Reasons Not To Install Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware

Reasons Not To Install Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware

With the release of Windows 11, millions of computers suddenly have a lifespan stamped onto them as they don’t meet minimum requirements to install the latest OS.

Minimum requirements include new generation processors and secure boot features such as TPM 2.0.

As always with these things, “rules are made to be broken” and the internet is soon flooded with various methods of bypassing the compatibility checker. Allowing Windows 11 to be installed on unsupported hardware.

Is It Such A Good Idea To Install Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware?

In this article we highlight some issues that may occur

Bench Testing Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware

I decided to run a couple of tests by installing Windows 11 on two computers, a PC and a laptop. Both machines are about 10 years old therefore don’t meet the requirements to install Windows 11.

I tried various methods including swapping the install file from the source ISO. However the easiest method to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware is to use the updated version of Rufus (Rufus version 3.17 or higher) which allows you to create a bootable USB drive with Windows 11 which skips the compatibility checker. Link to download Rufus.

Resource Monitor in Windows 11

Performance Results For Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware

Comparing the system performance stats, there wasn’t much difference. The resource monitor tools were displaying very similar figures when comparing a clean install of Windows 10 to Windows 11. Some results were slightly better, others slightly slower.

But on both machines – it just felt slower.

If this was a scientific experiment, the outcome of my results would not stand up. I cannot provide the evidence to show that Windows 11 is slower than Windows 10 on unsupported computers. It just felt slower.

Whereas installing Windows 11 on supported hardware (computers that do meet the requirements), the results have been great and the operating system performs very well.

6 Reasons Not To Install Windows 11 On Unsupported Hardware

Before installing Windows 11 onto unsupported hardware, there are a few considerations to take into account.

  1. Future Support & Updates
    We simply don’t know what feature updates Microsoft are going to roll out. It is early days and in the coming months or years, these updates may include features that call on the secure boot (TPM) module. If this happens, the updates will fail which will prevent following updates to install afterwards.
  2. Driver Compatibility
    You may have to source drivers such as display drivers and audio drivers from the computer manufacturer’s support sites. When doing so, you will have to download the Windows 10 versions of these drivers as the manufactures won’t be providing future support for hardware on a system that they aren’t meant to run. Furthermore, future bug fixes will not be patched if older hardware develope future glitches.
  3. System Stability
    Problems that may occur include random system freezing and even Windows crashing. This will most likely be caused by the operating system calling on features of newer generation processors that older chips simply don’t support.
  4. Security Vulnerabilities
    There are reasons that Windows now insists on security modules such as TPM 2.0. The reasons include protecting your data and providing additional protection against malware. If you are running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, Windows 11 will assume that you have these features. (Afterall it was a requirement in the first place). If your system has highly sensitive data or is part of a network, we recommend taking additional steps to manually protect these directories.
  5. Software Compatibility
    So far, we have not encountered any issues installing any software onto Windows 11. However as software developers realease new applications, we have to assume that future releases will be optomized for Windows 11. This is unlikely to be an issue until after 2025, when Windows 10 reaches end-of-life support.
  6. System Failure Recovery
    The Windows Recovery Console is a set of tools that are installed on a seperate partition, meaning if your computer developes a problem, it has the ability to scan, identify and repair the problem. Again, this is not a problem at the moment (2021), but we don’t know yet how future Feature Updates will affect the effectivness of these tools when running on unsupported hardware.

Conclude: So Should I Install Windows 11 On Unsupported System?

If your computer is a home computer, go ahead and install Windows 11 on your system and see how it runs. If you run into problems you can always go back.

However if your system is a work machine or you require it to run well without issues, you may decide it’s a safer option to stick with Windows 10 for now.

Either way, we recommend backing up your files the old way before upgrading. Here’s our article on Backing Up The Old Way.