Error Opening BCD Registry Dell Inspiron Win7 Pre-installed

I am considering dual booting my shiney new Dell Inspiron 1545.
It came with Windows 7 pre-installed.

After installing EasyBCD 2.0.2 I get a window with the title 'Error Opening BCD Registry'.

Taking a quick peek at my HDD with Paragon Hard Disk Manager 11 I see these partitions;
Dell Utility fat16 39.1 MB not active,
RECOVERY ntfs 7.8 GB active,
OS (c: ) ntfs 29.2 GB not active,
Local Disk (e: ) 260.9 GB not formated not active

As you can guess I have used Paragon to shrink the 2nd and 3rd paritions to increase the space available for the 4th. The 4th partition is encrypted with truecrypt and contains data only.

My guess is that EasyBCD is looking at partition 1 and not finding the BCD because the BCD is either in partition 2 or 3. I guess at 2.

So....How should I proceed ?
I took an image of the 2nd partition just in case.

since windows 7 came pre-installed I don't have the installation disks.
Plus I would rather not re-install windows 7 since I am happy with how I have it setup at the moment.

I think the right way forward would be to delete partitions 1 and 2.
However I am not sure if the laptop would boot then since partition 2 is the active partition.

So...can someone be very nice and tell me the steps I need to take to allow me to dual boot and or later triple boot from my internal HDD please?
Last edited:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The first partitions will be your Dell recovery facility. Don't delete them until you've used its option to create portable recovery media (if they provide one).
What's the message you get ? Unable to find, or error opening BCD ?
Do Dell have a custom boot manager ? (do you see Dell-only options in your F8 boot menu ?)
Thank you for the replies guys.
@JustinW Version is 2.0.2 [as stated in OP]. I did not fancy tryinout a beta version :smile:
atm I am not sure what I want to install as another OS but I do know I need to get this dell utility and recovery partition stuff sorted first to avoid later problems.

I took a look at the dell manuals for the inspiron 1545, there is no mention of creating any disks via the dell utilities. Nor did I spot any when I booted via f12 into the dell utilities.

The complete error message is;
Error Opening BCD Registry [as stated in OP]
The boot configuration data store could not be opened.
The system cannot find the file specified.

Would you like to manually load a BCD registry for EasyBCD to manage?

As for does my laptop have a dell custom boot manager, hard to say.
I've not seen any other windows 7 F8 boot menu, seen plenty of XP Pro ones but that's not what you asked. When I enter the F8 boot menu I see 4 groups of options.
the first group only has 'repair your computer',
the second group has the usual 'safe mode' 3 items,
the third group has a familiar 'enable boot logging' list down to 'disable driver signature enforcement',
the last group only contains 'start windows normally'.

So what I am thinking is;
1 convert my 4th parition from a primary to a logical. why ? well I know I can only have 4 primary partitions and since the 4th does not need to boot, I can store my data in a logical partition.
2 remove paritions 1 and 2 ie partitions labeled as Dell Utility and RECOVERY.
3 Get the laptop to boot into windows 7 [it then being the 1st partition instead of the current 3rd]

I can do 1 easy. 2 seems straight forward. 3 looks like it could be a problem since the current partition 2 ie RECOVERY is set as the active partition and I'm sure I need the partition I want to boot into to be active?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
EasyBCD expects to find the BCD in the "active" partition. If your "system" isn't "active", then simply navigate to the "system" partition when you get the message.
You can install Windows or Linux in a logical drive. Windows needs its boot files to be in a primary, but the rest of the OS can be anywhere. Linux can even boot from a logical drive.
Using Windows 7 disk manager i can confirm that partition2 labeled as RECOVERY in paragon disk manager is marked as system and active.

Ok here is what windows 7 disk manager says;
volume, layout, type, filesystem, status

, simple, basic, , healthy (OEM Partition)
, simple, basic, , healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)
E:, simple, basic, , healthy (Primary Partition)
OS C:, simple, basic, NTFS, healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

so the question remains can i delete the (OEM Partition) and the (System, Active, Primary Partition) and still boot into OS C: for my windows 7 ?

BTW I am not sure what you mean by "simply navigate to the 'system' partition when you get the message". I have EasyBCD as a desktop icon. clicking on it brings up the error message posted above. the only options avaiable within the error message are 'yes' and 'no'. Hence I do not see what you mean by navigate to the system partition at that point. Can you explain in more detail what you mean by this please.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Replying yes throws up a standard Explorer dialogue.
Locate the BCD inside the \boot folder in the root of the "system" partition.
You will need to give the "system" partition a letter for Explorer to be able to see it, and you will need to have folder options set thus to be able to see the boot files, which are super-hidden


Super Moderator
Staff member
You do not want to delete the OEM or recovery partitions, especially if you were not provided an OS disc. All Dells I've ever played around with have these partitions for recovery and system diagnosis, but never have I seen the option to create your own recovery disc in there. What you can try is assigning the recovery partition a drive letter in disk management and than using EasyBCD to move the boot files (if you'd like to unmount the recovery partition since you don't need access to it for day to day use).