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Microsoft may prevent Windows 11 from being installed on older computers

Microsoft may prevent Windows 11 from being installed on older computers

Microsoft may prevent Windows 11 from being installed on older computers, depending on information in the latest version of the system. In addition to the need for the TPM 2.0 chip, the system should get another requirement in the 24H2 update, scheduled to arrive later this year.

In the next major update to Windows 11, Microsoft may start requiring POPCNT Help as a mandatory system requirement. If the rule is implemented, more processors will become incompatible with the software, especially older ones.

Currently, Microsoft only requires that your computer support a TPM 2.0 chip, either on the processor or on the motherboard. However, many Windows installers, such as Rufus, can bypass the block and make the system work on incompatible hardware.

It seems that this reality may change soon. In a post on Don't understand what these abbreviations mean? We explain.

What are POPCNT instructions?

POPCNT instruction means “population”. It makes it easy to count “1” in words represented in binary code. Although harmless at first glance, instructions can be used to restrict access to certain files.

Bonnie explained that Windows 11 now requires the POPCNT instruction on the processor to access important system files. Without it, it may be impossible to even turn on your computer.

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Although this is another limitation, only very old computers should suffer from this. All processors capable of handling SSE4.2 or SSE4a instruction sets – which were developed about 15 years ago – support POPCNT instructions.

In other words, Windows 11 may prevent installation on chipsets manufactured before 2009, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo. This should not affect home users, but may present a problem for businesses that rely on older workstations, generating costs.

Windows 11 24H2 arrives in the second half of 2024

At this time, Microsoft has not officially announced the inclusion of POPCNT blocking in Windows 11 24H2. The update will arrive later this year, and is scheduled to be released in the second half of the year.