This PC Can’t Run Windows 10 – How To Fix It


This PC Can't Run Windows 10

Our users face the error  “This PC Can’t Run Windows 10 – You can’t install Windows on a USB flash Drive Using Setup”. It appears when we are trying to either upgrade from an earlier Windows version to Windows 10 or Windows 8.1. Or else if you are trying to update OS using recovery media saved on a USB flash drive.

In other situations, the error ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ occurs even if users are trying to update their PC daily. You can update your PC using Windows Update without any USB device with Windows recovery media installed on it. Also, we have prepared several workarounds to fix the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ if you follow the steps carefully!

Also See: How To Get BitLocker Recovery Key From CMD

Causes Of Error – You can’t install Windows on a USB flash Drive Using Setup

Windows Update errors are very difficult to check the reason for also the issue is no exception, even without the existence of a USB flash drive to cause the issue. Still, here is a complete list of some common causes of error ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’:

  • faulty registry key might fool your OS into thinking it’s a portable variant which can further lead to other errors like the one mentioned in this guide.
  • Partition management is also another reason for those who are trying to install a fresh copy of Windows. The partition where you like to install the operating system must be marked as active.

Also See: How to Play PS4 on Laptop Without Remote Play

How To Fix It “This PC Can’t Run Windows 10 – You can’t install Windows on a USB flash Drive Using Setup”


Follow the steps to fix the ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ error:

Fix 1: Modify a Registry Entry

Another fix on our list is very simple or easy to perform. Also, it provides a quick solution to modify the value of a registry entry related to your OS. Still, just like editing the registry can be harmful and can lead to system instability, you should then use precaution.

As you are going to edit a registry key, we suggest you backup your registry to prevent other issues. Through this way, you can easily revert the modifications you have made if something went wrong.

  • Head over to the Registry Editor window after adding “regedit” in either the search bar, the Start menu, or the Run dialog box that can be accessed using the Windows Key + R key combination. Then move to the following key in your registry after navigating at the left pane:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control
  • Tap on this key and then try to locate a REG_DWORD entry known as PortableOperatingSystem on the Windows right side. If this option exists, right-tap on it, and select the Modify option from the context menu.
  • From the Edit window, under the section of Value data just modify the value to 1 or 0 depending on the current state. You can then apply the changes that you have made. Confirm any security dialogs that might appear during this process.
  • Now you can manually restart your PC after tapping Start menu >> Power button >> Restart and check to view if the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ is gone.

Fix 2: Mark the Partition as Active

This workaround is highly useful to those who are trying to install or download a fresh copy of Windows on their PC. Also, the partition where you like to install the OS must be set as active which can be done after following the set of instructions below:

  • Head over to the Disk Management utility after looking for it in the Start menu or the search bar and tapping the first option.
  • On the other hand, you can either use the Windows Key + X key combination or right-tap on the Start menu and select the Disk Management option just to open its console.
  • You can now locate the partition you like to make active (the one where your OS is installed or the one where it will be installed). Right-tap on it and select the Mark Partition as Active option from the context menu.
  • You can then confirm any dialog prompts and confirm your changes. Restart your PC and check to view if the issues “This PC Can’t Run Windows 10” still appear.

Also See: How To Fix Windows Registry Error Opening Key Issue

Fix 3: Reset Windows Update Components To Fix ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’

The first technique in this guide is the most successful and the other one is best for all cases when the first method fails. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that this workaround is an essential way of dealing with most update-related problems on Windows computers. It is a very lengthy procedure to fix the ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ issue:

  • Let’s begin with the method after shutting down the following services that are the core services regarding Windows Update: Background Intelligent Transfer, Cryptographic Services, and Windows Update. Closing them down before we initiate is very important if you want the remainder of the steps to perform without any issue.
  • Look for “Command Prompt” either right in the Start menu or after clicking the search button located right next to it. Right-tap on the first result that appears at the top and then picks the “Run as administrator” option.
  • Users who are trying to use an older variant of Windows can use the Windows Logo Key + R key combination just to bring up the Run dialog box. Input in “cmd” in the box and then use the keys Ctrl + Shift + Enter key combination just to run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Then copy/paste the command given below and make sure you tap the Enter key on your keyboard
    • net stop bits
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop appidsvc
    • net stop cryptsvc
  • Then you will have to remove some files if you like to continue with resetting the update components. This should be done through Command Prompt with administrative privileges. Execute this command:
    • Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\qmgr*.dat”
  • Then modify the name of the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2. If you want to do this, at a command prompt using admin rights, copy/paste the following commands and then tap Enter after you successfully copy each one. Still, face the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’? Follow the steps carefully!
    • Ren %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
      Ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak
  • Let’s move back to the System32 folder in order to proceed with the last part of this method. This is how to do so in Command Prompt.
    • cd /d %windir%\system32
  • As we have fully reset the BITS service. We would like to reregister all of the files required for this service to operate and run properly. Well, each file needs a new command just to make it reregister itself so the process might end up being quite long. Simply copy the commands then remember that you don’t leave out any of them. You can also find the whole list if you follow this link in a Google Drive file.
  • Now we are going to do is to reset Winsock after copying and pasting the following command back into the administrative Command Prompt:
    • netsh winsock reset
      netsh winhttp reset proxy
  • If you follow all the instructions mentioned above painlessly, now you can start the services you closed in the first step after using the below commands. Still, face the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’? Follow the commands carefully!
    • net start bits
      net start wuauserv
      net start appidsvc
      net start cryptsvc
  • Restart your PC after following through with the instructions provided and try to execute Windows Update again. Hopefully, you will now successfully avoid the irritating error message.

If you still face the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’ then:

Pro Tip: If none of the workarounds fixed the issue for you. Then we recommend you use Restoro Repair Tool which scans the repositories to replace missing or corrupt files. However, it works in some cases, where the issue occurs because of system corruption. Restoro can also optimize your PC for maximum performance. You can download or install Restoro after tapping here.


So, these were some of the best solutions to fix the issue ‘This PC Can’t Run Windows 10’. I hope you successfully resolve the issue with the help of our content. If you have any query regarding this guide or any other solution to get rid of the threat then feel free and let us know below. If you know of any other alternative method to fix it then let us know below.

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