The curse of the "0xc000000f" error - Help!


Thanks for reading. I'll admit I'm a bit of a technonumpty when it comes to computers so I hope this makes sense. I have an intermittent fault occuring when I start my PC which results in the dreaded msod (monochrome screen of despair). Apparently, an error occurs while attempting to read the boot configuration data located at \Boot\BCD. These are truly random occurances and sometimes several weeks will pass before it manifests itself again. However, if I do any Windows Updates that require a Restart then I am guaranteed a msod.

My 2-year old desktop PC runs a single OS, namely Vista 64-bit (now at SP1) installed on C: and I have the OEM Home Premium 64 DVD. Thankfully, inserting the DVD successfully resolves the problem using the automatic "Repair this Computer" facility. I have also tried doing the repair from the DVD's DOS prompt by issuing the command X:\Sources> bootrec /rebuildbcd. The subsequent scan finds my OS, adds it to the boot list and, once again, all is well. I have also initiated a Chkdsk of my hard drive and it reports it to be error free with no repairs logged.

I have installed a copy of EasyBCD 1.7.2 but because of my n00bness I've been somewhat afraid to experiment with it for fear of "bricking" my PC. My solution has been to use the S3 Sleep facility and only have Vista issue a Restart command when I do the accumulated Windows Updates approximately once a month. I am hoping the gurus on here have encountered this problem on numerous occasions and can guide me with "baby steps" to a permanent solution.

I'm sure the rectification of the problem can't be as horrendous as my inexperience perceives it to be. But just remember - nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool. :??
Hi Trev, welcome to NST.
There are only 2 things I can think of which might cause repeated boot failures.
1) a bad block in the MBR or bootsector, but a chkdsk /f should have found and fixed that, and you appear to have tried that route.
2) You have a malware infection which is repeatedly interfering with your boot process each time you repair it.
We've all had the odd boot failure, especially those of us that are continually playing with multi-boots, but a "startup repair" should be permanent (till the next time you make a mistake playing around with the boot).
Repeated fail/repair cycles are not a regular Vista feature.
I'd institute a rigorous scan with every available reputable malware scanner you can get hold of on the web if the chkdsk /f finds no physical problem.
Thanks Terry for the quick response and for pointing me in the right direction. I didn't think the 64-bit OS was as susceptible to malware but it is obviously not immune. I only have the 64-bit version of Avast! installed as an anti-virus but will now do as you suggest and scour the internet for a more targeted malware solution.

If anybody has favourite (preferably free) program for dealing with MBR infections, I'd appreciate a steer towards it.
Hi Trev,

Re malware solutions it is a good idea to have a number of progs in your armoury. Only one at a time should be configured for real-time scanning as otherwise they may conflict. The other(s) can be used on a daily basis for one-off scans.

May I suggest Malwarebytes Anti Malware and SuperAntispyware. Note that malware is not the same as viruses and requires a separate, preferably layered, solution. This is because no single application can kill every kind of malware.

You might also like to take a look at Threatfire and Immunet Protect. The latter, particularly will open your eyes to the levels of threat that exist.

Good luck