Windows 11 (OEM and Retail)

Downloading a Windows 11 ISO and Creating a UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive and Clean Installing on a Dell PC

In this guide I will go through the clean installation of Windows 11 on a Dell XPS 13 9305 which is equipped with an 11th Intel Generation Processor. I will go through the UEFI BIOS Settings, Creating Installation Media, performing a Secure Data Wipe, performing a Clean Installation and installing Dell System Drivers.

Table of contents

  1. Downloading a Windows 11 ISO and Creating a UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive and Clean Installing on a Dell PC
    1. OEM Product Keys
      1. System Requirements
        1. PC Health Check App
          1. MSInfo32 and SMBIOS Version
            1. SMBIOS <3.0 (<6th Gen Intel Processors)
              1. SMBIOS 3.0 (6th and 7th Gen Intel Processors)
                1. SMBIOS 3.1 (8th and 9th Gen Intel Processors)
                  1. SMBIOS 3.2 (10th and 11th Gen Processors)
                2. UEFI BIOS
                  1. UEFI BIOS Overview
                    1. Storage Controller (SATA Operation)
                      1. Trusted Platform Module Security
                        1. Processor Virtualization Technologies
                          1. Processor Performance Technologies
                            1. Boot Configuration
                              1. Integrated Devices
                                1. Keyboard
                                2. Windows 11 Installation Media
                                  1. Media Creation Tool vs Direct Download Links
                                    1. The Windows 11 Media Creation Tool
                                      1. Intel Rapid Storage Technology Controller Drivers
                                        1. Dell Update
                                          1. Dell UEFI BIOS Update
                                          2. Updating the Dell UEFI BIOS
                                            1. Removing Old Boot Entries and Dell Data Wipe
                                              1. Booting from a Windows 11 USB
                                                1. Windows 11 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Product Key
                                                  1. Loading Storage Controller Drivers
                                                  2. Windows 11 Out of the Box Experience (OOBE)
                                                    1. Language Options
                                                      1. Connect to the Internet
                                                        1. Computer Name
                                                          1. User Account Setup
                                                            1. Privacy Settings
                                                              1. OneDrive
                                                                1. Final OOBE Screens
                                                                2. Product Activation
                                                                  1. Windows Update
                                                                    1. Microsoft Store and winget
                                                                      1. Microsoft Store and Universal Windows Platform Apps
                                                                        1. Windows Command Line Package Manager winget and GitHub
                                                                          1. Updating your App Installer
                                                                            1. Using winget with the Windows Terminal
                                                                              1. winget list
                                                                                1. winget upgrade
                                                                                  1. winget search
                                                                                    1. winget install
                                                                                      1. winget upgrade –all
                                                                                        1. winget uninstall
                                                                                          1. Commercial Software and Trusted Platform Module TPM 2.0
                                                                                            1. winget Silent Switches and Flags
                                                                                            2. Intel Bridge Technologies and Android Apps
                                                                                            3. Dell Update
                                                                                              1. Dell Optional Applications
                                                                                                1. Intel Rapid Storage Technology Application
                                                                                                  1. Thunderbolt
                                                                                                    1. Intel Processor Power Management Utility and Dell Power Manager
                                                                                                      1. Network Applications
                                                                                                      2. Office
                                                                                                        1. Office 365
                                                                                                          1. Only Office
                                                                                                            1. Free Office
                                                                                                              1. Libre Office
                                                                                                              2. Chromium Browser
                                                                                                                1. Google Chrome
                                                                                                                  1. Microsoft Edge
                                                                                                                  2. Taskbar and Multiple Monitors
                                                                                                                    1. Paste Clipboard, Emoji Panel and Touch Keyboard
                                                                                                                      1. Snap Windows
                                                                                                                        1. Task Manager
                                                                                                                          1. Windows Feedback
                                                                                                                            One-Time
                                                                                                                            Monthly

                                                                                                                            This website is maintained by an individual and technology enthusiast, Philip Yip. Although I have been recognised as a Dell Community Rockstar and Microsoft MVP, I am affiliated with neither company. If you've found my tutorials helpful, please consider making a one-time small donation to offset the WordPress Premium Plan costs to host the website.

                                                                                                                            This website is maintained by an individual and technology enthusiast, Philip Yip. Although I have been recognised as a Dell Community Rockstar and Microsoft MVP, I am affiliated with neither company. If you've found my tutorials helpful, please consider making a monthly small donation to offset the WordPress Premium Plan costs and the costs for buying computer hardware. I am also spending a considerable amount of time doing some programming courses (Python, C++, Qt and Arduino) and hope to write some more programming tutorials.

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                                                                                                                            OEM Product Keys

                                                                                                                            Windows 8.x OEM and Windows 10 OEM Product Keys are embedded in Dell OEM Devices that come preinstalled with Windows 8.x and Windows 10 respectively. Windows 11 Installation Media will automatically input these Product Keys taking you to the Windows License Agreement Screen Automatically.

                                                                                                                            Windows 7 OEM Product Keys were typically printed on an external label affixed to the Device. These labels were originally prone to fading and therefore later shielded in a dedicated hatch which included the Service Tag, Regulatory Labels and COA. Although Windows 7 Product Keys work with Windows 11 Installation Media and the activation mechanism remains unaltered from Windows 10. The Final Devices with Driver Support and Downgrade Rights to Windows 7 had a 6th Generation Intel Processor. Microsoft only support systems with an 8th Generation Intel Processor and later for windows 11 meaning no Devices sold with Windows 7 OEM are supported to run Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            System Requirements

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 was previously developed internally by Microsoft as Windows 10X, a Windows 10X Edition that is optimised for the capabilities of newer hardware. Instead of releasing Windows 10X as another edition, Microsoft decided to move forward and release it as a new Windows version Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 is 64 Bit requires a UEFI Boot with Secure Boot and Microsoft are using the release of a new Windows Version as an excuse to finally drop support for older Legacy models and the 32 Bit architecture, simplifying Windows installation and giving a higher baseline security for the Windows 11 operating system. Dropping the 32 Bit architecture prevents unnecessary duplication of all Security updates for the sake of a very low user base on >12 year old hardware.

                                                                                                                            As a consequence the recommended system requirements of Windows 11 are substantially higher than that for Windows 10. Microsoft recommend only installing Windows 11 on systems that have an up to date Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) with Secure Boot.

                                                                                                                            Each Dell System has a BIOS Version and System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) Version. We can quickly check the SMBIOS Version to identify whether a system is Windows 11 capable.

                                                                                                                            Microsoft will state Windows 11 Compatibility with your system on Windows Update in the latest Build of Windows 10.

                                                                                                                            PC Health Check App

                                                                                                                            Microsoft also have a PC Health Check which will assess your system for Windows 11 compatibility however I prefer to reference the SMBIOS Version as detailed below:

                                                                                                                            MSInfo32 and SMBIOS Version

                                                                                                                            To check the SMBIOS version use msinfo32. To get msinfo32, type in [ ⊞ ] and [ r ] to bring up the run dialog and type in:

                                                                                                                            msinfo32

                                                                                                                            The system model, processor, BIOS Version, SMBIOS Version, BIOS Mode and Secure Boot state should be listed:

                                                                                                                            The Basic Input Output System (BIOS) Version is system specific and corresponds to the system model specific BIOS Version which will change when a BIOS Update is issued, this will be discussed in more detail later. The System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) corresponds to the technologies incorporated into the system at date of manufacturer.

                                                                                                                            SMBIOS <3.0 (<6th Gen Intel Processors)

                                                                                                                            Any system with a SMBIOS <3.0 is essentially incapable of running Windows 11. These systems either have a Legacy BIOS, an early UEFI BIOS with an early implementation of Secure Boot (that has a major unpatched Security Exploit that is no longer Secure) and lack a TPM of 2.0 as well as other mandatory Security and Performance capabilities.

                                                                                                                            SMBIOS 3.0 (6th and 7th Gen Intel Processors)

                                                                                                                            Systems with a SMBIOS of 3.0 were typically manufactured in 2016-2017. Although these systems are capable of running Windows 11, they are below Microsoft's recommended Windows 11 system requirements…

                                                                                                                            Microsoft somewhat arbitrary use the Intel Processor Generation as a reference to the SMBIOS and Processor Capabilities… Microsoft recommend only using systems with 8th Generation Intel Processors and newer.

                                                                                                                            Intel use the following designation for their main product line iQ-GSKU which specifies the Quality (3 Entry, 5 Mid, 7 High and 9 Premium), Generation (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11) and SKU (which numerically indicates the order each processor was developed for that generation) respectively.

                                                                                                                            The i7-7500T for example is a High Quality, 7th Generation Processor. It is not officially supported for Windows 11 by Microsoft however is compatible (see below)…

                                                                                                                            Intel also have the budget product lines Atom, Celeron and Pentium Processors which only have a SKU in their model number and therefore no clear indication of the processor generation in their product name. These processors are modifications of the main product line and sometimes build upon fabrication processes used for the former generations of processors which are made cheaper:

                                                                                                                            • Atom Processors are typically optimized for low power consumption, originally designed for example the mobile phone market where Intel had limited market penetration.
                                                                                                                            • Celeron processors are optimized to be as cheap as possible.
                                                                                                                            • The Pentium Product line generally lie within the Celeron and i3 Processors with Pentium Silver being like the Celeron optimized for price and Pentium Gold being optimized for performance.

                                                                                                                            The OptiPlex 7050 with a SMBIOS 3.0 above equipped with the i5-7500T (or i3-7100T in other cases) is not officially supported by Microsoft to run Windows 11 only due to only the Processor. On the other hand the newer low end Celeron N4020 is supported despite this processor having overall lower capabilities. The system requirements Microsoft list are essentially a reference to Intel's date of manufacturer and not the overall Processor capability.

                                                                                                                            Microsoft won't allow upgrade of these unsupported systems via Windows Update however will allow clean installation of Windows 11 on them unhindered. Windows 11 should therefore run moderately well on systems with a SMBIOS of 3.0 when equipped with 6th and 7th Generation Intel (i5, and i7) Processors. Systems with a SMBIOS of 3.0 and an i3, Atom, Celeron or Pentium may not run Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            Edit: Microsoft have updated Windows 11 Installation Media to block installation of an unsupported Processor during a Clean Install. I got this on an i3-6100T but not on an i5-6500T.

                                                                                                                            SMBIOS 3.1 (8th and 9th Gen Intel Processors)

                                                                                                                            Systems with a SMBIOS of 3.1 were typically manufactured in 2018-2019. These systems are capable of running Windows 11 and are at Microsoft's recommended Windows 11 system requirements. These systems typically come with 8th and 9th Generation Intel Processors.

                                                                                                                            SMBIOS 3.2 (10th and 11th Gen Processors)

                                                                                                                            Systems with a SMBIOS of 3.2 were manufactured in 2020-2021. These systems are capable of running Windows 11 and generally exceed Microsoft's recommended Windows 11 system requirements. These systems, typically come with 10th and 11th Generation Intel Processors. They exhibit the hardware, Microsoft designed Windows 10X for which was released as Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            In this guide I will look at clean installing Windows 11 on a new Dell XPS 9305 with an SMBIOS of 3.2 equipped with an 11th Generation Processor.

                                                                                                                            UEFI BIOS

                                                                                                                            This section will look at the technologies required in the UEFI BIOS Setup required for Windows 11 for a system with a SMBIOS of 3.1. Systems with a SMBIOS of 3.0 may have a UEFI BIOS Setup with a different User Interface as outlined for example in my Windows 10 Installation Guide. On these systems optimal settings for Windows 11 and Windows 10 are the same.

                                                                                                                            UEFI BIOS Overview

                                                                                                                            To enter the Dell UEFI BIOS power off your system and then power it up holding down [F2]:

                                                                                                                            In the UEFI BIOS Setup Overview, you will see your model, Service Tag, Manufacture Date, Processor Type, Memory Installed, Video Controller, Audio Controller and Wireless Card:

                                                                                                                            Both Dell and Intel use a similar model system.

                                                                                                                            Dell use 4 digit numbers which indicate the Quality (3 Entry, 5 Mid, 7 High and 9 Premium), Screen Size (3 for 13", 4 for 14 ", 5 for 15 "), Generation (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0 where 0 is used for 10) and Variant (numeric index). The XPS 13 9305 corresponds to an eXtreme Performance System with a Premium Quality of 9, Screen Size of 13 ", Generation of 10 and a variant of 5.

                                                                                                                            Intel use a designation which specifies the Quality (3 Entry, 5 Mid, 7 High and 9 Premium), Generation (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11), SKU and Graphics version. The i5-1135G7 corresponds to a Mid Quality of 5, an 11th Generation, and a Graphics version of 7.

                                                                                                                            Storage Controller (SATA Operation)

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 should be installed on a 256 GB NVMe SSD or superior. It will not perform well on a legacy HDD or SATA SSD.

                                                                                                                            These settings should not be modified until Windows 11 installation media is created as altering the settings will result in the current Operating System not Booting.

                                                                                                                            Dell 10th and 11th Generation Intel systems are equipped with Intel Volume Management Device (VMD). Intel VMD is used to optimize the performance of the storage controller by communicating both with the NVMe SSD and Intel Processor. To use Intel VMD, the RAID configuration must be On.

                                                                                                                            Unfortunately Windows 11 Installation media lacks the storage controllers required for the RAID SATA Operation. These can however be loaded easily during the Windows 11 setup as demonstrated later.

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 Installation Media natively drivers for the AHCI/NVMe SATA operation but this will result in a reduced performance.

                                                                                                                            Note Linux Installation Media typically does not include the SATA Drivers included for the RAID SATA Operation and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will only install with the AHCI SATA Operation. If you are planning on creating a dual-boot of Windows and Linux, you must use the AHCI SATA Operation.

                                                                                                                            The Storage controller for the M.2 PCIe SSD should be On. The drive information should be detected, in this case a SN530 NVMe manufactured by WDC with 256 GB storage (the minimum recommended storage for a Windows 11 installation).

                                                                                                                            Trusted Platform Module Security

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) of Version 2.0 to be enabled. Here are the default settings in my XPS 13 9305:

                                                                                                                            Additional Security options may be available if Enterprise Computrace software or BIOS Passwords are set on the Device. These are not required for Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            These Security options will help prevent your Device from being stolen and sold on however if set incorrectly and forgotten will make your Device Unusable.

                                                                                                                            Processor Virtualization Technologies

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 requires the following Processor Virtualization Technologies to be Enabled:

                                                                                                                            Processor Performance Technologies

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 requires the following Processor Performance Technologies to be Enabled:

                                                                                                                            Boot Configuration

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 requires a UEFI Only Boot with Secure Boot Enabled. Secure Boot should be in Deployed Mode.

                                                                                                                            These settings should not be modified until Windows 11 installation media is created as altering the settings will result in the current Operating System from Booting.

                                                                                                                            Expert Key Management should be Disabled by default:

                                                                                                                            Integrated Devices

                                                                                                                            You can use the UEFI BIOS to optionally Enable or Disable your Camera and Audio Devices:

                                                                                                                            Most Windows 11 Capable Systems will have Thunderbolt ports. The default Thuderbolt settings should be:

                                                                                                                            In my case I am attaching my XPS 13 9305 to a Dell WD19TB and have enabled all the Thunderbolt preboot technologies so I could output the video to a USB Capture Device to get the screen shots of the installation.

                                                                                                                            Keyboard

                                                                                                                            By default the FN lock will be configured to use the multimedia keys primarily by default and the function keys respond secondarily when the FN key is held down. To switch this behaviour you can optionally change the Lock Mode to Standard:

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 Installation Media

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 Installation can be downloaded from Microsoft.

                                                                                                                            Insert a 16 GB or superior USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                                            To prevent confusion, remove any other USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive or Memory Card:

                                                                                                                            Note: This USB Flash Drive will be formatted and any items on it will be removed when creating Windows 11 Installation Media.

                                                                                                                            There are 3 options on the Windows 11 Download Page. The first one is the Windows Installation Assistant which is a Windows Application that can be used for an in place upgrade on a Windows 10 PC which meets Windows 11 minimum system requirements. Note that this usually results in slightly worse performance and this guide focuses on a clean installation.

                                                                                                                            The second option is the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool which is a Windows Application that can be used to easily create a Windows 11 Bootable USB directly.

                                                                                                                            It contains the most commonly used OEM Editions used by Home Users and Small Business Users:

                                                                                                                            The third option is the Direct Download ISO which can be accessed both on a Windows PC and a Linux PC. The Direct Download ISO has the additional Pro Education Editions designed for Educational Institutions such as Schools, Universities and Libraries. It also has the Workstation Editions designed for high end workstations such as the Dell Precision models which are used for high end research applications which require more computing power.

                                                                                                                            Because this ISO has more Editions, it contains an install.wim that exceeds 4.0 GB. 4.0 GB is the upper file size for the FAT32 File System and a FAT32 partition is required to pass Secure Boot. A number of additional steps are required to make a Bootable USB with a FAT32 Boot Partition and a NTFS Install Partition to Boot passed Secure Boot and Install Windows 11 respectively which is more advanced. This is covered in separate guides for both Windows and Linux:

                                                                                                                            Because it is a more advanced procedure, on Windows we can also slipstream the Dell Driver Pack create Windows 11 Installation Media which has better Out of the Box Support for our Dell System.

                                                                                                                            The Windows 11 Media Creation Tool

                                                                                                                            Download the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool:

                                                                                                                            Go to your Downloads Folder and Launch it:

                                                                                                                            Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                                            Accept the License Agreement:

                                                                                                                            By default, the Media Creation Tool will Download Installation Media which matches the Language of your current installation. If using English, make sure it is the correct English. In my case English (United Kingdom) and not English (United States). To change language uncheck "Use Recommended Options for this PC":

                                                                                                                            This will reveal the language drop down menu:

                                                                                                                            There are no dropdown menus for Edition as it always downloads a multi-edition ISO. Once you have made your language selection, select Next:

                                                                                                                            Select USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                                            Unfortunately in the next screen, I've had difficulties because the Media Creation Tool looks for partitions and not USB Flash Drives directly. It does not find a Drive with no partitions on it and does not work correctly with a Drive that has multiple partitions:

                                                                                                                            I find it better to use DiskPart to make a USB Flash Drive that has a GPT Partition Table and a Single FAT32 Partition. Insert a 16-32 GB USB Flash Drive and right click the Start Button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) and then Accept the User Account Control. Input the following commands (update line 3 in accordance to the disk number of your USB Flash Drive, you can tell this by the disks listed in the line above and the capacity of each drive):

                                                                                                                            diskpart
                                                                                                                            list disk
                                                                                                                            select disk 1
                                                                                                                            clean
                                                                                                                            convert GPT
                                                                                                                            create partition primary
                                                                                                                            list partition
                                                                                                                            select partition 1
                                                                                                                            format fs=FAT32 quick label="USB"
                                                                                                                            This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 59_MCT_10.png

                                                                                                                            Your USB Flash Drive should be shown, select it and select Next:

                                                                                                                            The Windows 11 Media Creation Tool will Download Windows 11 Setup Files, Verify their file integrity and then create a Bootable USB from them:

                                                                                                                            When it's finished, you will be informed your USB flash drive is ready select Finish:

                                                                                                                            The USB Flash Drive has a single FAT32 Partition which will be recognised as a Bootable Device in a Dell UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot Enabled:

                                                                                                                            It has a boot.wim and install.esd which are <4.0 GB:

                                                                                                                            Intel Rapid Storage Technology Controller Drivers

                                                                                                                            The boot.wim lacks the required Storage Controllers to recognise the NVMe SSD when the SATA Operation is set to RAID and Intel VMD is configured. To resolve this we need to add a folder containing the F6 Floppy Drivers to our Bootable USB. These drivers are called F6 Floppy Drivers because they were originally loaded via Floppy Disk by pressing F6 during the Windows XP Setup. For Windows 11 we don't need to press F6 or use a Floppy Disk.

                                                                                                                            The F6 Floppy Drivers can be downloaded from Dell Drivers and Downloads. Drivers are also available from Intel however they recommend using model specific drivers from your OEM when available.

                                                                                                                            Note these drivers must be extracted to a folder in order for the Windows Setup to load them. They cannot be packaged in an Windows .exe or .zip folder.

                                                                                                                            Select your System Model and manually find drivers:

                                                                                                                            Select Windows 11 and Serial ATA. Look for Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver (and Application):

                                                                                                                            Double click the Downloaded .exe:

                                                                                                                            Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                                            Select Extract:

                                                                                                                            Create a folder in Downloads called SATA:

                                                                                                                            Select View Folder and then Close:

                                                                                                                            Look at the folders contents:

                                                                                                                            It may a subfolder containing the earliest Windows Build supported by the driver (in this case Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703):

                                                                                                                            Then have a F6 folder. Copy this folder:

                                                                                                                            And paste it to your Windows 11 USB Flash Drive. Copy and paste the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Application also:

                                                                                                                            There may be some additional sub-folders, in my case VMD and then f6vmdflpy-x64. the extracted drivers should however have a similar form to below:

                                                                                                                            Dell Update

                                                                                                                            Dell Update and Dell Command Update are virtually the same Application… The only difference between both these Applications is Business Models have a Deploy Driver Pack and Dell Command Update can be instructed to Download and Install this Driver Pack before it Searches for Additional Drivers.

                                                                                                                            We can download the latest version of Dell Update or Dell Command Update from the Dell Drivers and Downloads Page and save this application onto our USB Flash Drive for installation once Windows is installed. The latest version of Dell Command Update can also be installed on a fresh Windows installation using the Windows Command Line Package Tool winget which will be covered in more detail later.

                                                                                                                            When using Dell Drivers and Downloads on a Home Model change the category to Applications and Download Dell Update:

                                                                                                                            On a Business Model, you may need to instead change the Category to System Management and instead Download Dell Command Update:

                                                                                                                            The XPS Range are simultaneously classified as Home and Business models so are supported models for both Dell Update and Dell Command Update.

                                                                                                                            Save this to your USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                                            Dell UEFI BIOS Update

                                                                                                                            Change the category to (UEFI) BIOS and download the latest (UEFI) BIOS Update for your model:

                                                                                                                            Save this on your USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                                            We now have all we need to install Windows 11.

                                                                                                                            Updating the Dell UEFI BIOS

                                                                                                                            Before installing Windows 11 we want to make sure that our (UEFI) BIOS is at the latest version as it may contain some fixes which facilitate the Windows 11 Installation.

                                                                                                                            We can update the Dell UEFI BIOS from the Dell UEFI BIOS Boot Menu. Power off your Dell. Insert your Windows 11 Bootable USB and power up your Dell and press [F12]:

                                                                                                                            To the left hand side your Windows 11 Bootable USB will be listed, we don't want to select it just now. Instead select BIOS Update:

                                                                                                                            Then select Flash from File:

                                                                                                                            Select your USB Flash Drive "ESD-USB":

                                                                                                                            Select your UEFI BIOS Update and then Submit:

                                                                                                                            The version of the current UEFI BIOS revision and the version of the UEFI BIOS Update will be listed. Select Update (UEFI) BIOS. If it is current you don't need to Update. Otherwise select Update (UEFI) BIOS:

                                                                                                                            Select Confirm Update (UEFI) BIOS:

                                                                                                                            Your systems UEFI BIOS will be updated and then restart:

                                                                                                                            Removing Old Boot Entries and Dell Data Wipe

                                                                                                                            Power off your Dell. To enter the (UEFI) BIOS Setup power up your Dell and press [F2]:

                                                                                                                            Select the Boot Configuration tab to the left hand side. To prevent confusion Delete any Boot Entries from a previous Windows or Linux installation, leaving only your Windows 11 Bootable USB:

                                                                                                                            Select Apply Changes:

                                                                                                                            Then select OK:

                                                                                                                            The Dell UEFI BIOS has the capability to Securely Erase (make unrecoverable) any data on a NVMe SSD. Select the Security Tab to the left hand side and turn on Start Data Wipe. Note that some Dell models have Dell Data Wipe on a separate Maintenance Tab:

                                                                                                                            Select OK to proceed:

                                                                                                                            Select No when you are prompted to Cancel:

                                                                                                                            Select Apply Changes:

                                                                                                                            Select OK:

                                                                                                                            Select Exit:

                                                                                                                            Your Computer will restart and the Dell Security Manager will display the Data Wipe Operation. Select Continue:

                                                                                                                            Select Erase:

                                                                                                                            The NVMe SSD should be wiped in a couple of minutes. If the system has any SSDs or HDDs these will take slightly longer and several hours respectively:

                                                                                                                            Select OK:

                                                                                                                            Booting from a Windows 11 USB

                                                                                                                            Power off your Dell. Power it up and press [F12] to get to the Dell (UEFI) BIOS Boot Menu:

                                                                                                                            To the left hand side select your Windows 11 Bootable USB:

                                                                                                                            In the next screen you will be asked for your language options with the language to install being shown for information purpose matching the language you selected when you used the Media Creation Tool. The Time and Currency Format and Keyboard Layout should be amended to your own preferences. Once you have made your selection, select Next:

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Product Key

                                                                                                                            Select Install Now:

                                                                                                                            You will see an hourglass display, the Windows Installation Media is searching your motherboard for an embedded Windows 10 or Windows 11 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Product Key.

                                                                                                                            If it finds one, the Edition will be selected from this OEM Product Key and you will be taken straight to the License Agreement Screen:

                                                                                                                            Failure to find an OEM Embedded Product Key will prompt you to enter a Retail Product Key which will select your Edition.

                                                                                                                            As it is a nuisance locating and inputting a 25 digit retail product key this is designed mainly for first time use. If a Retail License has previously been activated on the system the system hardware is registered with a Microsoft Product Activation Server. You can select I don't have a Product Key and then select your Edition from the Dropdown List. When connected to the internet, in the background your system details will be resubmitted to the Microsoft Product Activation Server which will recognise your system and give it the green light for Product Activation:

                                                                                                                            Loading Storage Controller Drivers

                                                                                                                            To begin a Clean Install select Custom: Install Windows Only (advanced):

                                                                                                                            If the boot.wim of the installation media contains the storage drivers for your system it will recognise the internal NVMe SSD otherwise as in this case no drive will be listed. Select Load Driver:

                                                                                                                            Select Browse:

                                                                                                                            Select your Windows 11 Bootable USB, then your F6 subfolder and navigate directly to the subfolder with the F6-vmd-flpy drivers. Select OK:

                                                                                                                            Hide All Drivers Incompatible with your Hardware should be checked showing only a list of compatible drivers. Select all of these and then next:

                                                                                                                            Your NVMe SSD should now display. Highlight Disk 1 Unallocated Space and select Next.

                                                                                                                            Note: if you have not performed a Dell Data Wipe. You will need to select each old partition (including old Recovery Partitions) one by one and select Delete until your list of partitions looks similar to below.

                                                                                                                            The Windows setup will copy all the Windows setup files from the install.esd to your NVMe SSD and begin to install Features:

                                                                                                                            You will be informed the installation will restart in 10 seconds. Select Restart Now:

                                                                                                                            Windows 11 Out of the Box Experience (OOBE)

                                                                                                                            You should now be taken to the Windows Out of the Box Experience (OOBE) and see the Windows 11 Logo.

                                                                                                                            Note: If instead you are prompted for Windows 11 language options your system has rebooted to the Windows 11 Bootable USB instead of the Windows 11 Installation on your NVMe SSD. Remove the Bootable USB and Exit the Windows Setup in this case, which should result in your computer rebooting and taking you to the Windows OOBE.

                                                                                                                            Language Options

                                                                                                                            Select your Region and Keyboard Options:

                                                                                                                            Connect to the Internet

                                                                                                                            Note: You can setup Windows 11 Home with a Local Account only if you remain offline during the Windows 11 OOBE. A Local Account is designed otherwise to be a Windows 11 Pro Feature only. If you connect to the internet with a Windows 11 Home license during the Windows Setup, you will be forced to login with a Microsoft Account.

                                                                                                                            Select your Wireless Network and select Connect:

                                                                                                                            Input your password and select next:

                                                                                                                            You should now be connected to the internet:

                                                                                                                            Select Next:

                                                                                                                            The Windows 11 Setup will begin checking for updates:

                                                                                                                            Computer Name

                                                                                                                            You will be prompted to give your computer, a computer name. I usually use the name of the model but you can use any name without special characters with the exception to – if you are more imaginative. Once you have input your computer name, select Next.

                                                                                                                            Setting a computer name makes it easier to identify your computer under your Microsoft Account, for example when it comes to installing Microsoft Office. Selecting skip will assign your computer an automatic randomly generated name:

                                                                                                                            Your computer will restart:

                                                                                                                            User Account Setup

                                                                                                                            In the next screen you will be asked whether you want to set up for personal use or whether you want to set up for work or school. Details will be given by your IT department for the latter option. For home use, select Set up for personal use:

                                                                                                                            If you see the following screen, your Windows 11 Setup doesn't think its connected to the internet, press back and retry (if you want to setup with a Microsoft Account):

                                                                                                                            When connected you should get the following screen.

                                                                                                                            On Windows 11 Pro you will get additional Sign In Options for a Local Account.

                                                                                                                            To sign in with a Local Account, select Offline Account:

                                                                                                                            Microsoft will try instead to get you to sign in with a Microsoft Account:

                                                                                                                            If using a Local (Offline) Account. It is recommended to create a username that is all lower case without any special characters or spaces. Some third party programs such as Python Libraries may not work correctly if you have a username with special characters or spaces:

                                                                                                                            I am going to sign in with a Microsoft Account and set this system up to use my 1 TB OneDrive Storage and my Office365 subscription. I am just going to use a test email to do this. Input your email:

                                                                                                                            Input your password and select Next:

                                                                                                                            You will be prompted to create a Pin (for this particular computer). Select Create Pin:

                                                                                                                            Input and confirm your Pin and select OK:

                                                                                                                            Privacy Settings

                                                                                                                            If you have previously installed Windows 11 on another computer, you will asked whether you want to restore your previous privacy settings or whether you want to Set it up as New Device. Select Next:

                                                                                                                            You will be asked first if you want to allow Microsoft and Apps use your location. Select your option and select Accept:

                                                                                                                            The Location is used by Widgets which displays weather and regional news:

                                                                                                                            You will ask whether you want to enable "Find My Device" which will allow you to locate your Device using your Microsoft Account (providing that it is turned on and connected to the internet):

                                                                                                                            You will then be asked whether you want to Microsoft to receive Optional and Required or Required only diagnostic data. Once you make your option, select Accept:

                                                                                                                            You will be asked if Microsoft can receive your input data (how you use random keystrokes) to help improve typing and inking. Select your option and select Accept:

                                                                                                                            You will be asked if you want to receive tailored diagnostic feedback related to your computer, specific hardware or specific problems. Once again select your option and then select Accept:

                                                                                                                            The last privacy setting is related to Microsoft Apps primarily Microsoft Edge and the Bing Search Engine but also some Games which show adverts. Microsoft would rather you share an Advertising ID across all the Apps to target Adverts towards you. Once again make your option and select Accept:

                                                                                                                            The Advertising ID will be shared across Microsoft Edge when the Bing Search Engine is used, alongside any Apps such as Games that may display an advertisement for a moment when they are launched or within a sidebar:

                                                                                                                            You will then be asked to select the way(s) you plan to use your PC. This will relate to the tips and notifications you receive and suggestions displayed on the Start Menu. For example if you select Family, you may be prompted with additional notifications such as Family Safety. Once you have your option(s) select Accept or alternatively select Skip:

                                                                                                                            OneDrive

                                                                                                                            In the next screen you will be prompted for integration with OneDrive. Only do this if you have an Office 365 subscription as it includes 1 TB of OneDrive Storage.

                                                                                                                            Note: Free OneDrive Storage without a Microsoft Account is ~5 GB and you will be hassled continuously about having low OneDrive storage. Select Only Save Files to this PC.

                                                                                                                            When Only save files to this PC is selected. The Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music and Video folders are locally stored on the PC:

                                                                                                                            When Next is selected the Desktop, Documents and Pictures folder are automatically integrated with OneDrive and you will see a cloud icon beside these folders. The Downloads, Music and Videos folders are not automatically integrated as file sizes in these folders tend to be very large and therefore it is less common for these files to be uploaded to OneDrive:

                                                                                                                            If I delete the shortcut created by Microsoft Edge on my Desktop for example, I am informed about the file being moved to the OneDrive Recycle Bin:

                                                                                                                            Final OOBE Screens

                                                                                                                            You will see the Windows OOBE check for some more updates. Your video drivers may be updated at this stage:

                                                                                                                            The final OOBE screens will display as your user account is setup:

                                                                                                                            You will see the new Start Menu which can be accessed by left clicking the Start button:

                                                                                                                            The Powers User Menu can be accessed by right clicking the Start Button:

                                                                                                                            Product Activation

                                                                                                                            Right click the Start Menu to get to the Power Users Menu and select Settings. If your system is not activated, there will be a watermark at the bottom of Settings. This is a rarity with an OEM License as the Product Key is embedded and Product Activation occurs subtly in the background.

                                                                                                                            Windows Update

                                                                                                                            In Windows 11 Settings is finally updated to include all the most commonly used settings. There is no need to keep bouncing back and forth between Settings and the depreciated Control Panel like in Windows 10.

                                                                                                                            To the left hand side select Windows Update. Then select Check for Updates and then Download Now at the Top:

                                                                                                                            Most the Unknown Devices in your Device Manager (which can be accessed from the Power Users Menu) should get a Driver from Windows Update:

                                                                                                                            Select Restart

                                                                                                                            The Computer should Restart and the Updates should Install:

                                                                                                                            Repeat the process until Windows Update states You're up to date:

                                                                                                                            Microsoft Store and winget

                                                                                                                            Microsoft Store and Universal Windows Platform Apps

                                                                                                                            The Microsoft Store has never really taken off in previous Windows builds…. In Windows 8.0 it only had Metro Apps which were geared towards Windows Mobile and didn't suit the vast majority of Windows users on traditional Desktops or Laptops. In Windows 10, Metro Apps were essentially rebranded as Universal Windows Platform Apps however Microsoft has since also exited the Mobile Market.

                                                                                                                            The Microsoft Store only displayed these Universal Windows Platform Apps and had no support for traditional Windows Desktop Applications and as a result few people used the Microsoft Store. Some Applications such as VLC Player and the Arduino IDE were developed into Universal Windows Platform Apps however lost substantial functionality over their standard Windows Desktop Application counterparts when it came to incorporating multimedia codecs for video playback and system drivers for the Arduino boards respectively, again encouraging people to stay clear of the Universal Windows Platform Application and instead use the standard Windows Desktop Application.

                                                                                                                            With Windows 11 the Windows Store is still very limited… displaying mainly only Universal Windows Platform Applications.

                                                                                                                            Many Windows Applications have silent installers where they can be installed (with default settings) in the background. In the past this has been of limited use as one still needed to go to the vendors website to download the software package. They had to save it and then use the command line to change directory to the downloaded software package and then used the application name and switches for a silent install. There are some Apps which will download a Windows Desktop Application Installer in the background and install it using a silent installer such as Microsoft Office.

                                                                                                                            Windows Command Line Package Manager winget and GitHub

                                                                                                                            Microsoft have recently acquired GitHub which is very commonly used to store code and software repositories. Microsoft have been putting together a command line Windows Package Manager called winget (which essentially downloads the latest version of a software package from the software repository and then performs a silent install using the default settings). This has a similar behaviour to the Advanced Package Tool (apt) commonly used within Debian based Linux distros such as Ubuntu.

                                                                                                                            Updating your App Installer

                                                                                                                            On Windows 11 PCs where I used a Local Account the App Installer was already at the latest version and I could directly use winget. On Windows 11 PCs where I used a Microsoft Account, an older version of App Installer was preinstalled (presumably as I installed an old version in the past and this was reinstalled when I logged into my Microsoft Account).

                                                                                                                            In any case open up the Microsoft Store and search for App Installer:

                                                                                                                            Select App Installer:

                                                                                                                            And then select Update:

                                                                                                                            It should now be at the latest version and we can use winget from the Windows Terminal:

                                                                                                                            Using winget with the Windows Terminal

                                                                                                                            Right click the Start Button to get to the Power Users Menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin). We need to use the Admin version as we need Administrator privileges to install software.

                                                                                                                            Accept the corresponding User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                                            If we type in the command:

                                                                                                                            winget

                                                                                                                            A number of command line arguments will display such as:

                                                                                                                            list
                                                                                                                            search
                                                                                                                            install
                                                                                                                            uninstall
                                                                                                                            upgrade

                                                                                                                            winget list

                                                                                                                            We can use:

                                                                                                                            winget list

                                                                                                                            To list all of the Applications installed on your Windows 11 PC. Input:

                                                                                                                            y

                                                                                                                            To accept the License Agreement.

                                                                                                                            All the Apps will be listed with 5 columns corresponding to the App Name, App Id (in the form of Vendor.AppName), Version, Available Version (on GitHub winget servers) and Source (We are only interested in Apps that are available on winget). For example we can see the Apps Microsoft.Edge and Microsoft.WindowsTerminal and in this case Microsoft.Edge is at the latest version whereas Microsoft.WindowsTerminal can be upgraded.

                                                                                                                            The following arguments require use of an App ID:

                                                                                                                            winget install Vendor.AppName
                                                                                                                            winget uninstall Vendor.AppName
                                                                                                                            winget upgrade Vendor.AppName

                                                                                                                            winget upgrade

                                                                                                                            We can upgrade the App Windows Terminal with the App ID Microsoft.WindowsTerminal using:

                                                                                                                            winget upgrade Microsoft.WindowsTerminal

                                                                                                                            It is now upgraded and we must close and reopen the Windows Terminal to apply the changes:

                                                                                                                            We can search for a new app name by using the search argument followed by part of the vendor name or part of the app name. Search terms should not include any spaces or special characters. Let's search for Dell Command Update using the search term dell:

                                                                                                                            winget search dell

                                                                                                                            winget install

                                                                                                                            Once you know your App ID, in this case Dell.CommandUpdate, you can install it by using the install argument:

                                                                                                                            winget install Dell.CommandUpdate

                                                                                                                            I have installed the following Apps using winget:

                                                                                                                            winget install Google.Chrome
                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                            winget install 7zip.7zip
                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                            winget install TheDocumentFoundation.LibreOffice
                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                            winget install Notepad++.Notepad++
                                                                                                                            winget install Anaconda.Anaconda3
                                                                                                                            winget install ArduinoSA.IDE.beta
                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                            winget install Microsoft.VisualStudio.2022.Community

                                                                                                                            winget upgrade –all

                                                                                                                            After installing the Applications above using WinGet and then using the Visual Studio Installer found in the Start Menu to install the C++ Programming Language. I can use the upgrade argument without any App ID to look for any available upgrades:

                                                                                                                            winget upgrade

                                                                                                                            It has actually found newer versions of the C++ Redistributable.

                                                                                                                            I can update all of these using the flag –all opposed to an App ID:

                                                                                                                            winget upgrade --all

                                                                                                                            winget uninstall

                                                                                                                            Software can be uninstalled by using the argument uninstall followed by an App ID. Let's for example uninstall LibreOffice which has the AppID TheDocumentFoundation.LibreOffice:

                                                                                                                            winget uninstall TheDocumentFoundation.LibreOffice

                                                                                                                            Commercial Software and Trusted Platform Module TPM 2.0

                                                                                                                            The Windows Package Command Line Installation Utility winget is still in development and the Microsoft Store obviously also needs a lot of work to essentially give a GUI interface around every package that can be installed using winget.

                                                                                                                            At the time of writing the software packages available above are either open source or free for individual use which means all the software packages can be installed without any monetary transactions or the associated pains of Product Activation. The closest application to commercial software in the list is Microsoft Visual Studio Community Edition. This software requires the user to login with a Microsoft Account during the first launch for the purposes of Software Licensing.

                                                                                                                            Microsoft have made a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 as a mandatory system requirement for Windows 11. The TPM acts a unique hardware based serial key embedded within your systems motherboard. At current, the only place it is really used is with Bitlocker Drive Encryption. It is likely that Microsoft will use this technology alongside a Microsoft email address as part of a more sophisticated software licensing and product activation mechanism. They will then likely share a winget api for other commercial vendors to license their software in a similar way in future and it will become more common place to install commercial software using winget in the future.

                                                                                                                            winget Silent Switches and Flags

                                                                                                                            As far as I know there are no switches available for software packages in winget yet and all software is installed using the default settings. Anaconda for example was installed for all users into the ProgramData Folder (the option displayed when Anaconda is installed for All Users on a Computer and not just an Individual User Profile which is the default option when the GUI Windows Installer is used). The Arduino IDE is in Beta and the Arduino drivers appeared to be installed automatically by Windows when the Arduino was plugged in. Visual Studio 2022 Community was installed with winget leading to only a basic installation. The Visual Studio Installer found in the Start Menu had to be launched in order to modify the installation to include everything required for a C++ development environment. In the future I expect additional options to be available as an additional flag when using winget.

                                                                                                                            Intel Bridge Technologies and Android Apps

                                                                                                                            Intel and AMD were displaced on the Mobile market because ARM Processors had substantial power efficiency over the Intel and AMD Processor Lines. This meant that the 64 Bit instruction set (AMD64 used by both AMD and Intel Processors) or the older 32 Bit instruction set (Intel x86 used by older Intel and AMD Processors) was incompatible with the ARM Processors used on mobile devices. Software packages written for these architectures such as Microsoft Windows and all Applications designed for Microsoft Windows were therefore incompatible.

                                                                                                                            Microsoft wrote Windows Mobile and Windows RT to work on Devices powered by ARM Processors but neither of these supported the plethora of third-party applications available on Microsoft Windows. Windows RT was therefore seen as a substantially reduced functionality version of Windows 8.1 i.e. Windows 8.1 with no Apps. Windows Mobile, although a good Operating System also failed because it essentially had little to no Apps. Microsoft failed with Windows Mobile as they pushed their own proprietary format, the Universal Windows Platform Applications which wasn't popular with Developers.

                                                                                                                            In contrast the Open Source Android Project led by Google quickly became the dominant OS on the Mobile Market resulting in Windows Mobile being discontinued.

                                                                                                                            Therefore most of the Mobile Applications are written natively for Android OS and are therefore designed for use on ARM Processors. Intel have been working on Intel Bridge, essentially a compatibility Framework allowing Intel Processors to interface with ARM Applications. Likely they will only support 8th generation Processors and newer with Intel bridge.

                                                                                                                            The most dominant App Store on Android is the Google Play Store however Amazon also have an App Store for Android. Microsoft are looking to work with Amazon to essentially integrate the Amazon App Store into the Microsoft Store.

                                                                                                                            A Windows 11 Insider Developer Preview is available which exhibits this App Store however it is only available for Devices with a US Location currently.

                                                                                                                            Dell Update

                                                                                                                            We have searched Windows Update for the latest system updates and drivers from Microsoft Servers. Dell may have additional driver updates not yet catalogued by Microsoft.

                                                                                                                            You can install Dell Command Update using winget as demonstrated in detail above:

                                                                                                                            winget install Dell-CommandUpdate

                                                                                                                            Alternatively you can install it the old fashioned way by downloading the application and double clicking the Application:

                                                                                                                            Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                                            Select Install:

                                                                                                                            Select Next:

                                                                                                                            Accept the License Agreement and select Next:

                                                                                                                            Select Install:

                                                                                                                            Select Close:

                                                                                                                            Now Restart your Computer:

                                                                                                                            Open the Start Menu and Launch Dell Update from All Apps: