In the beginning, there was so much confusion around Microsoft’s new OS requirements that even many professionals had to tune out the noise. Now that 11 has actually landed, the requirements aren’t too difficult to grasp, right? TPM 2.0 and an eighth gen or newer CPU are the big ones.
If you are okay with accepting some risk, then you can bend the rules and load the new version on pretty much anything. Side doors are always an intriguing option for inquisitive people. They almost always come with some grave side effects, and Microsoft doesn’t disappoint.
If you edit the registry of most computers from the Windows 7 era (already running 10), the TPM and CPU checks can be bypassed. This allows the Windows 11 upgrade to be intiatied by mounting the ISO and running setup. You will be accepting an agreement that states you are proceeding at your own peril and that future updates may be withheld. I followed The Verge’s three step guide the first time: read it @ https://www.theverge.com/22715331/how-to-install-windows-11-unsupported-cpu-intel-amd-registry-regedit
The first thing I used the technique on was an older Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6. The Intel m3 CPU doesn’t pass muster according to the Windows PC Health Check. Admittedly, the dual core 1GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM are pretty light by today’s standards.
I formatted the disk and installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 along with all the drivers and such from Samsung’s recovery feature. Then, I updated everything: BIOS, Windows, App Store, 3rd party software, all of it, to the newest available option.
In subsequent upgrades, I skipped the clean install and had zero issues. I wanted this one to be as pristine as possible. I plan on pressing the Galaxy Book back into service as the portable Windows machine in my travel tool kit. The little Samsung tablet took the upgrade with ease. Once the installation and initial setup were complete, I updated everything again.
The results are impressive. Microsoft’s newest OS runs like a champ on the ultra-portable. The hardware was automatically detected, and proper drivers were loaded. The camera, speakers, mic, Bluetooth, keyboard, touch screen, and pen all work perfectly. The system is responsive, snappy even. The only issue I have detected is a tendancy for the network adapter to crash while resuming from hibernation.
I proceeded to upgrade a Dell G3 laptop, Lenovo gaming laptop, an HP Elite Book, a Dell Venue tablet, a Surface 3, Surface Go, Surface Go 2, Surface Book 2, and multiple custom built gaming desktop systems of both Intel and AMD architectures. In all of that, the network resume glitch is the only issue I have personally encountered.
Here’s the thing: I have encountered that glitch on three different systems. Both wireless and wired nics have been affected. I’ve tried everything I know but have not been able to resolve the problem without resorting to disabling hibernation. Incidentally, disabling the network adapter in the device manager and then turning it back can sometimes help.
Given how draconian Microsoft has been in the media about the requirements, I was pleasantly surprised. My experience to date has been that any system or software compatible with Windows 10 is also compatible with Windows 11. Or, at least, it can be if you are willing to jump through Microsoft’s hoops.