 to consumers.

It’s a big change that means millions of PCs won’t be left behind, technically. Consumers will still need to go to the effort of downloading an ISO file and manually installing Windows 11, which the vast majority probably won’t do. But for those happy to install Windows manually, the actual minimum Windows 11 specs mean that CPU generations don’t matter, as long as you have a 64-bit 1GHz processor with two or more cores, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.

windows11main.png
Windows 11 will now run on older CPUs.
Alongside the workaround to install Windows 11, Microsoft is also tweaking its minimum system requirements to include more processors. Intel’s Core X-series and Xeon W-series will now be officially supported for Windows 11 upgrades, alongside Intel’s Core 7820HQ chip that’s inside the Surface Studio 2.

Microsoft has been testing these processors with Intel, but the 7820HQ is only supported on devices that ship with Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support Apps (DCH). You may have heard of DCH in GPU drivers, and it’s a cleaner and more secure driver design that Microsoft has been encouraging OEMs and hardware manufacturers to adopt in recent years. Apps like GPU control panels are separated from the driver install with DCH, allowing OEMs to service them separately without having to issue new driver updates.

Microsoft won’t be officially supporting any Zen 1 CPUs, despite testing them recently. “After carefully analyzing the first generation of AMD Zen processors in partnership with AMD, together we concluded that there are no additions to the supported CPU list,” says Microsoft’s Windows team in a blog post today.

Obviously there is a workaround to install Windows 11 on these older AMD systems, but Microsoft says devices that don’t meet the minimum hardware requirements “had 52 percent more kernel mode crashes.” Devices that meet the official minimum specs “had a 99.8 percent crash free experience,” says Microsoft.

windows11pchealthchecker.png
T
he updated PC Health Check app. Image: Microsoft
Microsoft is now planning to update its PC Health Check app (a preview is available here) to include the new Intel CPUs and provide much greater clarity on why your PC might not be able to officially upgrade. The new PC checker app will let Windows users know if they need to simply enable Secure Boot or TPM 2.0 to upgrade, which is much better than the vague unsupported message that greeted many in June.

Microsoft also details how it arrived at these minimum system requirements for Windows 11. Microsoft wants to push Windows toward modern DCH drivers and modern security with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support and virtualization-based security (VBS). There’s never a good time to try to change hardware requirements, but with a workaround in place it does cushion the blow of what Microsoft is trying to achieve around improving the security, compatibility, and reliability aspects of Windows 11.
 
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jogs

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I already told this beforehand, MS will allow nearly everyone to install Win 11.
They just want to make sure that it runs more stable on recommended setups and they can defend themselves that most people claiming instability are actually using unsupported hardware.
 

Marko :)

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But while it might seem like Microsoft’s opening up the floodgates, the confusing reality of Windows 11 upgrades hasn’t changed quite as much as you might think. While DIY PC gamers, IT admins, and other power users will be able to perform a clean install of Windows 11 on existing hardware dating back years, it’s not encouraging that at all.

First and perhaps most important, Microsoft informed us after we published this story that if your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, it may not be entitled to get Windows Updates, even security ones. We’re asking Microsoft for clarification on that now. But secondly, it still sounds like Microsoft will be encouraging millions of people to replace their perfectly good Windows PCs.


:oops:
 

CyberTech

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Nov 10, 2017
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I thought this announcement would discourage developers of compatibility checking applications.:unsure:

Will TPM and Secure Boot become a recommendation instead of a necessity?

First and perhaps most important, Microsoft informed us after we published this story that if your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, it may not be entitled to get Windows Updates, even security ones. We’re asking Microsoft for clarification on that now. But secondly, it still sounds like Microsoft will be encouraging millions of people to replace their perfectly good Windows PCs.
as Marko :) posted a link, i think its recommended
 

Marko :)

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Aug 12, 2015
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I thought this announcement would discourage developers of compatibility checking applications.:unsure:

Will TPM and Secure Boot become a recommendation instead of a necessity?
Well, I wouldn't call them recommended since you won't be able to install upgrade from Windows 10. But I also wouldn't call them minimal since Windows 11 works on hardware way older than the one Microsoft asks for.

They'll still enforce their ridiculous requirements for upgrade, just not for the clean installation.
 

Gangelo

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Jul 29, 2017
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I thought this announcement would discourage developers of compatibility checking applications.:unsure:

Will TPM and Secure Boot become a recommendation instead of a necessity?
IMHO, what MS should do is to have TPM & secure boot mandatory, but loosen up the CPU restrictions and allow a few more CPU generations back.
This would be more fair. They would increase security but at the same time they would not send perfectly working machines (with TPM & secure boot) to the graveyard.
 

Marko :)

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The only reasonable requirements are UEFI and Secure boot. It's the TPM requirement which makes perfectly good and working PCs obsolete. TPM 2.0 might have been introduced in 2014., but it wasn't shipped with CPUs until 2017.

That's the reason why older CPUs aren't officialy supported. It's not that Windows 11 doesn't work with them, it does. Heck, 11 can work just fine on almost any processor that ran Windows 7.
So, until TPM requirement is scraped (or at least made optional), millions of working PCs are made obsolete.
 
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show-Zi

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Jan 28, 2018
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Supported PC users can use 11 with their existing license; all other users will need to purchase a new license to use 11.
So this is how I interpreted it, and please point out if I'm wrong.
 

Gangelo

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Supported PC users can use 11 with their existing license; all other users will need to purchase a new license to use 11.
So this is how I interpreted it, and please point out if I'm wrong.
What I understand is that a Windows 10 license will let you activate Windows 11 even on unsupported systems , but there is a chance that MS will block updates on those systems which will be ridiculous.

Edit (source):

 
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show-Zi

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What I understand is that a Windows 10 license will let you activate Windows 11 even on unsupported systems , but there is a chance that MS will block updates on those systems which will be ridiculous.

Edit (source):

I came up with the idea of purchasing new licenses because we thought there would be some differentiation between users who meet the support requirements and those who do not (although we did not anticipate the idea of limiting updates).

If they had said from the start "You can still use 11 on an older PC, but you must install from the media, not upgrade, and you do so at your own risk with unsupported hardware", I think the confusion would have been avoided.
Isn't there an option to upgrade to the new version of Windows when booting from flash drive? 😆
I've only recently started to finally like 21h1, so I haven't gotten around to 11 yet.:)
 

Gangelo

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I came up with the idea of purchasing new licenses
I think the best thing you should do is wait for the official release and try to upgrade one system using a Windows 11 ISO. If this works, then you will not have to purchase new licenses for valid Windows 10 machines. Or wait until someone else tries this before you. After all, you can wait until 2025 and many things can change until then.
 

show-Zi

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I think the best thing you should do is wait for the official release and try to upgrade one system using a Windows 11 ISO. If this works, then you will not have to purchase new licenses for valid Windows 10 machines. Or wait until someone else tries this before you. After all, you can wait until 2025 and many things can change until then.
Thanks for the advice.:geek:
My concern was not about 11 itself, but whether I could use my 7 license to 11. As old pc users will know, I don't think there was ever a license with a long enough life span to apply two upgrades.
With anticipation and interest, I'll wait for the official release and report.(y)
 

Gangelo

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Jul 29, 2017
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Thanks for the advice.:geek:
My concern was not about 11 itself, but whether I could use my 7 license to 11. As old pc users will know, I don't think there was ever a license with a long enough life span to apply two upgrades.
With anticipation and interest, I'll wait for the official release and report.(y)
Well, you can upgrade your Win 7 licences to Win 10 right now with no issues. Once the 10 licences get tied to your motherboards digitally, IMHO they would be eligible for further upgrade.
 
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