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Dual boot > BCD Missing!


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chart2006's Avatar
chart2006 chart2006 is offline
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16-Mar-2009, 11:42 PM #1
Unhappy Dual boot > BCD Missing!
I did a clean install of both XP and Vista on a single hard drive that's been partitioned. For the first few weeks it was working fine. Just last week it no longer will boot up or give me an option to boot in either xp or vista. I get the "The windows boot configuration data file is missing." File: \bootBCD status: 0x0000034

I've already checked the boot device priority as well at microsofts.com for solutions. I was able to find a few methods through microsofts website but none worked.

http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;927392

Method 1: Repairing the BCD using the Startup Repair option did no help.

Method 2: using the Bootrec.exe tool to rebuild the BCD. When I tried running 'bootrec /rebuildbcd' it kept telling me that there were no installations of windows so I moved on to trying 'bcdedit /exportc:\bcd_backup' of which it could not find the file to backup. continueing on still fixes nothing.

Method 3: bcdedit.exe tool. when I get to the point of step 9 it tells me theres an error that the file already exists no matter what 'description I give it. If I continue on it still doesn't help.

I'm at a loss as to what else to do. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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16-Mar-2009, 11:56 PM #2
It sounds like a hardware problem. How old is the machine, or more specifically, the drives?
Did you have any problems with either installation that might point to a defect?
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17-Mar-2009, 12:06 AM #3
Well the system itself isn't that old but the hard drive is a couple years old by this point in time. When all else failed my next thought was hard drive failer but I'm trying to exhaust all options before resorting to that. The only thing is if the drive is failing usually there are frequenct symptoms. I suppose it could have been a total crash.
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17-Mar-2009, 12:09 AM #4
OK. Well, if you can make bootable CD's (or floppies), you can use some tests to find out about the drive. This kind of sudden failure is suspicious. It is likely either the drive itself or possibly memory.

So try testing both. You might want to try memory first because all tests run in memory so you may get false results from a disk test if the memory is bad.

There are bootable versions of tests among the list below. Just go to the sites and find one you want to use. For the drive, you can boot from the XP CD to the Recovery Console, or the Vista DVD to a command prompt, and run chkdsk /r on the drives to find out if they have any surface defects. See if the results list any bytes in "Bad Sectors". But some of the other tests below will also report the SMART status of the drive, which is diagnostic information from the drive's own electronics.

MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
Memtest86

If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.

If you are running Vista and can boot up, go to Start > Search and type:

mdsched.exe

Choose to run a memory diagnostic on next boot. Or, you can boot from the DVD and run it from there.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:
Manufacturer's Tests
Victoria for DOS
Victoria for Windows (Both versions of Victoria are among the best and most thorough tests available.)
HD Tune
CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:
TachTech
BleepingComputer
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17-Mar-2009, 12:52 AM #5
Ok I need to make a correction. I have two hard drives. One is a Hitachi 400Gb and the other is a WD 250Gb, both SATA II. I have Vista installed on the WD drive with a small 40Gb partition for music and XP installed on the Hitachi drive. I pulled both drives out and attached them to another computer to try and run diagnostics on them. As I was browsing the drives I noticed that there are multiple bcd_backup files from when I attempted to back up the original bcd so I'm assuming it did back up the files.

Last edited by chart2006; 17-Mar-2009 at 02:22 PM..
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17-Mar-2009, 03:18 AM #6
Ok so I am a little confused, did/do you have XP and Vista or XP and Windows 7?

Either way, check to see if you have these two things, 1) a folder called Boot and 2) a file called bootmgr

You will have to go to Control Panel/Folder Options/the View tab and change it to look like this by placing a check in the box Show hidden files and folders and then uncheck the box for Hide protected operating system files
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17-Mar-2009, 11:35 AM #7
I have two hard drives. one runs windows XP which is partitioned with the second partition extra storage for music. The other hard drive which is the Hitachi HHD is for Vista. As for the folders I did that already and the folder locations seem to change from vista version. anyway I do have the folder however it's the bcd missing not the bootmgr.

I tried setting my boot priority to the WD drive which has XP on it but it gives me the 'BOOT DISK FAILURE' message. I decided to disconnect each drive and try and rebuild them independently. That didn’t work. I can’t rebuild the XP drive because when I enter the recovery console it asks for an admin password of which there isn’t one but when I simply press enter that’s incorrect. I’ve tried ‘default’ and any others I could think of. It won’t let me past it to rebuild the bootmgr. I tried selecting to install windows option and usually once in the second options listing to select the drive it will ask you if you want to install on the current drive, repair install, or quit. It didn't give me the option to repair.


As for the vista install I’m still coming up with the BCD missing error message when I try to boot to the drive. I attached the drive to another computer and simply copied the boot folder from the installation cd onto the drive but that didn’t work.

When it comes to physical hard disk failure I’ve ran tests on both hard drives and nothing is wrong with them. I even listened to both drives to make sure I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary such as read/write arm incoherently moving or the drive not spinning up when necessary. Both sound like typical hard drives.
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17-Mar-2009, 11:43 AM #8
If you installed Vista after XP, then Vista would control the boot process for both. There is no "bootmgr" in XP and the Recovery Console can't do anything to fix that.

The question is where your MBR is located, on which drive. The machine can't boot until it accesses the MBR and then gets directed to the bootmgr.

So, can you put the Vista drive in the first channel/master position and then run the startup repair on it? Have you changed anything in the BIOS about boot?
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17-Mar-2009, 12:06 PM #9
the only thing ive changed in the bios is the hard drive priority. Iv changed them back and forth between the vista drive and the xp drive. since xp is for sure not to load without the vista drive then i should just scratch that idea and move forward with trying to fix vista. I'm not entirely sure where MBR is location. I had two drives and one of them with a partition so it's possibly in one of three different locations. I've tried attaching both drives to my current computer and just opened them in windows as secondary drives to compare the vista build on my computer and the hitachi drive. The only thing is I'm running 64-bit version so I'm assuming I can't just copy missing files over to the hitachi drive since it is 32-bit. As said before I've tried running the recovery software and even tried a system restore back to the day I built the system but it didn't work. Of course I also did what i said above.
as for the channel/master position for the most part i've always kept it in that position unless i start working with xp (just recently when trying to fix it). when i work with vista i always change it back to that position. When the computer was up and running it stayed on the vista drive. it was never touched.

Last edited by chart2006; 17-Mar-2009 at 12:24 PM..
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17-Mar-2009, 12:36 PM #10
The MBR will almost always be on the first, master drive on the first channel, unless the boot priority is changed. So it is probably on your XP drive.

So, in order to boot Vista, there needs to be an MBR on the Vista drive that points to the bootmgr.

Did you try putting Vista as primary master, making sure that that is the boot drive in BIOS, and then running the startup repair on it, with no other drives connected?
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17-Mar-2009, 01:10 PM #11
Actually I just finished running the repair on JUST the vista drive alone and was able to get vista to load. Well that's one problem solved. When I try to add the xp drive back on no matter which hard drive I set as the master i still get the 0x0000034 error code. I'm glad vista is back up but now my xp is still down or at least they still wont work together and since vista hold the MBR for xp i can't start xp without vista to begin with.
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17-Mar-2009, 01:23 PM #12
The Vista drive should stay as master. If you keep moving the drives around, the boot process is going to get messed up again. Leave Vista as the primary drive if it boots there and then work on getting XP to boot.

Where do you see the error and when?

You can use VistabootPro
EasyBCD to add XP to Vista's BCD registry.
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17-Mar-2009, 01:36 PM #13
I'll leave the mast as is with it set to vista. just after it asks me to press enter to start from cd or dvd (I still have the installation dvd in drive). It doesen't attempt to load into windows or ask me which version of windows I'd like to load. It simply goes straight to the same error I got in the beginning. That would be the "The Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information." If I were to disconnect the xp drive all together then vista would load properly. when I check the master selection while both drives are present the vista drive is still in that position.

As for VistabootPro or EasyBCD both are windows based apps so how would I use either one of them to fix the issue if I'd need both hard drives attached while working with the software while logged into windows?

Last edited by chart2006; 17-Mar-2009 at 02:07 PM..
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17-Mar-2009, 02:21 PM #14
Are you sure that you have your jumpers set right now? And also be sure that the BIOS is using the first hard drive with Vista to boot. There is really no reason why a second drive should have any effect on the first drive's boot unless something is wrong.
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17-Mar-2009, 02:36 PM #15
That's what I would think to. as long as the system attempts to boot from the master the secondary should have no affect on it. As for jumpers they are sata drives so no jumpers and I've check the bios countless times to ensure the drive with vista installed is the primary. As long as the secondary drive (xp drive) is connected it will not boot.

Last edited by chart2006; 17-Mar-2009 at 02:58 PM..
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