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An incompatibility between Windows 11 and Intel Smart Sound Technology audio drivers has finally been resolved. The bug had long been fixed by Intel, but now Microsoft is finally lifting the block for affected systems.

The Intel Smart Sound Technology drivers on 11th generation Intel processors led to a BSOD (the infamous ‘blue screen of death’) on Windows 11 21H2 in late 2021. As a result, Microsoft blocked an update to the new OS for these machines. Later 22H2 followed with the same blockade, despite Intel already having a fix for the BSOD via patch

Now it is finally possible for these PCs to upgrade to Windows 11. The required patches can be downloaded and installed via Windows Update.


For Windows 10, the end-of-life date for updates is approaching. No more security patches will be released on Oct. 14, 2025. Thus, the removal of the blockade for these Intel systems comes well on time, which means that due to the end of security patches, the PCs will not actually become e-waste at the end-of-life date without very expensive Extended Security Updates.

Other PCs, however, do not have the option to upgrade to Windows 11. This is due to the fact that this OS has Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 as requirements, which older processors and motherboards do not support. It means that PCs with 7th generation Intel chips or first generation Ryzen CPUs will no longer be provided with updates.

Also read: New Windows driver blocks software that changes default web browser