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Microsoft Will Disable Updates on Unsupported Windows 11 Installs

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

We recently reported about Microsoft's efforts to allow users to install Windows 11 with ISO installers on unsupported computers, such as those that don't have a supported processor. However, according to a report by PCWorld, Microsoft has now clarified that even though you can install the operating system on these unsupported systems, the company will disable the Windows Update functionality. That drastically reduces the number of users that will actually benefit from installing the operating system on unsupported hardware. 

The admission that Windows 11 can be installed on unsupported computers isn't entirely surprising: Users have already found a way to install Windows 11 onto unsupported systems using Microsoft's own media creation tool. This tool installs an ISO onto a bootable drive that allows you to install Windows 11, even on some unsupported machines. Additionally, numerous other hacks and workarounds have surfaced over the last few months. 

However, the loss of Windows Update could be a crippling blow for those looking to update older systems. Naturally, it isn't feasible to re-install the operating system as each new update for the operating system is released, meaning it's an unuseful kludge to install via ISO if you plan to use the operating system for a personal rig. 

Windows 11 is a new operating system, so we expect that fixes will be issued relatively quickly early in the lifecycle, so a system that can't be updated could become unstable. 

Additionally, as a newer OS, it could be vulnerable to a plethora of security issues waiting to be exploited, which is one of the most important aspects of regularly maintaining the operating system with needed patches. Microsoft's approach is curious, as it is unwise to have any Windows installations in the wild that are open to easy hacking attempts as they can be hijacked and used for attacks on other, legitimate systems. 

  • bkuhl
    "However, the loss of Windows Update could be a crippling blow for those looking to update older systems. Naturally, it isn't feasible to re-install the operating system as each new update for the operating system is released, meaning it's an unuseful kludge to install via ISO if you plan to use the operating system for a personal rig. "

    You would not need to re-install the operating system for each update, but you would need to be able to track the required updates from each patch cycle and apply the correct ones.
    It never said it would block updates, just not apply them using the automatic update tool. This means the process would fall on the administrator of the desktop. And that is a daunting task....
    Reply
  • Aaron44126
    I believe the language from Microsoft is more along the lines of they "may" withhold updates, not they "will" withhold updates. No one quite knows how this is going to play out yet. The might disable access to updates, or they might just be covering for if they decide to block some or all updates in the future.
    Reply
  • drtweak
    There is a nice little app called WSUS. I'm sure they will update it for windows 11 and you can just run that once a month to update and its all scripted based as well so you can run it on a schedule and have it update and then run the updates after. They say they just won't get updates, which I assume means windows updates won't work, not that you can't run the update manually.

    On the bright side NO MORE RANDOM RESTARTS! So there is a silver lining to it XD
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    not to mention the fact that if they try to cut it off, multiple someone's will quickly make a 3rd party tool that will grab the updates manually and apply them.

    they exist for the other windows version and i have no doubt they will continue to exist for this version.

    so really, this little "threat" only applies to those who don't know any better, will believe the fear mongering and will instead run out and buy a new machine
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    uhh....this actually makes me WANT to download it.

    Loathe their method of updates.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Editorial request:
    Can we start using the actual word, instead of "ups".
    Updates, instead of "Ups". At least in the title, and the first time mentioned in the article.

    When I see "Ups", I think Uninterruptible Power Supply.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Here's the thing though. Microsoft is going to be heavily pushing a Windows 11 exclusive version of the Windows Store that's supposed to be much more attractive for developers to put their software on, because it's been a cesspool since it debuted, so Microsoft can make money instead of Steam and such and so Windows Store locked versions can have a decent selection of tested and secure apps to choose from.

    Making Windows 11 unavailable for arbitrary reasons like lacking support for a TPM version and having a CPU that's more than 4 years old no only makes developers not want to put their wares in the Windows Store and reduces Microsoft's income, but it also adds another check on the list of things people hate about Windows.

    It's a bad move all around, especially when you consider Microsoft continues to refuse to increase the requirements to decent levels, such as a 2ghz quad core, 8GB RAM, and 1920x1080 display, instead keeping it at 1ghz dual core, 4GB RAM, and 1280x720.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Also, since the original WSUS Offline Update is no longer being maintained for some reason, someone made a fork on Github. It fetches updates from Microsoft's WSUS servers and allows you to update computers when Windows Update is not available, or when computers are offline. It should still be an option if Microsoft simply disables Windows Update.

    aker@wsusoffline / WSUS Offline Update · GitLab
    Reply
  • IceQueen0607
    so, hacks and 3rd party workarounds aside, are we supposed to throw 10's of thousands of $$ of hardware in the bin and magically come up with more 10's of thousands of $$ to update all of our systems. I have 10 PCs here. With AU pricing I'd be looking at A$2,000 - A$3000 per machine for upgrades...

    Man, I hate Microsoft.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    IceQueen0607 said:
    so, hacks and 3rd party workarounds aside, are we supposed to throw 10's of thousands of $$ of hardware in the bin and magically come up with more 10's of thousands of $$ to update all of our systems. I have 10 PCs here. With AU pricing I'd be looking at A$2,000 - A$3000 per machine for upgrades...

    Man, I hate Microsoft.
    Who is "we"?
    A company? Hardware upgrades are a regular operating cost.

    Personal systems?
    By the time Win 10 falls off support, any system will be a decade old.

    And of course, there is always Linux.
    Reply