Using EasyBCD in combo w/ other boot disk tools

I haven't used BCD - yet to try to repair a BCD store or MBR, because the few problems I've had, windows wouldn't boot at all. Simple clone or BU restore operations w/ True Image or Ghost, messed up the BCD / MBR so badly, wouldn't boot.

Guess my question is, when you DON'T have a booting ver of Windows, (besides Vista Recovery Disk - that does NOT always work), what are suggestions of free? bootable BCD / MBR editors? BootIt Bare Metal (former "NG") is useful, but kinda pricey after 30 day trial. It's VERY rare I need these sorts of prgms.

Most recent, I simply made BU of the APPLICATIONS partition (D:smile: from an old disk (no longer booting disk - w/ Vista), & restored it to new disk.
NOTHING else was included in the BU image - JUST D: off old disk. The "new" disk has been running / booting w/ Vista just fine for couple wks.

AFAIK, there's nothing in that BU / restore operation that should touch the OS, BCD, MBR, Boot Manager - but it DID. It (Ghost 15) restore of D: to it's own partition on NEW disk worked (the partition already existed), but ALSO completely messed up BCD & Boot Mgr. Had to use trial boot disk of BootIt bare metal, to straighten it out.

EasyBCD has it's place & use, but need a bootable OS on same machine to use it. A few times I used Vista Recovery / repair console, it made corrections all right, but they were WAY messed up.

If your Vista/7/8 OS is not corrupted but you've just lost or damaged the boot files, then the installation DVD will fix it perfectly, exactly as it created them during setup.
Any dual-boot options or customization done with BCDedit EasyBCD or any other tool will not be restored, just the vanilla boot files, but you can use EasyBCD to re-customize anything.
If your DVD didn't fix your boot problems, that could possibly be a consequence of a multi HDD environment where it had trouble locating the OS. Just disconnect other HDDs while you do the repair in that case.
Otherwise the problems could be deeper than merely boot files.