Intel audio drivers are causing blue screens and errors in Windows 11

Windows 11

Microsoft has acknowledged an issue with compatibility between Windows 11 and audio drivers from Intel.

Some versions of Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) drivers are causing BSoDs, leading to Microsoft placing a compatibility hold on systems with affected hardware. This means that until the issue is addressed by either Microsoft or Intel, such systems will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

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Writing about the issue on the Release Health pages for Windows, Microsoft says: "Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen. 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 and earlier or and earlier.

The company goes on to explain that Windows 11 upgrades will be blocked for computers with affected hardware:

To safeguard your upgrade experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on devices with affected Intel SST drivers from being offered Windows 11. If your organization is using Update Compliance, the safeguard ID is 36899911.

Until the problem is properly resolved, Microsoft offers up the following workaround:

To mitigate the safeguard, you will need to check with your device manufacturer (OEM) to see if an updated driver is available and install it. This issue is resolved by updating the Intel® Smart Sound Technology drivers to a version and later or and later. Important: Later versions refer to just the last part of the version number. For addressing this issue, 10.30.x versions are not newer than 10.29.x versionsOnce you have updated to a compatible version of the Intel® Smart Sound Technology drivers, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 11. Please note, if there are no other safeguards that affect your device, it can take up to 48 hours before the upgrade to Windows 11 is offered.

The company stresses that it is not a good idea to manually upgrade to Windows 11 until a fix has been sorted out and the safeguard is removed. 

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