Externally altered volume file - how to reinstall BCD?

I have Vista Business pre-installed with Lenovo restore partition and disks - all of which are in a compressed (proprietary??). I compressed the Vista partition and created several more using gparted livecd and ntfsresize. At this point Vista boot manager was asking for the retail disk in order to do a 'restart repair'. I installed OSX in one partition and Mepis/Linus in an extended partition.

Since there is no 'restart repair' option with the Lenovo software, and I don't have access to a retail disk, I chose to reinstall Vista to the smaller partition, which again allowed me to boot vista. I downloaded EasyBSD and used it to create additional entries for OSX and Linux. These did in fact boot fine - but not Vista (same old 'insert install disk...restart repair').

I then booted linux, went to the Vista partition and copied the backup BCD into /Boot. (Just a wild quess on my part!). I then turned on the boot flag for the Vista partition and rebooted - SUCCESS! Once in Vista, I got the message in EasyBCD 'No valid entries found' and in detailed mode: 'The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid'.

I am currently using grub to multiboot, but would like to clean up Vista's boot files. How do I do that without a retail disk?

If you have read this far - thank you!



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Tom,

Try Diagnostics | Reset BCD
Downloaded 1.61 (thanks for making it non-zip - no problem downloading...

Opened 1.61, asked if I wanted to repair MBR, etc., elected 'yes', noted 'success'. Rebooted and got Windows Boot Manager screen. Since this is a pre-install (no disk), I am now stuck and unable to access Vista.

What is the best way to proceed? I can access the Vista partition from Linux and replace the BCD file - but that will take me back to where I was - 'externally altered BCD'! What do you suggest???



Mostly Harmless
Staff member
"externally altered BCD" is given when the checksum headers don't match.

In C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\Profiles you'll find "NeoSmart.bcd"

Replace C:\Boot\BCD with this file (and rename it, of course) from within Linux.

It probably won't boot, because the drive listings differ - EasyBCD patches that file with the correct drive and partition info.

However, you should, at this point, be able to boot from the Vista DVD and select "Startup Repair" and have that work - good luck!