Intel audio drivers cause blue screens in Windows 11

Intel and Microsoft have identified compatibility issues with certain versions of the drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Microsoft writes in the Known Problems section of the Windows 11 status page that Windows 11 systems with the affected Intel SST driver can trigger a BlueScreen.

According to Intel, smart sound technology consists of an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) that processes audio, speech and interactions controlled by speech. The DSP should enable PCs with the latest Intel Core and Atom processors to play audio in hi-fi quality without any negative effects on system performance or battery life. Manufacturers such as Lenovo use this technology in their systems and also provide corresponding drivers for Windows 10.

The affected is Intel’s Audio Controller driver (IntcAudioBus.sys) in the file version and earlier or version and earlier. So these are older drivers that are listed in the device manager under system devices. Microsoft has imposed a compatibility lock on devices with the affected Intel SST driver versions so that they are not updated from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

According to Microsoft, users with this problem should ask the device manufacturer whether an updated driver is available and install it. Drivers of version and higher or version and higher are required for the respective device.

If the manufacturer provides a newer driver and this is installed, the compatibility lock should be lifted and the upgrade to Windows 11 offered. According to Microsoft, however, it can take up to 48 hours after the driver has been updated before the upgrade to Windows 11 can be offered and carried out. A prerequisite for the upgrade is that no further compatibility locks are known for the device. Currently there is only one other known Windows 11 upgrade stopper in the form of an Oracle Virtualbox installation on the target machine.


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