Surface Pro 8 HeroSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has placed a compatibility hold on some PCs to prevent them from upgrading to Windows 11.
  • Drivers for certain Intel Smart Sound Technology can run into issues with Windows 11.
  • Upgrading to a newer Intel Smart Sound Technology driver should mitigate the issue and let people upgrade to Windows 11.

Microsoft recently placed a compatibility hold on some PCs to prevent them from upgrading to Windows 11. The move is to prevent potential issues that can arise when using specific Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) drivers on Windows 11. Affected systems won't see the option to upgrade to Windows 11 until they're running newer Intel SST drivers.

Microsoft outlines the known issue in a recently updated doc.

"Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11," reads the doc. "Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen."

Shop Cyber Monday deals at: Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | Microsoft | Dell

"The affected driver will be named Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) Audio Controller under System Devices in Device Manager and have the file name IntcAudioBus.sys and a file version of 10.29.0.5152 and earlier or 10.30.0.5152 and earlier."

The compatibility hold has been put in place to safeguard the upgrade experience for devices with affected Intel SST drivers.

Microsoft details a workaround for the issue. PC owners can check with their device's manufacturer to see if an updated driver is available and then install it. The issue is resolved by updating Intel SST drivers to version 10.30.00.5714 and later or 10.29.00.5714 and later.

Assuming there aren't any other safeguards affecting your device, you should then be able to upgrade to Windows 11. Note that it can take up to 48 hours to see the option to upgrade after you've installed the latest Intel SST drivers.

Microsoft discourages people from manually upgrading to Windows 11 on affected PCs.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.