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Microsoft is putting a stop to users

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Microsoft is putting a stop to users

Have you installed Windows 11 via a detour on a really old PC? Then the big autumn update may put you in your place. Because Microsoft is rewriting the code so that Windows 11 requires a specific CPU instruction to start.

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Microsoft is changing Windows 11: It doesn’t work without POPCNT

If you want to officially upgrade your PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you have to meet a few system requirements – including, among others Support for TPM 2.0. But there are ways and means to install Windows 11 on computers without TPM 2.0 support. In this way you can also bypass the list of officially supported CPUs (source: Microsoft).

However, X user Bob Pony has now discovered a few lines of code in a Windows Insider build with version number 25905 that ensure that Windows 11 will soon no longer work on Asbach-Uralt computers. With the Windows Update 24H2, Microsoft sets the CPU instructions POPCNT for the use of Windows 11. This is then used, among other things, in the USB driver.

The command has a very simple function: It counts how many bits are set to 1 in a binary version of a machine word. It is therefore used, among other things, for error correction (source: Weblog Vaibhav Sagar).

Don’t panic: Windows restrictions only affect a few users

At least the resulting processor limitations are limited. Because Intel already supports it since the first Core i generation in 2008 the POPCNT function. The situation is similar with AMD. Support was first introduced here with the Barcelona chips in 2007.

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In other words: As long as you don’t want to equip a PC that’s over 15 years old with Windows 11, you don’t have to worry that your computer won’t boot after the big autumn update.

It’s this easy to get Windows 11 running on older computers:

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