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While not Windows 11 24H2, a trick allows running Windows 10 22H2 on an unsupported CPU

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Recently, AMD quietly confirmed that its new Ryzen AI 300 series APUs will no longer be making chipset drivers for Windows 10 as it is ending support for the OS even though it is perfectly capable of doing so. This means users who want official driver support and such must run Windows 11 on it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are such systems which are deemed incapable of running the OS due to certain necessary bits that are missing. Such was the case with old processors without NX-bit (Never eXecute) and PAE (Physical Address Extension) where they would fail to run anything newer than Windows 7. Microsoft had introduced the two memory-based features back in the day to enhance the memory security of Windows using Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

But the segmentation of supported vs unsupported CPUs back then was even trickier than it is today. If you recall, Microsoft had updated the CPU requirements for Windows 10 for the 2018 release (version 1809) and although on paper it added support for new Qualcomm chips, users began reporting (1, 2) that certain older CPUs like Intel's Pentium M series (Dotham family) were not able to run anything newer than version 1709 as Windows 10 version 1803 or 1809 would display the error message "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL."

X user and technology enthusiast Bob Pony has found a way to run newer versions using tweaked version 1709 WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment) on officially unsupported old processors:

However, not everyone would be able to do so as users whose CPUs lack NX-bit and PAE are still out of luck. As mentioned above, certain CPUs like Intel's Pentium M 765 can install Windows 10 - versions 1803, 1809, 20H2, 21H2, and 22H2 - with this bypass method but others like the M 755, despite belonging to the same Dotham family of CPUs, would fail. This is because the latter does not support NX bit or in Intel's case, eXecute Disable (XD) bit.

You can check whether your CPU supports NX bit and PAE using the HWiNFO utility, a very handy hardware monitoring tool. At the time of writing, the latest release of the software is version 8.02.

Inside HWiNFO's Main Window, go to the "Central Processor(s)" section (Ryzen 7 5700G in my case), and you should see "Physical Address Extension" under the Standard Feature Flags and "No Execute" under the Extended Feature Flags listed as Present. (In the case of Intel, it may be labelled as "Execute Disable bit")

The list also contains POPCNT and SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) 4.2 so you can also check those to confirm if your processor will support Windows 11 24H2 or not. You can also check for SSE3 as Edge will also stop working on CPUs without it.

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