Windows 11 Update Kills Undervolting and Overvolting on MSI Boards

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.