Windows 10 Bootrec – the requested system device cannot be found

After cloning a SSD for a customer it wouldn’t boot after running the normal

Bootrec /fixmbr
Bootrec /fixboot
Bootrec /scanos
Bootrec /rebuildbcd
But the Bootrec /rebuildbcd wouldn’t work with a error  “The requested system device cannot be found”

after spending time looking in to this issue i found a  forum post that fixed it right up.

Firstly, boot from a UEFI Windows 8/10 recovery disk (CD/DVD/USB) – I found that the automated recovery process didn’t find the correct Windows partition, nor when I managed to add it to BCD settings would it make it reliably bootable e.g. using BCDEDIT I got it to find and launch the Windows partition but it refused to cold boot or would not “keep” the settings after a 2nd reboot or power off.

Go into the Advanced options and run the Command Prompt.

Enter diskpart to use the DiskPart tool to ensure you have all the right partitions and to identify your EFI partition – the key thing here is that your EFI partition is formatted as FAT32:

DISKPART> sel disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list vol

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     E                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     C                NTFS   Partition    195 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 2         WINRE        NTFS   Partition    400 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 3                      FAT32  Partition    260 MB  Healthy    System

Then assign a drive letter to the EFI partition:

DISKPART> sel vol 3

Volume 3 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> assign letter=b:

DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

Exit DiskPart tool by entering exit and at the command prompt run the following:

cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\

bootrec /fixboot

Delete or rename the BCD file:

ren BCD BCD.bak

Use bcdboot.exe to recreate BCD store:

bcdboot c:\Windows /l en-gb /s b: /f ALL

The /f ALL parameter updates the BIOS settings including UEFI firmware/NVRAM, /l en-gb is to localise for UK/GB locale. The localisation defaults to US English, or use en-US.

Reboot and cross your fingers.

Source http://superuser.com/questions/460762/how-can-i-repair-the-windows-8-efi-bootloader

 

265 Comments

  • just had to say thanks. two days trawling the web, trying every fix i could find and this was the only concise, accurate and most straightforward of them all. more importantly – it solved my rebuildbcd “requested system device cannot be found” error immediately! 🙂

  • MERCI !

    I love you !!!!

  • MANY THANKS FOR THIS POST.
    I thought my computer was lost forever and would need to re-install de OS not before having to extract my files, mos of which were not backed up. So again, THANK YOU

    • Thanks for the response. This took quite a while to find after a did a clone for a customer. Its proving to be popular post. I’m guessing a few people are having the same issues.

  • This worked wonderful. We had the issue after somehow corrupting windows (moving ProgramFiles). We had the error when booting from USB using the Windows 10 ISO file.

  • I followed your guide, it was a lot better then the others but for some reason i am still getting that boot error, i tried it a second time but its still the same thing.

  • This was my last ditch attempt before I bit the bullet and reinstalled Windows 10 without having backed up my files. My heart was racing as I typed the commands and took my blood pressure tablet before rebooting – graphic I know but it really was like that lol! Anyway, IT WORKED and I just wanted to say a massive thank you 🙂

  • George - Australia

    It works. Thanks for sharing this advice.

  • Hi, this blog really helped me in changing the SSD to M.2. After the disc image it wouldn’t boot anymore. With your instructions it was up again in 10 minutes.

    Thanks

  • Thanks so much! Solved my problem : )

    (Problem occurred after migrated my Lenovo windows 10 laptop from HDD to m.2 SSD, received 0xc0000034)

  • Hi, I followed these steps exactly, and once I get to the final step, the command prompt just brings up the bcdboot help dialogue, what is it supposed to do. For reference the line I’m entering is c:\Windows /1 en-US /s b: /f All/UEFI (I’ve tried both)

  • Thankyou so so much. This solution was a life saver. Other solutions didn’t work for me.

  • Hi. I tried:
    DISKPART> sel disk 0

    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

    DISKPART> list vol

    but I dont have a fat32 partition.

    • I don’t know which disk should I assign as EFI. I currently have Windows 10 in my USB so should I assign it to my USB? The only volume that says FAT32 is the Volume 3 which is the USB so I should assign it to that?

      • I have the same problem, i don’t have a fat32 partition!

      • For future folks reading this

        I had this similar problem. The only fat32 volume I had was in my boot USB.

        What I did was:

        1- Followed the instructions in this blog using using my boot USB.
        2- Restarted the computer, entered the BIOS settings, and booted from my USB again. This took my back to my windows, and it finally worked.

        HOWEVER: Do no remove the USB. Your PC is still unable to boot normally, and it is still dependent on your USB.

        3- While in windows, open disk management, and create a 100mb partition
        (If your main boot drive is C:, select it, look at the boxes below, right click the unallocated volume, choose simple volume, and create one using FAT32)

        4- Go to your “My computer” and open your USB drive. Copy/paste your bootmgr file and EFI folder into the new FAT32 drive you just partitioned.

        5- Restart your PC. It should be safe to remove your USB.

        Good luck

    • http://woshub.com/how-to-repair-deleted-efi-partition-in-windows-7/
      This will help to restore EFI partition if you don’t see it

  • Bravo, Andrew (my dearly-departed uncle’s name)!

    You know, I’m frequently out on the ‘net, looking for answers to stupidly random crashes (& their deplorable & worthless “error codes”!!!). I’ve become quite good at knowing in my gut when a “fix” sounds reasonable. Generally, the more complicated the fix, the less likely it is to succeed.

    As soon as I luckily stumbled across this one, I KNEW, I actually knew it would work- and it did, indeed. Brilliant.

    Many thanks, from a random IT tech in Western AU. 😉

  • I am attempting this from a bootable USB stick.
    however, where I get the ‘boot files copied successfully’ I still get system device not found when attempting /rebuidbcd

    Any ideas?

  • This worked! Thanks a lot you saved me.

  • Thanks so much! this solution is working for me 🙂

  • Thanks Mate

    Saved a PC and possibly a marriage

  • Andrew you were dead on. Every solution I tried would always end up with: “The requested system device cannot be found.” At least for me, the general go-to solution of using bootrec with /fixmbr, /fixboot, /scanos, /rebuildbcd would not work. But, this did. Thanks so much!

  • Thanks. Found this at hour 3 of non working laptop after upgrading win 10. Lifesaver.

  • Thank you so much!!!! I tried everything and your instructions where the ones that worked. Thank you again!!!

  • It worked perfectly and first time. Many Thanks

  • THIS WORKED! Thank you so much, you are officially my hero.

  • This fixed my hosed system after running Microsoft’s driver Verifier (the singularly most useless tool designed to render a Windows system useless.)

    None of Microsoft’s community pages nor the nearly as useless KB offered anything except “Reset” or Fully Erase.

    Mucking Ficrosoft.

  • Thank you, this worked a charm!

  • Thx a tonne mate!
    This worked Like a charm 🙂

    May the light shine upon you!
    Cheers
    Jasper

  • thanks for the support , my system recovered, fully , thanks very much

    sumit

  • After running the bcdboot command, it said successful, but I can’t see a new BCD file, just BCD.bak in b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\
    *sad face

  • I followed the guide but still no luck. I noticed when i listed the volumes, i didn’t fine an entry on the “INFO” tab that shows boot on my main volume.

  • THANK YOU so much!!!

    Great post

  • Andras Feszthammer

    Thank you for posting this, it worked perfectly for me.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge in solving this kind of problem…

  • Thank you very much, you are the man. This is the only way to fix it. It just happened on my Toshiba convertible when I tried to install the latest Creator update. Your post is one of the reasons I love the Internet!

  • YOU ARE AAAAAAAAAWESOME !!!

    Keed doing the great work!

    m

  • I need help :/. I used “easybcd” to create a dual boot of windows 10 on two different drives and now I can’t load any of the drives… i don’t know what to do anymore ! I don’t mind losing data I just want to get an OS running. Anyone ????

  • Everything in my c drive is Partioned as ntfs

  • Thanks so much, I literally cried when my notebook able too boot after almost a week frustrating.

    One question- in case I used USB drive (installation media) to boot using your method, once I managed to reach desktop, do I need to rely on the USB to boot? Or is my C drive automatically repaired- if not, how can I repair it?

    Again, you are my hero!!

  • Just wanted to say thank you! Was helping a friend with their computer and some how my boot config got corrupted! These steps corrected the issue!!!

  • Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!!!

  • thanks alot man, it worked perfectly!!!

  • I was called to a frantic clients house with a BSOD. After getting the bootrec errors I found this page and it worked like a charm!!!
    Windows is finishing updates and back up. Thanks for this tip!!!

  • AMAZING. I thought I had tried everything on the web when I stumbled across your post. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much time you have saved me. You should have a tip link!

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH! 🙂

  • Thank you for this post, I’m trying to follow it, but am confused, after these commands:

    cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\

    bootrec /fixboot

    You then say to:
    @@
    Delete or rename the BCD file:

    ren BCD BCD.bak
    @@
    but at this point the current directory is your UDB boot disk, b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot. Do you really mean to run the ‘ren’ command in that folder? I see no BCD file there, don’t you mean to backup the BCD on the system drive you’re trying to recover? (C: in your case).

    My problem is I cannot find my BCD at all. After booting from Win 10 installation media and getting to Command Prompt I can see C is a 100Mb System Reserved drive, D is my USB boot media, E is my windows system drive that I’m trying to fix boot for.

  • Your a bloody legend this saved me a whole lot of pain and it worked, thanks!

  • It’s not normal that I post on threads, but I must give credit where credit is due. After MBR got corrupted, I tried bootrec and various repair tools. Even after factory reset it wasn’t fixed and every repair method I’d scoured the internet for didn’t work.

    This method is what finally fixed it.

  • Perfect. This worked quickly and easily (Windows 10 Pro). Great job.

  • It only works (my laptop normally booting) if the flash drive I used (in performing the bcdedit) is connected to my laptop. How come?

  • Thank you. Worked perfectly.

  • Finally, great thanks…
    It worked perfectly

  • Thanks! You saved my day! 😉

  • Man, you just saved me at least 24 hours!!! I tried EVERYTHING else and this did the trick perfectly! Thank you so much for posting the above. Good on you!

  • A big thanks. This finally did the trick.

  • You da best!!! Honestly I would have cried if I didn’t found your blog XD

  • Thanks Andrew! Thanks for your sharing 🙂

  • Thanks
    your solution working perfectly
    you save my PC

  • Ricardo Coelho

    Well thanks for saving me a lot of time!

    This helped me to take my W10 boot again.

    Many thanks,
    Ricardo

  • Worked a treat.

  • Sir, after weeding through a whole bunch of crap, I found your step by step. It worked!!!! You are doing God’s work my friend.

  • Thank you thank you thank you!
    Two days trying everyting (Google, forum, Microsoft etc…) and finally this fantastic blog!
    My Acer notebook Windows8 with HDD with one damaged cluster and error on MFT restarted like a charm!

  • Thank you very much – this got me back up and running. ‘Preciate you!

  • I can’t believe this worked! Every step along the way I kept thinking it would come up with “drive not found” as it had so many times before, but everything worked perfectly! Thank you so much! I downloaded windows.iso from Microsoft’s website on another computer and used that to access the command prompt, I’m not sure if it will work on a USB recovery drive or not.

  • Thank you for your solutions. Problem fixed. Really appreciate it.

  • Thanks a lot, it was the only solution after many attempts that solved my problem in windows 10 File: \ Boot \ BCD with error code 0xc0000034.

  • Thank you!!!! Although it was a little touch and go for a while, it worked.

    Very much appreciated!!!!!

  • It worked! Many thanks.

  • LIFE SAVER! the only thing that worked thank you so much!

  • I don’t know how to run the line after the exit part

  • You are a lifesaver!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I just wanna say thank you! After almost a day trying to fix my pc I was almost giving up.

  • Thank you so much for your help. I have been fighting since morning.

  • Can’t Thank You Enough
    After 3 days of struggling with so many other repair options
    You saved my new Laptop
    Thank you

  • U Sir, are a god. This fix is awesome.

  • Mate, this instruction is the most easily to follow and most of all EFFECTIVE in rectifying the problem….Thank you so much you are awesome

  • Thanks, so much. After every other attempt failed this worked perfectly fine. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Great info, but here’s my problem – what if when I do the boot up from usb with my win 10 install on it an then do the diskpart, I get this –
    Sel disk
    List vol
    Vol 0 ltr c ntfs 500 meg
    Vol 1 ltr e ntfs 837 gig
    Vol 3 ltr b fat32 (which is the usb I booted up with)

    I do not have a fat32 drive on my ssd that will stay on every startup!
    Am I screwed now?

    Thanks!

  • Hello, when I typed list vol comment, mine showed the following:
    volume 0 Ltr C Label OS
    Volume 1 Ltr (blank) Label ESP
    I added the Ltr b to volume 3. When the next command prompt was entered (cd/db:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootrec/fixboot
    I get there following message”the system cannot find the path specified”
    Please help!

  • Thanks thanks thanks….

  • Omg you are a genius..i have been fighting with my computer for two days..this worked perfectly..thank you thank you thank you

  • Third try, best try. Lost the BCD on my last reboot, and your steps fixed it right up. Thank you!!

  • Thank you very much.
    Love you <3

  • cd /d b:\ EFI\Microsoft\Boot\
    The system cannot find the patch specified.

  • Thank you so much! It worked. You’re a real blessing to the IT Community!

  • When I get to this bit
    cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\
    I get this message
    The system cannot find the path specified.

    What can I do now?

  • By the way, the disk in question is NTFS

  • Much appreciated. You just saved my life, well my pc’s life

  • Thanks. This was the only solution that actually worked. I hard copied for future possible use.

  • What can I say?
    Very few things have brought me to tears of joy:
    1) Marrying my wife
    2) The birth of my 4 children
    3) Chelsea winning the Champion League
    and now
    4) Reading this article and it working

    This is a keeper. [Insert deity of choice] bless you!
    And the winner of the Nobel Retaining my Sanity Prize is Andrew!

  • This article gave me the information I needed to salvage a client’s PC. When you said “the key thing here is that your EFI partition is formatted as FAT32”, you were absolutely right and that told me what I needed to know. In my case, the “The requested system device cannot be found” message was due to the EFI partition being converted from FAT32 to NTFS due to the client’s failed attempt to install Windows XP on a spare drive.

    I would add two things to this article:

    (1) Run chkdsk /f on all your drives as identified by the “LIST VOL” command first, and then try booting again. This will fix any structural issues with the Windows file system. I have recovered drives that failed to boot by running this command alone. That would not have helped this specific problem, but in my particular case it reported and fixed disk problems that would have been an issue anyway.

    (2) Like the article said, make sure you have a FAT32 partition. If you don’t, then you need to format the EFI partition to make it FAT32. In my case, the file system for Volume 3 was identified as “RAW” by the LIST VOL command (column “FS”). I assigned a drive letter D: to Volume 3, tried DIR D: and was unable to read the volume. I typed CHKDSK D: /F to repair the file structure and was then able to read the contents. There were boot files in there but no EFI folder. I then typed FORMAT D: /FS:FAT32 to clean out the damaged partition and make it usable for EFI. In my case I got a message asking if I wanted to convert an NTFS drive to FAT32 (the chkdsk d:\ /f command allowed the drive to identify as NTFS) That then allowed me to run the “bcdboot c:\Windows /s D:” command successfully. WARNING: Make sure you know what you’re doing and format the right EFI partition! Not your active C:\Windows drive or any data drives! Anything over a couple hundred MB size won’t be an EFI partition.

  • I couldn’t sleep for days but now i can after solving the issue with this amazing post. Thanks.

  • Never really comment on posts like this but had to write something on this occasion. Purchased and installed a new motherboard, same HDDs that had been working all along so I knew it wasn’t a drive issue. Start the PC, “Select boot device…” I mess with settings in the BIOS, nothing. Eventually make a repair USB, try making the partition active only to be met with “BOOTMGR” missing. Go in circles for hours until I begin to question the error message which you wrote about above. Research a bit and end up here. Followed your instructions and boom! Everything is working fine now! I really appreciate people like you who take time to solve these problems and then share with everyone. You’ve saved me tons of frustration.

  • Many Ditto Thanks.

    Additions -> Make sure to put your UEFI secure boot back on once you do this. I had legacy enabled so I could access my CDROM/USB drive that had the repair DVD in it.

    Followed your directions to a T and Windows Loads. Client will definitely be grateful and I gained some good experience fixing this BS.

  • Thank you very much for this post! worked like a charm

  • Thanks a lot

    You saved my life

  • I found your solution after spending more than 4 hours when I had decided to reinstall windows 10 but as the last try, I applied your solution and it worked like a magic. Thank you very much for saving my hours and hours work and restoring my all settings that I need to do my works.

  • Thank you.
    Same issue, and just follow your instructions and worked.

  • THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH i was desperate so great thank you

  • Thank you,.u saved me

  • Thank you so much. This literally saved me hours. Bless you and good wishes and karma to you!

  • Salamat! You are my savior. my laptop is looking at me like nothing ever happened . Thank you from me and my hubby Jonathon.

  • It worked! Thanks a zillion!

  • Thanks so much for having us up on the interwebs. As I walked by my computer in the morning I saw that Microsoft had very helpfully applied an update restarted the computer and it was giving me the blue screen of we can’t find your boot stuff. Repair media automated processes could not help and neither could the usual command line routine. This routine did the job at least as soon as I managed to type everything in properly without screwing up the direction of the slashes.

  • I just wanted to say thank you for this. You saved the day! The only thing that I had to do different was change the boot mode to Legacy to perform this procedure, then, after making the changes I had to change it back to UEFI mode. Once I did this I was able to boot back into Windows 10. Seriously, thanks again!

  • You are a Lifesaver! Thanks alot

  • @Andrew: You are my HERO. You are a Prince among men.

  • Thanks, you saved my ass last night migrating an windows10 and boot partition to a new SSD…. I have migrated many Win7 from hdd to ssd without many issues (using the recovery dvd repair option always did the trick, but not with win10 it seams.
    It realy makes a mess of the boot.

    Thnx again!

  • Дай Вам бог здоровья, добрый человек!

  • After following the instructions almost to the letter (my Windows drive was D: not C:) i crossed my fingers, booted and still got the mbr not found screen. I was already out of curses by now and just rebooted with the intention of going back to the USB drive recovery options but hey, i forgot to hit boot options. Lo and behold, the second boot attempt caught my ‘old’ W10 perfectly. This saved me a long weekend of recovering en reinstalling, thank you so much!
    It might have something to do with the multiboot w7/w10 config i had running before the hdd failure, just a word to the wise.

  • Thanks for this nice and detailed solution!

    This was the only one that worked for me besides the other ones I’ve found.

    Although the bootrec /fixboot command still returned with the infamous “Access denied” error message, but I’ve just simply skipped that step.

    We were able to fix my mother’s PC remotely. Big success…

    Thanks again.

  • you saved my life!

  • Things were going fine until I got to command line

    cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot

    Response was

    The system cannot find the path specified

    I was using Win 10 64bit on a burned DVD installation disc

  • Awesome mate – works a charm also for the error ‘an attached device is not functioning’ when attempting to run bootrec /fixboot

  • You are a Genius.

    Thank You very much. You saved my life.

  • Big thank you to you. I updated my Bios and boot file went missing. I kept getting access denied for all the other repair options. Your instructions saved my day.

  • You are awesome. Saved us quite some time for sure. Owner of the company we are doing the work for is very pleased!!

  • This worked perfectly for me. Thanks

  • Saved the day for me too – thanks a bunch 😀

  • Following your suggestion, but getting “Access Denied” when running bootrec/fixboot…any suggestions?

  • you saved my life…
    thank you so much!

  • Thank you so much. It worked to me.

  • Thanks for the detailed instructions. These steps didn’t get the machine out of start up repair in our case initially. However, following your instructions then rebooting from installation media then running start up repair from the installation media gave us success on reboot. Of note I had to reassign drive letter C: after assigning B: to the system partition with diskpart.

  • Wow Ob1 you were my only hope…. and you came through! Amazing.

  • Many thanks bro, it solved my career, I had some work on my laptop and they would kick me off if I lost them.

  • All my volumes, including the USB drive I’m using to access CMD Prompt that has WIN10 disc image, are NFTS. How would I add a FAT32 volume?

  • thank you very much 🙂

  • Thank you very much for your help. Worked perfectly

  • Thank you very much !

  • Thank you very much!

  • Thank you very, very much!

    Line bcdboot c:\Windows /l en-gb /s b: /f ALL did the trick for me.

  • Thankyou very much. This solved the problem of my brothers computer which had gone for a boot problem after interruption(power off) during windows update process. Thankyou again.

  • Dude. Thank you so much. This is the second time this happened to me and the ol’ rebuildbcd command did not work but this did. You. Da. Man.

  • We wasted one week of time to fix the boot loop issue but could not. Called dell support, they were asking $200+ to open their mouth since it is out of warranty. Searched web, youtube, dell support website. None of them worked. Awesome solution Andrew..! It Worked like a charm.

  • You are F***ing AWESOME!!!!!!!!
    I have tried for days to fix this. You are the BEST THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  • Thank you! Finally after two days trying to figure it out i came across this post and it worked!

  • When i write the
    ren BCD BCD.bak , it appears ‘the system cannot find the file specified’

  • Thank you. Exactly what I needed.

  • You completely saved me there from having to reinstall a complete music production PC
    Thanks!!

  • You are a genius! Thank you for saving my computer TWICE

  • Hey man,

    I just wrote this post to say an EXTREME thank you!

  • Thanks, it worked like a charm. I tried other methods, but they failed in resolving this issue but the one you gave saved me from hours of trying others.

  • Damn, this worked like a charm. The usual way of using bcd was JUST NOT cutting it. Thanks so much for your input!

  • Thanks Man! You’re a life saver!

  • Perfect! Working Good!

  • Thanks very much. I have wasted about 3 hours trying to recover my desktop. We had multiple short power cuts last night (Thundersleet storm) and I was running some work on it, so I guess it tried to re-boot several times, only to be interrupted each time.

    This solution worked in about 5 minutes. Excellent.

  • Thank you, Worked perfectly, wasted too much time for this problem. This solution solved my problem quickly. Thank You so much…

  • Thank you! followed your exact steps and worked like a charm!

  • Only thing that worked for me! Thank you!

  • Do you know how much you rock? 🙂

    You’re so awesome.

    This has been driving me nuts for weeks and YOU – fixed it.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this out here.

  • David Christianto

    OMG, thank you so much
    I try so many tutorial but yours worked just perfectly, thank you so much

  • you damn aussies…i love you!!!! everyone kept saying to use rebuildbcd, which i already knew, but it would not work. I used EaseUS, and will probably look for another software to use, because this was driving me crazy. Thank you so much

  • Thank you so much, it works. I was almost losing hope.
    God bless you

  • Great! It solved my problem! Thank you so much!

  • Thanks a lot. Literally saved me from having to do a fresh install. This was my final attempt and I stumbled across this post. Glad to see there are still helpful people willing to share knowledge.

  • Making to sure to boot UEFI and not Legacy did it for me.

    • I swear I tried everything from changing partitions to/from active, rebuilt the bcd, ran disk checks, used both dvd and usb install disks…. and THIS is what solved my issue. I have no idea how my bios setting got changed, but changing it from legacy to UEFI is what saved me from having to wipe windows.

  • That was grate thanks a looot ❤
    Works for me (win 10 april 2018 update)

  • Started down this road but no one has commented on what to do if there is NO FAT32 volume in the list. The FAT32 vol is the DVD I booted from VOLUME 0 DRIVE LETTER D. Then Volume 1 which is the C windows NTFS Then Volume 2 which is an NTFS 9GB Dell recovery drive which is probably Windows 7. Where could my OS boot be located? I see one on my DVD so I know what it contains but not on my drive 0. This was the free upgrade way back before sales. It ran for a few years so BIOS not problem. Problem is no EFI partition or fat32 in sight. Can I make one. Command prompt available. Again..what booted this computer for years?

    • If you don’t have a Fat32/EFI partition, then your system is booting using MBR instead. You should have a FAT volume between 100 MB and 250 MB in size, and it might already have a drive letter assigned to it. If not, assign one and navigate to the ?:\Boot folder and perform the same steps.

  • Awesome! Thanks so much, worked a treat 🙂

  • I have spent 2 days solid trying to get my PC to boot, and finally I came across these instructions with the key info that I needed to recreate an EFI partition using FAT32. Thanks so much !!!

  • Darryl Clifford

    Thanks Andrew, your solution worked just right.

  • Outstanding work! Thanks for putting it out there. Saved me tons of work.

  • Aleksey gorshenin

    You saved me so much time with this. Thank you so much for taking your own time to help others. I’m very grateful to you.

  • Hats off… Excellent guide.. worked as expected. Thank you very much.

  • RESPECT Andrew many thanks to you !

  • Thanks a lot! I thought I won’t be able to fix my laptop.

  • I am so totally bookmarking this page. This was a last ditch effort after everything didn’t work. This one did!!!! I am forever indebted to you

  • First of all I want to thank this man for this information seriously man THANK YOU. Worked 7 Hours straight and then came across this guide. I Cloned my Win10 HDD to SSD and it couldnt boot. To everyone that is still stuck at the bootrec /fixboot step and it gives access denied – just skip that step, it worked for me! Hope you all come right good luck.

  • Tried many tutorials but just this one worked, thank you só much

  • Thank you! This just saved my bacon at a customer’s house. Messing around in GParted formatting a previously cloned C: to use as a backup drive (while chatting away and finishing up the invoice) and must have accepted the prompt to extend the fat32 partition on the main drive. windows wouldn’t boot. An on site rebuild would have really sucked, thank you!

  • THANK YOU MATE!!!
    GOOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OF YOUR FAMILY

  • Also wanted to say thanks. Saved me hours of rebuilding. Had the same issue you had. Already tested booting to the new SSD, twice. Added back in the old drive and removed all volumes and started moving folders to it (My docs, music, videos, etc). Everything seemed to be working fine. Rebooted and got the error about missing or corrupt BCD. Back up and running in 15 minutes. Again, thanks.

  • Thanks a ton man….You saved me..

  • Amazing article! This deserve a Microsoft MVP award. Got my laptop back up and running. Thanks for your help!

  • Andrew, thank you so much for this ‘solution’. FOund it after trying to sort out my niece’s laptop for several hours. Ignored the ‘access denied’ message and it worked. Fantastic help.

  • I love you. Windows wouldn’t boot after I reinstalled my water cooler because of a missing device.

  • First off thank you for your efforts! I ran through the commands after cloning my OS drive to a larger SSD and the steps worked EXCEPT when I went to rename the BCD, it couldn’t be found. I proceeded with the rest of the commands and still can’t boot directly from the C drive BUT if I keep my Windows USB inserted and select to boot from it, it boots into my windows install. Thinking that the step that didn’t work (renaming the BCD file which couldn’t be found), I recreated the BCD store (the last command in your steps) pointing to the Windows USB drive letter and it was successful. However, I am still not able to boot directly without using the USB Windows install. Any ideas? Thank you!

  • Thank you so much. I can only echo everyone else here as my issue arose after a mini tool clone of a dying hard disk. My mistake was allowing it to automatically create the system_drv as NTFS when it should have been FAT32.

    I used Eric’s post (Thanks Eric ) to convert the NTFS to FAT32 and then
    followed your instructions to the letter and rebooted – note to self – check boot is UEFI and NOT legacy (20 minutes I’m not getting back).

    From Eric
    (1) Run chkdsk /f on all your drives as identified by the “LIST VOL” command first, and then try booting again. This will fix any structural issues with the Windows file system. I have recovered drives that failed to boot by running this command alone. That would not have helped this specific problem, but in my particular case it reported and fixed disk problems that would have been an issue anyway.
    (2) Like the article said, make sure you have a FAT32 partition. If you don’t, then you need to format the EFI partition to make it FAT32. In my case, the file system for Volume 3 was identified as “RAW” by the LIST VOL command (column “FS”). I assigned a drive letter D: to Volume 3, tried DIR D: and was unable to read the volume. I typed CHKDSK D: /F to repair the file structure and was then able to read the contents. There were boot files in there but no EFI folder. I then typed FORMAT D: /FS:FAT32 to clean out the damaged partition and make it usable for EFI. In my case I got a message asking if I wanted to convert an NTFS drive to FAT32 (the chkdsk d:\ /f command allowed the drive to identify as NTFS) That then allowed me to run the “bcdboot c:\Windows /s D:” command successfully. WARNING: Make sure you know what you’re doing and format the right EFI partition! Not your active C:\Windows drive or any data drives! Anything over a couple hundred MB size won’t be an EFI partition

  • Thanks for the support it worked for me with Windows 2012 Server..

  • You’re the genius!! It worked! Thank you very much for the clear explanation.. Much appreciated!

  • Just a heads up. This worked for me on Windows 10. Just a mention as someone else pointed out, if automatic boot into Windows does not occur or still has an error, try selecting your Hard Disk from your computer startup options menu.

  • Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. After an long day of trying to fix Windows boot (after I apparently cloned my hdd to an SSD incorrectly) your answer was finally THE answer.

  • Thank you so much! After struggling with this problem for hours, your solution worked perfectly. I’m so happy!

  • Wonderful. After spending a few hours trying out various other guides without success, this guide worked for me.

    The only thing I needed to tweak was the line:
    bcdboot c:\Windows /l en-gb /s b: /f ALL
    For whatever reason, the DISKPART step was showing my main windows SSD as E: with an old HHD as C:, so I had to do e: instead of c: in that command.

  • You magical bastard! Tried so many other fixes online and this one worked for me first time!
    Thank you so much!

  • I see already many reply’s with great thanks and it is a really great fix.
    Thanks from all around the globe.

  • Negative Optimist

    Thank you so much.
    Everything else out there failed because they missed a step or two.
    Followed your steps and a very dead laptop is now alive. IT’S ALIVE!!
    My wife will have your babies!!!

  • Many thanks, you save me 😀

  • Thanks a bundle – on the verge of giving up I stumbled over this.
    It wokred like a charm.

    We installed a new SSD in a machine to replace the old HDD.
    Used PartitionWizard with no pronblems…. Kind of.
    I think we had accidentally removed the partition on the old HDD, where the EFI things were, when we finished the clone and saw it boot. Then we cleaned the old HDD and nothing worked no more …

    We had a USBstick with Win10 (no repair disk), so it could be booted and start the “install environment”, and the “secret?” SHIFT+F10 used to start a command-prompt for your guided commands here.
    Luckily, PartitionWizard also moves the other partitions than Windows itself, so there was a small FAT32 part lying around on the new SSD.
    Using the “sel disk/vol/bootrec/bcdboot” commands, we were able to solve this hiccup.

    Thanks!

  • Love you bro 😉

  • Thank you so much you saved my day!

  • Been working on this for weeks, your solution worked for me
    Thank you soooo much

  • Oh f*ck, thanks. You save my day.

  • Thanks a lot!!!!! With your procedure I fix a winload.efi missing or corrupt message after deleting EFI partition and shrinking it to add space at the beggining of the disk to create a veracrypt 32k minimum space. I tried everything and did not wanted to use my last acronis full image since it was old. I guess I will try it again after a good backup or use bitlocker instead.

  • Thanks ! it works like a charm!

    Installed Windows 10 from USB stick a while ago.
    Formatted some partitions to make room for Linux Mint.
    So, Win 10 used it and the problems began.
    Using this site i used a 500 MB partition for booting Win 10.
    1) formatted it to FAT 32 and made it bootable (with Gparted in linux USB)
    2) Xcopied the EFI folder (after assigning drive letters)
    3) Followed the instructions on this site and …
    Win 10 started again. Thanks ! Thanks ! Thanks !

  • Dude this saved my days! Thank you so much

  • Wow thank you so much

  • Thank you thank you so much¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thank you very much.

    Also to Al Morgan, September 03, 2018.

    You guys rock.

  • Thank you!!!

    I upgraded a Dell laptop to an SSD and the usual steps to get it to boot were not working. This finally did the trick though I did have to change a couple of things. This Dell has a half dozen partitions on the drive it and in this case Windows was on the E: partition so had to change that and for some reason the one line CD command didn’t get me to the Boot folder so I just worked my way to that folder manually.

    Took some trial and error but this was the solution!

  • This actually worked for me too, after trying all the help pages I could find, thanks goes out to the creator!! I’m no expert, but I had a problem with a cable in my hardware not being attached properly (think it was moved when I removed some transportation padding – it arrived built), and it caused my PC to not start, or start then stop and then restart and stop in continuous loops, or just freeze at some random time. I found the cable, took it out and put it back in carefully but strongly, and the PC started every time. BUT now there as a new issue with the error code “error code 0xc0000098”. I researched google using this code, but none of the ideas worked, even though this was supposedly a common error. A big problem was that using some of the methods with the command prompt seemed to work fine to a point, after which the latter code to put in just didn’t work. I was stuck in a cycle of trying to repair, and not getting to the Windows 10 login. Importantly, the code I initially thought would work the best was in this YT video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCOTKbIRpOA), lines 2 and 3 didn’t work, the last one did (bootrec /rebuildbdc), Windows was found, but when I pressed Y and enter I got the message “the system cannot find the path”, so I was stuck. I then searched Google for “bootrec /rebuildbcd the system cannot find the path” and clicked on this webpage. Then I followed all the commands. It seemed like the commands stopped working at the command line that had “cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\”, I still carried on though, and put the other command lines after in, even though they seemed not to work either. Then took out my USB with the Windows 10 repair media, switched off the pc and started it gain. Amazingly, after repeating showing starting image (think it was of the motherboard’s brand) I finally got to the Windows 10 login, and got into my PC.

    As you can see, I’m not a PC expert, but stumbled onto this helpful page, thanks to its creator, it is a huge help. For anyone wondering, I bought my PC made to my specifications (my brother helped choose everything and knows how to build PCs), it seems to have Windows 8/10 (whatever this means), and the Windows 10 serial number says it was Windows 10 Pro for OEM (am not sure what this means either). I kept it vanilla, e.g. used default drives for everything, I just use it for games. Hope some of this helps anyone else, if just affirming that they could try this, like I did, if nothing else seemed to work and they’re willing to take a risk. Cheers!

  • Thank you so much! It worked on my Acer Aspire 7! It just won’t boot up sometimes and I always discover that it is the MBR that’s broken again. Just make sure to set BIOS to UEFI mode people and not in Legacy mode. Thank again!

  • Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually know what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my web site =). We could have a link trade arrangement between us!

  • Thank you bro

  • Thank you so very much! This saved my butt.

  • Wow is all I have to say to you…

  • How to Fix cd d/ b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\ ?
    With responden “the sistem cannot find the path specified” ?

    Please help

  • Thanks a lot from Spain!

    I’ve been expending hours (and days) looking for a real solution to the problem.

    You are like a hero

  • When i use ->

    bootrec /fixboot
    Access is denied

    What should I do

  • When i use ->

    bootrec /fixboot
    Access is denied

    What should I do now

  • Thanks it worked perfectly

  • Thank you very much for this! It has been really helpful!! I have been struggling for a good 6 hours with this problem. Your article saved me!

  • Hi,
    I have this error after trying to convert my MBR to GPT using Diskgenius free tool(https://www.diskgenius.com/). It said no data will be lost but seems things gone wrong.
    Now I can’t boot, but still see all the volumes with proper drive letters. Files are there on HDD’s.
    With Diskpart, I can’t see any FAT32 volume in my HDD’s. No EFI folder on any of the volumes.(Assuming EFI is on root directory of a volume)
    Seems, now I need to backup all docs and format PC.
    Any other solution you experienced in this situation please?
    Babo

  • You have got some great posts on your blog. Keep up the good work. Hey, your blog is great. I will bookmark it and I plan to visit regularly.

  • I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.

  • Thank you very much
    it worked perfectly

  • OMG!!!!! I love you so much. I would like to thank you a thousand times. I got this OS problem since the evening and now almost the next day. And finally, i got my OS back because of you!!! OMG dear. Sorry for my english. But i really really wanna thank you. THANK YOU

  • A very big, a lot of thanks, hugs!!!!! You saved me

  • I’ve been troubleshooting this issue ever since my PC stopped booting into my Windows installation, and had the same issue when trying to fix that problem. My Windows installation would be recognized by the /ScanOs and /RebuildBcd commands, but the latter would yield the same error. The article’s steps worked until ‘ren BCD BCD.bak’, which would bring back ‘The system cannot find the file specified. The following bcdboot command would result in ‘Failiure when attempting to copy boot files.’ Do I somehow not have a BCD file? What more can I do to fix this problem?

  • After 4 years and still working a help. You saved my notebook and my life. Thank you very very much.

  • Wow! This worked and you just saved me so much time and money. Seriously. Thanks for this!

  • I followed this and got *almost* there. But now my system is booting full windows 10 from the UEFI USB drive and not my SSD

  • Thanks for this!

  • Thank you, you’ve saved me a significant amount of time! (And I definitely second booting from recovery disk.)

    I cloned from a SATA SSD to an NVMe SSD using Sabrent’s edition of Acronis True Image on a SFF Lenovo ThinkCentre with both drives (NVMe in PCIe adapter) fitted at the same time.

    First attempt wouldn’t boot from NVMe with the SATA drive pulled. I booted back onto SATA. After second cloning attempt with manual resizing, then wouldn’t boot from NVMe or SATA.

    Why Acronis changed ANYTHING on the SATA drive, I’m not sure but I won’t make the same mistake twice.

    This solution was to pull the NVMe drive, and follow your instructions. This got SATA drive to boot just fine.

    I then pulled the SATA drive, put the NVMe drive in, followed the instruction. NVMe drive then booted normally.

    Thanks again, much appreciated!

  • Thank you, this was excellent.

  • I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  • It works, thank You!

  • Thanks so much. Very helpful 🙂

  • Hi, after i enter cd /d b:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\

    It shows that the system cannot find the path specified, what happened?

  • WOW! You are amazing!

  • THANK YOU!
    I spent hours trying to rebuild the boot files in the C drive! Wasn’t till I saw your article that I realized I needed to work in the EFI partition first. Started right back up! Saved my PC

  • Lorenzo Cecchelli

    You saved my butt! Thank you very much!!!

  • Holy crap it worked!

    It worked!

    Thank you <3

  • alkhalil alkhatib

    brilliant!!

  • Excellent, thank you.

  • I savour, lead to I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  • I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • This is the precise weblog for anyone who needs to seek out out about this topic. You understand a lot its nearly laborious to argue with you (not that I truly would needaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just nice!

  • victor larraguibel

    Thanks you saved me!

  • Thanks so much this solved it for me!!!

  • Thank you so much After 3 days of error I got the solution!!!

  • Thank you ! Your post helped me a lot !

  • Wow with my problem, caused by installing Linux another drive after installing Windows 11 on one drive, not everything you wrote there was relevant to my problem, but I think the final line fixed it amazingly. Thank you so much for writing this 5 years before either operating system I just installed even existed. Why on earth MS can’t automate this as part of the repair process I have no idea!

  • Hello this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  • 5 years later and this is still a working solution. Thank you very much!

  • Thank you so much!!! I spent hours on finding the solution of my PC problem.

  • I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing?
    I’m having some minor security issues with my latest website and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any suggestions?

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