Hack Allows Windows 7 to Run on New Processors Despite Microsoft Restriction
One of the most recent decisions announced by Microsoft and which angered users running Windows 7 and 8.1 computers is that new processors, including here Intel’s Kaby Lake and AMD’s Ryzen, cannot run on a system unless it’s powered by Windows 10.
In other words, a computer upgraded to the latest chips and running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 would no longer receive updates, with a notification explaining that the “PC uses a processor that is designed for the latest version of Windows” and pushing for an upgrade to Windows 10.
Fortunately, GitHub user zeffy managed to find a bypass for this restriction, and users of Windows 7 and 8.1 can now upgrade their computers to the latest chips and continue receiving updates without upgrading to Windows 10 as well.
In order to develop a patch, zeffy looked into the KB4012218 patch that was shipped by Microsoft on this month’s Patch Tuesday and which is responsible for introducing the limitation that blocks Windows Update on systems running a configuration that only supports Windows 10.
A patch Microsoft can patch
After further investigation of the included files, zeffy discovered that the dynamic link library wuaueng.dll needs to be patched to remove the restriction, so he developed a script that can be used on both Windows 7 and 8.1 systems running 32-bit or 64-bit installations of the operating system. All files are available on his Github page linked above.
What’s important to know is that while this script patches a system file (and you are strongly recommended to back it up before making any changes), Microsoft can introduce the limitation once again at any moment using patches shipped via Windows Update. This means that re-applying the patch might be needed at a later time, though some other modifications might be needed if Microsoft also blocks the current method.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft to ask whether the company has any plans to block this hack or not and we’ll update the article if an answer is provided.