Microsoft wants to ban the use of hard drives for booting Windows 11

According to statements by some OEMs, Microsoft is pushing in the direction of eliminating HDDs (Hard Disks) as the main storage devices in PCs with Windows 11, notebooks and pre-assembled Desktop PCs on board, and use SSDs instead . The current deadlines for the switch would appear to be set for 2023.

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Why would Microsoft want to impose the use of SSD for Windows 11?

Thinking about it, the move of forcing OEMs to adopt SSDs instead of traditional HDDs as boot disks makes a lot of sense from a performance standpoint: SSDs are several orders of magnitude faster than hard drives, especially when it comes to systems. operational, thus providing a faster and more responsive user experience.

It is true that many laptops and desktop PCs already come with an SSD for the boot drive today , and some even use a secondary hard drive for mass storage of large files, such as images and videos. However, this is still not true for the lower-end models , which still use a hard drive as a boot device.

An inexperienced user would blame the operating system, and therefore Windows 11, and not the PC (probably for reasons such as "the PC was just purchased, it can't be the hardware itself"). Microsoft is therefore trying to protect the Windows 11 image from this point of view.

The minimum requirements of Windows 11 do not include an SSD, or maybe they do?

The interesting thing to note is that Microsoft does not indicate any specific support among the minimum requirements of Windows 11 . In general, in fact, they only specify requirements related to the minimum space required to install and run the operating system, 64 GB in this case, implying that any storage media is fine.

If it is therefore true that among the minimum requirements we do not find stringent indications regarding the physical media to be used, in the notes relating to the "special" requirements for some features we find that an SSD is explicitly required. This is true for services such as DirectStorage and the Windows Subsystem for Android.

It is therefore not clear whether after 2023, the alleged deadline given to OEMs for the switch, Microsoft will also update the minimum system requirements , explicitly requesting an SSD. Microsoft has not yet provided any comment on the matter, stating that "there is nothing to share on this matter at this time".

The difficulties of OEMs in implementing it: the price

Obviously, the biggest problem raised by OEMs in the transition of all systems to SSDs is related to costs . As an indication, in fact, if today a system can be sold with a 1 TB HDD, to maintain the same final price then the switch would require the use of a low cost 128 GB or 256 GB SSD, which OEMs do not consider. sufficient capacity for most users. And using larger sizes, like 512GB SSDs, would come close to the budget for low-end machines with a strict price cap.

Should these requests become official, it is unclear what steps Microsoft would take with OEMs if they did not comply with these new requirements, and the company has decided not to comment on the matter. However, it is expected that in the near future, dual-drive desktop PCs and gaming notebooks with an SSD for the boot drive and a HDD for large data storage will be the only mass-market PCs with an HDD . It is obviously hoped not to witness the flattening of the historic downward trend in SSD prices.

The article Microsoft wants to ban the use of hard drives for booting Windows 11 was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .