How To Rebuild the BCD In Windows

You may encounter an occurrence where the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store is missing, corrupt or has not been correctly configured. When this occurs the system will become unusable and upon booting up you will be presented with the message: “BOOTMGR is missing” or similar error reports, preventing you from accessing Windows.

BCD related issues are often resolved by simply rebuilding the affected machine, which can automatically be done by carrying out the bootrec command.

Note: If you’ve already had a brief scroll through the steps below and believe this is too convoluted, do not panic. Achieving this process could not be more straightforward. By just inserting a few lines of script into command prompt you’ll be well on your way to using your fully functional computer once more.

Before you begin this tutorial it is important to note that I have written this with Windows Vista and Windows 7 in mind. Similar issues do occur in Windows XP but unlike the latter operating systems, boot configuration information is stored in the boot.ini file as opposed to the BCD therefore you would have to follow an entirely different process.

It will take around 15 minutes to rebuild the BCD in Windows. This can be done by following the steps below:

Step 1: Start System Recovery options.

There are numerous ways that you can do this but for simplicity sake follow this guide: (If you already know then skip to step 2.

Stage 1: Insert your Windows 7 installation disc/System Repair Disc into the CD/DVD drive and restart the computer.

Warning: Ensure that the CD/DVD drive is listed as primary within the boot order within the BIOS menu. (This is vital. If not carried out, your computer will boot from the standard device as per usual)

Stage 2: If prompted, press any key in order to boot from the disc that you have inserted into the drive.

Note: You will only have roughly 8 seconds to press this key.

Stage 3: Select your language preferences then click on Next.

Stage 4: Click on repair your computer.

Stage 5: Choose the operating system that you wish to restore and then select Next.
Note: Even if an operating system is not displayed within the list you should still click on Next, regardless.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt from the list of options within the System Recovery menu.

Step 3: At the prompt, type the bootrec command as show below then press the return key.

bootrec /rebuildbcd

This command will look for Windows installations which have not been included in the Boot Configuration Data and will then ask whether you would like to add one or more to it.

Step 4: You should see one of the following options within the command line:

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:


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.

If you receive option 2, move onto step 5. If you received option 1 then 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:

Step 5: At the prompt, execute the bcdedit command as shown and then press the return key:

bcdedit /export c:\bcdbackup

Step 6: At this stage, you will be required 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

Step 7:

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

ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

Step 8: Attempt to rebuild the BCD again by executing the following, followed by the return key:

bootrec /rebuildbcd

Step 9: At the Add installation to boot list? question, type Enter Y or Yes, followed by the return key.

You will notice this on the screen:

The operation completed successfully.

This means that the BCD rebuild has been completed.

Step 10: At this point to finalise the process you will need to restart your computer.

Thank you for following this tutorial. I hope you found it to be helpful.

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