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How to Install Windows 11 with Z390 Aorus Master Motherboard

Windows 11 background

This is for the official Windows 11 Insider Preview upgrade via the Windows Insider Program with a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master Motherboard. See useful links below for Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, Dell, HP, and ASRock resources. Skip to all steps

Clean install or upgrade?

I have a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master motherboard. Unfortunately, like many people, Microsoft’s Windows 11 compatibility checker (which they removed, and a new one is coming soon) or the Windows Insider panel said that our computer builds were not compatible with Windows 11 (in their current state). Following the steps below, I did a clean install of Windows 10 and then immediately joined the Windows Insider Program Dev Channel and installed Windows 11 with no problems.

System Information

Skip to all steps if you don’t want to read any explanations. Don’t forget to set up your Windows 10 or Windows 11 install media beforehand.

(Edit: You can now download the Windows 11 SDK via the Windows ISO Downloader Development panel if you prefer to bypass first installing Windows 10. This option wasn’t listed when I installed Windows 11 on the 29th of June).


Explanations

Skip to all steps

Secure Boot

Windows 11 requires Secure Boot to be switched on (Enabled). So, Secure Boot needs to be enabled in the bios – if you can find it.

How to find Secure Boot (Disable CSM Support)

To be able to see Secure Boot listed in the Bios, you need to disable CSM Support. CSM stands for Compatibility Support Module, and it enables or disables UEFI CSM to support a legacy (older, outdated) PC boot process.

Boot drives are not listed with CSM Support disabled? PC reboots back into Bios

Windows-based computer hard drives are partitioned in either MBR or GPT partition schemes. The newest of the 2 schemes is GPT.
Unfortunately, you might not see your boot/hard drives or USB thumb drives listed in the bios when you disable CSM support. This is probably because they are partitioned in the MBR scheme, not GPT. So if you disable CSM Support and save and exit the bios and your computer reboots back into the Bios, it’s for this reason. Don’t worry, though. We can still install Windows 11.

TPM (Trusted Platform Module)

Windows 11 requires the computer to have a TPM. So naturally, this panicked many people, and I admit I searched Gigabyte’s website for such a thing.

Fortunately, the Z390 Aorus Master motherboard doesn’t need anything extra added to it. You do not need to buy a separate TPM module.


Let’s start getting set up with Windows media

Skip to all steps

Download Windows 10 ISO

I usually download my Windows ISOs via the Windows ISO Downloader here.

Edit: At the time of writing this, the Windows 11 SDK is now available via the Developer section of the Windows ISO Downloader, so you could choose this instead of Windows 10.

Select the edition you want and the language. I chose Windows 10 – the only option at the time.

Windows ISO Downloader - Select edition and language

Choose 64-bit Download. Download the ISO to your computer.

Windows ISO Downloader - Select 64-bit Download

Create a Bootable USB drive in the GPT partition style

Whichever ISO you choose to download, use Rufus to put the ISO onto your USB thumb drive.

To get the motherboard to see the USB drive, be sure to tell Rufus to use the GPT partition style.

Rufus - GPT Partition scheme

When Rufus has finished writing the ISO to the thumb drive, it will show you the following notice about Secure Boot. You don’t need to worry about this message. First, you can close the window and close Rufus. Then, you can unplug the USB thumb drive. You won’t need it until Step 11.

Rufus Secure Boot notice

Steps: How to install Windows 11 with Z390 Aorus Master Motherboard

Make sure you have set up a copy of Windows 10 ISO (or Windows 11 ISO) on a GPT partitioned USB drive ready to go.

Step 1. Backup all of your files before clean installing the OS.

Be sure to backup and save all of your important or personal files to a separate storage device and then unplug that device from your computer – just for safekeeping of those files. For example, I personally back up my files to other hard drives and the cloud and then open the computer case and unplug the 3 non-C drives to make sure I don’t reinstall Windows over those drives or files.

Step 2. Enter the Bios.

Restart your computer and press Delete (a few times) so that it opens the Bios screen. My Bios is F11n which I installed back in February.

See the Gigabyte Z390 Bios list here:
Z390 AORUS MASTER (rev. 1.0) Gallery | Motherboard – GIGABYTE Global

Step 3. Go into Advanced Mode (F2).

Pressing F2 will toggle between easy and advanced mode.

Step 4. Under Boot choose CSM Support – set it to Disabled.

Step 5. Secure BootRestore Factory Keys – choose Yes.

Step 6. Save settings and restart PC back into the Bios.

Step 7. Back in the Bios, under Boot choose Secure Boot – set it to Enabled.

Step 8. Save settings and restart PC back into the Bios.

Step 9. Back in the Bios, under Settings choose Miscellaneous.

Step 10. Set Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT) to Enabled.

Step 11. Plug in your USB thumb drive.

Step 12. Save settings, restart the PC and follow Windows install prompts to install Windows 10 from the USB drive.

Step 13. Set up your internet connection, log in with a Microsoft account, and then go to SettingsWindows UpdateWindows Insider Program and join the Dev Channel.

Step 14. Search for Windows updates a few times and when Windows 11 Preview is listed, download and install it.

About Windows

Closing thoughts

The above was how I installed Windows 11 on my computer, which has a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master Motherboard. Before following these steps, I couldn’t see my hard drives listed in the Bios after disabling CSM Support. So, I decided to start from scratch with a clean Windows 10 install and then join the Windows Insider Program to get Windows 11 Insider Preview. Now, it seems that you can also download Windows 11 SDK via the Windows ISO Downloader. Unfortunately, this option was not available when I installed it (on 29th June), so I haven’t tried it.

Other Motherboard Manufacturers

If you have a motherboard from a different manufacturer, please see the useful links below.

Windows 11 thoughts

I’m really enjoying Windows 11 so far. Yes, it is primarily a tidied up version of Windows 10, and that’s OK.

Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.

Microsoft FAQ – What’s the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11?

The cleaner look and feel is the refresh I was hoping for, and if you are a PC like me, you get it. More things will be coming to Windows 11 in the coming months. For Windows 10 users who don’t wish to join the Windows Insider Program, Windows 11 should be coming sometime in early 2022.

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