Microsoft Windows 11 In Las Vegas
In August 2021, Microsoft announced the arrival of Windows 11, and the update has finally rolled out to supported devices beginning October 5th, 2021. However, with the OS still in its early stages, several concerns have been raised with revelations that a large majority of PCs will not support it due to the TPM 2.0 requirements and 8th gen processors.
Notably, Microsoft is rolling out the update in phases, meaning some users will wait for several months before they get to use Windows 11. In August 2021, Microsoft announced that they expected “all eligible devices to be offered a free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.” If you are in a rush and your device doesn’t meet the minimum requirements needed, Microsoft is offering a workaround option, though the company won’t support it.
What Are the Minimum Requirements Needed to Upgrade to Windows 11?
If you have received an error message reading “This PC can’t run Windows 11” when trying to install Windows 11 Insider Preview or when leveraging the Microsoft PC health Checker app, your system might not be meeting the minimum requirements for Windows 11. Apparently, you should have two crucial security settings turned on before upgrading to Windows 11:
Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0): TPM is a small device commonly known as a secure cryptoprocessor. While some TPMs are virtual, others are designed as microchips. As a chip, TPM is added to the device’s motherboard during development. Its core function is to guarantee hardware security during computer start-up. Updated and enabled TPMs offer robust protection from firmware attacks, which has been on the rise lately.
TPM has been a mandatory piece of tech on all Windows machines since 2016. However, older devices may not have the required hardware or firmware to support a TPM environment. Notably, Microsoft made it mandatory for all equipment manufacturers of devices built to run on Windows 10 to make sure their machines were TPM 1.2 capable. The TPM 2.0 required on Windows 11 machines is the most recent version required.
Secure Boot: Secure Boot is a feature found in computer software. It controls the operating systems that are active on a machine. Secure Boot has both benefits and drawbacks for Windows devices. Although it prevents certain classes of invasive malware from penetrating your machine, Secure Boot also prevents users from installing a second operating system on their machines. For example, if you have Windows OS installed and you want to experiment with Linux OS, Secure Boot will stop it. It also plays an integral part in preventing Windows pirating.
Notably, most modern computers and processing chips from AMD and Intel come with a built-in Secure Boot and TPM 2.0. If you have the latest machine that supports both requirements, enabling the Secure Boot and TPM is easy, just click through the “BIOS menu” and follow the instructions. In summary, the bare minimum requirements for Windows 11 include:
- A Trusted Platform Module (TPM), version 2.0.
- 4GB of RAM
- UEFI Secure Boot enabled
- 64GB of storage
- A “compatible” 1 GHz or faster dual-core 64-bit processor from Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm
What Is the Reason for the Strict Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements?
Microsoft is imposing stricter system and hardware requirements for Windows 11 users due to security and performance concerns. The company reveals its testing shows devices that don’t meet minimum requirements experienced 52% more kennel mode crashes, commonly referred to as blue screen death. These requirements also support popular applications that more people leverage for hybrid working, video conferencing, and gaming.
What If My Device Can’t Support The Bare Minimum Requirements For Windows 11?
Despite massive complaints and pushback from users, Microsoft insisted in an August blog that it would keep all the requirements. However, the company added a few more processors to the compatibility list and now includes additional processors from the Intel Core X-series and Xeon W-series and a select few devices that come with Intel Core 7820HQ, such as the Surface Studio 2.
If you are considering an upgrade to Windows 11 on an older device, you have an option to do so manually using the Windows Insider program or Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. Previously, these tools were used by many people to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free. However, using this method means you won’t receive support from Microsoft that legible Windows 11 users enjoy.
What If I Don’t Want to Buy Windows 11 PC?
If you cannot download Windows 11 on your current device and don’t want to purchase a new device, you don’t have to worry, at least in the meantime. Microsoft announced it will still support Windows 10 through October 2025. Until then, the Microsoft tools that enable free download of Windows 10 are still working.
How Do I Check If My Device Is Capable of TPM2.0 and Secure Boot?
You can leverage the PC Health Checker to check if your device is capable of TPM2.0 and Secure Boot. If the PC Health Checker suggests that your TPM is not enabled, try to determine if that is an accurate diagnosis. Microsoft confirms there are up to four types of problems that can give you an error message when using the PC Health Check Tool. Follow the steps below to check for misdiagnosis:
- Step 1: Press the Windows key next to the spacebar + R from your desktop. You will see a dialog box display.
- Step 2: Type tpm. msc on the text field of the box and hit Enter. A new window labeled “TPM Management on Local Computer.” will display.
- Step 3: Click Status. If a message that reads “The TPM is ready for use” pops up, then the PC Health Checker misdiagnosed you. Get a professional to take a look at your machine and determine the root cause of the error.
Get Professional Help
If you are trying to download the new Windows 11 update to your current PC, you may encounter several challenges due to the new system requirements for the upgraded Windows OS, including the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot requirements. Even when your machine meets all the system requirements, it is still advisable to consult a professional before you undertake any upgrade. Contact our Windows 11 professionals at Network Security Associates if you have further questions or need help to get started with your Windows 11 upgrade.