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(Don’t) DIY Project to Make Your Computer Compatible for Windows 11

Many computers that give useful service are not compatible with an upgrade to Windows 11. And as we know from seeing ships at anchor on TV news reports, your new computer – if it exists at all – might be sitting in a seaborne container. We’ve seen articles about how you can hack your computer’s registry to bypass Microsoft’s rules. Here’s why you should resist the temptation to do it yourself.

The registry is a collection of databases of configuration settings for operating systems, such as the Windows 10 system you have and the Windows 11 system you want. The registry stores much of the information and settings for software, hardware, user preferences, and operating-system configurations. To illustrate how it works, when you install a new program, it may add a new set of instructions and file references in a specific location for the program and others that may interact with it. However, it’s not necessary for all Windows applications to use the Windows registry. Some programs store their configurations in XML or other types of files instead of the registry, and others are entirely portable and store their data in an executable file.

If you’re not with us so far, that’s reason enough not to think about trying on your own to make your computer compatible with Windows 11. A hack is an unauthorized tinkering of a computer’s software, and some people will do it or have it done to improve performance or security. Problems can result if it’s not done right. You could open a pathway that a cyberthief could exploit, or you could lose data. You could also lose any kind of Microsoft warranty you might have.

But don’t rule out thinking about having it done. We don’t think there are many compelling reasons to take extraordinary measures to switch to Windows 11, but you might have one or two to do it, even if your computer doesn’t meet Microsoft’s requirements.

So, what’s the hack? It’s a series of steps to make your computer appear to have support for TPM 2.0. TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module, and its job is to protect data used to authenticate the PC you’re using. You need it for Windows 11, but only computers less than two years old are likely to have it. However, if you have support for TPM 1.2, there’s a way to work with your BIOS (basic input/output system) to make sure certain capabilities are activated. Then, you – or someone with the knowledge to do it – can go into the registry and do some editing work.

But again, if you make a mistake somewhere, it could be irreversible or cost you more to fix. It’s like doing some work on your car or your home’s plumbing; you can make it worse and increase the cost for someone like us to fix it.

Of course, if your computer doesn’t meet other requirements, this whole exercise is moot. Requirements include:

  • Processor: 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC) 
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable

Our feeling is that if your computer doesn’t meet the standards for Windows 11, wait. New systems always have annoying bugs to be worked out, and computers are in short supply. But if you feel you must have this done, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it and look at your computer.