As I’d mentioned in my post Would You Like to Play a Game?, I recently had to format my computer and start fresh. This turned out to be a significant task, so I wanted to write up a quick lesson(s) learned (and mostly a cheat sheet in case I ever need to do this again!)
Before Windows 10, I formatted my system about every six months. It was a thing I did to clean up the way the system operated and get it working “just so”. After Windows 10 (and an inline upgrade to Windows 11), I never really had the need. So what happened?
My original setup on this system was 2x NVMe drives (512GB/1TB) + a 512GB SSD I’d brought over from an old system. I had this divided into three logical drives – System, Data, and Games. My Data drive was a 1tb NVMe, and the other 2 were the 512GB drives – I figured games was my SSD, and my OS was on my remaining NVMe. When I ran out of space on my games drive, the plan was to shuffle everything around by purchasing a 2TB drive and dumping the SSD. Turns out, the OS was on my SSD, and the games were on my SSD. Whoops, there goes that plan.
Having installed Windows 11 numerous times at work, I knew if I had a valid license (which I do), getting an ISO and re-installing wouldn’t be too terrible. I backed up my documents and data onto an external NAS, and then set about reinstalling Windows.
I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave.
Everything was going great so far, at least as great as it could – until I tried to re-install Windows and received a warning message “This PC Can’t Run Windows 11”. Hard stop – no way to proceed any further.
What? I’ve been running Windows 11 since its release. Ugh, it’s going to be one of those kind of days.
Thankfully I had a feeling I knew what was happening – I’d read a few articles on recent releases of Windows 11 requiring the TPM chip to be present and enabled. No worries, all I had to do was pop into my BIOS and enable it. Wait a second – it’s already enabled. In the interest of not turning this into a food recipe post where I talk about my childhood experiences, I’ll provide a super quick summary of what I ended up doing to fix the issue instead.
Now we’re cooking with gas!
Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix B-450f (with a Ryzen 2 2700 processor)
- Updated BIOS to the latest version (as of this post, v#5102 x64)
- M.2 Slot 1: 1TB NVMe – System + Programs/Apps
- M.2 Slot 2: 2TB NVMe – Games
- Data Drive: Synology DS218 (2x4tb drives in Raid 1 – Documents, Photos, Videos)
- Advanced\AMD fTPM Configuration:
- Selects TPM Device: Enable Firmware TPM
- Erase fTPM NV for factory reset: Enabled
- Boot\CSM (Compatibility Support Module)
- Launch CSM: Auto
- Boot\Secure Boot
- Secure Boot State: Enabled
- OS Type: Windows UEFI Mode
- Boot\Secure Boot\Key Management
- Clear Secure Boot Keys (Did this before re-installing Windows to wipe anything that may already be in there)
This seemed to be the magic bullet fix. They’re all in the same relative area in the config so that makes sense, but it definitely took a few more reboots and BIOS tweaks than I’d hoped for.
This list is more for my own personal edification because I can never remember how I have things tuned “just so”. This is my “What I need to get going” list.
- Mozilla Firefox – My browser of choice. In a sea of Chromium, it seems wisest.
- UBlock Origin
- Visual Studio Code – needed to someday return to the 100 days of code challenge.
- Nord Theme
- PHP Intelliphense
- Laragon – Ditto.
- Greenshot – My preferred way of grabbing screen captures.
- Game Launchers: GoG, Steam, Epic – A necessary evil.
- iCue – For my mouse and keyboard – gotta tune those RGBs.
- Flow Launcher – I use Raycast on my work computer, but it doesn’t exist for Windows. Flow Launcher comes pretty close.
- Affinity Photo – My preferred alternative to Photoshop. (Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Photoshop – Just not at the prices they want for it).
- Start11 – Required for my own personal sanity, fixes the biggest quirk with Windows 11 IMO.
- Fliqlo Screensaver – I love old-timey flip clocks, and now I can have giant ones on my monitors.
- Joplin – Cross-platform, cloud-synced markdown editor. Helps me keep my life organized.
So there you have it. The joys of installing a fresh copy of Windows 11 on a slightly older AMD platform. Hope this helps – at the very least it helps me remember what the heck I did to fix some issues, should they ever come up again.