Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows 8's Boot Configuration

By on January 22, 2013, 2:56 AM

Windows 8 received a decent amount of enhancements on the desktop side that I tend to appreciate versus running Windows 7, even if that means I get Metro standing in the middle here and there occasionally. One such area of improvement is notification management and how it handles updates and system restarts. Running the final version of the OS for a few months now, it’s been a painless affair until this past weekend.

Unable to boot all of sudden, after some troubleshooting and settling on the idea that it wasn't a hardware problem, my best bet was to try to fix the MBR (Master Boot Record). With a long history of dual booting different versions of Windows over the years, finding a corrupt MBR, boot sector, or Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is nothing new, but it took me longer than usual to come to a solution. Here are a few things you can try and hopefully get back to full speed in no time.

Read this week's tech tip.




User Comments: 26

Got something to say? Post a comment
3 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

The only fix for Windows 8 is Windows 9.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The only fix for Windows 8 is Windows 9.

Hee hee don't be so nasty. That tip will probably come in handy to a lot schmu... I mean users.

supertech supertech said:

You can also get to that menu with shift + F8.

1 person liked this | undead77 undead77 said:

I had a similar problem to this. I had Windows 8 on my primary SSD, I ordered a new SSD for black friday, so I hook it up to my 'sata 3' port, as soon as I did that Win8 would not boot on my primary, gave me some quick error. I had planned on going back to Win7 anyway. So once I reinstalled Win7 on the new SSD, it worked fine. I just formatted the old primary SSD with Win8 on it, and forgot about it. I thought it was something on my end, it wasn't a huge deal, since I was going back to Win7 anyway.

Glad someone else had a similar issue to me though. Thanks for sharing.

bexwhitt said:

Windows since Vista seems to set the boot in an arbitrary way. Your main hard drive may need another drive plugged in to enable boot.

1 person liked this | bexwhitt said:

If you are setting up windows with any Version younger than XP you are advised to disconnect all drives apart from the one you are going to install to

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I've had this happen on various Windows installations over the years. I just figured it out myself this year with Windows 8 testing. I was installing OS on third disk in boot order from bios. Windows will always write the MBR to the first disk's primary active partition. If that disk disappears, you do not boot.

1 person liked this | lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The only fix for Windows 8 is Windows 9.

Haha, I laughed.

But Windows 9 (codenamed 'Blue' doesn't remove Metro/Start Screen. Sorry to let you know this is Windows 95 all over again.

Guest said:

The problem might not have happened if you had done a restart before altering any hardware.

However, given the problem and the error message Reboot and Select proper Boot device, probably the best thing would be to boot to the BIOS where you can choose the Boot device. (If you have more than1).

stansfield stansfield said:

To fix os boot to the required disk can be done from EASYBCD in repair section.

you can reset bcd config, repair or recreate boot files or simply change boot drive.

Simples

SRF said:

I know this is an old post, but I just want to put on record my experiences with 8. I downloaded on line with my Asus laptop. No problems. I used 8 for a few weeks liked some features hated others. So I decided to uograde my second laptop an Acer. Had 2 days of woe until a microsoft on line techie sorted it out. Have used both laptops for a couple of months and apart from the odd booting struggle I have managed quite well. I came to the conclusion that the benefits of windows 8 out weighed its short comings, until yesterday when the Asus wouldn't boot no matter what I tried. I have the OS on disc but I couldn't find a boot from DVD/CD option. As a last resort I went for a complete reset. I shoved the OS disc in and went to bed. It takes ages for the re set. Next morning I had a fresh install, but all my info files and apps were gone. Luckily I have backed up on a stick, a separate hard drive and everything is duplicated on my other laptop. I have no idea why Windows 8 wouldn't load and I still don't know how to access the boot from DVD/CD options. It's a pain in the ass to have to reset but at least it worked.

somedude somedude said:

The only fix for Windows 8 is Windows 9.

Haha, I laughed.

But Windows 9 (codenamed 'Blue') doesn't remove Metro/Start Screen. Sorry to let you know this is Windows 95 all over again.

"Blue" is nothing more than a service pack, due out in August. Your Windows will become Windows 8.1.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Blue" is nothing more than a service pack, due out in August. Your Windows will become Windows 8.1.

The context is that Windows 8.1 "is" Windows 9 as in it is the next release. If you watched Microsoft's conference regarding their rebranding plan, you'd see they're doing away with long development times and big releases. They're adopting Apple's model. There will be a Windows 9 but it'll just be a version number, not a big release. It will take years of regular incremental .1 updates like Windows 8.1 to get there.

The point is Metro will not go away, and that there will be no such things as service packs anymore.

Things have changed.

yehouda.k yehouda.k said:

Really helpfull

thank you very much

Carolyn said:

I just want to let u know u r my hero...! I tried everything to fix my corrupt boot problem, got to your site and worked my way down to the last ditch effort section. I was resigned to yet another couple hundred bucks to have it fixed by a professional and lo and behold the very last commands at the command prompt worked...! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU...!

Walthy said:

This is a very good post, clear, concise, and accurate. I had almost the same problem, a new SSD, new update of Win8, ran for two days, and then an 0xc000000e error on boot. Couldn't do anything. Booted from Installation Disk, but commands have changed in Win8. Your instructions were just what I needed. Works fine now.

Guest said:

Hahahhahha am having this problem and that made me lol

Guest said:

This fixed my problem, you saved my day. Thank you

Guest said:

Thank you so much, you saved me a lot of trouble! : )

Guest said:

To fix os boot to the required disk can be done from EASYBCD in repair section.

you can reset bcd config, repair or recreate boot files or simply change boot drive.

Simples

Worked like a charm!

BIG Thank You!

Guest said:

Awesome, but I think am gona switch to linux for good

DarthMadMatt DarthMadMatt said:

You sir are a tech GOD. I spent all night and morning looking for a fix for my daughters laptop. You nailed it!

Guest said:

I mangled my new Windows 8 installation and luckily I had a separate machine to find this post! It really saved me a TON of time. Thanks for posting it!

Brylle Kevin said:

Bro, I need help, my laptop is stuck in an infinite boot loop and it wont read my windows 8. will this solution work??

Brylle Kevin said:

To fix os boot to the required disk can be done from EASYBCD in repair section.

you can reset bcd config, repair or recreate boot files or simply change boot drive.

Simples

Worked like a charm!

BIG Thank You!

Bro, Can you tell me how you did that please :)

Guest said:

I tried everything, including the above, to no avail.

what finally ended up working for me was resetting the bios to factory defaults, and then re-ran system recovery and windows booted up right away

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.