Despite an initially flexible attitude, it is now not just possible to run Windows 11 on a virtual machine without TPM. Unfortunately, Oracle VirtualBox, in particular, seems to be the victim of this.
Windows 11 will be launched next month, but those who want to can experiment with the operating system for a while. Many do this in a virtualized environment. At the same time, Microsoft requires for Windows 11 that a device has a TPM 2.0 chip, a specific piece of hardware that increases the security of a system.
But for virtual machines, that was initially bypassable or unchecked. Finally, Microsoft recognized that VMs are mainly used as a test environment and was flexible about that. Now that attitude is changing, and if you don’t have TPM 2.0, you won’t be able to install or upgrade to the latest builds of Windows 11.
This is especially disadvantageous for those who use the virtualization tool from VMware or from Oracle (VirtualBox) and do not have a physical TPM chip. In Hyper-V, you can do this by configuring your virtual machine as a Generation 2 VM.
Not all virtualizers are affected. For example, VMware Workstation, Hyper-V, Parallels, and QUEMU allow passing TPM from the physical machine to the virtual machine. Or, as is the case with Parallels Desktop, they provide a virtual TPM.
In the meantime, Microsoft has also made the compatibility tool for Windows 11 available again on the Windows 11 website. The PC Health Check should indicate whether your PC has the correct hardware for Windows 11.
The tool was taken offline again in June, a few days after its appearance, because it indicated to many users that their PC was not sufficient. Even relatively new devices sometimes received an error message, and that was not always justified. The tool also provided little feedback. For example, anyone who has a very high-performance system, but no TPM 2.0 chip, was given little indication that that was the problem. Now the tool should be improved.