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Thread: Clean install of Windows 11 issue

  1. #1
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    Clean install of Windows 11 issue

    MSI B450-A Pro Max
    Samsung 980 Pro NMVe 1TB
    Ryzen 7 5700G

    Trying to do a clean install of Windows 11 from a USB thumb drive and keep getting the attached message. The NMVe is formatted and my son thinks that maybe it's looking for it's driver, however all I see on Samsung's site are drivers to load while in Windows. It's recognized in the BIOS and I could run a test on it from there. All the other hardware was in the system already.

    Any ideas what it's looking for and how to get past this?

    Thanksthumbnail_IMG_0155.jpg
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  2. #2
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    The mobo should have come with a CD/DVD.... I'd stick that in the drive and see if the install finds the drivers it's looking for.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    I found the DVD and tried it. When I insert it at the point the message shows, and try to find the drivers, neither the root directory or the sub directories seem to have them. I then rebooted with the DVD already inserted and it looked like the system accessed it, moved on, then got a message, "Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattended answer file". I Googled this and found references to a Registry key edit. I tried it, but cannot find the key mentioned. Got me thinking these answers might have been for Windows 10. So, still stuck, but at a different point.

    As a point of reference, this all started with trying to clone a 500Gig NVMe to a 1TB one since I was running out of space. It went south, so I decided to do a clean install. This motherboard was previously running Windows 11 and had all the latest drivers installed.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  4. #4
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Did you do a fresh install before or did you Upgrade Win 10?

    It very well could be expecting that you're upgrading an registered Win 10 pc.
    "Vegetarians live up to nine years longer than the rest of us...Nine horrible, worthless, baconless years."

  5. #5
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    I originally upgraded from Windows 10. Does this mean I need to install Windows 10, then upgrade again?
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  6. #6
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    How to do a clean installation of Windows 11
    https://www.windowscentral.com/how-d...all-windows-11

    Check out the articles and others like it.... Technically in perfect world you have a digital activation of Windows 10.....

  7. #7
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Iíll check it out and report back. Got a lot going on today, might not get back on the PC till tomorrow.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    I read that article and some others. It's basically the same thing I've been doing. I also tried using Rufus to create an ISO file and try that way, same results. Just kinda lost as to what this message about not reading the product key is about and how to get past it.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  9. #9
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    Sorry but, we are not allowed to help you do anything illegal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    I donít believe I was hinting at anything illegal. I had a working PC with a registered copy of Windows 11. I wound up with having my storage getting ruined and all I want to do is return to where I was. Itís not like itís asking for a key and Iím trying to get around it. Iím getting a message that sounds like itís reading a product key from somewhere, which I donít understand.

    Seriously, Iíd never as anyone here for advice that would be illegal or even questionable.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  11. #11
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyMan View Post
    I originally upgraded from Windows 10. Does this mean I need to install Windows 10, then upgrade again?
    You might have to do this... Maybe the cloning was enough of a change that it killed your digital registration.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    It seems I may have made some progress! I read an old Windows Community post with the same exact issue trying to install Windows 10. It aid to delete a file named autounattend.xml. I couldn't find that, but found unattend.xml and deleted it. It now starts the install. Got to the page asking if I had previously installed Windows 11 on this PC and I can activate it later. But, when I get to the page , where to install, it shows my drive as still having almost 500 gig of unallocated space. I need to pull it out and connect it to my laptop and get it partitioned and formatted properly, but I feel I'm on the way to finishing it, then reloading apps. Luckily, I had folders like Document & Pictures on a separate physical drive.

    Thanks for hanging in there with me, I really appreciate it. I'll post again when done, hopefully that will be tomorrow.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TonyMan's Avatar
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    Well believe it or not, I am up & running! After I reformatted my disk on my laptop, I got stuck at that Product key message again. Did a lot more reading at the Microsoft forum and found a post saying not to have anything in the DVD drive. Without the mobo disk, it would get the other error, but for the heck of it I pulled the DVD out & was able to install Windows and it activated. Now it's just getting all my apps back in!

    I also think I have an idea where my troubles may have begun. I installed a second NMVe and got the message that it had to repair Windows. When I took it out, the PC booted fine. I looked at it on the USB adapter and saw it had the same name as my previous Windows installation. Wondering if that was confusing the digital registration. Rough week, but it's over now.

    Thanks again for hanging in.
    Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a form of government.

  14. #14
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Glad you got it all sorted out.

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