Windows 11 shows Intel’s decade-old Pentium 4 CPU as supported

After plenty of teasing and a few months of beta testing,
Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 on October 5. Windows 11 is
official and you can already try the operating system via the
Windows Update or by manually downloading
Windows 11 ISO. However, that’s possible if your old or new
hardware can support the upgrade.

Windows 11’s biggest problem is its hardware requirements.
Although the OS upgrade is available for free on Windows 10, it
can be officially installed on supported devices only. At the
moment, only PCs with 8th generation Intel CPUs and
second-generation Ryzen CPUs are supported.

Microsoft has added some 7th gen Intel models to the list of
supported processors, but that would only benefit flagship
products like Surface Studio. Microsoft’s official document
excludes processors older than the 8th generation Intel or 2nd
generation AMD Ryzen, and this is the biggest Windows 11
controversy so far.

Windows 11 Pentium CPU
Image Courtesy: YouTube

Surprisingly, it looks like Microsoft will not put an upgrade
block on installations done on a device using Intel’s Pentium 4
661, which was released in 2006 and obviously doesn’t meet all
Windows 11 requirements.

As you can see in the above screenshot, Intel
Pentium 4 661, which has only one core and 3.6Ghz of clock
speed, is listed as a supported processor in the PC Health
Check. That’s possibly because Microsoft forgot to update the
strings needed to reflect “unsupported status” in the PC Health
Check Tool for this particular Intel family.

As Intel’s Family 15 Model is not included in the list of
unsupported CPUs, the database of PC Health Check, it is
possible to install Windows 11 officially. This seems to imply
that Microsoft checks your device configuration against its
database of supported processors only.

Some users have already installed Windows 11 successfully on
Pentium 4 661 after bypassing TPM 2.0 & Secure Boot
requirements, and they’re also getting cumulative updates like
Build 22000.282,
according to our reader who tested the OS on their device.

It’s possible that the PC Health Check tool will be updated to
block the operating system on Intel’s Pentium 4 series.
Thankfully, Microsoft has left loopholes open for those who
want to upgrade unsupported hardware to Windows 11.

According to the official documentation, you can create a
registry value named “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” to
download and install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

However, Windows 11 cumulative updates may or may not arrive on
your device in future, and Microsoft will also not offer any
assistance to users with unsupported hardware.

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