According to a new report featured in the MSI_Gaming subreddit, a recent Windows 11 update is halting overvolting and undervolting software enablement on MSI motherboards that use Intel CPUs. In effect, this means anyone using software-based overclocking utilities such as XTU on an affected system, will be prevented from undervolting or overvolting the CPU with software tools in Windows.
Unfortunately, we do not know which specific Windows update initially caused all this mayhem. But when installed, the update automatically enables Microsoft's Virtualization-based Security (VBS) on Windows 11 systems. Microsoft calls this feature "Memory Integrity" in Windows 10 and 11's security app.
Windows' enablement of VBS is the real cause of the issue. VBS blocks access to certain registers within the operating system, including the OC mailbox, which is needed to support software-based overclocking features. Even monitoring apps like CPU-Z can be blocked due to this registry lockout.
It's worth noting that VBS is automatically disabled in Windows 10, which is why 11 is the only effected OS. VBS will only enable itself automatically if Windows 11 is cleanly installed onto a system, or from upgrading Windows 10 to 11 if you have this new windows update installed.
Thankfully, MSI is working on the matter and has a new BIOS coming out soon that the company says will rectify the issue, allowing users to leave VBS on with no repercussions for older Intel systems. Intel systems with 600 series chipsets already have this fix applied. Apparently, VBS's lockout can be overridden, and a bunch of other companies have already done this with their motherboards.
But for users that are affected, the feature is very easy to turn off. All that's required is to locate the Device Security category in the Windows Security app in Windows 11, head to Core Isolation, and disable Memory Integrity to turn off VBS.
I did not suspect this was the problem. I thought it was an effect of my recently updated BIOS so I reverted to one that, as it would have it, did not enable SVM (CPU virtualization) by default. So when I started up after reverting I was happy to see boosting was back to normal... until I enabled SVM manually. That's when I knew it was the problem. So, thankfully it's fixable (sort of): either disable SVM in BIOS or disable Memory Integrity in Windows' Security settings.
I'm sure it's an effective security setting for certain exploits so I guess you should only do this if you're comfortable of your internet security practices otherwise. I also expect it will be re-enabled with subsequent major updates (at least) so anticipate doing this again (disabling Memory Integrity) after they drop.
XTU still loads, although I don't use it as the specific way to O/UC.
CPU-Z still operates properly on both. I am on an older version of that for at least the machine I am on right now.
I've been using the same old windows 7 image for years. It's so old that it couldn't connect to any updates or telemetry even if I allowed it. I've only recently had issues with MS crapware like Teams/Skype/MineCraft all failing at their login screens. A little internet searching hints that my W7 & IE need updates. A "convenience" rollout exists since MS wants no more "service packs" 🇳🇴. So now my Acronis C: drive image with the updated W7 is ready in all my USBs whenever I need to format/recover or move to a new PC.
It is better that manufacturers would start makin more secure programs and not messing with system!
Give people the option, and the clueless will have all updates off, leading to mass infections.
If this were an option for the clueful (thee and me), it is also an option for the clueless.