nuclear holocaust failure during bcdedit /import

I have a Dell all-in-one system that came with Windows 8 preinstalled (in UEFI mode). I non-destructively shrunk the Windows partition, and added Debian linux (in legacy/BIOS mode) to the system. At this point I could pick to UEFI boot which would leave me in Windows or legacy boot into Debian.

I had a foolish idea that I could add Debian as a UEFI bootable system. I managed to get GRUB2-efi installed and created a boot label for it. Now I could UEFI boot straight into GRUB2 which lets me UEFI boot Debian (and Windows too through chainloading bootmgfw.efi).

At this point, I don't know what happened, but I can no longer boot Windows from GRUB2 (or any way). Trying to switch control from GRUB2 over to \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi now fails with some message that my BCD is missing.

I boot up the Windows 8 DVD and go into repair mode into the command line (auto repair failed of course).

I tried the "nuclear holocaust" steps from Recovering the Windows Bootloader from the DVD - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki, and here's what I get:

I skipped the bootsect.exe commands since this is UEFI and not the MBR shouldn't matter (right?!?).

I mounted my FAT32 partition (with the Microsoft bootmgfw.efi and GRUB2 files) to drive 'U:'.
bcdedit /createstore u:\efi\microsoft\boot\bcd.temp (Success)
bcdedit /store u:\efi\microsoft\boot\bcd.temp /create {bootmgr} /d "Windows Boot Manager" (Success)
bcdedit /import u:\efi\microsoft\boot\bcd.temp
The store import operation has failed.
The requested system device cannot be identified due to multiple indistinguishable devices potentially matching the identification criteria.

Not sure where to go from here....


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Those instructions won't work for EFI.

You could try the UEFI-ready recovery CDs from, can get a refund if it doesn't fix.