how to bypass BCD in case of failure?

#1
I have three matched hard drives, that once had Vista and now have Windows 7. BCD worked perfectly, as i could boot to any of the drives. [this is my own backup method--three identical drives] BCD worked perfectly.

But one time I either added a USB device or perhaps removed one--I don't know--but all the drive letters changed. Okay, my fault, but I could not boot to any drive. C became E, etc.

So, when the BCD menu appears but fails, is there a way to bypass it? Delete it? Anything?

I had to use a recovery disk and wasted hours getting things back. I am now nervous about using it.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
The BCD menu isn't there because of EasyBCD; it's an integral part of the Windows boot process and unfortunately you can't do anything to skip past it.

EasyBCD just lets you manage it and do crazy-awesome things with the BCD, but since it doesn't actually install the BCD (which is always there), there is no way to skip it.

Glad to hear your system is back up and running, though.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#3
When you install a new OS, assign letters for all your partitions yourself, and for all of your removable devices. That will create registry entries linking the UID of each device permanently with a specific letter.
If you don't do this, Windows dynamically allocates letters at boot (or when you hotplug a device). This gives the appearance of permanency all the while your hardware configuration is unchanging, but the moment you shuffle your HDD connections (or add a new PCI card etc etc) all of your letter assignments can change.
If the OS letter changes (can frequently occur if you clone devices), then the OS becomes unusable.
Luckily, Vista and W7 will get far enough into the boot to enable you to run regedit, and you can use it to fix the OS partition letter

As CG said, It's nothing to do with EasyBCD.
(the BCD doesn't use letters- it uses the UID, but EasyBCD merely translates those UIDs into the letters as currently seen from the running system for your convenience)
 
#4
Depending on what other OSes you have on that computer besides Win 7, you could bypass the BCD using a 3rd party boot manager for the other systems, but Win 7 (or Vista) would still need to use the BCD (no way around it).