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  • How to upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported hardware

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 11 » Questions about Windows 11 » How to upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported hardware

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    #2394188

    Can you write a topic that explain the exact steps to do that.

    From what I’ve read, the only upgrade path to Windows 11 is from Windows 10. I’ve seen nothing online to indicate that upgrading from earlier versions is supported; of course I could be wrong on that.  I’m running Pro, and Pro does not require a Microsoft account for the Windows 11 upgrade; Home does.

    This procedure implies no guarantees, and if you follow it, bear in mind that you are doing so at your own risk.  I don’t have a Windows Home version, so I haven’t tried this with Windows Home.  If you don’t have an issue with using a Microsoft account, this procedure may still work with Home.  Again, no guarantees, use at your own risk.  Note the first and most important step in bold below.

    In order to upgrade from Windows 10 on unsupported hardware, you will need Windows 10 installation media (DVD, USB or ISO) and Windows 11 installation media (DVD, USB or ISO). The first and most important step is to create a complete drive image set of your entire current installation of Windows, including the EFI partition, in case something goes south on you. The upgrade will re-write the EFI partition, and your PC could likely become unbootable should something go amiss with the upgrade and you want to regress to Windows 10. It is much simpler and easier to restore a drive image set than to jump through a bunch of hoops just trying to get your PC to boot.

    The second important step is to create copies of your Windows 10 installation media and Windows 11 installation media, so that you can work off the copies, and leave you existing installation media in its pristine condition. It isn’t necessary to burn DVD’s or recreate USB’s. This procedure can be used from a folder in a separate partition on a separate drive. I ran it from a folder named “Edited Win 11 Pro RTM”. You can name it whatever you like, just don’t put it on the C: drive. This may mean that you will need to use a DVD or USB if your PC/laptop has only one accessible partition. If you have an accessible partition other than C:, that will do. Just create the folder you will be working on/from; name it whatever you like. This is your working folder.

    If your Windows 10 installation media is an ISO, mount it, then copy all the contents to your working folder. Once that is complete, you can unmount the ISO. If your installation media is on DVD or USB, plug it in, and copy all the contents to your working folder, then eject your DVD or “Safely remove hardware” in the case of USB. Then in your working folder, open the “sources” folder and look for a file named either “install.esd” or “install.wim”. It’s a big file. Delete whichever file you find; you won’t find both, only one or the other will be there.

    Install.wim_

    Next you’ll need your Windows 11 installation media. Mount it, navigate to the “sources” folder. Again, inside the sources folder will be a file named either “install.esd” or “install.wim”. Copy that file, then navigate to your working folder. In your working folder, paste your copied file in the “sources” folder. Your working folder is now ready for the upgrade.

    I suggest restarting to close any open system files and relaunch a fresh Windows 10, then log into an account in the Administrators group.  In Windows 10 Home, this needs to be a Microsoft account for the upgrade.  Navigate to your working folder and double-click on “Setup.exe”. Acknowledge the UAC prompt if it pops up, and relax. When it’s looking for updates, click Next and let it. These are Windows 10 updates it’s looking for, and you just might need something to make the upgrade work properly. My upgrade took an hour and six minutes. When it gets to the blue screen and is copying files, you will see “Installing Windows 10”. You can ignore that, it’s part of the outer wrapper of the installation media. The files that are being copied are coming from the “install.wim” (or “install.esd”) that you pasted into the working folder, and it’s actually installing Windows 11.

    If I recall correctly, there were four restarts before the OOBE said, “Hi”. The OOBE took another three minutes before the desktop appeared.

    And as always, YMMV.

    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
    "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
    "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by bbearren.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by bbearren.
    2 users thanked author for this post.
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    • #2394218

      Readers FYI: Microsoft itself explains how to install Win11 on unsupported systems.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ways-to-install-windows-11-e0edbbfb-cfc5-4011-868b-2ce77ac7c70e

      Then there’s the current device requirements:
      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications

      This smells of a honeypot-entrapment..remember, Win11 needs an online MSFT account (mandatory for Home Editions even if you don’t currently have one using Win10)..think about it.

      IMO the risks outweigh the potential, my advice is to just wait until offered the option, MSFT ain’t stupid thanks to telemetry advancements over the years.

      Ask yourself this, do I NEED it or do I just WANT it?
      It’s your choice..

      | Quality over Quantity |
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2394240

        The OP was requested by an AskWoody Lounger.

        bbearren wrote: Windows 10 can be upgraded to RTM Windows 11 simply by using the Windows 10 installation media with the sourcesinstall.wim (or sourcesinstall.esd) replaced with the same file from the Windows 11 installation media

        Can you write a topic that explain the exact steps to do that.

        Yes, I can do that. I’ll post it here in this forum.

        From my years at Windows Secrets, where we did not offer advice or assistance via DM, but only in the lounge, I posted the OP as requested.  I’ve also bolded the warnings about the procedure.

        Win11 needs an online MSFT account (mandatory for Home Editions even if you don’t currently have one using Win10)..think about it.

        Windows 11 Pro does not need a Microsoft account.  It is a requirement for Home.

        IMO the risks outweigh the potential

        Windows-11

        I follow my own advice, and offer it freely. The first line in my signature is “Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!”

        The first and most important step is to create a complete drive image set of your entire current installation of Windows, including the EFI partition, in case something goes south on you. The upgrade will re-write the EFI partition, and your PC could likely become unbootable should something go amiss with the upgrade and you want to regress to Windows 10. It is much simpler and easier to restore a drive image set than to jump through a bunch of hoops just trying to get your PC to boot.

        Having the foresight and ability to dance into and out of the fire has a tendency to remove the FUD.  Over the years Microsoft has said that a great many things are either not possible, will cause big problems, or both.  Over the years I’ve found that a lot of that is simply not true in my experience.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • #2395860

      As I already had W10 21H1 installation media on a USB flash drive (to act as the “install.esd” wrapper software, without needing to download it again) and bbearen’s method looks the simplest method to install W11 on incompatible PC hardware (according to Microsoft’s arbitrary criteria), I thought I would try it out on the spare disk drive I use for experimenting in one of my old PCs. This PC is “incompatible” in several ways: CPU (i5 2400), old-style BCD boot method, no TPM 2.0 (TPM 1.2, but not selected in BIOS) and no secure boot.

      The W11 installation process completed (offline) as bbearen describes above, apparently without problems. Connecting online there was a Windows Defender update (this was done before the 1st Patch Tuesday) and the thing activated using the digital licence (the PC’s W10 licence presumably).

      I tweaked a few things. The taskbar setting tick box moved the icons from the centre to the left. Open-shell restored my usual Start menu. Unfortunately “Old New Explorer” did not restore the traditional “menu bar” to Explorer windows.

      Looking more closely I started to see some anomalies.

      Although Windows Defender seemed to be there to some extent, on selecting Windows Security in the Settings, I just got a blank window, so no way to adjust it or start a scan or anything like that. It seems that “my” PC not meeting Microsoft’s W11 security requirements means I cannot run Windows security in the usual (W10-like) way.

      The Windows Firewall did seem to be working and I could get to its settings (via the Open-shell Start menu – I don’t know if it would have been accessible via the W11 UI).

      I thought: OK, maybe I need to mentally go back to earlier Windows versions and use 3rd party security solutions. By chance I had a Panda AV online installer on a USB stick so ran it, but in response W11 disabled the network connection. (It is a desktop PC with no WiFi, just a cabled connection, so I don’t know if wireless would have been disabled also.) I needed to restart the PC to get a (public) network connection back again.

      I also had a Panda AV offline installer, ran it and although it did install the AV software, when it tried to connect to the internet to activate the AV (usual practice for Panda AV), again W11 disabled the network connection.

      I also tried both a Firefox online and offline Firefox installer, and again W11 disabled the network connection.

      I don’t know if this W11 crippling of network connection on an incompatible PC is deliberate, intended (commercial “protectionism”?) functionality by Microsoft, or a bug as a result of not meeting their “security” requirements (TPM, secure boot etc.), or a bug accidentally introduced having installed using the “bbearen method”, but whatever the reason this was a fatal blow in my attempt to run W11 on that PC.

      I thought that I would pass on my experience in case it is of interest to others 🙂

       

      • #2395930

        Although Windows Defender seemed to be there to some extent, on selecting Windows Security in the Settings, I just got a blank window, so no way to adjust it or start a scan or anything like that. It seems that “my” PC not meeting Microsoft’s W11 security requirements means I cannot run Windows security in the usual (W10-like) way.

        I haven’t used the Defender UI in years.  I consider security scans part of routine maintenance, and as such I have them set up in Task Scheduler.  After reading your post, I checked Settings and got the same results.

        However, checking Task Scheduler scheduled task for Defender, my daily scan, my weekly full scan, have completed successfully.  As Microsoft Defender has some additional duties under the Trusted Platform Module, that may explain why it isn’t fully available in Settings.  I’m satisfied that it is running as it should based on the Task Scheduler results.

        As far as installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, I’m not advocating it.  The OP was in answer to an AskWoody Lounger request.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2396229

        Windows Security opens just fine for me from the Settings app on my test system running under Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.258). First click “Privacy & security”:

        Privacy-security

        Then click “Windows Security”:

        Privacy-security-Windows-Security

        Then click “Open Windows Security”:

        Open-Windows-Security

        Then click “Virus & threat protection”:

        Open-Windows-Security-Virus-threat-protection

        Then click “Scan options”:

        Open-Windows-Security-Virus-threat-protection-Scan-options

        Everything looks fine to me.  Here’s what I see in
        C:Program FilesWindows Defender

        Program-Files-Windows-Defender

        And here is Windows Security as seen in the Task Manager:

        Windows-Security-Running

        HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H1
        Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2396341

        Commenter #2395860 above further writes:

        I had originally tried installing W11 last weekend before the 1st Patch Tuesday, so thought it might be worth updating this weekend to see if the updates improved things. Some things improved e.g. attempting to run an installer did not cause the network connections to be blocked any longer, but other things remained broken e.g. the Windows Security settings still showed blank windows and more of the other Settings app windows were blocked/locked.

        Before finally abandoning this experiment I decided to perform an offline W11 “Reset” (I could still reach the Reset window in the Settings app). After this “Reset” completed W11 looked in much better shape. (The “Reset” took account of the Patch Tuesday updates – no further update occurred when I connected online again.) I can now see the Windows Security settings, the Settings app does not lock up and more Settings app windows are now visible, and program installers do not cause network connection failure. The only failure I saw so far was that the Edge browser was now broken (it had been OK previously). I ran an offline Edge installer and this re-installed/fixed it.

        So there may be some more life in this experiment after all. TBD when I have some more time 🙂

         

    • #2396080

      Unblocking Windows 11 Update (another take)

      Summary:

      Updating to Windows 11 Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.194) on my 2008 vintage Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E8400 based HP Compaq 8000 Elite USDT PC test system running Windows 10 21H1 was possible using only the Windows 11 RTM ISO file from Microsoft and Notepad++ v7.9.5 as a binary editor.

      Details:

      The Windows 11 RTM ISO was gotten from Download Windows 11.
      I used wget to preserve the time and date information so that DIR shows:
      09/14/2021 10:57 AM 5,497,985,024 Win11_English_x64.iso
      The SHA256 for that file is given by Microsoft as:

      667BD113A4DEB717BC49251E7BDC9F09C2DB4577481DDFBCE376436BEB9D1D2F

      Windows Update showed:
      This PC doesn't currently meet all the system requirements for Windows 11
      The PC Health Check shows:
      What's wrong
      Device does not meet these requirements:
      Old generation CPU, only version 1.2 TPM and no Secure Boot.
      What's right
      The rest of the requirements are met:
      At least 4 GB memory, disk size OK, at least 2 CPU cores and 1 GHz or faster CPU.

      So buzz off, shoo fly!

      But wait! Microsoft, caveat emptor, in “Ways to install Windows 11” presents that:

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup]
      “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU”=dword:00000001

      allows you to bypass these blocks.

      No so fast grasshopper! While this bypasses the check for TPM 2.0 (at least TPM 1.2 is still required) and the CPU family and model, it turns out that Secure Boot is still required! Gotcha!

      Well maybe not… It has been suggested you could get and extract the Windows 10 21H1 ISO file and copy the

      \sources\install.wim

      from the Windows 11 RTM ISO file to that and then run the setup.exe from that mangled result. Or you could boot into repair mode and use DISM to apply the install.wim directly to the system.

      But wait, would it even actually run afterwards? So I came across this video “DON’T buy a new PC for Windows 11! – How to install” which at 13:48 into it shows Windows 11 running on my Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E8400! Rewind to watch the whole video.

      Further back in the video the registry keys:

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\LabConfig]
      “BypassTPMCheck”=dword:00000001
      “BypassSecureBootCheck”=dword:00000001

      are suggested. However adding the “BypassSecureBootCheck” key did not work for me as this probably only worked on the insider edition.

      The video also rashly suggests copying

      \sources\appraiser.dll

      from the Windows 10 ISO to the Windows 11 RTM ISO file as a possible fix. Elsewhere it is suggested that simply deleting

      \sources\appraiser.dll

      is enough.
      As appraiser.dll is a resource DLL which it turns out basically just contains an INI file, I explored it using Notepad++ looking for “TPM”.

      I found changing “T:DT_ALL_UEF_UefiSecureBootBlockingSV” from TRUE to FALS and saving appraiser.dll from Notepad++ which preserves binary bytes was enough along with the AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU registry key to get past the block when running the update.

      Note that only 4 bytes are changed keeping the DLL file size and structure intact. I did not correct the DLL checksum.

      Thereafter I just deleted the those registry keys I had added and changed two more settings in appraiser.dll and saved it again. The result looks like this:

      [DT_ANY_SVH_BlockingSV]
      T:DT_ALL_CCO_DualCoreBlockingSV=TRUE
      T:DT_ALL_MEM_MemoryBlockingSV=TRUE
      T:DT_ALL_CPS_CpuSpeedBlockingSV=TRUE
      T:DT_ALL_SDS_SystemDiskSizeBlockingSV=TRUE
      T:DT_ALL_UEF_UefiSecureBootBlockingSV=FALS
      T:DT_ALL_SMO_SModeStateBlockingSV=TRUE
      T:DT_ALL_TPM_TpmVersionBlockingSVSetup=FALS
      T:DT_ALL_CFM_CpuFmsBlockingSVSetup=FALS

      From a command window running “FC /B” to compare the original and changed file confirms only 12 bytes have changed.

      0001C093: 54 46
      0001C094: 52 41
      0001C095: 55 4C
      0001C096: 45 53
      0001C0E8: 54 46
      0001C0E9: 52 41
      0001C0EA: 55 4C
      0001C0EB: 45 53
      0001C111: 54 46
      0001C112: 52 41
      0001C113: 55 4C
      0001C114: 45 53

      Then I confidently ran setup.exe and as expected the block was passed and this “What needs your attention” warning is presented:
      What needs your attention

      All this testing and then followed by this actual update was done with the device disconnected from the network.

      At this point I allowed the Windows 11 Pro RTM Update to continue instead of canceling it again. At “Ready to install” it shows the “Keep personal files and apps” is checked.
      Windows11Setup-ReadyToInstall

      It took 40 minutes to get to the first reboot and 15 minutes before the login screen was presented.

      After logging in a lot time passed as the as “Wait… Getting Windows Ready for you…” messages appeared however no further input was requested.

      Finally finished, it looks like all settings were retained and things that were uninstalled remained uninstalled with the exception of Edge which was again reinstalled.

      Another video also from “Linus Tech Tips” titled “Windows 11 is bigger than we thought” gives a good look at many of the notable changes.

      All the windows have small rounded corners. Additional toolbars are no longer supported. All the icons are grouped together in the center.

      A right click on the task bar only gives [ * Taskbar settings ] to click where I was able to turn off Widgets and Chat on the taskbar.

      I used Ctrl-Alt-Del to be able to click to run Task Manager then selected More details.

      Remember this is just a test system. I don’t plan on using for anything else.

      HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H1
      Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
      • #2396745

        Opps… My mistake, that should have been appraiserres.dll in the sources directory which is the file with the INI data for the appraiser. It is so much harder to catch one’s own mistakes…

        HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H1
        Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
    • #2396094

      Clicking Start shows this:
      StartPanel

      So winver now shows Windows 11 Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.194):
      winver

      Finally I reconnected to the network and clicked Check for updates.
      CheckForWindowsUpdate

      So winver now shows Windows 11 Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.258):
      Windows 11 Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.258)

      Windows Update > Update History is pretty unremarkable(before check for updates):
      WindowsUpdateHistory

      After updates were installed to get to Windows 11 Version 21H2 (OS Build 22000.258:
      WindowsUpdateHistory-2

      It continues to work for now. I haven’t found any aps that don’t work under Windows 11 that worked under Windows 10.

      HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H1
      Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
    • #2396724

      Windows 11 Pro does not need a Microsoft account. It is a requirement for Home.

      indeed. while an MS account may be required for Win11 home edition, there is a way to install & run Win11 Home with just a local account as described here.

    • #2396734

      Elsewhere it is suggested that simply deleting

      \sources\appraiser.dll

      is enough.

      I actually tried deleting the \sources\appraiser.dll file and that crashed Win11 setup while running it inside Win10. not a good idea to remove that file, just replace it with a Win10 version – using Win11 build 22000.194 install media with a Win10 build 17763 version of appraiser.dll

      though I had much better success by replacing the other “appraiser” file – appraiserres.dll instead of appraiser.dll which did allow the Win10 to Win11 upgrade on my unsupported Toshiba 2013 laptop

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2396741

      Ashampoo Windows 11 Check & Enable 1.0.0

      Is your PC ready for Windows 11? If not, would you still like to install it anyway?
      Check your Windows 11 compatibility and enable OS installation

      Even if your PC is deemed incompatible, there’s a loophole: Windows 11 Check & Enable can allow your PC to install Windows 11 in the event of an incompatible CPU or missing TPM 2.0 support! In this case, the far more prevalent TPM 1.20 is all you need. Windows 11 Check & Enable can add two Registry entries to your system to allow installation of Windows 11 anyway..

      • #2396743

        Even if your PC is deemed incompatible, there’s a loophole: Windows 11 Check & Enable can allow your PC to install Windows 11 in the event of an incompatible CPU or missing TPM 2.0 support! In this case, the far more prevalent TPM 1.20 is all you need. Windows 11 Check & Enable can add two Registry entries to your system to allow installation of Windows 11 anyway..

        The method outlined in the OP requires no download other than Windows 10/11 ISO’s, does not even require TPM 1.2.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2396748

          Editing appraiserres.dll in the sources directory was easier for me. It should also result in everything that setup.exe may do to the account for missing hardware support during installation occurring. It should be possible to do a clean install with this using a USB memory stick or DVD to a blank disk as well. It would be very interesting to see if it still formats a disk with MBR in the absence of UEFI…

          HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 21H1
          Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
    • #2396857

      techrepublic.com publish the ISO workaround for installing Windows 11 on unsupported PCs.

      • #2396883

        techrepublic.com publish the ISO workaround for installing Windows 11 on unsupported PCs.

        “It is important to note that successful Windows 11 installations will still require TPM 1.2″

        The procedure in the OP does not require TPM at all.

        The procedure outlined by @EyesOnWindows does not require TPM at all.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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