Windows 11: It is finally advertised and is actually called Windows 11. But even though your PC is capable of playing current games at perfectly acceptable frame rates and resolutions, you may get a warning that it is not compatible with Windows 11. What rubbish?
The answer is not because of the RAM, storage, your CPU, or any other basic internals that come with the PC. The biggest culprit is something called the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, which many gamers probably don’t know about.
What is Trusted Platform Module (TPM)?
A shot of the TPM settings within an older ASUS motherboard BIOS. The TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, is basically a secure crypto-processing chip on the motherboard of your PC or laptop. For the most part, TPM chips start when you start your computer, ensuring your PC starts up with a reliable combination of hardware and software until Windows is fully loaded.
However, not all TPMs are useful. It has previously been used in some implementations of anti-cheat mechanisms, Windows domain login, BitLocker disk encryption, or DRM. Unless you’re running something from the Windows 98/2000 era.
Your PC probably already supports some kind of TPM. Most motherboards from the last half decade support TPM, and everything from the previous decade supports TPM 1.2. (Importantly, while Windows 11 specs say you’ll need TPM 2.0 to run the operating system, Microsoft’s own tech notes say future builds of Windows 11 will support TPM 1.2, according to AMD’s technical marketing director. ).
How to check if your PC supports TPM or if it is turned on – Windows 11?
The official Windows 11 home page has a PC Health Check application that you can download. Here’s the fastest way to get a bright blue mark from Microsoft – if you confirm your support, you’re good to go.
However, what do you do if not?
Well, here is another step that you can try first. Press Windows + R on your keyboard, which will open the Run dialog at the bottom left.
Will present a new program, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Management
Look for the “Status” box, it’s the second one in the middle of the window, and mark it with “TPM ready to use” or “Compatible TPM not found.”
Now if you get the latest error, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a TPM chip on your motherboard. So, wait to get your wallet out, because you might still have one, but you might not be able to.
Enable TPM in your PC BIOS
This can be a bit tricky because everyone has a different motherboard and all motherboard manufacturers prepare their BIOS menus differently. So while I can’t give specific advice for your particular system, the principles are pretty simple.
First, you will want to start your PC's BIOS menu.
Restart or turn on your PC and then press DELETE / F2 / F10 / F11 key to start it before starting Windows. Every motherboard usually has a few favorite shortcut keys here: F2 and DELETE are the ones my ASUS motherboards use, but when your computer is starting up, a message will appear on the screen indicating which buttons to press.
What you want to see is a setting within the BIOS that enables TPM. Better look at your motherboard manual here; You can download them from the Internet if you don’t have the original manual. Because I’m on an ASUS AMD motherboard, I had to go to Advanced -> AMD fTPM Settings, where I was then able to switch from discrete TPM to firmware TPM.
A dialog box will appear stating that “AMD fTPM is a TPM 2.o hardware implementation embedded in the AMD AGESA code” and that “when the recovery key is lost or the BIOS ROM chip is replaced, the system will not boot operating system”. For example, if you are on an MSI motherboard, the option is in Settings -> Security -> Trusted Computing:
Wherever the settings are, once reversed, save changes and exit BIOS, reboot your system. The Windows 11 Health Checker should no longer be a problem. For those using Intel-based systems, you may want to look for an alternative called Platform Trust Technology (PTT) or Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). It’s basically the equivalent of AMD’s firmware TPM switch over Intel’s, and it is activated in the same way:
Depending on your motherboard and BIOS, the Intel PTT option may need to be set to “On” or changed from “Discrete” to “Intel PTT”. Save the changes and exit your BIOS. On some motherboards, the option may also be described as “TPM Administrative Controls”; again, check your specific manual to learn how it would be described.
Once the settings are reversed, saved, and your PC restarted, you should be able to see through the TPM program and / or the Windows 11 Health Checker that you are ready to go. At one stage or another, you will want to follow these steps. Microsoft announced that DirectStorage.
A next-generation advancement for hard drives that currently overloads load times on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, will be exclusive to Windows 11. So it will be a huge step forward for PC gaming. The current API on PC was not built to fully accommodate the speeds of the newer SSD and NVMe drives, as a long blog post describing DirectStorage points out.
Of course, there is a lot of justification for not updating your system just yet. Windows 10 will continue to receive security updates in the future, and we’ve all seen what major Windows updates have been like in the past. Still, Windows 11 will be a free update for all Windows 10 users anyway. So when you’re ready to make the jump, make sure to check if TPM is enabled first.
But what if I don’t have the TPM settings at all?
Well, this is where it gets tricky. There are already reports from some users who have discovered this morning that there is no TPM setting in their BIOS. And it’s not because your motherboard doesn’t support TPM, it’s because some consumer motherboards just don’t ship with TPM modules. So while most users will have an option available in the BIOS to fix their problems, some will need to grab small chips like this:
These chips will connect to an empty header on your motherboard, which, again, your manual will indicate where. Fortunately, most people won’t have to resort to installing individual chips on their motherboards. As AMD noted above, most current motherboards and PCs support TPM 1.2 in operation, which is what Windows 11 builds will support in the future.
But what if Windows 11 still says my PC is not supported?
Well, this is the point where we all get a little furious at Microsoft. One of the biggest mistakes Microsoft’s PC Health Checker makes is missing information when things go wrong. It’s basically useless from a troubleshooting point of view and hopefully something Microsoft Quick Smart will rectify.
If the company wants to see mass adoption of its new operating system in the next few years, it needs to make sure the wheels are stretched as far as possible. People will not upgrade if they are faced with the problem of manually purchasing different chips for their motherboards, or if they have to upgrade their PCs entirely, especially when it works fine today.
Other reasons why Windows Health Checker may cause your system to fail include a lack of storage space or your internet connection is down at the time of verification. You’ll need both to install Windows 11, either as an Insider build starting next week or when Windows 11 launches globally. It’s also a good idea to create a Windows 10 backup USB stick if you don’t already have one.