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Thunderbolt3 driver for WinPE


I have got a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER (1.0) motherboard with a Gigabyte GC-TITAN RIDGE 1.0 CARD (Thunderbolt3).  In the BIOS the security level for Thunderbolt3 is set to "User Authorization".

The driver that I get thru Gigabyte is an Intel driver.  Gigabyte says that they do not modify it.  It's a DCH driver.  This means that the "Thunderbolt Control Center" is not included with the driver but it now is an app that needs to be installed from the Microsoft store.  For Windows 10 this works fine.

However, I need to be able to access Thunderbolt3 disks from WinPE 10  (1903 or later) and WinPE does not allow you to install the Thunderbolt Control Center app.  As such, I cannot access Thunderbolt 3 disks from WinPE as I need a console to approve using the disks.

I customize WinPE with the required driver so it is included at boot time.

I already have been in contact with Intel support and they said that as I'm not a direct Intel customer they cannot support me. Instead I needed to contact Gigabyte support.  But Gigabyte says that I need to contact Intel as they do not modify the driver.  So I'm kind of stuck.

So, what needs to happen now to get a solution? 

Ideally, Intel would provide a driver that recognizes WinPE and that would  use an embedded Thunderbolt Control Center like program.

Alternatively, is there something that I can include in WinPE (e.g. a registry key) to preconfigure approval for a disk?  What does actually happen when in Windows 10 you allow thru Thunderbolt Control Center permanent access to a specific thunderbolt 3 disk?  Does this create a registry key that I might be able to copy from Windows 10 to WinPE?  Or is there an other way to configure or preconfigure access to a specific thunderbolt 3 disk in WinPE?  A powershell script maybe?


Thank you.

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2 Replies

Hello Olympus_007

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.


Thunderbolt™ is a technology that computer manufacturers customize for their platforms. Intel provides firmware and driver updates directly to OEMs (HP*, Lenovo*, Dell*, and so on) and doesn't support their products. It's their responsibility to test and validate updates before posting them for customers on their support websites.


For technical support information and help with Thunderbolt™ please contact your computer/motherboard manufacturer (OEM) for the proper support.

For more details, please review this link: Support Options for Thunderbolt™


Also, it is worth mentioning that in compliance with Microsoft® new Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Intel has stopped bundling regular software with DCH drivers since UWP requires that all driver-dependent applications be made available only through the Microsoft* Store. This is a Microsoft requirement. Find more information* about UWP.


Modifying Windows® Registry Keys is a risky task, and that may lead to other operating system (OS) issues, as well app and OS customization are out of our scope.

Having said that, and also regarding your request and all your inquiries, our recommendation is to address these concerns to GIGABYTE* Support or to Microsoft® Support* (perhaps Microsoft has options available to install Microsoft* Store apps on WinPE*) for proper assistance.



If you are a developer, or for additional information and documentation, you may complete this application or contact us at


We will proceed to close this inquiry now from our end. However, we will leave the thread open in case other users want to participate. Thank you for your understanding and for your feedback, it is really appreciated.


Best regards,

Andrew G.

Intel Customer Support Technician

*Links to third-party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, Intel® is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third-party endorsement of Intel® or any of its products is implied.


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Dear Andrew,

I understand that I should contact Gigabyte support in the first place but for this issue they have been a total disappointment.  I have been in contact with Gigabyte support since May 2020.  They have replied  a number of times that a thunderbolt  driver was available on their website.  And when I told them that the driver did not work with WinPE they continued to reply  that it was available on their website.  

In the meantime, I had contacted Intel support.  They at least did understand the problem but told me that they could not provide me a solution because I was not a direct Intel customer. I had to get a solution thru Gigabyte and if needed Gigabyte could contact Intel.  When I told Gigabyte support, they replied that they did not modify the driver they received from Intel and therefore I should contact Intel.

So once more I tried to explain that I could not contact Intel as I was not an Intel customer and that Gigabyte should contact Intel.  Then I got the follwing reply:

     "We do not do any modifications after we receive the Titan Ridge drivers from Intel.  Only Intel
       can modify the Thunderbolt drivers themselves. "

So I tried again and now they once more  replied that the driver was available on their website.

When I replied they told me that I should contact this Intel community.  So this is how I got here and why going back to Gigabyte is no option for me.

I also understand that upon Microsoft's request DCH drivers no longer include a control panel.  If a control panel is needed it is distributed thru the Windows store.  But this makes it incompatible with WinPE.

There are also  companies that continue to additionally make standard drivers available.  If a standard Thurnderbolt3 driver were available it would be compatible with WinPE.

If I had gotten my thunderbolt3 hardware from Intel, how would Intel then handle this request?

Also, as Intel has designed thunderbolt you (Intel) must know how the Thunderbolt3 Security Level BIOS option exactly works.  When in Windows 10 you permanently allow a Thunderbolt3 disk thru the Thunderbolt Control Center app, what actually does happen to store this permission? How/where is it stored?

I obviously would prefer that I could allow a disk thru a control center like app in WinPE but it would already help me very much if I could get it to work with a specific disk by being able to add the permission that exists in Windws 10 on my PC to WinPE. 

Note also that modifying the registry in WinPE is not really a risk.  If it causes a problem you just reboot your PC or rebuild WinPE.

Best regards


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