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Intel SST audio driver causing BSODs on Windows 11 PCs, confirms Microsoft

Intel and Windows 11 logos side by side with Windows 11 default wallpaper as background

Microsoft has shared details on a new issue it has found on certain Windows 11 21H2 devices. This new issue arises as a result of compatibility problems between Windows 11 and Intel's Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) audio driver and affected systems can throw up a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or Stop screen error. While totally unrelated, this news comes just days after Microsoft reverted back to the color blue for BSODs on Windows 11 insider builds.

On its release health status page, Microsoft describes this issue as follows:

Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen.

Microsoft further adds that it has added a safeguard against this by applying an upgrade hold on the affected devices.

To safeguard your upgrade experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on devices with affected Intel SST drivers from being offered Windows 11. If your organization is using Update Compliance, the safeguard ID is 36899911.

Intel SST is an integrated audio digital signal processor (DSP) that is basically responsible for handling and processing audio signals on many modern Intel devices.

Microsoft notes that the issue exists on SST driver versions and earlier, or versions and earlier. Hence, the solution to fix this problem is to update to driver versions and later or versions and later.

After the driver is updated, the Windows 11 upgrade prompt should come to you within 48 hours says Microsoft. That's very likely to be true since the company announced yesterday that it is accelerating the pace of the Windows 11 rollout owing to the "positive" feedback it has received.

You may find more details on this problem on Microsoft's release health status page.

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