Things Needed: You will need your Windows 7 DVD or a USB with the recovery console installed.
IF USING A USB STICK MAKE SURE IT IS PLUGGED INTO A USB 2 SLOT, USB 3 IS NOT SUPPORTED; It will error with ‘failure when attempting to copy boot file’.
After rebooting your computer you will receive the following error on your Windows Boot Manager;
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
To fix the problem:
- Insert Windows cd and run a repair your computer option.
- File: /boot/bcd
- Status: 0xc000000f
- Info: an error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.
- You may receive a similar error which lists the error code as 0xc0000034 or missing file: windows\system32\winload.exe instead.
You may also receive further errors after trying to repair the bcd store using bootrec and bcdedit as follows;
- The requested system device cannot be found.
- The “Windows Boot Configuration Data File is Missing Required Information“
- The “Windows Boot Configuration Data File is Missing“
- An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data
Cause and Fix
The most likely cause of this error is that you tried to dual boot two operating systems and then later decided to remove one. This inadvertently may have deleted the bcd boot store. The trick here is to run the above commands in the right order and set your boot partition to active. Let’s get started.
Make sure your boot partition is set to Active
- Boot from your DVD and choose the repair option.
- From the recovery console type “diskpart” and press enter
- Then type “list disk” to get a list of physical disks installed.
In the example above we only have one disk in the machine, if you have more than one, identify the disk which has the Windows boot partition on it and then select it. Select it by typing “select disk 0” (in this case).
- Now type “list partition”. The Windows 7 boot partition is a 200 MB primary partition. As you can see below it was on disk 0.
- Select it by typing “select partition 2” or whichever number matches your 200MB partition.
- Now type “detail partition” and look where it says “Active”. If it says yes then move onto the next section otherwise type “Active” and press enter, Windows should report the partition is now marked as active.
- Now reboot and boot into the recovery console again.
Repairing the MBR and boot sectors
From the recovery console run these commands in this order;
- bootrec /fixmbr
- bootrec /fixboot
- Now reboot the machine again into the recovery console and type “bcdboot path to your windows folder“. Your windows folder will normally be c:\windows but in the recovery console it may show up as D:\windows so make sure you get the path right. In our case it was “bcdboot d:\windows”. This will build a new bcd boot store and copy over all boot files needed to boot. Now reboot your machine one last time and it should work. If it doesn’t run the two bootrec commands again.
If you have any additional operating systems you want to add use the bootrec /scanos command.
If you still have issues you may have a system with a GPT disk. In this case you will have an EFI sytem partition that must always be active.
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