How to install Windows 11 over Windows 10 on an incompatible PC

To get a newer operating system on your Windows 10 computer, the following method is suitable for many users: installing a Windows 11 update. In this case, Windows 11 is installed on Windows 10 over the previous version of the system.

As a result of such an update, the PC will use Windows 11, and the applications and personal data of the user will remain available in the updated operating system. At the same time, the activation of the Windows OS license will be preserved.

To do this, you can use the application – “Windows 11 Setup Assistant”, which can be downloaded from the official Microsoft website, or update the system directly from Windows Update in the settings.

But, such simple ways to install Windows 11 over Windows 10 are not available to all users. Microsoft has set strict system requirements for the hardware of a computer on which version 11 can be installed.

How to install Windows 11 on an old computer

Relatively new PCs meet all the established requirements. A huge number of computers do not meet the requirements for various parameters: the processor does not match, the TPM cryptographic module is missing, the old disk layout is used, and so on.

You can find out in advance whether your device is being tested for compatibility with the Windows 11 operating system in various ways. You can read about it in the corresponding article on the site.

PC hardware issues cause you to be unable to install a Windows 11 update or clean install the OS. During the system installation process, the computer hardware is checked for compliance with the requirements. If the device does not meet the specified parameters, then Windows 11 installations on incompatible PCs are terminated.

To be able to use the new operating system on an old computer, you need to bypass Windows 11 installation restrictions. In this case, Windows 11 is installed without a compatibility check.

There are several ways to solve this problem, which allow you to disable checking the computer’s hardware before starting the operating system installation process, including those described in the articles on this site.

In this article, we will look at the way to install Windows 11 on Windows 10 using the update method that starts from the desktop. You’ll learn how to install Windows 11 from an ISO image to bypass unsupported hardware restrictions.

How to install Windows 11 from an ISO image

We will need to modify the Windows 10 installation ISO image to use the Windows 10 installer from this image, but we will need it to install the 11 version of the system. The fact is that during the installation of Windows 10 on a PC, the computer hardware is not checked for compliance with the specified system requirements, which is used in Windows 11.

Therefore, we are using an ISO image with the Windows 10 installer files, but we will put a compressed Windows 11 file there, instead of a dozen.

Consider the following prerequisites under which you can upgrade your system:

  • Your computer must be running an activated version of Windows 10 2004 or later.
  • Only a 64-bit operating system is suitable, because there are no 32-bit Windows systems.
  • There must be enough free space on the computer.

The essence of the method discussed in this guide is as follows:

  1. You need to download ISO images of Windows 11 and Windows to your PC.
  2. A Windows 11 ISO file is copied from the contents of the Windows 11 ISO image.
  3. Remove Windows 10 file from Windows 10 ISO image and insert Windows file instead
  4. You store a new ISO image on your computer that will start installing Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.

The created image file uses the Windows 10 installation tools, therefore, during the installation of the OS, the equipment of the current system is not checked, but Windows 11 is actually installed. At the same time, the files themselves of the operating system themselves are not modified, but only the files responsible for launching are replaced the process of installing Windows on a computer.

Download Windows 10 and Windows 11 ISO Images on PC

To solve the problem, we need two ISO images: Windows 11 and Windows 10, which can be downloaded from the official Microsoft website.

To get a Windows 10 OS image file on your computer, do the following:

  1. Go to the Windows 10 download page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 .
  2. Choose the second method by clicking on the “Download tool now” button.
  3. Run the downloaded Media Creation Tool.
  4. In the window “What do you want to do?” activate the item “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file).
  5. The next window displays information about Windows settings.
  6. In the “Select media” window, select the “ISO file” item.
  7. Give the file a name, choose a location to save it.
  8. Wait for the Windows 10 ISO image to finish downloading on the PC.

Now you need to download the Windows 11 image to your device. Go to the Microsoft website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows11 to download Windows 11 to your computer. This process is described in detail in the article on the site, so we will not repeat here.

Create an ISO image of Windows 11 in UltraISO

You have both images of two operating systems. Now you need to go through the steps to create a Windows 11 ISO image, with only the Windows 10 setup files.

You will need a disk imaging program. In this article I am using the UltraISO program, you can use other similar software: AnyBurn, PowerISO or others.

We need to extract the file with Windows 10 from the ISO image of the operating system in order to insert a similar Windows 11 file there. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on the Windows 11 ISO.
  2. In the context menu, click on the “Connect” item.
  3. The contents of the ISO image will open in the computer’s virtual drive.
  4. Enter the “sources” folder.
  5. Find the “install.wim” file. Copy this file to a convenient location on your PC, such as the Desktop.
  6. Go to Explorer, right-click on the virtual drive, and in the context menu that opens, click on “Eject”.
  7. Open the UltraISO program.
  8. Enter the “File” menu, in the context menu, click on the item “Open image file …”.
  9. Select the Windows 10 ISO image on your computer.
  10. Open the “sources” folder.
  11. Find the “Install.esd” file.
  12. Right-click on it, select “Delete” from the menu that opens.

If you are using a Windows 10 image that has an “install.wim” file, then there will be no “Istall.esd” file in the “sources” folder. Delete the “install.wim” file from the open Windows 10 image.

  1. Enter the “Action” menu, click on “Add files …”.
  2. In the window that opens, select the “install.wim” file on your PC that you extracted from the Windows 11 ISO image to add it to the new system image.
  3. In UltraISO, open the “File” menu, click on “Save As …”.
  4. Give the image file any name that makes sense, such as “Win11”.
  5. The process of saving a new ISO image is in progress.

The finished Windows 11 ISO image can be used to upgrade the system from Windows 10 or burned to a USB flash drive, so that you can then perform a clean installation of the operating system from bootable media.

Installing Windows 11 over Windows 10

We have an ISO image with which we can start the upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 from the desktop of the computer.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Right click on the created Windows ISO image
  2. In the context menu, click on Connect.
  3. In the Explorer window that opens, click on the “setup” file.
  4. In the Install Windows 10 window, click on Configure Windows Installer to download updates.
Ignore the fact that Windows 10 is being installed on windows. In fact, Windows 11 is installed on the PC using the dozens tools.
  1. In the Get Updates, Drivers, and Options window, set it to Not Now.
  2. In the “Applicable notices and license terms” window, click the “Accept” button.
  3. The next window is preparing for installation.
  4. The “Ready to Install” window tells us that Windows 11 operating system will be installed on the computer with personal data and applications preserved.
  5. Click on the “Install” button.
  6. Installing Windows 11 in progress, despite the inscription about installing another system. During this process, the computer will restart several times.
  7. The final step is to configure Windows settings.
  8. The Windows 11 desktop opens on the PC screen.

Article Conclusions

Many users need to upgrade to Windows 11 from the Windows 10 operating system using the upgrade method. But, due to high system requirements, a large number of PCs are deprived of such an opportunity.

In such a situation, you can use the Windows 10 ISO image by adding Windows 11 files there. As a result, during installation, the system will not check the computer hardware, and you can upgrade your device to Windows 11.

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