Back in the days of Windows XP bootrec.exe did not exist. Fixing the master boot record in Windows XP is a bit different. In this article I will show you how to use the Bootrec.exe tool to repair boot problems in Windows Vista or Windows 7.
The bootrec.exe tool can be used to fix:
- A master boot record (MBR)
- A boot sector
- A Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store
Please note that this tutorial presumes you have your original operating system disc so you can troubleshoot and repair startup errors. You will also need to make sure that the boot options in your BIOS are set to boot from your cd/dvd drive. If your dvd does not boot up and you do not see the option to “press any key to boot from dvd” then you need to enter into your BIOS and change boot options.
The first thing you should try if you are having boot problems it to start Windows Recovery Console and choose the Startup Repair. Then if that does not work you can try some more advanced options such as using the Bootrec.exe tool.
To run the Bootrec.exe tool, you must start Windows Recovery. To do this, follow these steps:
- Place the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
- Press a key when you are prompted.
- Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.
- Click Repair your computer.
- Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
- In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
- Type Bootrec.exe, and then press ENTER.
Note Use the Bootrec.exe tool to troubleshoot “Bootmgr Is Missing” issue. If rebuilding the BCD does not resolve the startup issue, you can export and delete the BCD, and then run this option again. By doing this, you make sure that the BCD is completely rebuilt.
To do this, type the following commands at the Windows RE command prompt:
- bcdedit /export C:BCD_Backup
- cd boot
- attrib bcd -s -h -r
- ren c:bootbcd bcd.old
- bootrec /RebuildBcd
The /FixMbroption writes a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. This option does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove non-standard code from the MBR.
Command: bootrec / fixmbr
The /FixBoot option writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that is compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Use this option if one of the following conditions is true:
- The boot sector has been replaced with a non-standard Windows Vista or Windows 7 boot sector.
- The boot sector is damaged.
- An earlier Windows operating system has been installed after Windows Vista or Windows 7 was installed. In this scenario, the computer starts by using Windows NT Loader (NTLDR) instead of Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe).
Command: bootrec /fixboot
The /ScanOs option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Additionally, this option displays the entries that are currently not in the BCD store. Use this option when there are Windows Vista or Windows 7 installations that the Boot Manager menu does not list.
The /RebuildBcd option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Additionally, this option lets you select the installations that you want to add to the BCD store. Use this option when you must completely rebuild the BCD.
Command: bootrec / rebuildbcd
Watch this video tutorial showing hot to fix startup errors with Bootrec.exe
This won’t work if
1. If your computer is not configured to start from a CD or DVD, check the information that came with your computer. You may need to change your computer’s BIOS settings as stated above.
- Choose your language settings, and then click Next.
- Click Repair your computer.
- Select the operating system you want to repair, and then click Next.
- On the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair
2. If you added anything that your PC hardware will recognize as a hard drive (USB external HD, memory card reader & maybe even a MP3 player), then Win7 will install /Boot/BCD to one of these.
3. I’m also assuming that you don’t have multi-partitioned HD with dual-booting OS’s. Just reconfigure your hardware & BIOS to the same as when you installed a working Win 7. If it works, then do the utility thing.
Using software to recover the Boot Sector of your hard drive
You can easily buy a boot disc to repair your computer for you, however if you are going to fork out your money you might as well do it properly with something you can use for more than just one purpose. Before buying anything you should look at paying $49.95 for The NO.1 Boot Utility Disk – praised by PC Magazine! This program will:
- Boot up computer even if it is infected with virus.
- Fast recovery from crashes such as bluescreen and blackscreen.
- Fix booting problems and random crash.
- Fix missing file crash such as “ntldr is missing”, “bootmgr is missing” etc.
- Repair partition table, corrupt registry, registry key value infected by virus, and crashed MBR even it is infected with virus.
- 1-click system file recovery.
- Rescue Windows 98/ME/2K/HOME/2003/XP/NT/Vista/7.
It will also recover files from a damaged hard drive, format, clean, clone and backup. Need I say more? This is what the computer techies use to fix your computer and charge you loads of cash per hour for their labor.