How to install Windows 11 if its processor is not supported?

If Windows 10 is still relevant, Microsoft is now focusing on Windows 11. The operating system is enjoying great attention and sustained development. In the space of a year, it has been enriched with several new features.

All is not perfect, however. While its new features and user interface are attractive, its system requirements are demanding. This is a problem because millions of PC’s capable of running it are not supported. Clearly these old systems are not allowed to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or any other version. It is unlikely that Microsoft will decide to back down.

When Windows 11 22H2 launched, the giant updated the list of supported processors by adding AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series and Intel’s 13th generation Cores. For older models no change is on the horizon.

The firm said there are no plans to add support for 7th-gen Core chips and first-gen Ryzen “Zen”. Note that in 2021 some 7th generation Intel processors such as Core X-series and Xeon W-series were added following tests.

Regarding the other requirements we find the support of TPM 2.0 and UEFI secure boot as well as the need for 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage space. According to Redmond, all of this is “necessary” to enjoy the best possible Windows 11 experience.

Windows 11 and unsupported processor support.

Fortunately, there are solutions to circumvent these restrictions. Regarding unsupported processors here is a method. It is not complicated but some manipulations are necessary.

The idea is to modify a Windows 10 installation key so that it ultimately installs Windows 11. In this case, we are talking about a “hybrid” installation medium.

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1 – Check the BIOS mode of your machine

The first thing to do is to know what the BIOS mode of your PC is. There are two possibilities UEFI or legacy. To find out, just run the utility System information. You can find it by typing “msinfo” in the taskbar search field. Then in the right part of System Summary the BIOS Mode line indicates your situation. Note what is written.

Windows - System Information Utility
Windows – System Information Utility

2 – Creating a Windows 10 installation USB key

The second step is to download the installation ISO of the latest version of Windows 10 and then create an installation USB key. There are several methods, one of which is through the Rufus utility. The USB key must have at least 10 GB of storage space. Information about the BIOS mode will be useful to you because it allows you to choose the right partition scheme.

If the BIOS mode was Legacy, you must use the MBR partition scheme. For UEFI mode, use GPT.

3 – Creation of the Windows 11 hybrid installation media

Then download the installation ISO of its latest version of Windows 11.

On the USB drive where Windows 10 installation files are present look for install.esd Where install.wim. The idea is to rename it to install1.esd or install1.wim because we are going to replace it.

Windows - Install.esd file in OS Installation ISO
Windows – Install.esd file in OS Installation ISO

Then in the files of the Windows 11 ISO (just mount the image. The command is available in the menu with a simple right click on the ISO) look for install.esd or install.wim. If this extension matches the one used by the Windows 10 Install file, copy the Windows 11 file and into the Windows 10 folder. If the extensions do not match, you must first convert the Windows 11 installer file before copy it.

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You can then use the installer to upgrade to Windows 11.