Microsoft lifts two-year-old block that prevented some users from upgrading to Windows 11 — fix finally arrives after a long wait for Rocket Lake CPUs

Windows 11's GUI
Windows 11's GUI (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft, creators of Windows 10 ("the last version of Windows"), have just lifted a block on letting specific PCs upgrade to Windows 11. In the latest bug fixes for the current Windows 11 update, Microsoft marked as "Resolved" a severe bug preventing PCs with specific Intel 11th Generation Rocket Lake processors from successfully running Windows 11. While a fix for affected PCs already on Windows 11 was issued within weeks of the bug being discovered in 2021, only this Friday were affected PCs finally allowed to upgrade to the new OS from Windows 10.

The issue stemmed from drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) on some Intel Rocket Lake processors, causing blue screen crashes on Windows 11. The driver in question, the "Intel Smart Sound Technology Audio Controller" (this name may be slightly different on some computers), resides in the Device Manager program under Sound, video, and game controllers. The driver versions and were flagged with the error.

To fix this blue screen bug, Microsoft pushed Intel to release fixed versions of the drivers: any Intel SST driver version named or and later. Pay attention to the last four digits: 10.30.x drivers are not necessarily newer than 10.29.x drivers. These fixed drivers have been available for around two years, and users affected have been directed to the Intel website to find the corrected drivers from the manufacturer source by Microsoft since then. Microsoft strangely chose to keep the update block active until this week, but they lifted their block when Microsoft made the fixed sound drivers available through Windows Update. This is also likely why Microsoft updated the issue from "Mitigated" to "Resolved External" on their support website.

Once the drivers are upgraded through the Windows Update tool or from the official Intel website, users can upgrade to Windows 11 within 48 hours. However, if their computer cannot upgrade to Windows 11 after two days or the drivers they need can't be found from Windows Update, Microsoft recommends that users contact their device manufacturer directly for help.

In the lead-up to their next major feature update, Windows 11 24H2, Microsoft has been focusing on streamlining features and enabling more computers to join the Windows 11 family. Some of these attempts have drawn ire, like the recent move to block certain third-party apps on Windows 11 or the plan to soon end support for Windows Mixed Reality. But this bug fix and block lift is positive news for Windows 11, allowing even more consumers to join the Windows train by buying a $140 Windows license. If only an alternative operating system for your computer ran faster than Windows for free.

Freelance News Writer
  • Rabohinf
    " . . . streamlining features . . . "

  • OneMoreUser
    With so many things in the Windows 11 GUI being worse than Windows 10 I find it questionable labeling it an upgrade, it is more like one step forward and two steps back.
  • hotaru251
    MS could pay me to upgrade to 11 and i'd still tell em to shove it.
  • Amdlova
    hey guys windows 11 is good to use... you fell your system snapier than before... just add a real sound card with proper drivers and maybe a 10g ethernet with ToE to lift some cpu burden with Nics...
    Windows 11 make a 2023 machine feels like 2010... You definitive will love try'n to fix all DPC issues, audio popping some stuttering and lovely things can happy.
  • ezst036
    Admin said:
    Microsoft has been focusing on streamlining features......
    Oh, stop. This shameless puffery is not warranted

    The reality is that Windows 11 is more tailor-suited for Microsoft's grand vision of Windows OS as an advertisement-delivery system.

    That's all that's happened here. Microsoft wants more users looking at its advertisements, whoever is paying the highest buck.

    Windows 11 is getting more ads in the latest preview