Windows Updates blocked on Older Pentium E5400 and AMD RX 480 PCs

MS blocks Windows updates older Intel, AMD

Reports are coming in stating that Microsoft is unexpectedly blocking some older Intel and AMD processors from receiving Windows updates. The processors getting blockade treatment include the Intel Pentium E5400 and Celeron J1900. Older computers that have an AMD Radeon RX 480 GPU also seem to be affected by this carnage.

Microsoft’s decision of not supporting PCs running older Windows build with newer processors goes back to January 2016. At the time, the software giant announced it would no longer support Windows 7 and 8.1 on the new sixth-generation Skylake CPUs.

However, Microsoft backed down in several steps, finally declaring it would not support older versions of Windows on Intel’s seventh-gen Kaby Lake and AMD’s Ryzen processors, with both chipmakers also willing to play along.

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Last month, users of Win7 and 8.1 PCs with Kaby Lake and Ryzen started to see ‘Unsupported hardware’ error message, indicating they won’t be able to receive future Windows updates. In the process, Redmond also snagged some 6th gen AMD Carrizo PCs which were exempt from the lockdown.

Microsoft later admitted it had happened due to a faulty detection mechanism and that it was working on a fix. Now reports have emerged on the Tweakers site which suggest that machines with other, much older processors, have been locked out of future Windows updates as well.

The first report clearly identifies a Pentium Dual Core E5400 2.70GHz machine as getting locked out with the ‘Unsupported hardware’ notification. The E5400 is a Wolfdale series processor, first released in 2009.

Windows updates blocked on older Intel, AMD processors

In the same thread, another poster says his Celeron J1900 powered PC also got updated-blocked by Microsoft. The J1900 is a three and a half years old Bay Trail-D Intel processor, yet it was affected by the rule that Microsoft no longer offers support for Windows 7.

There is even a post on Tweakers by another user who got slammed after replacing his older graphics card by a Radeon RX 480. This is more confusing because there is no mention of GPUs in Microsoft’s statement about blocking Win7 on older machines. It only lists three processor generations when it comes to the lockdown:

  • Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
  • AMD Bristol Ridge
  • Qualcomm 8996

Read More: Intel’s 12-Core Skylake-X HEDT chip to launch on May 30

Microsoft’s decision to block supported machines from receiving updates is already a customer unfriendly move. This is even more dire for users whose PCs are misidentified as having next-gen processors, followed by a complete shutdown of Windows updates. Since block includes security updates and patches as well, this could leave PCs vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks.

On top of that, Microsoft did not inform customers, through the installer, that their Win7 machines are about to have Windows Update blocked permanently. Had there been a prior notice, users would not be breaking updates on the PC deliberately.

What’s your take on this whole update-blocking issue? Do you think Microsoft went too far with this?

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