Get the fix to “0xc000000f: error attempting to read the boot configuration data” boot error for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 operating systems.

About the “0xc000000f” error

The following information on this error has been compiled by NeoSmart Technologies, based on the information gathered and reported by our global network of engineers, developers, and technicians or partner organizations.

Description and Symptoms

The error messages, alerts, warnings, and symptoms below are tied to this error.

Symptom 1: 0xc000000f error screen on startup

As a part of the system startup procedure, the BOOTMGR bootloader introduced in Windows Vista and subsequently used in Windows 7, Windows 8(.1), and Windows 10 uses a database of entries and configuration options known as the BCD1, which acts as a global store for all boot-related options and settings on newer Windows PCs. However, if the BCD file is not found, then a “0xc000000f” error appears and the boot process is halted.

Here is an example error screenshot of this error for Windows Vista and Windows 7:

Win7 0xc000000f startup error

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."

If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc000000f

Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data.

And here is what this error looks like on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1:

Win8 0xc000000f startup error

Recovery

Your PC needs to be repaired

The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors.

File: \Boot\BCD
Error code: 0xc000000f

You'll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media. If you don't have any installation media(like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer.

Causes of this Error

This error has been known to occur as a result of one or more of the following:

Cause 1: BCD is missing or corrupt

One of the most common causes of this error is the BCD that became missing or corrupt. That could happen because of disk write errors, power outages, boot sector viruses, or errors made while configuring the BCD manually.

Cause 2: File system integrity compromised

For the same reasons, the file system itself may become corrupt or damaged. That happens even more often if one turns off a PC while it is in the middle of writing crucial data to the boot sector.

Cause 3: HDD data cable is faulty

Like all components of our PC’s, hard drive data cables tend to deteriorate as the time passes. If the same cable is used for several years(or even across several different computers), then it might be the cause of periodic read/write errors that can affect the loading process.

Fixing “0xc000000f” on Windows

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Rebuild BCD via Easy Recovery Essentials

Easy Recovery Essentials’ one-click automated system repair feature incorporates full repair and reconstruction of the BCD to resolve the “0xc000000f” error, even in cases where Windows won’t boot as a result of the error.

The automated boot repair component of EasyRE will address all BCD-related issues, fixing the BCD or recreating it from scratch using the correct encoding and path for the partition that is refusing to load properly.

Easy Recovery Essentials is guaranteed to fix the “0xc000000f” error automatically using its built-in Automated Repair option. EasyRE is currently available for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and can be downloaded and created on any PC.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Make sure to note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) before you download EasyRE. This guide can help you identify what version of Windows you have installed.
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Boot up your PC from the Easy Recovery Essentials CD or USB you created.
  4. Once EasyRE is running, choose the “Automated Repair” option and click Continue.
    EasyRE Home

    Choose “Automated Repair” in Easy Recovery Essentials

  5. After EasyRE scans your computer’s drives, identify and select the drive letter for your Windows installation from the list, and then click on the Automated Repair button to begin.
    EasyRE displays a list of found Windows operating systems

    Choose the drive associated with the Windows installation you’re trying to repair.

  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will start analyzing the selected drive for problems. EasyRE will test for and attempt to automatically correct errors with the disk, partition, bootsector, filesystem, bootloader, and registry. No intervention is required, as EasyRE’s repair is fully automated:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Easy Recovery Essentials searches for errors and makes corrections to the selected Windows installation.

  7. Once the process is complete, EasyRE will report its findings. Click on the Restart button to reboot your PC and test the changes.
  8. The “0xc000000f” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Windows, booting up successfully.

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix #2: Make sure no additional devices are plugged in

Before jumping into the command line or Startup Repair, it’s best to try another restart with the fewest number of devices and external drives plugged into the computer. This will make sure that nothing that was recently added to the computer isn’t causing this issue. It would be best to unplug any recent USB drives, CDs, DVDs etc. This includes a memory card reader too. Make sure that all external drives and USB keys or USB jump drives have been disconnected, then try again.

Fix #3: Use Startup Repair to repair BOOTMGR

On Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Startup Repair can be used to scan the system for damaged or missing system files to replace the BCD file if it is corrupt or missing.

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Startup Repair is an automated diagnosis and repair tool that is available from the Windows setup disc and can be used to find and repair some common problems. More information about how Startup Repair operates and what it does can be found in our knowledgebase. The following steps will initiate Startup Repair from the Windows setup disc:

Unable to boot into the Windows setup CD?
See our guide on setting up a PC to boot from the CD or DVD for troubleshooting and more detailed instructions.

  1. Insert your Windows installation DVD into your PC’s CD-ROM drive,
  2. Fully power down your PC, and make sure it has fully shut off,
  3. Power up your PC,
  4. Press any key when you see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD..”
  5. Click the link titled “Repair your computer” in the bottom-lefthand corner, after first selecting your language and keyboard options.
    Windows 7 setup Install Now dialog, with repair your computer link
  6. Wait for Startup Repair to scan your PC for Windows installations, then select your install from the list it shows:
    Startup repair lists available operating systems to repair.
  7. Choose “Startup Repair” from the list of available recovery options to begin:
    Startup Repair lists all available recovery options, choose a recovery tool
  8. Startup Repair will begin scanning your installation for known issues and will attempt a repair, if possible.
    Windows Startup Repair is searching for problems

Here is an example of what the PC’s startup repair should look like once the BCD file is properly restored:

Missing BCD file restored by Startup Repair

Missing BCD file restored by Startup Repair

Fix #4: Rebuild the BCD manually

Since the boot error is often caused by a missing BCD, rebuilding it is often a good solution.

Here are the steps to rebuild the BCD:

  1. Boot from the Windows install disc
  2. Click on Repair your computer after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is usually C:\, and click Next
  4. Choose Command Prompt when the System Recovery Options box appears
  5. Write the following command and press Enter afterwards:
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
  6. If the program finds a Windows installation and asks whether it should add it to the boot list, press Y

Here is an example screenshot of what the PC’s console output should look like once Bootrec is done rebuilding the BCD.

Bootrec utility results screen

Bootrec utility results screen

Fix #5: Check your data cables, BIOS and drivers

Unplug all HDD data cables, and then plug them again. Revert to the previous drivers and BIOS settings if they were changed, or use “Restore factory settings” option in the BIOS. Make sure to write down all current BIOS settings that were previously selected, just in case it is required to switch back. If the error is caused by a change of the SATA disk controller’s mode in the BIOS or firmware, the fix can be as simple as entering the BIOS and toggling the SATA controller’s “mode” setting. The exact instructions differ from one manufacturer to the other, but the options will resemble what is shown in the screenshots below.

To check the boot order, follow these steps:

    1. Restart the computer
    2. Press the necessary key to open BIOS menu. This key depends on the computer manufacturer and computer model. This is usually listed on the first screen that appears on the monitor. It can be any of the following: Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10 or F12.
    3. If the screen shows multiple keys, find the key to open “BIOS”, “setup” or “BIOS menu”
    4. Attempt to toggle between all three (or more) modes until a combination that results in Windows booting successfully once more is found.
BIOS loading screen

Notice the key guide in the top-right corner

BIOS configuration screen

BIOS configuration screen

Fix #6: Check your disk with CHKDSK utility

If the hard drive has its file integrity compromised, it is possible to use built-in Windows CHKDSK utility to scan the disk and fix the file system errors.

Here are the steps to run CHKDSK:

  1. Boot from your Windows install disc
  2. Click on Repair your computer after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is usually C:\, and click Next
  4. Choose Command Prompt when the System Recovery Options box appears
  5. Write the following command and press Enter afterwards:
    chkdsk C: /f

    Replace C: with the letter of the driver where Windows is installed.

Here is an example of what the PC’s console output should look like once the chkdsk.exe is complete:

Chkdsk utility results screen

Chkdsk utility results screen

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)

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  1. BCD is an abbreviation of Boot Configuration Database.