Windows 8 BCD problem

kirret
kirret used Ask the Experts™
on
I have Windows 8 and I got the light blue screen that said Recovery The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.
File:\BCD
Error code 0x0000000d
It just happened overnight, the laptop was OK Monday night, but failed to load Tuesday morning.

What I've done up to now:
To load an OEM Windows 8 disk I've gone and changed the UEFI boot option to Legacy and now the DVD is loading. I've loaded it up and gone into Troubleshoot - Advanced Options - Command Prompt and tried these:

bootrec /rebuildbcd - It returned with this text:

"Scanning all disks for Windows installation". It then found 1 Windows installation and then it asked me to press (Y) so it can be added to the boot list. I pressed Y and it returned with a message that "The requested system device cannot be found"

I then googled that reply and found this place: https://neosmart.net/wiki/bootrec/#bootrec_RebuildBcd_doesn8217t_work

I followed it but it failed on the first step:
The store export operation has failed.
The requested system device cannot be found.

It seems like it can't find the C-drive, but while in CMD I've loaded up the C-drive and can browse through all folders etc on this hard drive, so it can't be that the drive has failed.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
On a properly operating Windows 8 machine, there is no C:\BCD file / folder. You have (or the machine has) damaged the Master Boot Record.

Follow this article down to the point where it says to run fixmbr and see if that repairs the damage.

http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-fix-windows-8-mbr-master-boot-record/

Please let us know.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Please don't mess with the MBR unless you have to - and you don't.
The file (not folder) BCD is on the 350 MB partition below the Boot folder.

Please fire the command bcdedit and give us the output.

Author

Commented:
Hi guys

Thanks for getting back. I forgot to add before that I had tried fixmbr already but no luck.

So, I've done this:
x:\Sources\bcdedit and got this back:
The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
The requested system device cannot be found.

Is that what you were looking for, @McKnife?

Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You may now need to back up your files and do a fresh install of Windows 8 / 8.1. That may be the most robust way forward at this point.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
It is.
So the boot config seems to be gone. Either mess with the MBR (which could work out and is done in seconds) or go the safer but long route and create an image of your machine, install windows from scratch and overwrite your c: drive with that image. This works and will let you boot your old system.

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys. Connecting that HDD to another PC wouldn't help yea, no way writing a new MBR using another PC?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
no way writing a new MBR using another PC?  <-- I don't think I would try that.

Author

Commented:
Coming back to this now:

So the boot config seems to be gone. Either mess with the MBR (which could work out and is done in seconds) or go the safer but long route and create an image of your machine, install windows from scratch and overwrite your c: drive with that image. This works and will let you boot your old system.

I've created a clone of the original HDD, so have HDD A (original) and HDD B (new clone). What should I do next now, and on to which hard drive?

Thanks again.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
You don't clone. I advised you to image the c: drive and then install from scratch and then restore c:
Imaging could be done using the windows imaging as well, but the most straight forward program is drive snapshot which has a free trial for you less than 400kb in size and no installation required. http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/index.htm
You could also install fresh to your second drive and image and restore just the 350 MB partition to your original drive.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Try either drive and see if either works.

Author

Commented:
OK, now reinstalling Windows from scratch means either using an OEM DVD with a new license number, or, and which I don't think I can do, the built-in recovery partition with it's original manufacturer's license. Am I correct in this?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If there is a good Windows Recovery partition, make sure you have your data, execute the recovery process (depends on vendor) and let it recover. It will have the key.

Author

Commented:
@John - You would need to be a bit more specific please about the procedure if there's no easy way to load anything from that HDD when it's in the laptop. I can access files when it's connected to another working system, but on it's own it's a bit dead :)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You need to review the Vendor Documentation for activating the Recovery Partition. For me, it is the Blue ThinkPad button. It depends on the maker and I use Lenovo.

Author

Commented:
So you can still access recovery partition even if the BCD is missing?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The recovery partition is supposed to be self contained and rebuild the system from scratch. it should not need anything.

Author

Commented:
Hmm, not sure how I can load it though considering the original error message I posted what comes up when the laptop boots. It's an Acer laptop if that helps at all.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It is possible Acer does it differently and possible the recovery partition was damaged (or its setup was damaged).

So at this point, you will need to ask Acer for Recovery Media.

Author

Commented:
OK, thanks John. I'll see if McKnife has any other ideas, if not then will need to get in touch with Acer.

Thanks again
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Other ideas? No, I still stick to the advice I already gave you which I used myself and which does solve it.

Author

Commented:
I've used that Drivesnapshot program now to make a snapshot of the C-drive from the troublesome HDD A. There were 3 or 4 other partitions, didn't do anything with them. So, now that I have the snapshot, and to be on the safe side, what do I do with HDD B? Install fresh Windows 8 on it with a help of an OEM DVD? If so, I will need a new license number for this laptop, instead of the original manufacturer's one?

Sorry to be a pain, just I haven't done anything like it on Win8 computers before.

Thanks,
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You can take any win8.1 setup, it doesn't matter what version, only make it an x64 one.
You can use the trial of enterprise together from here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-8-1-enterprise or your OEM setup dvd with a key provided by microsoft: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I have a main (os) partition, a 1GB recovery partition, a 260MB EFI partition, and a 12GB recovery partition on my Lenovo machine.

If you use a new license, I don't think you need the old ones, Windows will build what it needs except for the vendor recovery partition which it cannot build.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
try the paragon rescue kit, and use the Boot corrector tools :
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-express/

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