Sep 10 2012

Recover the windows 8 bootloader

Category: — Duke @ 16:45

Yesterday I was preparing a laboratory pc that has windows 8 installed.

In the lab I need windows 7 to work with some tools not yet ported to windows 8, so I decided to setup a .VHD and install windows 7 on it.

-Dual Boot will make the trick and I will be able to choose the operating system trough the beautyful windows 8 bootloader interface “bootim.exe”

True, but the sad part of the story is that once I’ve installed windows 7 the beauty win8 bootloader was replaced by the old and crappy windows7/vista bootloader

Too bad!

I’ve tried several thing: recover mode, bootrec/fixmbr; bootrec/fixboot etc… in all the order that cames into my mind also


at the end I figured out how to replace the win7 bootloader with the new win8 bootim, and it is much more easy than I’ve thought

  1. coold boot the pc, so the windows 7 bootloader will pop up, you should see multiple choice anyway, one for each OS installed
  2. select windows 8 and at that point press F8 to have more tool
  3. once in the tool page the first choice should be Repair, choose it
  4. NOW bootim will popup in all its graphical glory, navigate to more options ad find the command console, then start it
  5. now you are in the windows 8 recover model, and it is great, you should be in disk x:\sources or something like this( forgive me , it was late night, yesterday….)
  6. in the directory you are placed, there should be an utility called bcdboot.exe  

Now the fun part, you should notice that your usual C: disk is not in C: anymore while you are in this recover mode, for some reason I don’t want to know mine was in F:

anyway search your primary disk somewhere, it is the one that have the \Windows folder in it .

at this point run bcdboot.exe /?

The help should appear, and at the bottom of the help page there should be 3 examples, I think the right one is the first one… or the last one? who knows? certainly not the one in the middle…

so, long story short, the command should be something like this

bcdboot F:\Windows /l en-us 

where F:\Windows is the root folder where Windows 8 is installed, you can omit /l en-us option if you want english language

(useful reference page here)

lunch it and once it have finished reboot your pc

now BootIm is again at its place, ready to display your OS choice in a graphical manner.

Thanks god it had worked, and I was able to go to sleep!


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