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by Nirav Patel

Introduction

Before installing Windows 11 Home or Pro on your Framework Laptop DIY Edition, make sure you've installed memory, storage, and WiFi. Here is a link to the Framework Laptop DIY Edition Quick Start Guide where we go over all the steps to get started.

Don't forget to install the Driver Bundle after you complete Windows 11 installation. Because the hardware in the Framework Laptop is so new, a fresh Windows install doesn't have the needed drivers for full hardware support.

Tools

Parts

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    • If you purchased Windows from Framework, log into your Framework account and navigate to Digital Purchases to redeem your Product Key.

    • Windows 10 Product Keys can be used to install Windows 11, and Windows 11 Product Keys can be used to install Windows 10!

    • Once you redeem your Product Key for Windows, you will not be able to return it for a refund. You can always choose to redeem your key and activate Windows after you complete installion, as the installer lets you skip the Product Key entry step.

    • Don't forget to install the Driver Bundle after you complete Windows 11 installation. Because the hardware in the Framework Laptop is so new, a fresh Windows install doesn't have the needed drivers for full hardware support.

  1. Download  and launch Microsoft's Windows 11 Media Creation Tool. If you navigate to this page from a Linux or Mac system, it'll direct you to download a Windows .iso instead of the Media Creation Tool.  We recommend finding a Windows machine instead to create the installer to avoid any issues. Accept the license agreement.  If launching from Windows 10, select "Create installation media for another PC," and click Next. Select the language and architecture, select "USB flash drive", then select the drive you'd like to use and wait for the installation media to be created.
    • Download and launch Microsoft's Windows 11 Media Creation Tool.

    • If you navigate to this page from a Linux or Mac system, it'll direct you to download a Windows .iso instead of the Media Creation Tool. We recommend finding a Windows machine instead to create the installer to avoid any issues.

    • Accept the license agreement. If launching from Windows 10, select "Create installation media for another PC," and click Next. Select the language and architecture, select "USB flash drive", then select the drive you'd like to use and wait for the installation media to be created.

    • Once creation completes, eject and remove your USB Flash Drive.

  2. Power off your Framework Laptop if it is on.
    • Power off your Framework Laptop if it is on.

    • Plug your bootable USB Flash Drive into your Framework Laptop.

    • Power on your Framework Laptop. If the Storage device installed in your laptop is blank, it will boot directly into the Windows Installer.

    • If you have an existing operating system installed on the laptop, you'll need to tap F12 repeatedly while booting in order to choose your USB Flash Drive to boot from.

    • This will take you to the Boot Manager menu shown in the screenshot. Use your arrow keys to select the "EFI USB Device", and then press Enter.

  3. Select the appropriate locale options from the drop down menus on the first screen, click Next, and then click "Install Now" on the next screen. The Windows installer uses a fallback driver for the touchpad, so the touchpad behavior may be somewhat janky.  After you complete installation and install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle, the touchpad will behave normally. The cursor may not appear until after swiping on the touchpad for a few seconds.  If the cursor still doesn't appear, hard power down the laptop by holding the power button until the system shuts off.  Wait 15 seconds, and power on again.  You can also use the Tab and Enter keys on the keyboard or an external USB mouse to complete the installation.
    • Select the appropriate locale options from the drop down menus on the first screen, click Next, and then click "Install Now" on the next screen.

    • The Windows installer uses a fallback driver for the touchpad, so the touchpad behavior may be somewhat janky. After you complete installation and install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle, the touchpad will behave normally.

    • The cursor may not appear until after swiping on the touchpad for a few seconds. If the cursor still doesn't appear, hard power down the laptop by holding the power button until the system shuts off. Wait 15 seconds, and power on again. You can also use the Tab and Enter keys on the keyboard or an external USB mouse to complete the installation.

    • You can enter the Product Key now or click on "I don't have a product key" to enter it after installation is complete.

    • If you are entering a Product Key later, choose the version of Windows you'd like to install. This will usually be "Windows 11 Home" or "Windows 11 Pro".

    • You can then accept the license terms. On the next page, select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option, and Windows will now begin the installation process. Your laptop should restart when complete.

    • If your USB Flash Drive is large, the installer may prompt you to choose which drive to install Windows 10 on. Select the internal drive (typically Drive 0), not the one labelled "ESD-USB".

    • If you are overwriting an existing OS, you'll likely need to select and Delete the partitions on the drive to make space for your Windows install.

    • The installer will reboot and take you through the Windows setup process. Follow the on-screen prompts to select your region and keyboard layout.

    • Select and connect to your network, and then let Windows download updates.

    • Note that if no networks are visible, it is possible you're using an older Windows 11 installer that is missing the necessary WiFi driver. You can download the latest installer to resolve this.

    • Note that if you previously entered a Windows 11 Pro Product Key and want to create a local user account instead of logging into a Microsoft Account, you'll can select "I don't have internet" at the network selection screen. If you connect to a network, the installer will instead ask you to log into a Microsoft Account.

    • If you entered a Windows 11 Home Product Key or skipped entering a key, you'll either need to connect to a network or search for workarounds.

    • After the system reboots, set your system name. After it reboots again, if you connected to a network earlier, log in to your Microsoft account (or create one). If you skipped network connection, create your local account.

    • Create a pin if prompted. If you logged into a Microsoft account that has a previous OneDrive backup, you'll be presented an option to restore from it. Otherwise, you can set up as a new device.

    • Select your preferred privacy settings, then select customization options or skip the step. Set up OneDrive or select "Only save files to this PC." Select or skip a few annoying upsell screens Microsoft puts in front of you. Setup will then complete and reboot into Windows.

    • You'll now need to install the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle to get your laptop fully functional.

    • First, download the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle. If you haven't connected to a network yet, you'll need to download this on another system and then copy it over using a USB Flash Drive.

    • Navigate to the folder where the Framework Laptop Driver Bundle is, and double-click on it. Click Yes on the "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" prompt that comes up.

    • The Framework Laptop Driver Bundle will automatically install all of the drivers required to use the Framework Laptop. It will take several minutes to install. At the end of the install, you will be prompted to press any key to reboot. Press any key.

    • After the laptop reboots, you're done! You can connect to a network if you didn't do that earlier and also Activate Windows if you didn't enter a Product Key during installation.

    • Make sure to run Windows Update after you're connected to a network to get the latest security updates. In the future, you'll also be able to get driver and firmware updates through Windows Update.

    • Make sure to update your laptop firmware to the latest available to ensure optimal performance and stability. We also recommend updating your SSD firmware, as we have seen issues on some versions of SN850. Instructions for Western Digital SSD firmware updates are available here.

Conclusion

3 other people completed this guide.

Nirav Patel

Member since: 03/24/2021

18 Guides authored

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One Comment

Intel i7-1185G7

* The Windows 11 installation restarted unexpectedly (crashed) while I was entering my user credentials. However, I was able to continue the installation after the reboot without any problems.

* After using the Media Creation Tool, I copied the Driver Bundle directly on the prepared Windows installation USB Flash Drive. This way I could immediately install the drivers, after installing Windows.

* I've been using Windows 11 extensively on the laptop for the past days. It seems rock solid so far.

David Matscheko - Reply

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