Win 10 Pro update failure

JDF888 21 Reputation points

Have a Dell Latitude with SSD running Windows 10 Pro version 1809.

Trying to update to Windows May 2021 version but I receive message 'You can't install Windows on a USB drive using Setup'. When I cancel the update, I get MS error code 0XC1900201.

There is no USB drive in the device & I suspect Windows thinks the SSD is a removable USB drive.
I read that the issue is with registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PortableOperatingSystem.
The Latitude's current entry is '1' and I believe it should be '0'.

Unfortunately I can't find any documentation for this registry entry and before making a change, I'd like to confirm that I don't run the risk of making the computer unbootable, losing installed programs & user files, or causing the May 2021 update to corrupt the current Windows install.

Or is there another resolution to the update issue?

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
10,513 questions
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Accepted answer
  1. Philippe Levesque 5,681 Reputation points MVP


    You find the correct solution, it's safe to change the key to 0 for that specific registry key.

    The registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PortableOperatingSystem, make the system think it's on a portable storage, so the update just block, but as you tell, it's not a portable storage you have, and even if it would be, you can upgrade Windows that is on a USB stick that way too, so it's safe.

    I can't confirm if the update itself will be ok, but for that registry key have no fear, it's safe to change.



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3 additional answers

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  1. Cristian SPIRIDON 4,471 Reputation points


    There is a Microsoft article about your issue. Looks like your install was done as WTG by manufacturer:

    Hope this helps.

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  2. Jenny Feng 14,146 Reputation points

    This is because a faulty registry key may trick your system into thinking it is a portable version, leading to the error described in this post. Besides, the partition where you want to install the OS isn’t marked as active.

    You can use this method to solve the problem.
    Editing the registry is dangerous since mistakes could affect your system adversely. Thus, you should be careful and create a backup of registry keys or create a system restore point before you proceed.

    Hope above information can help you.


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  3. Docs 15,136 Reputation points

    Please run:

    1) setupdiag:

    2) V2 log collector:

    Post share links using one drive, drop box, or google drive.


    Please remember to vote and to mark the replies as answers if they help.

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