Windows RT 8.1 upgrade fails with Boot Configuration error

Posted: October 19, 2013 in Solved, Surface RT, Windows Update, Windows8
Tags: , , , , , , ,

UPDATE 19 August 2014 regarding KB14-045 bluescreens:

Although I don’t have a fix, there seems to be a lot of people finding this post while searching about the recent bluescreen issue caused by Microsoft Updates KB14-045. I have started a new post about this issue here:

Microsoft have now released the Full Recovery Image for WinRT (3.7GB download). You can get it here:

It uses the same steps to complete the upgrade with the last part being to recreate the full recovery volume. Some news sites are saying the MS image will revert you to 8.0, it does not. It will complete the 8.1 upgrade and then the extra steps are to recreate the on-device recovery volume with the 8.0 image which only applies if you rollback sometime in the future.

First point – How annoying is it that you can only update Windows RT from the App Store, although probably not a drama if you only have one tablet. Slightly annoying if you have two. Both need to download the update, so that’s 2x the several GB needed. If you happen to be an enterprise/business that decided to buy several of them (does such a entity exist?) then it would appear you are about to have a ton of downloads happening unless you boost your proxy cache size.

And now for todays story. I updated one Surface RT with no drama. It took a long time but I just let it run overnight and it was all good the next morning. The other tablet, not so good.

WP_002371 (768x1024)

Your PC needs to be repaired
The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information
File: \BCD
Error code: 0xc000000d


Although it takes a while, and might be a bit tricky, it does seem to be fairly easy to recover from. (UPDATE: I have now received multiple confirmations that this works, and no data is lost!)


First you will need to create a bootable USB recovery drive. If you don’t have one, no problem, you can create one from another Windows computer (

NOTE: You can create a USB recovery drive using ANY Windows computer running XP or above. You could probably even do it on a Linux machine. You just need to be able to format the USB drive as FAT32 and extract .zip files!

  1. Insert the USB key in the side of your Surface
  2. While pressing the “volume down” button (-) press the power button (keep holding the volume button)
    1. When the “Surface” logo appears, you can release the volume button
  3. Wait until the Keyboard Language prompt appears
    1. Scroll tediously through the list to find your language and select it (who designed this UI!?!?!?)
    2. WP_002373 (1024x768)
  4. Select the “Troubleshoot” option
    1. WP_002374 (1024x768)
  5. Select “Advanced options”
    1. WP_002379 (1024x768)
  6. (this step removed, it never worked anyway)
  7. (this step removed, it never worked anyway)
  8. Select  “Command Prompt”
    1. WP_002378 (1024x768)
    2. If you get a message about needing to enter your encryption key, see the end of my blog post here:
    3. WP_002395 (1024x768)
    4. When the command prompt opens type the following and press enter after each
    5. C:
    6. bootrec /rebuildbcd
    7. A  (When prompted for options to add to boot list)
    8. Exit (to close the command prompt)
    9. WP_002386 (1024x768)
  9. Now click “Continue” to boot into Windows RT 8.1
    1. WP_002387 (1024x768)
  10. At this point the Windows 8.1 upgrade will continue without needing to restore the entire tablet from scratch
    1. WP_002390 (1024x768)
    2. It will take a while, so feel free to find something else to do for a while. It’s probably time to wash the dishes or mow the lawn or something anyway.
  11. When it finally finishes, you will get the License Terms screen followed by the rest of the tablet setup steps.
    1. WP_002394 (1024x768)

All fixed, Enjoy!

  1. Rick says:

    THANK YOU. This solved my problem (BCD error after Win 8.1 upgrade) and has saved me the drama of a warranty return. I owe you several beers!

    • Scott says:

      Glad it helped. I know how frustrated I was when I saw it, and having gone through the support process of sending things back before, I was determined to fix it myself.
      Besides, if you send it back, they’ll just wipe it all so tough if it’s not all synched.
      If you found my blog from the Microsoft forums, make sure to mark my forum post as the answer so other people know if they find it.
      I don’t drink beer, but Jim Beam is good 😉

    • Maureen says:

      Thanks for the information.
      I downloaded Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Centre from the Store app. The installation went well, although took some time!
      My problem now is I do not have a Store app or any other apps I installed working. I click on the Store app and it just flies away!

      Can you please tell me what RT means?
      When I was downloading I didn’t see RT……just Windows 8.1 Pro…..etc.

  2. John Lewis says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve never had to use the /rebuildbcd switch, so it never occurred to me. Saved my bacon!

  3. An enterprise would normally have a server that caches windows updates.

    • Scott says:

      They wouldn’t cache updates, they’d use something like WSUS or ConfigMgr. With this update though, it’s 2.5GB and most proxies wouldn’t cache something that big, or for very long. If there is an enterprise out there with them, chances are people are doing the update from home anyway as the only way to manage RT tablets for enterprise is through Microsoft Intune, and I doubt many people have started doing that yet.

  4. Kathleen Purdy says:

    Nothing works. Left computer on all night screen blank. Mouse moves nothing else. So angry and frustrated

    • Scott says:

      Kathleen, although you have a different problem, I’m happy to try and see if there’s something I can do to help, even if it’s just to point you to someone else who already has a fix.

      Rather than continue on this blog though, would you be OK if I just email you directly?

      • Sean says:

        At last someone with the same problem as me. Running 8.1 preview for weeks now with no problem I let the Surface shutdown due to low battery. Stuck it on charge and fired it up the next day and got the same issue Kathleen has with a blank screen and mouse.

        I get the login window and can login OK but nothing works beyond that even the on screen keyboard wont launch, it throws a windows error.

        Also the usual tricks to pull up the trouble shooter don’t work either (left Shift + power, volume down +power).

        Did you ake any progress on this one? Might be a back to base job.

        • Scott says:

          From memory, Kathleen was having problems with a laptop, and I didn’t hear back from her at all so don’t know what happened.
          I’ve had a few times when the surface got stuck at a blank screen. Usually if it doesn’t sort itself out then I try logging in using another profile or do a full shutdown and it comes good again. Haven’t had that happen since the 8.1 update though.

  5. walter says:

    Works! Thanks

  6. Paul Demmitt says:

    I hI have this same bluescreen after upgrading to 8.1 on my HP h8-1213c desktop purchased about a year ago. The upgrade was working fine until I searched for updates. After updating a Windows update for 64 bit systems and two other optional drivers (can’t remember what they were and I can’t boot the machine) I get this bluescreen. and it goes into an endless reboot, no matter what options I try.

    I had the “Secure Boot not configured correctly; Build 9600 watermark”. I thought that it might be related to that, but I searched that problem and that just seems to be an annoyance. Though checking my BIOS, it doesn’t support Secure Boot and according to the HP website, no consumer HP desktops do.

    I tried using the recovery console on my Windows 8 Pro install CD as the “Repair” option suggested; that said the drive was locked. I booted a Macrium Reflect boot CD to backups from about a month ago. The boot drive is visible. One of the options there is the fix the MBR, which I selected. It didn’t work. I then downloaded Ubuntu and ran it from the CD only, and it could read and write to the boot drive. So, I don’t know what locking the drive means.

    I have not run a restore from Macrium yet as I really would like to find a fix for this. If all else fails, eventually I guess I will have to do that. I really liked 8.1 the short time that it was working and I’m really looking forward to getting it going again. Any help or direction would really be appreciated.ave this bluescreen after upgrading to 8.1 on my HP desktop. The upgrade was working fine

    • Scott says:

      That’s a tough one to diagnose over blog posts. I can offer some suggestions for how I might approach it, but I don’t really know your full circumstances. There are a lot of variables here.

      1. If you are able to access the drive, then the first thing I would suggest is copying off anything you have on it that you want to keep. Do it now while you still can in case any other attempts to fix it do something worse!
      2. Do you have any other USB drives or keys plugged into your computer? If so, try unplugging them. They might be attempting to boot before your system drive
      3. You could try using your Windows DVD to get into the command prompt repair mode and run the same command I mentioned in my fix. It won’t hurt, but probably won’t fix it
      4. Are you able to get a “Safe Mode” or “Use Previous Version” option to appear? It may be a bad driver was installed and this might get you around it
      5. You could try running your Windows8 DVD and start a new installation without formatting the existing drive. I haven’t done it that way for a while, but the installer should copy your existing Programs Files, Users, and Windows folders to a “Windows.old” folder. As long as you don’t initiate a format at all, then at worse you will end up with “old” folders somewhere with your current data that you can move
      5. Personally, I’d probably not waste more time trying to “fix” it as it will possible still be in an unreliable state afterwards. If you have the ability to access it and copy stuff off to a network or external drive, then I’d do that. Confirm the stuff all copied ok (look from another computer if possible) then just reformat and install clean.

      • Paul Demmitt says:

        Scott, thanks for getting bck to me so quickly. I do have an image of the drive from about a month ago that I can use to re-image the drive. This is probably my best option.

        I cannot get into safe mode. Just get the re-boot loop.

        I did unplug the USB devices. I had forgotten about that. I had an XP machine that wouldn’t boot with something in some of the USB ports. I removed all USB devices and hubs. Still didn’t work.

        I used the Windows 8 DVD to go to Repair Mode. It said the boot drive was locked.Yet, I could boot a Linux CD and copy files to the drive.

        I did try a system restore and that didn’t work either.

        I will try the command line suggestion in #3 above. I’m off for now. Let you know it if works.

        Thanks for taking the time.


  7. Ant says:

    Can MS Store fix this in person?

    • Scott says:

      At this stage I don’t think so. Microsoft haven’t provided a fix for this as far as I am aware.
      If you do take it to a MS Store, I imagine they will probably just send it away for repair where they will probably just wipe everything on it and reinstall.
      If you do want to try using my method, then you won’t lose anything on your tablet, and it will complete the 8.1 upgrade correctly.

  8. Nice blog, I decided to skip all the Windows 8 drama and have stuck with Windows 7. The upcoming Windows 8.1 Pro has made me skeptical…hooray the start button is back, then again Windows 7 has had one all along. Will 8.1 really be worth it?

    • Scott says:

      To each their own. Personally I never use the start button anymore, and I’m going to be looking for an option to make it go away again. The only reason I need something down in that corner is to make it easier when using Remote Desktops.
      Win7 is perfectly fine though if it does what you need, but to my thinking 8.1 is a perfectly reasonable upgrade. Myself and my whole family have been using Win8 since release, and we have no interest in going back to Win7 now. But, everyone has their own preferences, and that’s cool.

      • Good point, well I am curious about 8.1 so maybe I’ll give it a shot sometime soon.

      • Dom says:

        So absolutely the same over here.

        Beeing an IT senior system engineer for as long as I can rembemer I’ve seen all the ups and downs MS had thrown at us IT folks as well as the average home users. I’ve always been tinkering with all the settings available to get the best performance out of the then current hardware without having to sacrifice much of the convenience features while still keeping it supportable in the enterprise environment.
        Seeing that history my first thought after seeing Win8 for a split second for the first time instinctively was: “What is THAT?!? and how do I switch that off again?” – that impression lasted for like 30 seconds, then it flipped to the total opposite.
        Since then I had plenty of opportunities to see peoples react the way I first reacted. I always came to the same obervation: People who hate the new start screen simply don’t get the concept behind and the enhancements that come along with it.
        But it doesn’t stop here: The next observation has also always been the same: I’ve shown them what the new start screen is about and what you can do with it – and the second they grasped that concepts I always could see my own reaction in those people: scepsis or even hate turning into bright smiles and awe.
        It’s funny to look into the mirror again and again 😉

        • Bob Grosh says:

          [Scott: I’ll approve this post, but we are getting quite off-topic here. Happy to have this discussion elsewhere, and there are plenty of places it is already happening 🙂 ]
          Dom said: “…after seeing Win8 for a split second for the first time instinctively was: “What is THAT?!? and how do I switch that off again?” – that impression lasted for like 30 seconds, then it flipped to the total opposite…”
          Good for you Dom.
          I didn’t have that reaction. mine was What was THAT! ( 1 minutes pause ) Oh Cool, finally something new to play with.

          Those EIGHT HATTERS are like dear in the headlights. They are frozen in time. Sad really. When the cutbacks come they will wonder why they were the first to be laid off. They won’t have a clue why. When they are living under a bridge, they will wonder why the never landed that dream tech job the wanted. It’s simple. The are road kill, blinded by the bright colors and unable to move.

    • Ant says:

      FYI, Start button isn’t Start Menu. It’s just go to the Metro app. screen.

      • Diek hofmans says:

        But using the right mouse button, you get a menu that can make life easier.

        • Scott says:

          On the bottom left corner where the startmenu used to be? You can, and for the Admin type tools it’s great, but it doesn’t do the full Applications menu that people are so upset about missing.

        • Ant says:

          Some of us can’t remember can’t remember the software’s names. 😛

        • Scott says:

          That’s why they have pretty colours and icons, much easier to find than the name in “words”. If you can’t remember the names, then how do you find them on a start menu either 😉

      • Scott says:

        I’m pretty sure most people are aware of that. I actually prefer the Metro screen anyway. Instant search, and no need to hunt through start menu structures and folders.
        There are only a small number of apps that people really use on a regular basis, so they are very quick to access if you pin them to the Start Screen or your taskbar. The ones you don’t use that often can be tucked off to the right of the Startscreen, or you can just start typing their name and the instant search pops them up for you. Much much quicker once you try it out.

      • Bob Grosh says:

        [Scott: I’ll approve this post, but we are getting quite off-topic here. Happy to have this discussion elsewhere, and there are plenty of places it is already happening 🙂 ]
        Go to desktop, file explorer, find something, and create a desktop shortcut.
        Now go to the shortcut, right click and select PIN TO START!

        Where did it go?
        Now go to the windows 8 start screen. Click the new tile you added. Guess what! Works just like 7. Don’t be blinded by the bright colors, You’ll just end up as road kill.

        • Scott says:

          Let’s keep things on-topic and civil.
          Everyone has their own views on things, and Microsoft did make the transition to Metro rather abruptly, so the way many people first experienced Win8 probably wasn’t the best. Once they are *shown* how to do things they usually get it, but when left on your own it was hard to know where to go. I know it took me about a day to learn how to close a metro app! (fyi – you drag it down from the top of the screen)

          Win8.1 has gone some ways to improve the situation with the start-up tutorials, but I do agree that people have become fixated on the missing start menu. I stopped using it on Win7 a long time ago, but there are a lot of people out there that don’t have anyone show them new tricks and ways to do things. Everyone hated Win7 when it came out as well, now they are hating Win8 and want to stay on Win7. Everyone hated XP when it came out, everyone hated Win95 when it came out… rinse repeat. Give it time, people will come around. They will iron out the kinks and nobody will remember they hated it at all.

  9. Stephen says:

    Thank you very much Scott, it worked a treat.

  10. daniel says:

    thanks man really saved me 😀

  11. _Josh says:

    Germany’s RT users owe you one, too. You even made it into one of it’s most read IT mags as THE(!) last hope. It seems the internet is sometimes worth a visit. 🙂

  12. This worked for me, thank you so much!! I go on holiday in 48 hours and taking the Surface was a must for the plane and chilling out! Top Man!

  13. Linny says:

    I installed 8.1 and my fan on my computer will not shut off. I was going to take to best buy in the morning

    • Scott says:

      Not sure if you are asking for help with something? With pretty much any computer, just hold the power button down for 4-5 seconds and it will shutdown.

  14. Matti says:

    I have this problem on my laptop! 😦

    • Scott says:

      Before I send you the link, can I confirm this isn’t a language translation issue.

      Is your laptop an actual full Windows Laptop? This recovery key will only work with WindowsRT devices. If your laptop is running full Windows, then it won’t work.

      If you have access to another computer with Windows 7 or Windows 8 on it then you should be able to use that to create a USB Recovery drive and then use the same instructions. If you are seeing a different error code though (0xc000000d) then it means you have a different problem that may require a different solution.

  15. Helge Nielsen says:

    No problems!
    I loaded the new version 8.1 on Thursday to Friday and Friday to Saturday down. Then i initialised it. And boot new. No problems. (Acer Iconia W510) Tests with MS Office 2010 and other apps: no problems. The new apps in the store: very good. (from Germany)

  16. Milad says:

    OMG! You’re a great person!!!
    Thank you so much for helping out! It worked like a charm!
    Microsoft should hire you, give you a castle and a Bugatti! 😀
    Thank you sooooo very much!

    • Scott says:

      A Bugatti would be cool. I’d probably have to sell it after a year because I don’t think I could afford the insurance. Maybe I could drive it into a lake on accident.
      The castle I’m not so sure about. Imagine all the vacuuming and toilets to clean. I’d be happy if they wanted to come around fix up a few things around the house I have though 🙂

  17. i yang says:

    Thank you . Your fix worked. Surface RT, Singapore.

  18. jensenbend says:

    Great blog! I’ve been trying to boot in the USB mode (volume down+power), but cannot get past the black “Surface” screen. My USB lights up for about 3 seconds as if it’s being read, but then turns off and my screen stops on black with white “Surface.” Can’t get past this screen any way. Any ideas?

    • Scott says:

      The screen will go black for a short while, but you should see the USB light still flashing. If it doesn’t (and eventually reboots) then I’ve found that everyone who has reported that has needed to do a full reformat of their USB key (untick the quick format option). It may also be an error on the USB key, so it is worth trying another key as well and recreating the boot drive.

  19. Dennis Mohler says:

    Thanks! That ended up being a quick fix after all.

    • Scott says:

      Glad to hear it. It’s probably worth downloading the official Microsoft recovery disk now that it’s readily available. After you do that, you can then reclaim the disk space used on the tablet as the recovery disk will fill that requirement going forward!

  20. João P says:

    Hi! Since i went from w8 to the 8.1, my pc sudently became super slow, lots of programs arent working and i cant install anything (programs and drivers). Do you know whats the problem?

    • Scott says:

      I don’t have any easy answers for you on that.

      The first things I’d check is free disk space. Another thing worth checking for is newer hardware drivers, in particular video drivers or storage drivers.

      If you can’t install anything, the most obvious though is that your account isn’t a local administrator, but without more information I can’t really say.

      You might find asking on the Microsoft Forum will help as more people will see your question. You will want to post more details though about what sort of errors or observations you have, and maybe anything you have already tried or tested.

  21. PC says:

    I am safariing this problem. thanks for share this post. thank you very much.

  22. avenger016 says:

    Hi, i have a Windows 8 Laptop and when i upgraded to Windows 8.1 the same happened to me, the same error do you think this fix could work?? Thanks!

    • Scott says:

      If you are seeing exactly the same 0xc000000d error code then you should be able to use the same steps, but you will need to find another Windows 8 laptop or desktop computer to create the USB Recovery Boot drive (Option 1) first. Once you have the bootable USB drive you can then use the same steps to repair the boot files on your laptop.

  23. Davester says:

    Same issue after updated Dell m6700 pre-installed Windows 8 Pro.
    worked sweet first day but following day the blue screen and :

    Your PC needs to be repaired
    The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information
    File: \BCD
    Error code: 0xc000000d

    No options work, tried repair, inserting supplied Windows recovery DVD, Safe Mode… all of them just say ‘Disk is locked’ and then it reboots to same error.

    Most annoying thing is when I contacted for Microsoft support there response was “This is an optional update and if you choose to use it and it breaks your pc then you must contact Dell, as it was your choice”. I wasn’t looking to lay blame… just get some help.

    Will give these instructions a go… fingers crossed.

    • Scott says:

      That’s a really poor response from Microsoft, but it is a tricky one for support. The instructions may work, but you’ll need a recovery disk created on another PC, not the one Microsoft has for download.
      I saw a post in the MS forums where someone else had the disk locked message on their pc. You might find it doing a search, but I can’t recall just what the outcome was.

    • Paul Demmitt says:

      Do you have a Samsung SSD boot disk?

      I had substantially the same thing happen to me on an HPi7 desktop. I tried to use the recovery tools on the Windows 8 boot disk after the machine failed to boot after working fine for about a day after upgrading to 8.1. Nothing I could do would boot the machine. I did get the “Disk is locked” message too. While the machine was working I got the message in the lower right that “Secure Boot not correctly set up” (or something to that effect). I initially thought that this had something to do with the problem, but after research, this just seems to be a harmless watermark that some people get. I don’t even have UEFI boot.

      I created a Linux Ubuntu CD to boot into Linux to see if the drive was recoverable. I could read and write to it with Ubuntu, so I thought the drive was fine. It still appeared in the BIOS.

      Fortunately, I had imaged the drive back in Sept, so I re-imaged the drive back to Win8, all was well, did updates and imaged again; did not do the upgrade to 8.1. I’m glad I did as the machine worked fine for about a day. I was working in Firefox, walked away for a few minutes, and when I returned was faced with a text screen that was running diagnostics. And the computer wouldn’t boot. The drive had disappeared from the BIOS.

      I have a Samsung 840 120GB SSD as the boot drive, so I called Samsung. When I explained my problem, they didn’t ask any questions, but gave me instructions and an RMA immediately. I found this curious considering the hoops HP had me go through to prove I had a defective DVD drive. After a prolonged email exchange with Samsung, it turns out that there seems to be a problem with these drives that the engineers in Korea are working franticallhy to fix, but they don’t know what it is. The person I talked to said that they have 8.1 running successfully on computers in the lab here in the states.

      However, they are sending me another SSD.

      I asked to be put on a mailing list for firmware updates, but the tech said they don’t do that, but did send me the link to the firmware page. Turns out that there was an update available for my drive, so I downloaded it. I created a boot CD and rebooted, and low and behold, the drive was back!. So I updated the firmware.

      Sadly, it seems that the problem is intermittent as it would fail after a few minutes and disappear from the BIOS.

      So I don’t know what’s going on. I will put the replacement drive in and re-image and see if it is stable before I upgrade to 8.1. I do want to upgrade as I have it on another computer and it works fine. I like it a lot and don’t intend to stay with 8. I may have to get another manufacturer’s drive.

      Check to make sure the drive appears in the BIOS
      If you have an SSD, there may be something else going on.
      I will post my experiences after I get the drive back and let you know if it was a bad drive.


  24. Davester says:

    YES! I have the Samsung 840 SSD 500GB as a 2nd drive.
    I don’t have it as the boot drive but I do have a boot cache 64gb running from it – as a system acceleration.
    It does show up in BIOS and I’ve never had problems with it as such.

    So that could be my problem… wonder if I hook it out and try booting just from my standard boot drive.
    Do you have the links for the firmware please mate? or the link you used to get intouch with them?


    • Paul Demmitt says:

      Got this back from Samsung:
      No mailing list exists but all updates are at It could have been a controller failure.

      Samsung phone number in the US: 1-800-726-7864

      So, here’s the sequence:

      Ran Windows 8 on the Samsung SSD for about a year successfully.
      Upgraded to 8.1
      Worked fine for about a day, including through a few reboots after install.
      Eventually, (after about a day), wouldn’t boot; blue-screened.
      Drive was still recognized in the BIOS
      Re-imaged the drive with Windows 8 from an image from Sept. (Not 8.1)
      All worked well for about a day.
      Booted and used the computer this morning successfully.
      Walked away while Firefox was up; returned and the computer was going thru a command-line diagnostic.
      Wouldn’t boot.
      Samsung drive not found in BIOS.
      Called Samsung

      I hope this helps.


      • Scott says:

        Doing an OS upgrade is one of those things that will load your disk drives quite heavily. It’s possible that there has been a fault that the drive has managed to “work around” for a while now, but the extra load of the upgrade pushed it over the edge. This isn’t a unique situation to SSD drives, same thing can happen for spinning disks as well.

        If you have the option, you can try running the manufacturers diag utils and possibly do a full SSD reset, then try a fresh install. That might help confirm if it’s a failed drive.

  25. Abdul Muqeet says:

    The same problem happened with my laptop, hp envy ts touchsmart sleekbook 4-1202ea. The recovery which microsoft posted is not working with laptop. Any suggestions ? Please help me out. Thanks.

    • Scott says:

      Have a look at my replies here for other people having problems with laptops/desktops. You won’t be able to use the recovery disk Microsoft provide (or mine). You can create a bootable recovery drive using another Windows 8 computer though and try performing the same steps.

  26. Abdul Muqeet says:

    My error code is 0xc0000034 but it is saying the same message as with 0xc000000d code. Will it work ?

  27. Dave Burke says:

    Does not work. I am not given the option to ‘Skip this drive.’ I am not prompted to add an installation to the boot list. If I try running bootrec anyway, I am told there are no Windows installations on my tablet. In short: the guide does not work, so I cannot complete the recovery process.

    Any suggestions?

    • Scott says:

      I don’t know what the “skip this drive” option you mention is.

      Is the problem you are having the same as the one described with the 0xc000000d error?

      I assume you are running a Surface RT tablet? If so, then you might need to do a restore to reset the tablet back to default. The download from Microsoft (linked at the top of my blog) has a full system restore image that should help.

      • Dave Burke says:

        The ‘skip this drive’ option is supposed to appear as part of the recovery process, according to the Microsoft guide here:

        The problem I’m having is not exactly the same as the one described with the 0xc000000d error, but Microsoft support staff have advised me to use the same recovery process you’ve listed above.

        Yes, I am running a Surface RT tablet. I am trying to follow the recovery process using the system restore image provided by Microsoft.

        When I run bootrec I get the following message:

        ‘Successfully scanned windows installations.
        Total identified Windows installations :0
        The operation completed successfully’

        So I can’t complete the restore process because my Windows installation is not recognised. Nobody seems to know how to fix this.

        • Scott says:

          Ah I see, the “skip this drive” is the bitlocker stuff.
          When you boot the USB key and open the command prompt, if you type
          Dir c:
          And press enter, does it show anything at all? It looks like your drive is either hidden because of bitlocker, or the windows install is completely messed up. The simplest fix might be to restore a fresh copy of Windows RT… I’m not entirely sure what the steps to do that are though, and I haven’t got a spare tablet I can try it out on.

  28. Abdul Muqeet says:

    i did what u said @Scott, but still same, I made a bootable recovery usb from other laptop but still got same and surprisingly I made a bootable usb for new windows 8 but still same. my laptop is not going into bios setup and recovery and as well boot option, If I press relevent funtion keys of them it takes me to the error screen again, I can just go into system information F1 and System Diagnosis F2… My laptop don’t have dvd rom drive, just USB.. please help me… or it will b a waste of 800 uk pounds.. 😥

    • Scott says:

      I’m afraid I don’t have an easy answer for you. I don’t know why you need (or cant) get into the BIOS.
      I would suggest either trying a re-install of Windows to refresh the system, or you may need to discuss with the place you bought it from.

      • Abdul Muqeet says:

        could u suggest me how to go to command prompt as i m unable to do anything here. Is there any direct method to go to command prompt ?

        • Scott says:

          You need to create a bootable USB drive using another Windows8 computer. You can then follow the same instructions I provided to the Surface recovery to get to a command prompt.

  29. Davester says:

    When I enter the line bootrec /rebuildbcd it says:

    Successfully scanned windows installations.
    Total identified Windows installations :0
    The operation completed successfully

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!

  30. Sean says:

    Will this work on a notebook running on windows 8?

    • Scott says:

      it depends on what your specific issue is. You can try creating a recovery disk using another windows8 computer and try. It won’t make it worse, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem to work on laptop/desktops as they seem to have a slightly different problem.

  31. Bob Elliott jr says:

    I have download surface RT recovery image (win RT 8.0) North America Went thru all the prompts
    So I am stuck.

    • Scott says:

      I assume you are using a US Surface tablet? There are other images available now for tablets from other regions.
      Has anything else been done on this tablet in the past that might help explain things, such as removing the recovery partition to free up space, or the 8.1 preview or anything else you can recall?

      At what step are you seeing that message?

  32. Dave Burke says:

    Hi Scott,

    I managed to solve my problem by using the recovery image to reset my Surface RT (deleting the old partition in the process). This took it back to Windows 8.0, and from there I was able to upgrade all the way to 8.1. It was the 8.1 Preview that caused all the problems. With that gone, everything was OK. Thanks for your suggestions.

  33. Christopher Hale says:

    I tried this but every time i restart it while holding the volume button down it just goes to the same error screen. Is there anything I can do?

    • Scott says:

      There may be a problem with your USB key. Try reformatting it (as FAT32) and copying the files to it again. If it has an indicator light on it then that will flash when it is being accessed. If it doesn’t flash very much, then make sure you are holding the volume button *before* you turn on the Surface, and don’t let it go until after the Surface logo appears.

  34. Shabnam says:

    Hi, I made a Windows RT recovery USB key and followed the instructions provided by Windows to fix the upgrade issue, but instead of the language choice screen appearing when turned on it says that there is an error and a required file is missing. How do I fix the upgrade problem?

    • Scott says:

      My guess is it’s a problem with the recover image you downloaded or with your USB key.
      Try doing a full (turn off quick) format to FAT32 on your USB key and recopy the files from the downloaded recovery image again.
      If you still get the problem, you may have a corrupt download, so try re-downloading it.

      • Shabnam says:

        Thanks for your help, although I haven’t had much luck. I’ve tried the official Windows way and yours, both complete all the way and everything seems to go well. But then when the Surface restarts it goes back to the blue screen and the update hasn’t completed. I’ve tried multiple times but no luck. So the only thing left to do is to return the Surface.

  35. Kevin says:

    What if I don’t have a volume rocker on my laptop? I use an ultrabook, Acer Aspire S3. So is there anything else I can do to get it to work?

    • Scott says:

      This fix is for Windows RT devices, specifically for Microsoft Surface Tablets. The volume button is just the method used to tell the device to “boot to USB”, so your Aspire will probably just use the F12 or F10 (or something like that) button when starting up. Just watch the screen as it starts up for a “boot device” option.
      Also, the boot images provided by myself and Microsoft also won’t work for you, you will need a copy of the full Windows version that is installed on your computer.

  36. fotyc says:

    I have a Samsumg laptop that came with Win 8 and worked like a champ till I accepted the Win 8.1 update at which point it went downhill fast. I got exactly the boot error you cite above, used my recovery USB, and tried to rebuild the boot sector but it didn’t succeed – I didn’t answer ‘A’ in your step 7, I answered ‘C’ and it said it couldn’t do it. I will repeat and try “A”. Then I made the mistake of taking the advice of a Samsung tech support person on chat who said if I reset the BIOS to defaults it would possibly fix up my boot sector – and it completely lost all boot devices. I am hoping if I try again with your steps and answer “A”, it might work… Do you think there’s hope? lol Also – do you know, if I boot from my recovery USB, can it see another USB device I might have on another port? Then I could try to recover a few files before doing the full recovery from Samsung’s recovery disks that are coming in the mail… Finally – I saw a remark about USB devices – I had a wireless mouse that I did not unplug when doing all my attempts at repairing this problem. Could that have messed me up? Thank you for any comments you make!

    • Scott says:

      It seems that laptops and desktops reporting the same error have a slightly different problem, I don’t know exactly what it is though.

      To try and get you sorted out though, first step will be to sort out what changed with your BIOS settings. Try going back into the BIOS and look for the setting for the storage controller or disk drives. It may have been set back to IDE or “Legacy” mode. If you can find that, see if you can change it to SATA and AHCI instead. See if that at least gets you back to seeing your boot devices again.

      Removing the USB mouse isn’t required. It’s other USB storage devices like external hard drives or USB keys that are the issue here. Unless of course you are trying to boot using a USB key of course.

      I don’t know what you mean by answering “C” for step 7. I removed step 7 as it never helped in this situation, and “C” wasn’t an option to choose anyway. Are you seeing something completely different?

      • fotyc says:

        Sorry not to have been clear, I mean step 8.7 (7, under 8, if you know what I mean) – where your choices are something like A, C, D… when you are recreating your boot rec.
        I will see if I can find that ‘legacy’ mode setting. It can see the Hitachi hard drive but I can’t figure out how to get it to show up on the ‘Boot’ tab of the BIOS, so I will look to see if I can see the setting you describe. Thanks for your response.

        • Scott says:

          The choice it gives is A for All, or Y and N for yes and no. It will ask for each instance of windows it detects on the computer. If it doesn’t offer any choices then there is a deeper issue preventing it seeing the installation.

        • fotyc says:

          Well, I can’t get that far anymore, it won’t boot from the USB recovery drive, it keeps giving me the 0x000000f your PC must be repaired error, and says to press F2 to see UEFI settings, which puts me in the BIOS. I guess that until I figure out what’s wrong with the BIOS, I won’t even be able to reinstall Windows from a recovery disk (which is coming in the mail from Samsung)? I combed the BIOS and have no obvious candidates for settings that would help. I don’t know how to repair a BIOS but I guess I’ll begin googling… Thanks for trying to help me but I think I may be beyond help! I wonder how people install a BIOS from scratch on a computer they are building. I wonder if it would help me to pull the hard drive, turn the thing on and let it power up without a hard drive, then put the hard drive back in and let it go through whatever process it goes through to identify new hardware in the BIOS.

  37. fotyc says:

    I resolved the main BIOS issue (there may be others) – there was a setting whose choices were “UEFI”, or “UEFI and CSM” and on a whim I changed that, as a last ditch thing before trying to drain the CMOS battery. It worked, at least in that it will boot from the C drive again. It still will only do that if I press F4 first, and it tells me ‘invalid recovery partition’. If I don’t press F4, it now says “NTLDR is missing – press Ctl-Alt-Del to restart”. I hope I will now be able to recover with the recovery disks that I’m supposed to be getting in the mail… I thought Windows 8 did not use NTLDR so this is somewhat mysterious to me and I’m hesitant to mess about further… Thought I’d share this info in case it helps anyone else.

    • Scott says:

      Good luck with sorting it out. I’m afraid I can’t really help you much more on this, I’m not familiar with that laptop model at all. It may be that you get lucky like I did with my desktop… just start doing a new install of Windows and it will “fix” the boot sector for you and then just boot into your existing Windows without actually needing a re-install.

  38. JuanMateo says:

    Sir, I had the same problem with my computer.. Is this applicable for desktop? I am badly need some help.. 😦

    • Scott says:

      There have been mixed results when this happens on a desktop. You can certainly try. It won’t make things worse, but it may not help. Even if you are getting exactly the same error code, on desktops it seems to be for slightly different reasons, so all you can do is try.
      You will need to use a boot USB key created from another windows8 computer though, the one provided by Microsoft won’t work on a desktop/laptop.

      • JuanMateo says:

        My friend has a laptop with windows 8 sir. How can I boot the key through his computer? Im sorry sir. I dont really know how to do that.. 😦

        • Scott says:

          You will need access to another computer running Windows8, then you should be able to use that to create a recovery usb key to boot the laptop with.
          On a working Windows 8 computer, go to the start menu and search for “create a recovery drive” and follow the prompts

        • JuanMateo says:

          thank you very much. I will tell if it did the trick. 😀

        • JuanMateo says:

          ei bro. bootrec/rebuildbcd did the trick via windows 8 dvd installation media. this is a perfect Christmas gift for me. Im back on my bacon PC! haha. Thank very much IDOL!!

        • JuanMateo says:

          Hi there Sir Scott. I hope that your blog site is still active. I badly need some help again and I think that you could solve this again.

          My 1TB Toshiba 2.0 is working properly, and then suddenly, when I plugged it the next day, it didn’t appear in the file explorer, but I could see it in the device manager. I can also see it in the disk management, but it is “unallocated”. The properties says that “The device is working properly.”. I have tried to change the letter of the device once (because I have read it almost in forums), but it failed and the “data error (cyclic redundancy check” box appeared. The same thing happened when I tried to initialize the HDD.

          I have also tried to change the cables, uninstall the device, and plugged again, but there was no difference.

          The last option that I tried was to use the minitool power data recovery application, but the HDD didn’t appear when the application scanned the devices in “damaged partition recovery. It appeared in the “lost partition recovery”, but no files were detected when I started to scan the HDD.

          If possible, I still want to retrieve my files, but the device is more important, so if formatting is the only solution, I would do that.without hesitation.

          Please help me. I need your opinion before I risk the drive in any dangerous action.

          Thank you very much.

  39. mike says:

    when i do this fix will any of my data be wiped out.

    • Scott says:

      No, it is only trying to update the boot configuration of the disk.
      When you boot to a USB key, you will actually be able to use it to open a command prompt and copy off any files to the USB key if you wanted to.

  40. Dave says:

    I am able to get into the recovery mode using a USB with the image….but when I try to restore, it states that it cannot find the windows drive or ‘drive is locked’. I cannot get into the bios using the volume up/power on option……any hints would be appreciated.

    • Scott says:

      There are steps to unlock the drive that you might need to follow. I’ve also listed those steps in my guide. If that works then you may have more success restoring the image.

      You can’t get into the BIOS at all as far as I know. The volume up/power button thing is to boot to USB instead of the internal drive, which it seems like you are already doing.

  41. greddin says:

    I received a Surface 2 for Christmas and everything was fine until a couple of days ago. Now, when I turn it on I get the Recovery blue screen that says:

    Your PC needs to be repaired

    The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors.

    File: \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
    Error code: 0xc0000001

    The night before, I recall that when I shut the Surface down it displayed some sort of quick message saying it was applying updates. This was only for a few seconds then it appeared to shutdown gracefully.

    The next day when I powered it on it when I started getting the error.

    I called Microsoft Surface support and was told to download the Surface RT USB Recovery image, which I applied to a USB drive after following instructions to format the USB drive as FAT32.

    When I boot using the USB drive it takes forever but eventually the USB drive begins flickering and the Surface logo gears start to churn. After a couple of seconds a blue screen starts to fade in and appear. I say fade in because the screen doesn’t appear instantly. It’s as if it slowly draws a few pixels at a time. It never really completes fading in before it reboots itself again, going back to the “Your PC needs to be repaired” error screen from before.

    I have tried to see what this screen says many times during the USB boot up process. I can definitely see a sad face symbol and something saying “There was a problem with your PC…” I can’t really make out the rest but I believe it says that my PC is being restarted. So I’m caught in an endless loop.

    I called Microsoft again and they want me to send it in for repair or I can have them send me a “like new” (ie Refurbished) unit. I don’t want a refurbished unit. I want a new one like the one I have! I still have 300+ days left on my warranty.

    Is there anything I can do on my own to repair the boot partition? Perhaps from another image or something?

    Thank you

    • Scott says:

      Two thoughts occur to me.
      1. The USB key image is corrupted or it’s a bad USB key. Try reformatting the USB key again and loading the image onto it, or try another key if you can. If the surface hardware is OK then the USB key should at least be able to boot up, even if the Surface install of windows is completely stuffed.
      2. It may there is something faulty with the hardware of the surface itself and the USB version of WinPE (windows lite) just can’t start correctly.

      I’d start with option 1 and redo the USB key or a different one. Make sure you have the key in before you power on and that you hold the buttons long enough to make it boot to USB.

      If that doesn’t get you anywhere then perhaps a return to Microsoft is all you can do. Unfortunately things do go wrong sometimes.
      I don’t know where you are from, but in Australia if you bought it from a store you can request a new replacement. If you bought it from Microsoft online, then they should also be required to replace with a new unit considering how long you’ve had it. If it was a year old then a refurb might be reasonable, but not when it’s new.

      It can be hard to do much testing because the nature of the tablet being a single component that you can’t swap bits out on, but good luck, and if you don’t like the options Microsoft offers you then ask them to escalate your incident to someone who isn’t just reading from a script. I’ve had to deal with them quite a few times now myself (unfortunately) and there are some really good guys that will do their best to help once you get hold of them.

      • greddin says:

        Thanks Scott. I’ve taken the option of sending my Surface back to Microsoft. I guess I’ll take my chances with a “Like New” one. You’re site has some great tips and I will continue to keep it bookmarked.

  42. Lourdes says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  43. maytae says:

    I have the same problem on a touch screen laptop, not a tablet. But your solution isn’t working. Pressing the volume down button with the power button only brings up my boot management. Any ideas what I can do

    • Scott says:

      Laptops usually have different ways of getting into the bios or boot menu (e.g. del, F12) but it seems yours just happens to allows the same method as the surface tablet.

      Once you have the boot menu, you will need to select the USB key to boot up to perform the recovery. Your laptop though is probably running the full version of windows, not the RT version though, so you will need to use another windows 8 computer to create a recovery USB drive. The one I’ve linked to is for the RT version only.
      You should also check the error you have as I’ve found its not exactly the same thing on laptop/desktop machines and is usually a different issue.

      • george says:

        i tried but it does not identify any window installation.
        total identified windows installation :0

        • Scott says:

          It sounds like a different issue. If you have enabled bitlocker or some other drive encryption, then that may be blocking it, or it may just be the windows install is totally corrupted.
          If you can’t do it yourself, then a computer repair shop can possibly connect the drive to another computer and copy of any data, but without more diagnostics there’s not much more I can suggest.
          Ultimately, you may find that starting a new Windows install (*without* formatting the drive) is the easiest thing to try, and that sometimes actually repairs the existing install.

  44. Random guy says:

    Thank you so much! This realy helped me out. 🙂

  45. Bob Kiley says:

    You’re a genius. This worked great for my gateway laptop NE71B series. I just had to hold down the ALT key and tap the F10 key while booting up to get into the recovery options, which none of them worked but it did allow me to get into the command prompt. Thank you very much.

  46. anmolkabra says:

    Thanks so much, buddy! I would have had a very hard day and an equally bad, if I had not encountered your blog! Hopefully, my PCs now running again and the BCD error had scared the hell out of me! Thank you so much 😀

  47. Jessica Magana says:

    I tried this but it isn’t working. I have a surface tablet 2, does that matter? Also the error code is different from mine. Please help.

  48. jorge says:

    helllo i have a a error code 0xc00000f with the surface rt i can’t even get into reboot mode any ideas??

    • Scott says:

      The same suggestions to use a boot disk and attempt a Boot repair or system recovery should work for that error.

      If you don’t already have a recovery USB drive, or have access to another Surface, then use the link to the Microsoft download at the top of the post.

  49. jorge says:

    it wont read the usb tried 2 already it wont launch into recovery mode even pressing power and volume

    • Scott says:

      Does your USB key have a light on it to indicate when it is being accessed? If so, do you see the light come one at all? You can even try the USB key on a normal computer. It won’t load and will fail, but you should still see it start to boot the computer.

      You might need to reformat the USB key and create the recovery drive again, many people have reported finding they had bad (old) USB keys and that helps sometimes.
      If you are sure you are holding the buttons down correctly when starting it up, and the USB key has been created correctly then it might need a trip back to Microsoft to resolve.

  50. Marcos vinicius says:

    30/06/2014 – Boa tarde amigo , meu surface trava na tela “SURFACE”, ele nao entra na bios ou uefi nao sei ;/ o que eu faço ;//

    • Scott says:

      If this is a Surface RT then you can’t enter the BIOS at all. You can try creating a recovery USB key and seeing if that restores it.

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