Beware Refurbished PCs Running Windows 11

I have no idea if this is a local (Australian) thing or a worldwide trend, but I am seeing refurbished older PCs running Windows 11 advertised at very reasonable prices.

Now, here’s the problem: many of these refurbished machines are fitted with CPUs that do not meet Windows 11’s requirements, 6th generation Intel CPUs, and older. Furthermore, because of the age of these machines, it is unlikely that they support TPM, another of Windows 11’s requirements.

Invalid Windows 11 Installations?

There are several well-known workarounds to install Windows 11 on unsupported PCs via bypassing system requirement checks and I have little doubt this is how vendors are managing to advertise these refurbished machines as running Windows 11. Here is a typical example:

Refurbished PC Example

The Intel Core i5 6400T CPU is a 6th-generation processor released in 2015 that does not meet Windows 11’s requirements. This particular CPU does not support TPM either. While the price (in Australian dollars) might be attractive, consumers who purchase similar refurbished machines run the undeniable risk of Microsoft pulling the plug on these types of invalid installations.


Just because a refurbished machine is advertised as running Windows 11 doesn’t necessarily mean the installation is valid. When looking at these refurbished machines it’s important to remember that Windows 11 officially supports only 8th generation Intel CPUs and AMD Ryzen 2000 CPUs, or newer.

As always, your thoughts via the comments are most welcome.

13 thoughts on “Beware Refurbished PCs Running Windows 11”

  1. The average pc user doesn’t know any better , nor do they care , their tunnel vision kicks in and all they read is “Windows 11 Installed” , they could care less about the fine print or pc specs. But they will be self entitled enough to throw a fit when something eventually goes wrong even though ultimately it was their own fault.

  2. So true Jim
    After checking that a PC advertising Windows 11 with a CPU that definitely wasn’t on the Microsoft “nice” list, I contacted the EBay PC seller and asked if it was genuinely Windows 11 compatible. Funnily enough I never got a reply !!!
    I guess when the uninformed users eventually update after Micro$oft block their particular Win11 workaround and get a message to the effect that their Windows 11 installation isn’t compliant, only then will they contact EBay. Sadly for them, long after the “window” for an easy EBay refund has passed.

    1. Hey Reg,

      Yes, it’s a clear case of caveat emptor. There are so many users who will see “Windows 11” and take it for granted that it is a genuine installation. Hence the warning.

  3. This is more of an oxymoron Jim. Windows 11 make its debut in October of 21, so why and how would Refurbished computers appear on the market is a big RED flag. Like Ed mentioned, “The average pc user doesn’t know any better …”.
    No age range was mentioned, and I doubt it matters. User beware, Mindblower!

  4. Hi again Jim
    Just spotted you show 6th Gen and above in your article for Win 11 compatibility. Think that may have been a typo and should read 8th Gen and above ?

    1. Hey Reg,

      Adjust your glasses mate. 🙂 Direct quote from the article:

      it’s important to remember that Windows 11 officially supports only 8th generation Intel CPUs

      The only time I mention 6th generation is in the example of a refurbished Windows 11 machine that doesn’t meet requirements.

  5. I have an old Dell XPS laptop that has been running W11 for awhile now. What were the W11 requirements for? To scare consumers into buying or building a new PC, because the hardware, in most cases, is really not the issue.

  6. “It’s all about TPM Daniel. TPM isn’t supported by older CPUs”
    I know, but only as a requirement for new hardware. So is TPM really needed to run a PC?

    1. No Daniel, as a requirement for Windows 11, not for new hardware. TPM is definitely not required to run Windows 11. It is required, however, by Microsoft to validate a Windows 11 installation.

      Mate, you read my articles so you know I hate TPM, I think it is a rort.

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