When you are updating Windows 11 to the latest version, you might see an error pertaining to the file called ENE.SYS. The error indicates that the driver cannot load. This problem is a result of the security settings in Windows 11 in combination with an older version of the ene.sys file.
What is ene.sys?
The ene.sys file is a driver file. Like other .sys files on Windows systems, it is a device driver that enables the communication between Windows and a hardware device. The ene.sys file is part of a system called MSI Mystic Light, which controls lights in a PC. This is typically used in gaming systems and is used by MSI for their gaming systems.
Mystic Light is installed as part of the MSI Dragon Center or MSI Center.
Option 1 – disable the memory integrity check
To enhance security Windows 11 has an option called core isolation. You can read all about it on the Microsoft website, but in short, it is a memory security feature that helps prevent critical components from being affected by malware or crashing the system.
To disable the core isolation (memory access protection) in Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open the Windows 11 Settings from the Start menu.
- In the Settings window, click Privacy & security option in the left-hand pane (1).
- Next, click Windows Security in the right-hand pane (2).
- Scroll down in the list of Protection areas until you see Device security and click it. The Windows Security window will open with Device security active.
- Now click the Core isolation details link.
- Toggle the option Memory integrity to Off.
Changing the Memory integrity option to Off will allow incompatible drivers to be loaded. That includes the version of the ene.sys that was shown in the initial error message.
As you will realize, this change will reduce the level of security on your Windows 11 PC. So, it is not the most desired option, but if no newer driver is available, it is the only option to load the driver.
Option 2 – Updating the ene.sys driver file
The better option to deal with the incompatible driver is to install an updated version of the device driver. Installing a later version of the ene.sys file can fix the problem. This will allow the Memory integrity to be enabled and load the ene.sys driver at the same time.
To update the Mystic Light version for MSI, you use the MSI Gaming Center software. Or for Windows 11, the new MSI Center software. The MSI Center can be downloaded from the MSI website.
After downloading and installing the MSI Center, run it to find the Mystic Light option and click the Update button. If the Mystic Light is not in the Installed list, find it under the Installable items and install it to get the latest version.
Once the installation of the new Mystic Light version is complete, enable the Memory integrity option in Windows 11 again.
Windows 11 will check the drivers installed on the system for compatibility.
If all drivers are compatible, the option will be enabled and the Core isolation will function properly.
In case a driver is found not to be compatible, Windows 11 will show a message in the notification area.
Click the Review incompatible drivers link in Windows Security to find out which drivers are incompatible.
What if you never used an MSI hardware product? There are other light control products used by other vendors that use the ENE solution as well. Have a look at Trident Z Lighting Control by G.SKILL, ASUS Aura, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and NZXT CAM. SignalRGB is a non-vendor solution for RGB sync.
It is important to only install one of these solutions though, as they can use similar software components and interfere with each other’s operation.
In general, we recommend keeping device drivers up to date. Using the latest versions ensures the most recent digital certificates on the driver files and the best compatibility with Windows 11. Use our DriverFinder program if you have trouble finding an updated driver.
Manually remove ene.sys and related files
In case you cannot fix it by installing, updating, or uninstalling software related to light sync, you might need to do a manual cleanup of anything related to ENE.SYS.
That means checking the Program Files folders on your system for any ENE subfolders and deleting them. Then search for ENE.SYS and ENE.DLL on the system disk and remove those files as well.
The last step is to search for ENE in the Windows Registry and remove any entries related to the driver. Make sure to make a backup of the Registry first by using the Export option in the Registry Editor!