How to Repair the Boot Files in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2

When booting to the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), the drive letters are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. For example, the C: drive in Windows will often have a different letter in WinRE. The DiskPart utility can be used to keep track of the drives and what is stored on them.

Note: If there is no System Reserved partition. It is okay to select the drive containing the Windows folder.   

  • First Partition: 100 MB System Reserved (No drive letter)
  • Second Partition: 60 GB (C:) OS
  • Third Partition: 1.5 TB (D:) Data
  • DVD Drive: E:

Note: If there is no System Reserved partition. It is okay to select the drive containing the Windows folder

Restoring Boot Files

  • Boot to the Windows Server DVD.
  • Open the command prompt.
    • Server 2008 R2:
    • If no driver is needed, press Shift-F10 to open the command prompt.
    • Continue with step 3.
  • Server 2008 (or 2008 R2 if a driver is required)
    • Click Next at the first screen.
    • Click Repair your computer.
    • If no driver is needed, click Next and proceed to step vii below.
    • If a driver is needed, click Load Drivers.
    • Insert the media containing the needed driver.
    • Note: The media can be a CD, DVD, or USB storage device
    • Navigate to the folder containing the driver, select it, and click Open.
    • Click Command Prompt.
  • The command prompt appears.
  • Type DiskPart at the command prompt.

  • Type List vol at the DiskPart prompt.
  • Write down the drive letter of the DVD drive. In this example, it is F.
  • Write down the drive letter of the system reserved drive. In this example, it is C.
  • Type Select vol 1 (assuming volume 1 is the System Reserved volume, as it is here).
  • Type active. This sets the selected volume as active.
  • Type exit to return to the command line.
  • Type Copy f:\BootMgr c:\ at the command prompt. One of two things will happen:
    • If the file Bootmgr already exists on C:, type N to avoid overwriting it.
    • If the file Bootmgr doesn't already exist on C:, it will automatically be copied.
  • Type Bootrec /Fixmbr at the command prompt.
  • Type Bootrec /Fixboot at the command prompt.
  • Type Bootrec /rebuildBCD at the command prompt.
    • If no OS is found, the following appears:

This means that one of the following is true:

  • The boot configuration database (BCD) already exists.
  • The OS is not there.
  • The OS is damaged beyond the ability of BootRec to recognize it.
  • If BootRec /RebuildBCD succeeds, it will list any installations of Windows that it found. Press Y to accept and add them to the BCD. The server is now configured to boot from the proper partition. Close the command prompt and reboot the system into normal mode.

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