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Windows 11 and TPM: What this means for your PC


2 in 1U Rack Mount Fanless NUC

With Windows officially announcing the roll-out date of the eagerly awaited Windows 11 operating system (OS), many are having to consider whether their PC is able to support this latest OS. Unlike its predecessor’s launch, Windows 11 will only be recommended to run on machines with relatively new hardware, and devices bought before 2016 might not be supported.

One new system security requirement which has got people talking is the necessity for a TPM (Trusted Platform Module). Since 2016, certain types of PCs will have been built with TPM 2.0 support, however users with devices manufactured prior to this will need to see if their system has the capability to get one installed if they want to benefit from this new Windows upgrade. In either case it’s usually possible to upgrade a system with existing TPM support.

 

What is a TPM?

A TPM is a crypto-processor which acts as a level of hardware-based security for your computer, using an integrated cryptographic key to keep your machine secure. Unlike software-based security, these cryptographic keys are impossible to change unless a hacker were to know the exact keys to expect in advance. To gain access to a TPM-enabled computer, security features such as a fingerprint sensor or a facial recognition system, would need to communicate with the TPM before granting entry to the user.

Windows has had support for TPM chips since Windows 7, however this is the first time TPM 2.0 has been included in the minimum system requirements for an OS upgrade. This is in part due to the hope that by making it a requirement, it will make the OS less of a target for hackers as it adds an extra layer of security to a user’s PC.

Is TPM 2.0 enabled on my device?

As we mentioned previously, PCs manufactured since 2016 may already have TPM 2.0 support. Those produced earlier are likely to either have TPM 1.2 support, or no TPM at all, neither of which are recommended to run with Windows 11.

The easiest way to see if your PC has TPM 2.0 enabled is to run the TPM Management Tool. Follow the steps below to check:

  1. Bring up the Run pop-up by using the shortcut Windows + R
  2. Type the instruction tpm.msc and click OK
  3. Wait for the TPM Management Tool to launch
  4. Check that the Status says ‘The TPM is ready to use’
  5. Check that the TPM Manufacturer Information labels the Specification Version as 2.0

If you don’t see these options, then you may need to activate the TPM through your BIOS or install a new module into your motherboard.

Naturally, pre-2016 G2 PCs will be subject to the same challenges and might not include TPM 2.0 support. If your unit falls into this category, talk to us about how we can assist your upgrade and be in the best possible shape for the arrival of Windows 11.

To learn more about your PC’s compatibility with Windows 11, or the implications of TPM system requirements, get in touch with the G2 team.