After weeks of rumors and a leaked build, Microsoft finally unveiled the latest version of Windows, the Windows 11 on 24th June.
With Windows 11, Microsoft seems to have taken a different approach.
The latest version aims to provide an overall improved experience for its users, and at the same time, add a bunch of the most requested features.
Not just that, Windows 11 is a free upgrade over Windows 10.
That being said, at the launch event, Microsoft revealed that PCs which do not support TPM 2.0 will not be compatible with Windows 11. While this left a lot of users disheartened, we have now found a way to install Windows 11 on non-compatible PCs.
Background Check on our PC
The PC we are using is the Sony Vaio and is not compatible with Windows 11. The device runs on an Intel i3 M330 chipset which is clocked at 2.13Ghz. Furthermore, it has just 4GB of RAM and Intel UHD graphics. With Windows 11, Microsoft made it compulsory for PC to have TPM 2.0 and secure boot support. Our device does not meet both these requirements but we still managed to install Windows 11 on our 12-year-old machine. Let us have a detailed look at how you can do the same.
How to install Windows 11 on unsupported PCs
The process is quite simple but make sure you follow the guide closely in order to install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC. Firstly, you would need to download both Windows 10 ISO and Windows 11 ISO files. Don’t be alarmed. We will explain why you would need the Windows 10 ISO file.
Please do note, all your data will get wiped during this process. So, it is highly recommended to take a backup first.
- Download Windows 11 ISO
- Download Windows 10 ISO
- A USB drive (minimum 8GB)
- Download Rufus
Creating a Windows 10 bootable USB drive using Rufus
This is a very important step in the process. We need to create a bootable USB drive using the Windows 10 ISO we downloaded earlier. We are doing this to access the files in the iso and make changes accordingly to install Windows 11.
Steps to create a bootable USB drive
- Open rufus which we downloaded earlier.
- After opening rufus, connect your USB drive to your PC. Please note- All the data on the USB drive will get wiped.
- Now choose your USB in rufus.
- Once that is done, just below devices there is an option to choose an ISO file. Click on Select ISO and choose the Windows 10 ISO.
- Under the partition scheme, there will be 2 options – GPT and MBR. Now, this will depend upon your Disk. In our case, it is MBR so we chose MBR.
- Hit start and wait patiently as this may take some time.
Steps to check partition (MBR or GPT)
As we saw in the steps above it is essential to choose the correct partition scheme. If we choose the wrong partition scheme then the trick to install Windows 11 on an old PC will not work. Let us have a detailed look at the steps on how you can check your partition scheme.
- Go to the start menu and search “Create and format disk partitions” and open it.
- After opening, you will see all your drives. Here, click on the drive you are going to install Windows 11 on and right-click and select Properties.
- In the properties tab, click on Hardware and choose Properties again
- Look for the Volumes tab and select it.
- Hit Populate and you will find the partition scheme under the partition style. Now, you can go back and continue making a bootable USB drive.
Steps to install Windows 11
- Open the file manager and double click on windows 11 ISO. It might take some time to open the file depending on the PC so please be patient.
- After opening the file, navigate to the sources folder.
- Under sources scroll down until you find the install.win file.
- Now, copy the install.win file from Windows 11 ISO and paste it somewhere safe on your PC.
- Once that is done, attach your bootable Windows 10 drive to the PC.
- In the File Manager, open the USB drive with Windows 10 and navigate to the sources folder.
- Here, scroll down and delete the install.win file.
- Go ahead and paste the install.win file we copied from Windows 11 ISO into the sources folder of bootable Windows 10 drive.
Setting up Windows 11 on PC
- Open BIOS settings on your laptop. That being said, the process to enter bios is different for different manufactures. In our case on Sony Vaio, it is the F2 key when the device is booting.
- After you have successfully entered bios settings, search for the boot preferences. Again, this differs from device to device.
- In the boot, preferences select USB drive as first boot priority and restart your device.
- Now, here comes the catch you will see the Windows 10 setup screen. But, do not worry we are still installing Windows 11 on our PC.
- Click start and start following the on-screen instructions.
- Once setup is complete the PC will restart. At this point remove your USB drive from the PC. Boom, you will now be greeted with the new Windows 11 startup screen. (The device might reboot a few times during this process)
- Once the device boots successfully, follow the new Windows 11 setup screen. Congratulations, you have now successfully installed Windows 11 on your old machine.
Becoming a Windows Insider to get future builds in Windows updater
Now that you have installed Windows 11, it’s also important that you get future updates. For that, we recommend you to join the Windows Insider program.
What is Windows Insider Program?
Windows insider is a program from Microsoft for users who are willing to test out new things in Windows. You need to become a windows insider to get insider builds. The Windows Insider builds are not final builds so they might come with various bugs and issues. Basically, there are three channels in insider. Let us have a look
- Dev Channel– The Dev channel is the most advanced channel out of all channels. If you want future updates of Windows 11 then you need to join the Dev channel. Dev channel builds are generally buggy and might be slower in performance.
- Beta Channel– The 2nd channel of insider build is a Beta channel. This is the channel that Microsoft recommends as the Beta channel comes after the developer phase and intends to offer a much stable experience.
- Release Preview Channel– The release preview channel is the last channel of insider builds. In this channel, insiders get access to the upcoming Windows features before it is released finally for the public.
Steps to join Windows 11 Insider program for future updates
- Open settings and find the Windows update option.
- In the Windows updates tab, you will find an option of Windows Insider Program, Click on that option.
- Here, choose sign in with your Microsoft account option. You will now need to sign up for the Windows Insider Program with your Microsoft ID.
- Just follow the on-screen instructions. While setting up, it is crucial to select the dev channel. We are selecting the Dev channel because Windows 11 is available only in the Insider phase.
- Now just restart your PC and you are all set to experience the brand-new Windows 11 from Microsoft on your old PC.
Bonus – Brand new features in the first Windows 11 Insider build (22000.51)
- All new file manager – First insider build brings a design overhaul to the file manager. The file manager now follows the overall design language of Windows 11. The file manager now feels very clean and easy to understand. The new icons in the file manager just the icing on the cake.
- Redesigned Settings UI – Similarly, not just the file manager but also the settings app has received an updated design. Unlike Windows 10, the settings app now feels less cluttered. All the settings are aligned perfectly towards the left side of the screen. Clicking on each of them displays on the right side. This means you do not need to go back to the previous screen to jump into different settings like it was on Windows 10.
- New Control Center – In the first insider builds, Microsoft has made certain improvements to the control center. Now, WiFi, volume, and battery options are clubbed together. Clicking on any one of them opens up a host of options. Users can easily switch between WiFi networks, turn airplane mode on and off, switch on the night light, and more. Users can also easily control volume and screen brightness from here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a look at some of the common questions you might have.
1. Will I lose my data by installing Windows 11?
Yes, as we are doing a clean installation all data in the drive will get deleted. It is recommended to take a backup of the drive you are going to install Windows 11.
2. Can I roll back to Windows 10 from Windows 11 again?
Yes, you can always flash and go back to windows 10. But you need to download Windows 10 ISO again and make it bootable using Rufus. Once that is done, you can simply install Windows 10 using USB.
3. Can I run Android apps on Windows 11?
The short answer is no. While Microsoft claimed that Android apps can work on Windows 11, the support for it is not available yet. We expect it to be available in future insider builds.