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.





5 responses to “Beware of the MiniNT registry key”

  1. Adam K-F Avatar
    Adam K-F

    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 (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!

  2. Olaf Avatar

    This issue is already present in Windows 8.1 (which already supports the ReFS file system): If you create the “MiniNT” registry key the Event Log application does not display event log entries any more (even though entries are written to the log) and Windows Update cannot apply updates any more (error message along the lines of: “Windows PE not supported”.) Thanks to your post I was able to fix the issue by deleting the registry key. Excellent work!

  3. db Avatar

    Thanks for this! I had forgotten that I added that registry key a while ago, and now Windows Update started failing when trying to install version 1803. After removing the key, it updated without issues.

  4. Alice Avatar

    Thank you very much, I recently ran into issues after using the key to try to enable it on Windows 10 Home Edition.

  5. Will Avatar

    Ran into a plethora of problems due to the MiniNT key after I enabled it while troubleshooting some ReFS problems caused by the newest Win10 update. This post saved my life. I can’t find anywhere else that this is documented, thank you so much for putting this out there.

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