Cannot set up without internet connection

puzzled

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Hi...

the topic is not new, but there seems to be a new twist to it...

In connection with a project where I need a lightweight portable computer (to be used "in the bush") I recently bought an ASUS L410M, and the label on the package informs me that it was manufactured in April of this year. It comes with Windows 11, and given the date of manufacture, I assume that this is one of the very latest variants of Windows 11.

And apparently this has some implications for the usability of this computer: I want to set it up without using the internet but seem not be able to do that.

I searched for relevant information and found the following pages:

(also, a brief version of the above reposted by the same author at

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/how-to-setup-win-11-with-no-internet.3778159/ )


These are the instructions taken from those sites:

A) "Press SHIFT+F10 keys together, which will open a Command Prompt window"

* Problem: Shift + F10 does not do anything (aside from briefly showing a rotating blue circle next to the cursor)

B) If A does not work try this: "Press ALT+F4 Keys to Close Internet Connection Page"

* Problem: ALT + F4 does not do anything (it was already mentioned that this applied to earlier variants of Win 11)

C) If A and B don't work, try this: "Restart the computer when your see the "Let's connect you to a network" screen. After restarting, Windows 11 setup will skip Internet connection step and will move to next step i.e. creating local user account."

Note: at this stage, restarting the computer means cutting the power and turning the computer on again

* Problem: restarting the setup process does not allow me to bypass the "Let's connect you to a network" screen.

An interesting detour:

After the 5th restart of the kind mentioned above a different (less graphic) setup screen appeared that mentioned "update", and I was offered the choice betwwen a wireless and a wired internet connection but clicked the (tiny) bypass option, and then the computer rebooted itself and started again with the original setup screen where I cannot bypass the internet setup. 5 restarts later, I was able to repeat the same process.

End result: no go.

I also read about someone else's experience trying to set up an Ausus computer with Windows 11 at

and

All this is not encouraging.

(A tangential thought: this looks like a kind of "war on the consumer" that Microsoft is waging, and it seems we need to look for a lawyer and start a class action suit.)

Question:

Does anybody know a workaround to set up the most recent variants of Windows 11 without internet connection?

Thanks in advance for solutions, leads to solutions, or other helpful comments...!
 

RogerOver

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Hi,
(we are during the installation process; I suppose you were disconnected from the internet from the beginning): do not enter the shift+F10 key (hold shift really down) when you are at the "chose your language page" (at the very beginning), but click through the installation process until the window appears which says "Let's connect to the internet". Now disconnect, if possible physically (disconnect the ethernet cable or remove the power from the box). Then hit "shift+F10" and type "OOBE\BYPASSNRO" at the cmd prompt that opens; the setup process (or the computer, I don't recall) will automatically restart. When coming back, your PC will direct you to the same window again. ("Let's connect ..."). Now there should be an entry at the bottom, where you can click "I don't have internet". Passed this you can reconnect to the internet.

AFAIK (not tested !) you could also leave the internet connected all the time and and hit at the same window "shift+F10" again and type "ipconfig /release", which will stop Microsoft from remembering that you were already connected to to the internet before.

The best ist perhaps to do both (enter ipconfig /release first in the cmd window and then "OOBE\BYPASSNRO). In the second cmd there is no space, in the first there is) !

(I very recently = three days ago did a setup of WIN 11 on an elder computer, and it did work !)

For your final proposals: I fully agree. The problem is: "there is always free cheese in a mousetrap" 😁
 
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Bighorn

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I was given 2 computers for parts, one a Notebook and the other a Desktop. Both were from 2019 originally with Win10 Home and both had issues but I got those fixed. Then I reinstalled Win10 as Local Account followed by Upgrading to Win11 retaining the Local Account, no issues. I have also changed a Win11 computer from Microsoft to Local by creating a new User as Local, rebooted into it then removed the Microsoft user.
 

puzzled

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Hi,
(we are during the installation process; I suppose you were disconnected from the internet from the beginning): do not enter the shift+F10 key (hold shift really down) when you are at the "chose your language page" (at the very beginning), but click through the installation process until the window appears which says "Let's connect to the internet". Now disconnect, if possible physically (disconnect the ethernet cable or remove the power from the box).

Hi... thanks for your comments! I took the above to mean that I should connect the computer to the internet, boot it up, and then disconnect it later - and although the Shift+F10 trick never worked, I found a different way to get a green "Next" button on the page that says "Let's connect to the internet". This is what I did, inspired by your suggestions:

First I set up Acrylic DNS Proxy on the LAN to block access to all outside hosts and to log all attempts to connect to those hosts. Then I connected the computer to the LAN and let it boot and start its setup routine. As expected, the button in question turned up greyed out again, and I had tio cut the power. But this time I had a log file to look at, and one of the many server names recorded in that file was "www.msftconnecttest.com", which suggested a way forward: I changed the proxy setting to allow access to "www.msftconnecttest.com" only and let the computer boot again and start the setup routine. This time the button on the page that says "Let's connect to the internet" turned green, and I was able to move on. But this did not go far: having blocked all the other servers caused the computer to immediately come up with a message like "Oops, it looks like we lost the internet connection, let's go back and try that again". Keeping in mind what had happened earlier when I repeated an unsuccessful step 5 times, I now repeated this "oops" game 5 times, as well, and saw my hunch proven right, as the computer gave up on the internet issue after 5 unsuccessful tries and let me proceed to the end of the installation. :)

Remains to be seen when MS moves the goal posts again in this battle of wits...

Anyway, I then got rid of the "S mode", for which I had recourse to these resources:

and
and

Then I activated the licence by phone, turned off unwanted functionality, and eliminated obnoxious apps, including "MS Edge" (the latter as a challenge and not out of necessity).

Having test driven this computer for a good week now, I see only an occasional complaining "Defender" pop-up, and I hope I will be able to get rid of that, as well - but in general the computer is ready for life in the bush now.

Thanks again!
 

puzzled

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I was given 2 computers for parts, one a Notebook and the other a Desktop. Both were from 2019 originally with Win10 Home and both had issues but I got those fixed. Then I reinstalled Win10 as Local Account followed by Upgrading to Win11 retaining the Local Account, no issues. I have also changed a Win11 computer from Microsoft to Local by creating a new User as Local, rebooted into it then removed the Microsoft user.
Thanks for these additional hints - I can see these tricks come in handy in situations where we are not dealing with a brand-new Win 11 setup... glad to see that creative minds beat MS at its game. ;)
 

The Shadow 2023

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A PC with a factory install of any version of Windows is "Like a box of chocolates. You just never know what you're going to get". ("Forrest Gump")

If someone gave me a brand new PC, still in the box, with Windows xx factory installed on it, the first thing I would do is make a backup copy of the C: partition, then wipe it clean and install windows from my own Flash Drive.
That way, I could bypass all the MS BS and I would know exactly what I have. Not the old "Box of Chocolates" trick.

My own Windows 11 on my Flash Drive, has been massaged by Rufus, to remove all the conditions, stipulation and demands made by MS. The installation goes fast and smooth, and doesn't stop to ask any stupid questions.

Rufus Opts.jpg
I always take all the options, just as in the example above.

And when I'm done, I have a clean, lean and mean install with no passwords, no MS Account, NO Cortana and NO WUDO.
 
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