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How to: Fix BCD Error on Dell Vostro Lap Top

Dell Vostro and the Corrupt Vista BCD Error

This post is mostly a note page for me on how I fixed my wife’s DELL Vostro  1400.

This morning I woke up and tried to boot my wife’s Vostro and got a “Screen of Death” of sorts.
File: \Boot\BCD
Status: 0xc0000034
Info: The Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information

In hindsight, I suspect that Norton Anti-virus did something to the system, because the previous night Norton Anti-virus put up a note saying, “Doing stuff in the background”, and this morning the system was dead? Interesting coincidence at least.

Naturally, I go to google and type in “Vista BCD Boot Fail” and found the following link:

Corrupt \Boot\BCD in Windows Vista

Which made me feel better because at least someone was posting something about this issue. First thing it said I needed was a Vista Boot DVD, luckily I had my upgrade DVD (to Home Premium) so I was able to boot from it (after hitting F12 and choosing the DVD as the boot media).

The post above talked about recovering the boot track using a backup utility which I didn’t have, however it pointed to:

This useful Microsoft help page

Which outlined three fix procedures, all 3 of which failed miserably for me, but taught me a lot about how to debug windows, boot areas.

Frustrated I went back to Google and typed in: “Dell Vostro BCD Boot Fail” and found this:

The Real Answer from Microsoft Help

Which in fact outlines how to use bootrec, which fixes the boot record for the Windows Vista operating system.

The following steps are what I did exactly, after booting from the Vista boot DVD and choosing the command prompt:

Note 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
  • c:
  • cd boot
  • attrib bcd -s -h -r
  • ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
  • bootrec /RebuildBcd

I rebooted after each command returned correctly and voila the system was back up.


Given I did a bunch of crap, including trying old restore points, I assume I have buggered up the system in some fashion or another, but we shall see there.

Norton came up and complained about being corrupted so I have reloaded it as well, and hopefully, it will not do whatever it did last night to corrupt the BCD? Or whatever..

Sorry folks, needed to write this down, a little off-topic, but useful to me.

What do you think?

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