Following up on my recent articles, Five Reasons Why Windows 11 Sucks and Windows 11 – How To Bypass TPM, I’ve successfully installed Windows 11 on several machines, some of which were definitely not compatible with the shiny new OS and one that definitely was, at least according to Microsoft’s own publicly available list. It’s in my nature to find a way around the so-called rules, especially since said rules are so arbitrary and wrong on a practical level.
AMD A6 3620 IGPU (APU)
Having upgraded my wife’s computer last week, I decided to donate her old AMD FX 4300 based machine to her mum in exchange for her mum’s current machine, an AMD A6 3620 which I had prepared for her some years ago. The FX 4300 PC runs off an SSD, so is much more responsive, but I also had an ulterior motive — I wanted the case back. I had bought the case back in 2004, so it has sentimental value and the motherboard is a very well specced Asus F1A75-M with USB 3.0, HDMI, and some other features that I can use.
I was well aware that the CPU would be totally incompatible with Microsoft’s silly lists, having been launched in 2011, but that was all part of the juicy challenge. In fact, Microsoft has published a how-to, giving a registry hack for incompatible machines, which just goes to show what nonsense this is. But anyway, I digress as usual…
The first thing I did with this computer was to swap the mechanical drive for an SSD. I also found some DDR3 memory kicking about, so upgraded the memory to 16GB. I then downloaded the latest version of Windows 11 Pro x64 ISO, burned it to a pen drive using Rufus, and booted the machine whilst rubbing my hands together like an evil sorcerer.
The Clean Install Hack
Bearing in mind that I was doing a clean install, I created a text file in Notepad with the following lines:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
I then saved the file to the pen drive with a .reg extension (regupdate.reg, for example) and as soon as the first Windows installation screen appeared, I hit shift+F10 together. This brought up the command prompt allowing me to navigate to the pen drive and run the file thus:
A message came up warning me that fiddling with the registry should be used with caution, blah, blah and I then hit enter, remembering to type exit at the command prompt which returned me to the installation. I also ensured that no other drives were connected. The installation proceeded without issues and it was activated (previously activated version of Windows 10 on the motherboard/CPU combo) as soon as I connected to the Net some time later. I never connect to the Internet during an installation because Microsoft always insists on your creating accounts.
Windows 11 may suck in five or more different ways, but that shouldn’t stop us from dodging around the rules, should it?