Boot files in Vista corrupt

By ryncurry
Mar 12, 2009
  1. I received a computer, Dell 8250, from a friend whose father clicked on some things that he shouldn't have. The computer, when turned on, would display the dreaded "cannot find Boot\BCD file". I figured all I would have to do is insert a Vista installation disc in the DVD-ROM and go to the "restore my computer" section. So, I told her I would try to help and here is where I am at and what I have done: (I know some of this may have been futile, but I am getting desperate!)

    1. Action: Changed Boot Sequence to CD-Rom first and inserted the Vista Installation disc. Result: Strike F1 to retry boot or Strike F2 to startup and could not get past this line. DVD-ROM and/or CD-ROM will not load this software. BIOS is reading these drives fine and they work when installed on other computers.

    2. Action: Installed Floppy Drive and changed boot sequence to Floppy first and ran a Windows Boot Disk. Result: Command Interpreter line

    3. Action:Removed WD IDE Hard Drive and put it in an external enclosure, formatted it using XP and tried copying different Boot files. Result: NTLDR missing

    4.Action:Downloaded BCD? software from Neostarter to fix/ repair boot sector. Result: Returned back to Boot\BCD missing prompt. (Press enter to continue or ESC to exit. Both restart machine)

    5. Action:Reseated all cables and cards. Result: No Change

    6. Action:Replaced CMOS battery and reset BIOS. Result: No Change

    7. Action:Downloaded Disk restoration software from Western Digital and burned .ISO to CD and floppy. Result: Did not work

    I can not delete the MBR when I put this hard drive in an enclosure and use it as another drive (F: drive) even with Windows Disk Management. Formatting doesn't change anything. When the disk is used as an internal, I can't get to a command prompt or anything. I figured since I can access this drive as an external, then there HAS to be some way that I can get the boot files right. Here is some information about the system: Dell 8250, 160GB Western Digital Caviar, DVD-ROM, DVD-RW, Originally came with XP, but was "upgraded" to Vista Home Basic.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    ***UPDATE*** It seemed the DVD-ROM (Noted in BIOS as Secondary Drive 0) wasn't working so I bypassed it and made the DVD-RW as the Secondary Drive 0. This allowed the Vista install to work. At least I can get to the Recovery part. If anything I may have to re-build the Boot File from scratch. I'll let you know how it goes...

    ***UPDATE*** SOLVED! The boot file was still corrupted, but once I was able to get into the recovery console, I was able to smooth everything out although I had to manually build the boot file all over again. Anyway, it's fixed.
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