ERROR – File: \Boot\BCD

Problem 1:

This was the error given when the PC was started:

AndyIssue

Windows Boot Manager

Something happened to the data on the hard drive that tells Windows how to start.

So of course the Microsoft solution is to insert the disc, and the system will magically fix itself.

The File that is giving us the problem is \Boot\BCD

The Status is a bunch of geek stuff that we aren’t going worry about.

Info states that an error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data (BCD).

1. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer. 

2. Press a key when the message indicating “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD …”. appears.

3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next. 

4. Click Repair your computer. 

5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next. 

6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt. 

7. Type BOOTREC /FIXMBR, and then press ENTER. 

8. Type BOOTREC /FIXBOOT, and then press ENTER. 

9. Type BOOTREC /REBUILDBCD, and then press ENTER.  

The bootrec command will search for Windows installations not included in the Boot Configuration Data and then ask you if you’d like to add one or more to it.

Option 1:

Scanning all disks for Windows installations.

Please wait, since this may take a while...

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.

This result most likely means that Windows installation data in the BCD store exists but bootrec couldn’t find any additional installations of Windows on your computer to add to the BCD. That’s fine, you’ll just need to take a few extra steps to rebuild the BCD.

Since the BCD store exists and lists a Windows installation, you’ll first have to “remove” it manually and then try to rebuild it again.

At the prompt, execute the bcdedit command as shown and then press Enter:

bcdedit /export c:\bcdbackup

The bcdedit command is used here to export the BCD store as a file: bcdbackup. There’s no need to specify a file extension.

The command should return the following on screen:

The operation completed successfully.

meaning the BCD export worked as expected.

At this point, you need to adjust several file attributes for the BCD store so you can manipulate it.

At the prompt, execute the attrib command exactly like this:

attrib c:\boot\bcd -h -r -s

What you just did with the attrib command was remove the hidden, read-only, and system attributes from the file bcd. Those attributes restricted the actions you could take on the file. Now that they’re gone, you can manipulate the file more freely – specifically, rename it.

To rename the BCD store, execute the ren command as shown:

ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

Now that the BCD store is renamed, you should now be able to successfully rebuild it, as you tried to do in Step 3.

Note: You could delete the BCD file entirely since you’re about to create a new one. However, renaming the existing BCD accomplishes the same thing since it’s now unavailable to Windows, plus provides you yet another layer of backup, in addition to the export you did in Step 5, if you decide to undo your actions.

Try rebuilding the BCD again by executing the following, followed by Enter:

bootrec /rebuildbcd

which should produce this in the Command Prompt window:

Scanning all disks for Windows installations.

Please wait, since this may take a while…

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] D:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes<Y>/No<N>/All<A>:

meaning that the BCD store rebuild is progressing as expected.

At the Add installation to boot list? question, type Enter Y or Yes, followed by the Enter key.

You should see this on screen:

The operation completed successfully.

meaning that the BCD rebuild is complete.

OR

Option 2:

Scanning all disks for Windows installations.

Please wait, since this may take a while…

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] D:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes<Y>/No<N>/All<A>:

Enter Y or Yes to the Add installation to boot list? question, after which you should see a The operation completed successfully message, followed by a blinking cursor at the prompt. Finish up with Step 10 toward the bottom of the page.

Restart your computer.

Assuming that an issue with the BCD store was the only problem, Windows should start as expected.

At the Add installation to boot list? question, type Enter Y or Yes, followed by the Enter key.

You should see this on screen:

The operation completed successfully.

meaning that the BCD rebuild is complete.

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