Windows

Why the Windows 11 limitations are arbitrary - and how to bypass them

Bypassing Windows 11's absurd artificial limitations with ease and style.


Samplasion

· 3 min read
Why the Windows 11 limitations are arbitrary - and how to bypass them

Windows 11 is still in its infancy. We got an official stream of builds, but we're not yet at a stable release. However, Microsoft has already defined what the specifications are for this new system. One of them being TPM 2.0.

See, the issue is that, at the current state, TPM 2.0 isn't a real requirement. It's only even checked in the installer.

Note: It's completely possible that once Windows 11 RTM releases officially, the TPM 2.0 requirement will become a real requirement. But that isn't the case now, and I see no reason why it has to be, seeing that in my experience it's already too far into the development cycle to add a completely new hard requirement.

The installer check is the real obstacle. It's what stops everyone who doesn't meet the TPM 2.0 requirement from installing the new OS. What's interesting, though, is that Windows 11 itself still doesn't actually require TPM 2.0 to run as smooth as it can.

As it turns out, there is a way to apply the install image (which is a fancy term to say "install") to a partition of our choice, without having to touch the installer even once.

What you need

Of course, we need a bootable Windows 11 ISO. You can use this neat little website right here to download the Insiders files and the script to build them into an ISO for any platform. The steps are explained quite well in the files themselves that I wouldn't be doing you any favor by copying them here.

Beware that the download will be heavy. As with all Windows ISOs, they come to occupy more than 3GBs.
However, I found that this particular build's size is just a bit more than 4GBs, which is actually good enough for it to be flashed to a FAT32 USB drive.

Anyways, once you download the ISO, you must flash it; I recommend the awesome Rufus tool if you're on Windows but you can use whatever you'd like (you can also just format the USB as FAT32 and drag-n-drop the files from the ISO, that works on a Mac).

That is actually all you need for this project. Now buckle up, we're goin for a ride!

What you do

Now that you have a bootable drive, boot from it (duh). Once you get at the purple "Choose your language" screen, press Shift+F10. A command prompt should appear. That will be our primary window into the installation of Windows (haha get it?)

Open DiskPart, select your disk and format it (if you have an old BIOS-based system, the commands differ):

X:\Sources> diskpart

DISKPART> sel dis 0
# ONLY RUN THE FOLLOWING COMMANDS if you are 100% SURE that you've
# backed up everything and that you want to format your drive!
DISKPART> clean
DISKPART> convert gpt
DISKPART> create partition efi size=100
DISKPART> sel par 0
DISKPART> assign letter E
DISKPART> create partition primary
DISKPART> sel par 1
DISKPART> format fs=ntfs quick
DISKPART> assign letter O
DISKPART> exit

Of course, change these values to reflect your actual system.

Basically what we've done is this:

  1. We erased the hard drive
  2. We created an EFI system partition and assigned it the letter E: (as in EFI)
  3. We created a new primary partition, formatted it as NTFS and assigned it the letter O: (as in Operating System)

Now that we prepared our disk, it's time to pour our Windows 11 juice into it.

Navigate to your USB drive (which should be C:):

X:\Sources> C:
C:> cd sources
C:\sources> dir

...
install.wim
...

C:\sources>

You will know it's the right one if it has a sources directory with an install.wim file inside.

Now comes the installation process:

C:\sources> dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:install.wim

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.XXXXX.X

Details for image: install.wim

Index: 1
Name: Windows 10 Professional
Description: Windows 11 Pro
Size: ...

Index: 2
...

C:\sources> 
I'm not even kidding, that 10 Professional/11 Pro thing actually showed up for me

Choose from those the edition you want to install and remember its index, then run:

C:\sources> dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:X /applydir:O:\

Where X is the index of the target Windows edition, and O:\ is just the target disk.

Let it copy its files, and when it's done, reboot the system. If all went smoothly, we should be greeted by the Windows 11 OOBE.

Now configure it, ignore any Microsoft Account nonsense and be welcomed to your new desktop.

Once you're in, you might have to install a few updates to get you right to the latest Insiders build. But once you've done that, Windows 11 is yours to enjoy, free from any artificial limitation Microsoft and friends might want to impose.

If you enjoyed this guide, then be sure to check Enderman's channel, who first exposed this method to the public.

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