Skip to main content

Flouting Microsoft’s rules, man gets Windows 11 to work on a 15-year-old PC

Amid Microsoft’s statements that Windows 11 was made for newer machines, creative users continue to prove that you can run Microsoft’s latest operating system on most computers. This time, a Twitter user managed to successfully install and run Windows 11 on an Intel Pentium 4-based system.

The news emerged when Twitter user Carlos S.M. posted screenshots, and later a video, of his computer running Windows 11. The video includes benchmarks that prove just how old all the components are, starting with the 15-year-old processor.

Windows 11 installed on a 15-year-old processor.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To clarify: This is not just a budget PC — it almost belongs in a museum. The specifications clearly prove just how ancient it is. It has an Intel Pentium 4 661 processor that runs at 3.6GHz and was first released in 2006. The chip has just one core, which is below the minimum that Microsoft tries to enforce.

It’s not just the CPU that is past its retirement in this build. The computer has 4GB of DDR2 RAM that runs at 800MHz. That’s right — DDR2, first launched in 2003. This is combined with an Asus P5Q motherboard, released in 2008. There are, however, two much more modern components, as the PC includes an Nvidia GeForce GT 710 graphics card (2016) and a 120GB SSD.

Against all odds, Carlos S.M. managed to install Windows 11 successfully using the Windows 10 PE installer. The video shows that booting the system, as well as navigating the settings menu, takes a long time — but that should come as no surprise given that some components are nearing their 16th birthday. The system still managed to run several programs, including CPU-Z, a modern benchmarking tool.

Technically, installing Windows 11 on Intel Pentium 4 661 shouldn’t have been possible. Microsoft’s support documentation states that the new OS requires at least a dual-core CPU with a clock of 1GHz or higher. Intel Pentium 4 661 satisfies only the clock requirement, but the processor was still accepted by the Windows 11 PC Health tool.

One of Microsoft’s main requirements for running Windows 11 is that the PC must possess TPM 2.0, a security feature only present on newer machines. The company shared a full list of supported processors, and it only goes as far back as Intel Coffee Lake (launched in 2017) and AMD Ryzen 2000 (released in 2018). Understandably, this caused many people to believe that their PC cannot run Windows 11 at all, but it now seems that this won’t be the case.

Although Microsoft has posted workarounds to install Windows 11 on older computers, the company warned that the OS may not be eligible to install updates. Carlos S.M. was able to install updates as scheduled, further demonstrating that Windows 11 doesn’t require a top-notch PC to be able to run.

Editors' Recommendations

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
Windows 11 tips and tricks: 8 hidden settings you need to try
Windows 11 on a tablet.

Windows 11 has been around for quite a while now. The operating system isn't as new as when it first came out in 2021, but many people are still updating it for the first time from Windows 10. Yet whether you're new to Windows 11 or have been using it since launch, there are a few things that you still might want to tweak to get a better experience. Microsoft doesn't have all these settings upfront, but we're here to surface them for you.
Move the Taskbar and Start Menu to the left

One of the biggest differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11 is the location of the Taskbar and Start Menu. On Windows 10, the Taskbar and Start Menu are positioned to the left of the screen. Windows 11, though, changes that by moving both to the center. If this annoys you, then you can easily change it back.

Read more
Microsoft announces a new threat to push people to Windows 11
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens.

Microsoft is sharing more details of its plans to transition customers still using Windows 10 from a free offering to a paid structure if they wish to continue receiving security updates.

The company is phasing out the legacy operating system, which will reach its end-of-life support on October 14, 2025. After this, Microsoft will begin charging enterprise users a monthly fee for Extended Security Updates (ESU). Businesses must purchase an ESU license for all Windows 10 devices in order to maintain security support beyond the cutoff date.

Read more
How Intel and Microsoft are teaming up to take on Apple
An Intel Meteor Lake system-on-a-chip.

It seems like Apple might need to watch out, because Intel and Microsoft are coming for it after the latter two companies reportedly forged a close partnership during the development of Intel Lunar Lake chips. Lunar Lake refers to Intel's upcoming generation of mobile processors that are aimed specifically at the thin and light segment. While the specs are said to be fairly modest, some signs hint that Lunar Lake may have enough of an advantage to pose a threat to some of the best processors.

Today's round of Intel Lunar Lake leaks comes from Igor's Lab. The system-on-a-chip (SoC), pictured above, is Intel's low-power solution made for thin laptops that's said to be coming out later this year. Curiously, the chips weren't manufactured on Intel's own process, but on TSMC's N3B node. This is an interesting development because Intel typically sticks to its own fabs, and it even plans to sell its manufacturing services to rivals like AMD. This time, however, Intel opted for the N3B node for its compute tile.

Read more