Multiple operations fail if Windows 8 is improperly identified as a Windows To Go installation

This article discusses issues that occur when Windows 8 is improperly identified as a Windows To Go installation.

Applies to:   Windows 8
Original KB number:   2778881


Consider the following scenario:

  • You have a computer that is running Windows 8.
  • The Windows may report that it's running as a Windows To Go (WTG) installation, while it's not.
  • Running or configuring certain Windows components may fail since the OS is reported as Windows to Go. Since these components aren't expected to work and shouldn't work when running Windows To Go installations.

In this scenario, you may notice the following issues:

  • Refresh your PC fails reporting:

    Your PC can't be refreshed because it's running Windows To Go

  • The Windows To Go control panel reports:

    Can't change startup options when you're in a Windows To Go Workspace

  • Microsoft Store fails with error

    Microsoft Store isn't available on Windows To Go Workspaces


Certain functionality may be blocked from working on Windows To Go Installations as the user experience may not work as desired or expected.


To resolve this problem, change the PortableOperatingSystem registry by editing the Windows registry.


This section contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


The below mentioned steps should only be followed on machines that aren't running as Windows To Go installations.

To check if the installation is running WTG, Open the Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) and ensure the Hard Drive the OS is installed to isn't seen as a Removable Drive, which may indicate to the OS that it's running in a Windows To Go scenario.


Install the following update and then perform the steps mentioned below:

2795944 Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 cumulative update: February 2013

To change the PortableOperatingSystem registry, follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry editor (regedit.exe)

  2. Locate and then select the following registry subkey:


  3. From the right-side pane, double-click on PortableOperatingSystem Dword value

  4. Change the value data to 0 (The default value is 1)

  5. Close the registry editor

  6. Restart the computer.

You can also use the command-line option to make the change. Run the below command from an elevated command prompt:

reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control /v PortableOperatingSystem /t REG_DWORD /d 0