Fix missing Boot Configuration Data file in Windows 7

Many a time when Windows 7 is started, you may encounter with an error message 'Boot Configuration Data (BCD) file is missing. This error does not let you work on the computer as the operating system will not boot. This article will explain what is Boot Configuration Data (BCD) file, why BCD is important for booting the system & what action is to be taken to fix this error.

Overview of Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store

Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store, a registry like database, consists of various parameters that help in starting the operating system. It controls all phases of the boot process. Furthermore, BCD file is used in Windows Vista, Windows 7 & above versions in place of the text-based boot.ini file. In BCD store, objects like boot manager, boot loader & other boot applications have their own GUID. Besides, these objects can be modified using inbuilt tool Bcdedit.exe.

Location of BCD file in Windows 7:

In BIOS based installation, BCD is located on active partition as [active partition] \Boot\BCD

In EFI (Extensible firmware interface) based installation, BCD file is located on EFI system partition as [EFI system partition]\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD

Boot Configuration Data file is missing error:

BCD error is most commonly seen in Windows 7, Windows 8, & Windows 10. If Boot configuration data is either missing, corrupt, or wrongly configured then you will not be able to start your computer & you may encounter with the error bootmgr is missing or the error as shown below:

bcd-error

Reasons why you are facing this error:

One of the main reason for occurrence of the "Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information" error is that Bootmgr cannot be loaded as Boot Manager entry is missing in Boot Configuration Data store. This entry can be accidentally deleted or corrupted due to virus infection.

One more reason for this error appears is that Boot\BCD file is missing or corrupted in active partition.

How to fix Boot Configuration Data error

To get your BCD restored in Windows 7, follow below methods:

Repair BCD store using Windows RE startup repair tool

Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) provides a startup repair tool that repairs unbootable Windows 7. Your corrupted Boot configuration data file can be repaired by using this method, just follow the below steps:

Rebuild BCD store using Windows RE bootrec.exe tool

Windows Recovery Environment provides bootrec.exe, using this tool BCD is completely rebuilt. Do the following steps:

Although the manual methods are time consuming, yet it will fix 'Boot configuration data is missing' error. What if your BCD error still exists & you cannot start your computer then either you will format the hard disk or reinstall Windows operating system. This situation can cause you to data loss. If for some reason your data have been lost and you want it back as quickly as possible then you can try windows data recovery software that helps you in getting back your lost, deleted, & corrupted data.