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Enabling TPM for Windows 11 upgrade on 2018-2021 Windows 10 PCs

Was your computer manufactured between 2018 and 2021 and still running Windows 10 because you have yet to be prompted to upgrade to Windows 11? If so, it could be Windows 11 compatible and needs a feature turned on. Here is how to enable the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in your computer.

Enabling TPM for Windows 11 Upgrade on 2018-2021 Windows 10 PCs

One of the services we offer is to perform a clean installation of Windows. When doing clean installs, I find that most systems manufactured between 2018 and 2021 do not have the TPM enabled. Once I enable the TPM, I usually will do a clean installation of Windows 11 instead of Windows 10.

So, what is the TPM? The TPM is a microchip that provides hardware-based security functions. It is designed to provide a secure foundation for various security-related functions, such as BitLocker drive encryption, Windows Hello, secure boot, and more. By providing a secure environment for sensitive operations, TPM helps protect the system's integrity and the data's confidentiality.

The first version of the TPM, 1.2, started to appear in computers in 2006 and was a dedicated chip. TPM version 2.0 (the version required by Windows 11) began to appear in computers in 2018 and is a firmware extension of the CPU (Central Processing Unit). Between 2018 and 2021, the TPM function of most computers was turned off by default, as no version of Windows required it.

Then, in 2021, Microsoft released Windows 11 and changed the hardware requirements for Windows. Windows 11 now requires a TPM version 2.0 for Windows 11 to be installed. There were registry hacks and other ways to get around it, but Microsoft quickly patched those flaws.

So, the first thing you need to do is find out the status of the TPM inside Windows 10. By bringing up the TPM Management console, you can see if a TPM is enabled and what version it is. To open the TPM Management console, perform either of the following:

  • Open a RUN dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R, type tpm.msc in the Open field, and left-click on OK.
    or
  • Open a search box by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + S, type tpm.msc, and choose tpm.msc Microsoft Common Console Document.

Once the TPM Management console appears, it will tell you if a TPM is enabled and what version it is.
TPM status inside of Windows 10
If it states that a compatible TPM could not be found, you will have to either research the system/motherboard specifications online or boot your computer into the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) / UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).

Now, before you research online or boot into the BIOS/UEFI, let's talk about what you will be looking for. The CPU manufacturers (Intel and AMD) have different names for implementing the TPM firmware extensions.

  • The TPM extension inside Intel processors is called Platform Trust Technology (PTT).
  • The TPM extension inside AMD processors is called Firmware TPM (fTPM).

The quickest and easiest way to check for a TPM is to boot your computer into the BIOS/UEFI. This may take several tries, as interrupting the booting cycle for your computer can be challenging. If you don't interrupt the boot process the first time, just let the computer boot to the login screen and restart it.

  1. Restart your computer and access the BIOS/UEFI settings. The method to access these settings varies depending on the manufacturer of your computer. Typically, you can access the BIOS/UEFI settings by pressing a specific key (such as F2, F10, or Del) during the boot process. Most of the time, pressing either the F2 or the Del key rapidly when the splash screen (the manufacturer logo) appears will get you into the BIOS/UEFI settings. Consult your computer's manual or the manufacturer's website for specific instructions.
  2. Once in the BIOS/UEFI settings, navigate to the Security or Advanced tab. Look for an option related to TPM or Security. The wording may vary depending on the manufacturer. Remember to look for PTT in systems with Intel processors and fTPM for systems with AMD processors.
  3. Enable the TPM feature and save the changes before exiting the BIOS/UEFI settings. Your computer will restart.
  4. After enabling TPM in the BIOS/UEFI settings, you can verify that it is enabled in Windows 10 by opening the TPM Management console (as previously outlined). It should now show that TPM is enabled.

Once the TPM is enabled, you can wait for Windows Update to offer the Windows 11 upgrade or manually upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11. Enabling the Trusted Platform Module on computers manufactured between 2018 and 2021 running Windows 10 is an important step towards being able to upgrade to Windows 11. By following the steps outlined in this article, users can verify the presence and version of a TPM and enable it in the BIOS/UEFI.

Things to do before and after upgrading your computer to Windows 11

Are you planning on upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11? Before you do, there are a few things you should do to ensure a smooth transition. In this article, we'll look at a few things to do before and after upgrading your computer to Windows 11.

Things to do before and after upgrading your computer to Windows 11

Before upgrading to Windows 11

Check hardware compatibility

This is the first thing you need to do. Windows Update will typically prompt you to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 if it sees that your computer has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 enabled. This is the only hardware requirement that has changed between Windows 10 and Windows 11.

If your computer was built after 2018, it more than likely has a TPM 2.0 component. The problem is that manufacturers disabled the TPM prior to the release of Windows 11, as they felt it was not required for Windows 10, so why have it enabled by default?

So, computers built between 2018 and 2021 have a TPM 2.0 component included but not enabled. To enable the TPM 2.0 component, you will need to turn it on inside your system's BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). A quick check inside Windows 10 will tell you if the TPM component is enabled and what version it is.

Using a Run dialog box (Windows logo key Windows logo+ R) or Search box (Windows logo key Windows logo + S), you can check the status of the TPM component inside your system. Just type TPM.MSC into a Run dialog box and select OK, or type TPM.MSC into a Search box and choose tpm.msc Microsoft Common Console Document.

TPM status inside of Windows 10

When the TPM Management console opens, it should display the TPM's status and version. If you get a message stating that a compatible TPM cannot be found and your computer was manufactured between 2018 and 2021, you should check the website of the manufacturer of your computer/motherboard for a user manual to find instructions on how to enable the TPM.

Geek tip: If you ever have to replace the CMOS battery in your computer, the BIOS can reset itself to factory defaults. If the factory defaults had the TPM turned off, then things like Bitlocker drive encryption will not work correctly.

Check your drive for errors

You should definitely check the drive that has Windows installed on it for errors. You want to make sure the folders and files contained on it aren't damaged. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through the upgrade process only to get an error that causes the upgrade to fail.

How to run a standard disk check in Windows 10

  1. Open File Explorer using one of the following:
    • Left-click on the File Explorer icon (manilla folder) on the Taskbar.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo + E at the same time.
    • Use the Power User menu by right-clicking on the Start Windows logo button and selecting File Explorer.
  2. In the left-side column, left-click on This PC.
  3. In the right-side column, right-click on the drive you want to check and select Properties.
  4. Left-click on the Tools tab.
  5. Under Error checking, left-click on Check.
  6. Left-click on Scan drive.

If you want to run an advanced disk check, follow the link below.

How to check your drive for errors in Windows 10

Backup your computer

As the old saying goes, "It's always better to be safe than sorry," and this couldn't be more true when it comes to your computer. Having a good 'bare metal' backup is essential when it comes to an operating system upgrade.

Yes, 99.99% of the time, nothing goes wrong with an in-place upgrade, but there is always the possibility. A full backup will definitely bring a greater degree of safety to the whole upgrade process.

Backup your files with File History and Windows Backup in Windows 10

If you decide to do a full 'bare metal' backup, you will definitely want to create a recovery drive just in case.

How to create a recovery drive in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Clean up the junk

Whether or not you upgrade your operating system, giving it a good cleaning can do wonders for your computer's performance, not to mention making the upgrade process a little bit simpler.

Removing temporary folders and files, emptying the recycle bin, and clearing out your downloads folder are just a few ways to prepare your computer before upgrading to Windows 11. Windows 10 has two (2) different programs built in to help with cleaning out junk.

Clean up your Windows 10 computer using the Storage feature

Clean up Windows 10 with Disk Cleanup

Uninstall unnecessary programs/apps

Over time, you may have installed programs that you no longer use. Before upgrading to Windows 11, it's a good idea to uninstall any unnecessary programs to free up space on your computer. This can also speed up the upgrade process and ensure Windows 11 runs smoothly.

How to uninstall a program or app in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo menu and left-click on the Gear (Settings) icon. It should be the second icon up from the bottom.
  2. Left-click on the Apps category.
  3. In the right-hand column, you will find a list of installed programs (App & features).
  4. Scroll down the list of apps and left-click any program you would like to remove, and select Uninstall.

Uninstall or disable your anti-virus

If you are using any anti-virus program other than Microsoft Windows Defender, you should disable or remove it before upgrading to Windows 11. I have seen anti-virus programs slow down an upgrade and even cause it to fail.

You can save yourself a headache or two by at least disabling your anti-virus software. Although uninstalling is the best option, disabling should work just as well.

Upgrade to Windows 11

So, if you haven't yet been prompted to upgrade to Windows 11 through Windows Update and your computer has a TPM 2.0 component enabled, you can manually upgrade your computer using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. Just download it and run it.

Windows 11 Installation Assistant

After upgrading to Windows 11

Now that you have a new operating system, you will want to ensure you have all of the latest and greatest drivers for the components inside your computer. First, you should check for driver updates on the website of your computer or motherboard manufacturer. After that, if you have a dedicated graphics card, you should look for updated drivers for it. This will help ensure that your computer runs Windows 11 smoothly and efficiently.

What you can do if you do not want to use OneDrive

Cloud-based storage is fantastic. You can access your data from any location. But what if you do not want your personal data stored on the cloud? What if you just want all of your personal data stored on your local computer only? If that is the case, here is what you can do if you do not want to use Microsoft OneDrive.

What you can do if you do not want to use OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is an excellent cloud-based storage solution and can be extremely valuable for backing up data. However, the problem I see with my customers is that most novice Windows users don't know what it is or how they ended up using it.

The explanation is simple: When you create a new user in Windows, whether it is when you first start your new computer or add a user, Windows prompts you to log in with a Microsoft account. When that new user logs in, OneDrive is automatically enabled by default.

There are several different ways to get rid of OneDrive from your computer. You can disable it, unlink it from your computer, or completely uninstall it. But when all is said and done, you may have to manually restore your user shell folders to their original locations (more on that later).

How to unlink OneDrive from your user account

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon OneDrive iconin the system tray (located at the bottom right corner of the screen).
  2. Select Settings from the context menu that appears.
  3. In the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box, go to the Account tab.
  4. Left-click on the Unlink this PC shortcut.
  5. A warning message appears telling you that locally stored files will remain in place while online versions will be deleted. Left-click on the Unlink account button.
  6. The Set up OneDrive dialog box should appear. Left-click the X in the upper right-hand corner to close the dialog box.

Now that OneDrive is no longer syncing your data, you can either disable OneDrive from starting or uninstall it. However, you might notice that some of your user shell folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures) were not returned to their original locations. We will take a look at those later in this article.

How to disable OneDrive in Windows

  1. Right-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Task Manager.

or

  1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL all at the same time.
  2. From the security screen that appears, left-click on Task Manager.

or

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the Taskbar.
  2. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Task Manager.

Sometimes, the first time you run Task Manager, it will only display running apps. You have to left-click the More details arrow to view all the tabs. The location of the tabs varies from Windows 10 (across the top) to Windows 11 (down the left side).

Once the tabs are displayed, left-click on Startup (Windows 10) or Startup apps (Windows 11). From here, all you have to do is highlight OneDrive and select the Enable / Disable button. Restart your computer so the changes take effect.

How to uninstall Microsoft OneDrive

There are two (2) ways to uninstall OneDrive: the Settings app or the Control Panel.

How to uninstall Microsoft OneDrive using the Settings app

Windows 11

  1. Left-clicking on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the list of pinned apps on the Start menu, left-click on Settings.
  3. In the left-hand column, left-click on Apps.
  4. In the right-hand column, left-click on Installed apps.
  5. The right-hand column displays a list of all the installed apps. Find Microsoft OneDrive, left-click on the three (3) horizontal dots (...) on the right, and select Uninstall.

Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo menu and select Settings (the gear icon).
  2. Left-click on Apps.
  3. In the right-hand column, Apps and features will be displayed. Left-click on Microsoft OneDrive and select Uninstall.

How to uninstall Microsoft OneDrive using the Control Panel

Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo key button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Double left-click on the Control Panel.

Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo button to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Scroll down the list of programs until you get to Windows System, and then left-click on it to expand it.
  3. Left-click on Control Panel.

By default, the Control Panel opens up in the category view but can be changed to large or small icons. A pull-down menu in the top-right corner labeled View by: allows you to change the view.

  • If viewing the Control Panel by Category, left-click on Uninstall a program under Programs.
  • If viewing by Large/Small Icons, left-click Programs and Features.

A list of all the programs installed will appear. Left-click on Microsoft OneDrive and select the Uninstall button at the top of the list of programs.

How to restore the location of your user shell folders back to default

Now that you have either disabled, unlinked, or uninstalled OneDrive, you must check and see where your user shell folders are located. By default, OneDrive moves your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to a folder under your user profile (C:\Users\YourUserName\OneDrive).

The easiest way to check is to open File Explorer by left-clicking the manilla folder icon on the Taskbar or pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + E. Right-click on any of the Quick access links and left-click on Properties from the context menu that appears. Left-click on the Location tab and check where that folder is located.

If it points to the OneDrive folder inside your user profile (C:\Users\YourUserName\OneDrive), you have two choices: You can leave them right where they are or change them back to default.

Location tab on the properties of a Desktop special folder

While checking the properties of your user shell folders, you can also restore them to their default location(s). Just left-click the Restore Default button in the lower left-hand corner of the folder properties.

You may get a dialog box pop-up that tells you that the folder you are trying to move does not exist in the new location and asks if you want to create it. Just left-click on Yes and proceed to restore the folder its original location.

At this point your user shell folders should be back in their original default location(s). But if you encounter an error when trying to restore your user shell folders, something similar to Can't move the folder because there is a folder in the same location that can't be redirected. Access is denied. then you will need to modify the Registry.

The truth about user shell folders is that they are just entries in the Registry and can be modified using the Registry Editor. But remember that editing the registry incorrectly can cause your computer to not operate correctly and possibly not even boot up, so be very careful when editing the registry.

If you do not feel comfortable editing the registry, don't hesitate to contact a local computer repair shop, like Geeks in Phoenix, for assistance. The first thing you need to do is open the Registry Editor.

Remember that changing the location of user shell folders in the registry does not actually move your files back to that location. You will have to manually move them from the OneDrive folder to the location you specify in the registry.

How to restore the location of your user shell folders using the Registry Editor

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box by either:
    Pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R
    or
    Right-click on the Windows logo Windows logo key on the Start Menu or press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X and then select Run
  2. In the Run dialog box that appears, type regedit and select OK. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Once you open the Registry Editor, let's backup the registry first.

  1. With the Registry Editor open, highlight Computer in the left-hand column to backup the complete registry.
  2. Left-click on the File pull-down menu and left-click on Export.
  3. Select the location and a descriptive file name for the backup file, then left-click on Save.

Now, let's change the location of your user shell folders in the Registry.

  1. Verify that the folders you want to redirect to (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, etc.) currently exist inside your user profile folder (C:\Users\YourUserName). If they do not, then you will need to create them before proceeding.
  2. With the Registry Editor open, navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    The Registry Editor open to the user shell folders registry keys
  3. In the right-hand column, right-click on the Name of the value you want to change and select Modify... from the context menu.
  4. Enter either the default value for that folder from the table below or the path to the actual folder (C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents). Make sure the actual folder exists before changing the folder key.
  5. Log off or restart your computer for the registry change(s) to take effect.

Default user shell folder registry values

Registry key name Folder Data (default value)
{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} Downloads %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
Desktop Desktop %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
Favorites Favorites %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
My Music Music %USERPROFILE%\Music
My Pictures Pictures %USERPROFILE%\Pictures
My Video Videos %USERPROFILE%\Videos
Personal Documents %USERPROFILE%\Documents

How to edit the programs that autostart in Windows

Do you have a program that automatically starts when you log in to Windows that you do not want to do that anymore? Or maybe you have too many programs starting when you log in to Windows? If so, here is how to edit the programs that autostart in Windows.

How to edit the programs that autostart in Windows

Autostart programs are a great convenience for users as they allow commonly used programs to start automatically when the computer boots up, saving time and effort. However, these autostart programs can accumulate over time, slowing the bootup process.

Now, there are only two (2) locations that can automatically run a program: the Startup folder and the Registry. There are two (2) types of autostart programs: System-wide or user-specific. And then, there are the different ways to edit the autostart programs.

Now you can edit the autostart programs using a couple of different applications, Task Manager and Autoruns. Task Manager is built into Windows, and Autoruns is a Microsoft utility that must be downloaded (see link below).

With Task Manager and Autoruns, you can toggle on or off any autostart program to test how it will affect the performance of your computer. And with Autoruns, you can even delete items that automatically start.

Task Manager: Task Manager is a built-in tool in Windows that allows users to monitor and manage running processes. To access Task Manager, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys or right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager. Navigate to the Startup tab to see a list of programs set to autostart. To disable a program from autostarting, right-click on it and select Disable.

Autoruns: Autoruns is a free tool from Microsoft that provides a comprehensive list of all autostart programs, including those from the Startup folder, Registry, Task Scheduler, and other locations.

Autoruns for Windows

Once downloaded, run the program and navigate to the Logon tab to see a list of programs set to autostart. To disable a program from autostarting, uncheck the box next to it. To delete a program, right-click on the entry and select Delete.

You know how to disable, enable, and delete autostart programs, but what if you want to add a program? This requires manually editing either the Startup folder or the Registry.

Startup Folder: The Startup folder is a simple and easy way to add programs to autostart. To access the Startup folder, press the Windows Logo key Windows logo + R to bring up the Run dialog box. Then type shell:startup and press Enter. This will open the user-specific Startup folder. Or navigate to the following folder in File Explorer (show hidden items must be turned on).

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Once you have the user-specific Startup folder open, right-click on an empty space on the right-hand pane, select New > Shortcut, and then navigate to the program to want to autostart. For reference, here is the location for the read-only system-wide Startup folder.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

Registry: The Registry is a powerful tool that stores configuration settings for Windows and many programs. Improperly editing the Registry can cause your computer to run incorrectly and even fail to boot, so backing up the Registry is recommended before making any changes.

How to backup the Registry in Windows

To access the Registry, press the Windows Logo key Windows logo + R to bring up the Run dialog box. Then type regedit and press Enter. Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

This key contains a list of programs set to autostart for the current user. To add a program to autostart, right-click on an empty space in the right-hand pane and select New > String Value. Enter the name of the program and the path to its executable file.

For reference, here is the location for the system-wide Registry key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

In conclusion, autostart programs are a great convenience for users but can also slow down the bootup process. Using the tools mentioned in this article, users can easily manage and edit autostart programs from various locations in Windows.

Play all of your favorite multimedia files and disks with VLC Media Player

Are you looking for a program to play optical disks (BD, DVD, CD) in Windows? Maybe you are feeling frustrated by having to have multiple media players to handle the various file formats you encounter? If so, you'll be happy to know there's a solution: VLC Media Player.

Play all of your favorite multimedia files and disks with VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a remarkable media player that can handle a wide range of formats, including MPEG-1/2, DivX® (1/2/3/4/5/6), MPEG-4 ASP, XviD, 3ivX D4, H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC, WMV 1/2/3, QuickTime, RealVideo, and many more. This gives you the flexibility to play just about any media file you come across without the hassle of switching between different players.

But that's not all: VLC Media Player is also highly versatile when it comes to operating systems. Whether you're using Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, or Android, there is a version of VLC Media Player for your device. This means you can enjoy your media files on your preferred platform without worrying about compatibility issues.

You can also change the appearance of the VLC Media Player by using skins. There are quite a few skins available for download, or you can create your own with the VLC Skin Editor. Note: Skins do not work on the Mac OS version of VLC.

Another great thing about VLC Media Player is that it's completely free. There are no annoying ads or in-app purchases, so that you can enjoy uninterrupted media playback. VLC Media Player is open-source and produced by the non-profit origination VideoLAN.

In summary, VLC Media Player is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a media player that's both versatile and easy to use. For more information on the VLC Media Player, follow the link below.

VLC Media Player

Free computer diagnostics

Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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Geeks In Phoenix LLC, BBB Business Review

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Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

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Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

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