Microsoft Opens up Windows 11 to More PCs

A specific driver was previously blocking Windows 11 from (officially) working on some PCs.

Microsoft Opens up Windows 11 to More PCs

Windows 11 is more of a stickler with hardware requirements than Windows 10, as it can't be officially installed on older CPUs, computers using MBR drives, and other legacy setups. However, some more specific devices were blocked from installing Windows 11 due to driver issues. One of those cases has now been fixed.

Microsoft has resolved a compatibility issue that was blocking Windows 10 users with Intel Smart Sound Technology (SST) audio drivers and Intel 11th gen Core processors from updating to Windows 11. This issue was initially identified in November 2021, causing certain Intel audio drivers to create blue screen errors on Windows 11 21H2 devices, prompting Microsoft to implement safeguard holds to prevent upgrades on affected systems. This was right around the time Windows 11 was actually launched, so this has been going on for a long time. Additional blocks were added in September 2022 for Windows 11 22H2, which would prevent people with these drivers from installing Windows 11 until this was properly resolved.

Intel got to work and did release fixed SST driver versions ( or, but Microsoft only lifted the blocks recently, integrating the updated drivers into Windows Update. If you have Windows 10 and you're on an older SST driver, you can install the updated drivers via Windows Update. Once the compatible driver version is installed (and provided you don't have any other issues keeping you from actually installing the newer OS), users can proceed with the Windows 11 upgrade. However, it may take up to 48 hours for the upgrade to be offered, even without other safeguards affecting the device. Microsoft warns against manual upgrades until necessary driver updates are performed.

At this point, it's clear Microsoft is trying to get as many users as possible on Windows 11. The end-of-life date for Windows 10 is fast approaching—the operating system will be dead by October 2025. Whether this will eventually involve Microsoft backing down from its initial, restrictive system requirements will remain to be seen, but at least a good chunk of users can now actually update to the latest version of the OS.

Source: Bleeping Computer

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