Windows 11 cannot start on this computer

Hello friends. In this article, we will deal with the burning issue of computer compatibility with the new Windows 11, which the company recently presented. On the eve of the presentation, the preliminary assembly of the new operating system was leaked to the network, so that all the hints and intrigues of the company went to pieces, she did not manage to surprise the public with a new version of Windows.

However, Microsoft still caused stress and excitement among the public – by posting on its website the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. According to them, the new system can only be officially installed by owners of new computers – with UEFI and Secure Boot, with support for the TPM 2.0 security module, with compatible processors, the list of which includes only the latest generations of Intel and AMD. But the emphasis is on the word “official”. Let’s take a closer look at Microsoft’s requirements, how to check a computer for compatibility with Windows 11, and how to work with it on incompatible computers.

 

↑ It is impossible to start Windows 11 on this computer

↑ Minimum system requirements for Windows 11

 

The minimum system requirements for Windows 11 that Microsoft officially announces for Windows 11 are:

Component

Requirement

CPU

64-bit, dual-core, 1 GHz or faster, from current Intel, AMD and Qualcomm models officially listed by Microsoft

RAM

4 GB

HDD

64 GB

BIOS

Active UEFI, Active Secure Boot

Video card

With WDDM 2.0 driver and DirectX 12 support

Display

720p, 9-inch diagonal

TPM

Trusted Platform Module TPM v2.0

Internet

A prerequisite for installing and using the Home edition, which works only with a connection to a Microsoft account

 

To use certain features of Windows 11, a PC or laptop must have separate hardware components and technologies – a camera, microphone, HDR monitor, NVMe drive, etc. For a complete list of all possible system requirements for Windows 11, see the Microsoft website.

 

The requirements, as we can see, are severe; many computers, in particular, 5 years old, will not be able to meet them. But, friends, these are only official requirements, they can be circumvented now. And, probably, it will be possible to work around in the future after the official release of Windows 11. We will talk about these features further, for now let’s figure out how to check if a computer meets the system requirements of Windows 11, and if it does not, what can be done to meet …

 

↑ How to check a computer for compatibility with Windows 11

 

To check the system requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft created a special utility called PC Health. We launch this utility, click “Check now”.

After checking the computer, the utility should give a result – you can or cannot run it on the computer Windows 11. If possible, the utility will display a notification “You can run Windows 11 on this computer.”

If not, it will display a notification “Windows 11 cannot be started on this computer.”

Note : At a later date, Microsoft acknowledged the PC Health utility as crude, removed it from its website, and promised to return it ready for Windows 11 closer to the release.

 

What should you do, friends, if PC Health tells you that it is impossible to run Windows 11 on this computer, but you want to get a new operating system in the future? PC Health does not display details for specific computer components that are sagging in terms of compatibility with the new version of Windows. We can get the details using the third-party utility WhyNotWin11, it is also free, you can download it on GitHub. The utility scans the computer for compliance with Microsoft requirements in terms of installing Windows 11 and gives us the results of checks for each of the computer components – the bitness of the processor, its core and frequency, model, RAM, support for the WDDM 2.0 video card and DirectX 12, UEFI, Secure Boot, hard disk space, its layout style, the presence of the TPM module and its version. Components that are Microsoft compliant will be marked green. And if everything is marked green, then everything is in order for you, and you can install Windows 11 as soon as it comes out, or upgrade to it from Windows 10.

Non-matching components will be marked in red. Like, for example, in my case with the TPM module.

If the utility fails to identify any of the components, it can leave it in question and mark it in yellow.

What to do with all non-Windows 11 components on your computer? How to remove drawdowns in order to use the new operating system officially? Let’s take a look at each component from Microsoft’s list of requirements separately that may or may not.

 

↑ Processor

The processor is, friends, the most important component from the list of Microsoft requirements, it will not be possible to bypass it, as is the case with other components. Windows 11 will either work with your processor, or it won’t, or it will, but with some kind of problems. Today the company’s requirements for a 64-bit architecture of processors and the presence of at least two cores are fully justified, all these are real requirements, and many computers have been meeting them for a long time. Windows 11 will only ship in a 64-bit edition, which is good: less fragmentation of the operating system distribution, less confusion in the minds of newbie users. 32-bit Windows are irrelevant even for computers 10 years ago. The question is raised by the support by the new operating system of specific processors, only modern Intel 8th generation and AMD Zen 2 were included in the list of support,

  • Intel Celeron, Pentium, Core from the 8th generation;
  • Intel Atom Elkhart Lake;
  • Intel Xeon from 6th generation;
  • AMD Athlon select models;
  • AMD Epyc;
  • AMD Ryzen 2nd Gen (select models), more support from 3rd Gen;
  • Qualcomm 7 and 8 series.

Update : At the end of August 2021, Microsoft expanded the list of processor support by adding:

  • 7th Gen Intel Core i7 (select models)
  • Intel Core X series;
  • Intel Xeon W series;
  • Intel Core 7820HQ (Surface Studio 2 processor).

For specific supported models, see the Microsoft documentation site for:

  • Intel,
  • AMD,
  • Qualcomm.

When selecting processors for the new Windows 11, Microsoft was guided by security criteria: processors from the supported list support secure boot and VBS (Virtualization-based Security). These features reduce computer infections by 60%, according to Microsoft. A lot of processors that are quite relevant today – for example, Intel Core 6- and 7th generation, AMD Ryzen 2nd, and even 1st generation – remained in the span. As an exception to insider testing, Windows 11 will officially support 7th Gen Intel and AMD Zen 1.

 

But, friends, in any case we support processors – these are only those on which Microsoft guarantees a well-coordinated work, and about which the company can be contacted with claims. Windows 11 will work with older, non-supported processorsBut if you have any problems with Windows 11 on such processors, upon making a claim to Microsoft, she will have the right to send you … to buy a new computer. Regular legal disclaimer. Microsoft, apparently, is ripe for the idea of ​​creating a stable operating system that works seamlessly with hardware. And for this, accordingly, it is necessary to limit the list of at least supported processors. Narrow down the range of processors in order to fully test Windows 11 before release and during its update. Only in this way will the company be able to create and maintain a relatively ideal Windows, apologize less for clumsy updates and lose in lawsuits to users who dared to recover monetary compensation from Microsoft for the crashed system. The project of Windows 10 as an operating system for anything and everything, obviously, the company considered untenable. And I decided to somehow narrow the range of supported hardware in order to go the beaten path of Apple. For there is simply no other way to improve the operating system.

 

If, friends, the PC Health utility gives the verdict “Windows 11 cannot be started on this computer”, the WhyNotWin11 utility shows a discrepancy or uncertainty in terms of the processor, and it is not in the support list on the Microsoft documentation site, you should not immediately run to update the hardware. It is very possible that Windows 11 will work with your processor. And possible problems due to the uncoordinated operation of the operating system and the processor … They were 35 years of existence of Windows, and it is not a fact that they will disappear on supported processors. We have to wait for the release of Windows 11, install it, use it, and only then think about the upgrade. Read more about support for Windows 11 processors here.

 

↑ RAM

 

The requirement of 4 GB of RAM as the minimum threshold for compatibility with Windows 11 is quite justified. With a smaller volume, you won’t be able to run Windows 11, Windows 10, 8.1 or even 7. And, again, this does not mean that you will not be able to unofficially install Windows 11, and that it will not start on your computer. But in any case, “RAM” is better to add, or sell the laptop and buy a new one, if this is not possible. How much to add, see the article “How much RAM is needed for Windows 10”. How to find out the type of RAM and add it, see the article “How to install RAM”.

↑ Video card

 

Not all graphics cards and integrated solutions will pass the Windows 11 graphics requirements, only modern ones. Support for a graphics driver based on the WDDM architecture version 2.0 and the DirectX version 12 platform is available for modern video cards of the GDDR5 memory generation, maybe not quite old models with GDDR3 memory. Older cards with GDDR3 (and older) will fail in terms of compliance with Windows 11. But the fact that the video card does not meet the requirements of the new Windows does not mean that it cannot be installed and run on a computer. With support for earlier versions of DirectX, we simply will not be able to use the advantages of DirectX 12 in games. If you are not playing, this will not be a problem for you, if you want to play, you will need a modern video card anyway, but you can buy it whenever you need it , and not under the gun of compliance with the new operating system. The requirement for DirectX 12 on Windows 11 PCs is a fulfillment of Microsoft’s plans to create its DirectX 12 Ultimate technology for realism in games. Without this, DirectX 12 Ultimate is only available natively on modern Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards.

↑ BIOS

 

The requirement for the implementation of the modern BIOS UEFI format on the computer and the enabled Secure Boot protocol can leave even some modern computers out of the official status of using Windows 11. The UEFI format itself is not something new, motherboards for PCs and laptops with it have been on the market for years since 2010. But there are many outdated, but quite usable PCs and laptops with the old BIOS Legacy format. Such, obviously, will sag on the processor, but, perhaps, it will be possible to install Windows 11 on them unofficially. At least the first builds of Windows 11 are freely installed on an MBR disk and run as Legacy systems. After all, there are no cardinal internal innovations in the new Windows, it is still the same Windows NT. But even if you have UEFI, not a fact,

 

If the WhyNotWin11 utility shows that your Boot Type does not match, i.e. BIOS mode, go to BIOS and see if you have support for UEFI mode, perhaps this mode is simply disabled. If you have a BIOS with a graphical interface, then you definitely do. On laptops, the BIOS UEFI can also be of the console type. But in any case, you need to look for parameters like “UEFI” or “UEFI only” among the boot settings, meaning that the computer starts only in UEFI mode. However, friends, if your computer was in Legacy or CSM compatibility mode before, and the hard disk has MBR partitioning style, first convert it to GPT. And only then switch the BIOS to UEFI mode.

 

In some UEFIs, both this mode and Secure Boot are very easy to enable.

In some, things are more complicated: there are UEFI options, and Secure Boot is hidden until you turn off CSM.

If Secure Boot is disabled in your UEFI BIOS, you need to enable it carefully. Firstly, if you have Windows 7 installed, you can convert the disk to GPT partitioning style, but Secure Boot will not let this system start up. It skips Windows from version 8, you need to upgrade to Windows 10 first. Secondly, to enable Secure Boot or even display it in the settings, you may need to disable CSM.

And this is fraught with the fact that the image on the screen may disappear, and then you only have to reset the BIOS settings to default with a jumper on the motherboard. Many UEFIs implement the modern video GOP protocol rather than the old VGA as BIOS Legacy. But not all video cards natively support GOP, limited to Legacy VGA support. Thus, the operation of the video card is possible only when the BIOS Legacy or CSM modes are active. If you disable CSM, and you have smart UEFI, it will simply revert the enabling of CSM itself. And if you try to enable Secure Boot, it will prevent you from doing so, indicating a problem with the GOP driver.

In this case, leave everything as it is, i.e. CSM enabled and Secure Boot disabled. In my case, for example, under these conditions, the computer passed the test for compatibility with Windows 11. I will give another example of enabling Secure Boot: it is set to enabled, but as protection from the fool, UEFI displays its status as disabled and does not disable CSM in any way. To enable Secure Boot on such a computer, try setting “Windows 8 WHQL” or “Windows 10 WHQL” in the operating system type parameter.

↑RPM 2.0

 

The most stringent requirement in the minimum system characteristics of Windows 11 is the presence of a TPM security module, and even version 2.0. It sweeps aside many laptops and PCs released after 2016. TPM (abbr. Trust Platform Module) is a crypto module, a security chip with its unique identifier in the microchip, which cannot be changed and can be used to authenticate access. Responsible for storing encrypted information on the computer, prevents infection with bootkits and rootkits at the stage before the operating system is loaded. Provides secure storage of encryption keys, stores biometric data of users. Enables functions such as Windows Hello, authorization using a fingerprint reader, electronic signature of documents. Secret data is not stored in the user’s file system, where intruders can snatch them from, and in the security module chip. Almost all modern smartphones have a crypto security module, and Microsoft, obviously, indirectly obliges computers to have it in order to bring them to a new level of security. Moreover, Windows 11 announced support for Android applications. TPM modules have versions, current and required by Microsoft – 2.0. TPM version 1.2 will fail the Windows 11 compliance check. TPM on computers can be implemented: actual and required by Microsoft – 2.0. TPM version 1.2 will fail the Windows 11 compliance check. TPM on computers can be implemented: actual and required by Microsoft – 2.0. TPM version 1.2 will fail the Windows 11 compliance check. TPM on computers can be implemented:

  • Hardware and integrated, these are chips introduced into laptops, all-in-ones and other OEM devices with Windows 10 preinstalled starting in 2016, and it is version 2.0, according to the company’s stated requirements for OEMs. Less commonly, an integrated hardware TPM can be found in modern PC motherboards;
  • Hardware in the form of a TPM module connector on a modern motherboard, in which case the TPM chip can be purchased separately if necessary and connected to the board;

  • Software, by emulating TPM in BIOS, i.e. due to chipset technologies. This requires that the motherboard, or rather its chipset, support such emulation, and that the emulation technology be enabled in the BIOS. This technology with support for version 2.0 is available on 4-year-old motherboards offhand.

You can check if your computer has hardware or software TPM 2.0 separately from the tools for checking compatibility with the new system. Enter into the command line:

tpm.msc

The snap-in of the module will start, if it is present and active, we will see its characteristics and version.

If it is not there, or it is inactive, we will see this message.

In this case, you need to go to the BIOS and look for the parameters for activating the hardware TPM, or enable module emulation. Look for the hardware module in the advanced or security settings by parameters with names such as “TPM”, “TPM Device”, “Trusted Platform Module”, “Security Chip” and enable it.

Look for emulation of the module on computers with AMD processors by the name of the emulation technology “fTPM”, with Intel processors – by the name of the technology “PTT”.

 

Let’s look at how to enable TPM 2.0 emulation in the BIOS using the example of specific Asus motherboards. On a Gigabyte AMD motherboard, go to Settings, then open the Miscellaneous tab.

Set the “AMD CPU fTPM” option to Enabled.

On the Asus motherboard on the Intel platform, go to additional settings, then open the “PCH-FW Configuration” tab.

For the “TPM Device selection” setting, set the value to “PTT”.

Another option may be: for the “TPM Device Seletction” setting, set the value “Enable Firmware TPM”.

 

↑ What to do if the computer does not meet the requirements of Windows 11

 

If your computer, friends, does not meet the minimum system requirements of Windows 11, so far that means, you will not be able to install the new operating system officially. But unofficially, without making any claims to Microsoft, you will most likely have such an opportunity. This is indirectly indicated by Microsoft’s promise that Windows 10 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 11. If their computers do not comply with Windows 11, they will only receive a notification that the company does not recommend upgrading. It does not recommend, but does not prohibit either. Microsoft does not officially prohibit the use of Windows 11 Insider Preview on incompatible computers. How it will be further, time will tell. In the meantime, that is a preliminary assembly, that the first insider assembly of Windows 11 is perfectly installed on virtual machines.

There are several ways to work around this problem and install Windows 11 without hindrance, but we will already talk about this in the article “How to install Windows 11 without TPM 2.0, Secure Boot and UEFI”.    

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