You can’t install Windows on a USB flash drive from Setup

When you try to upgrade your Windows 8.1/8 to Windows 10/8.1, you may receive an error message – Couldn’t install Windows, You can’t install Windows on a USB flash drive from Setup Error code 0xc1900104. If you do, here is what you need to do to fix the issue.

Windows 10 Creators Update not installing

You can’t install Windows on a USB flash drive from Setup

Sometimes the error message is followed by the Error code: 0xc1900104.  I’ll discuss few steps that may resolve your issue.

First of all, you have to make sure your system meets the minimum system requirements. My experiences with this issue are limited to the various user reports so the information may or may not work for you.

1] There were lots of users who reported that they were able to resolve the problem by simply marking the Windows partition active.

To do so follow these steps:

  • Go to the Metro screen and type in Control Panel
  • Then clicking System and Maintenance, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Computer Management
  • In the Navigation pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
  • Right-click the primary partition that you want to make active, and then click Mark Partition as Active.

Once you have marked the partition as active, please reboot the system and try to update again from Windows Store.

2] The other fix few users reported as being helpful, was to change a registry value. Please be careful while working in the registry. Make sure you create a backup of Registry before you proceed.

  • From the Desktop screen press Win + R
  • Type in Regedit
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  • Change the value PortableOperatingSystem to “0” from 1.

Once you change the registry value, please reboot the system and try to update again from Windows Store.

3] Finally, very few users reported that if the partition reserved by Windows 8 was too small especially for SSD’s, then you may encounter this problem. The easiest way to fix this will be to use a Partition Manager software and increase the reserved partition to at least 500 MB ( it may be around 100 or 150 MB). There are lots of free partition manager software out there that help you in increasing the partition size. Please proceed with caution, and it’s best if you can create a backup image of your drives just to be sure.

While this post mentions Windows 8.1/8, it applies in the case of Windows 10 too.

I hope this will help you resolve your issue. Do let us know if you find out any other way to resolve this problem.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags

Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one’s and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.