Beware of the MiniNT registry key

As of Windows 10 Version 1511, ReFS isn’t available by default as an option when formatting drives that aren’t part of a Storage Space. It’s easy, however, to enable this functionality by adding a DWORD named AllowRefsFormatOverNonmirrorVolume under the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MiniNT (an example guide can be found here).

Unfortunately, the presence of MiniNT Registry key causes various Windows components to think they’re running in the Windows Preinstallation Environment. Significantly, the presence of the key breaks the Event Viewer – attempt to open any log and you’ll be greeted with the following very unhelpful error message:

Event Viewer cannot open the event log or custom view. Verify that Event Log service is running or query is too long. The request is not supported (50)

If this weren’t enough, apparently Windows PowerShell remoting will stop working, too.

TL;DR: Delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MiniNT as soon as you’re done formatting your drive with ReFS.

1 thought on “Beware of the MiniNT registry key”

  1. I came across the same issue when Veeam Endpoint stopped functioning. Same behavior, added the registry key to enable ReFS and the Event Viewer and Veeam both stopped functioning.

    Related Veeam error was “Services suddenly stopped working” which points you in this direction https://www.veeam.com/kb1959 (incorrectly). The root cause was the Event Viewer being disabled by the ReFS MiniNT reg key.

    Great post, saves me the effort of posting myself!

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