The major clanger dropped by Microsoft was made worse by the fact that this is the second time such an upgrade has been pushed to devices that don’t actually meet the system specs required for Windows 11.
PhantomOfEarth first highlighted that this was happening on Twitter when the Windows leaker was offered Windows 11 on a PC with just 2GB of RAM (when the OS needs a minimum of 4GB).
Windows 11 free upgrade being offered to unsupported Windows 10 devices/VMs?Screenshots from a Windows 10 22H2 VM that does not meet the Windows 11 system requirements, big ones being TPM (none) and RAM (2 GB) pic.twitter.com/VNNswgMLiCFebruary 23, 2023
The installation failed, though, when PhantomOfEarth tried to go through with the upgrade to see what happened.
Microsoft further clarified in a support document (spotted by The Verge) that a number of ineligible Windows 10 version 21H2 PCs had seen the upgrade to Windows 11 offer, but that: “Devices that experienced this issue were not able to complete the upgrade installation process.”
Analysis: A quick fix – but how did this happen again?
So, the good news, if you can call it that, is that at least if a user tried to forge ahead with the upgrade, the installer didn’t allow it to go ahead (possibly leaving the PC in an unfortunate creek-related situation if it did). The user could go as far as downloading the installer, mind you, and firing it up.
Furthermore, only some users were affected, and Microsoft notes that the problem was fixed on the same day that it was discovered, which is a laudably swift remedy.
The main problem here is that as mentioned, this isn’t the first time this has happened, which certainly gives more than a little pause for thought about why the upgrade system went awry once again. Last time, though, unsupported PCs were allowed to upgrade, doubtless with unpredictable results in some cases.
Hopefully Microsoft will take a good hard look at whatever might be causing these sorts of problems, and we won’t see a third episode of errant Windows 11 upgrades playing on monitors near us anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the relatively stringent upgrade requirements for Windows 11 remain a cause of controversy, as folks with relatively modern processors are left out in the cold (and PCs without TPM functionality, of course).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).