Your ageing Windows 10 laptop could be eligible for Windows 11 update – but not for long

Windows 11 is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s iconic OS. Released towards the start of the month, Windows 11 is being rolled out as a free upgrade to Windows 10 machines in stages, and can also be found pre-installed on brand new laptops and PCs. Windows 11 is specifically designed to run on newer PCs, and as such has some high minimum specs – including requiring at least an 8th-gen Intel chip or AMD Ryzen 2000.

So it comes as a surprise this week that a chip that’s 15 years old is listed as being able to run Windows 11.

As reported by Windows Latest, Intel’s Pentium 4 661 chip – which was released back in 2006 – is listed as a supported Windows 11 CPU. This is shown in the PC Health Check App, which is an official Microsoft tool used to help people upgrade to Windows 11.

Despite showing as a Windows 11 supported chip, devices using these CPUs still won’t meet all requirements as they won’t be capable of TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) and Secure Boot. These are security features built into hardware which helps protect Windows 11 device from cyber threats.

Given the age of the processors in question, this looks to be an oversight on Microsoft’s part that will soon get fixed.

But in the meantime some PC fans that use a Pentium 4 661 chip have managed to bypass the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot requirements to install Windows 11.

These users are also managing to get cumulative updates delivered to their PCs.

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One of those who managed to install Windows 11 onto their Pentium 4 PC was Twitter user @Carlos_SM1995.

The PC user also published a video on YouTube showing how quickly Windows 11 runs with the 15-year-old processor.

In a Twitter thread that provided more details, Carlos said the reason Windows 11 can run on this old processor is Microsoft forgot to add the CPU family to the list of blocked chips.

On Twitter @Carlos_SM1995 wrote: “Microsoft seems to have forgotten to add Intel Family 15 (Netburst) into the list of blocked CPUs, hence why it shows as compatible”.

The Pentium 4 PC that Carlos got Windows 11 running on had a 3.6Ghz processor, 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM, a Nvidia Geforce GT 710 and a 120GB SSD hard-drive.

As a comparison, the Windows 11 minimum specs ask for at least a 1GHz chip with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC), 4GB of RAM, 64GB or more storage device, a graphics card compatible with DirectX 12 and TPM 2.0 support.


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