Windows 10: Windows bootloader lost after SystemRescueCD Solved

  1.    04 Jun 2018 #1

    Windows bootloader lost after SystemRescueCD

    System: Windows 10 Pro (clean install, not an upgrade), UEFI only, ASRock H170M Pro4. C drive is 512 GB SSD, E drive is 1 GB HD. Not dual boot.
    I created a SystemRescueCD USB drive, with intent to use it for Spinrite.
    After USB drive was created, but before Spinrite config, I decided to boot into it just to see what it showed me.
    It showed me a grub boot failure, because it was looking for /syslinux, but this version of SystemRescueCD only contained directory /isolinux.
    You'd think this was no big trouble, but when I rebooted to my default Windows C drive, I got the GRUB bootloader! Apparently just running the defective USB drive it decided to overwirite my boot config.
    I then used my original Win10 DVD. I booted to it and to my surprise, it brought up my current Win10 desktop. So all is not lost.
    I tried a reinstall, but it seemed confused about something and only allowed me to choose a total clean install - I would lose all my data.
    Next tried bootsect /nt60 SYS or C: No luck, it says Access denied.
    Next tried bcdboot c:\windows /s c:. It seemed to finish OK, but still boots into broken GRUB.
    diskpart tells me that my C drive starts in Volume 2 and there are 3 partitions:
    System Reserved, NTFS, 500 MB, System
    C, NTFS, 475 GB, Boot
    No name, no type, 469 MB, this is the recovery partition
    This disk should be GPT, correct? I installed Windows 10 clean on a virgin SSD drive.
    I see some excellent information in this forum, esp. thread# 73748. Here I see suggestions to try Kyhi's Recovery Tools and Macrium Reflect or maybe Easy UEFI.
    What's in the System Reserved partition? I'm guessing this is where my repair will occur. I want to be rid of GRUB and get back to plain Windows. Obviously I want to leave the C (Windows) partition alone. I have enough space on another drive to completely copy the C partition. Should I? And how would I do that?
    What next steps would you recommend? Thank you!
    Last edited by docGlenn; 04 Jun 2018 at 23:22. Reason: add link to other thread
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    04 Jun 2018 #2

    I just discovered that I was booting Windows DVD in SATA mode - this led me to bring up my current Windows. But in order to succeed with bcdboot, I needed to boot Windows DVD in UEFI mode. This was quite different - it basically results in an install sequence. Nevertheless, running bcdboot in this condition still does not fix my boot loader problem. Interesting though.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    05 Jun 2018 #3

    One more discovery. My C drive (SSD), the boot drive is actually partitioned MBR! Why on earth would a clean install of Windows 10 do that on a virgin drive?
    My E drive (hard drive) is partitioned GPT.
    Does this change my options for fixing it?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    06 Jun 2018 #4

    Fixed. Booted from Windows DVD in UEFI mode. This led me to repair, as opposed to when I booted as SATA. Used Advanced and exited to command prompt. sed DISKPART to discover that my SSD Windows partition was now mapped to E. With that information, I was able to successfully run bcdboot e:\windows /s e:. Running shell after booting from the DVD was the key step that I missed before.
    When I rebooted and brought up firmware boot manager, I saw a new entry in the list, something like "Windows Boot ...". I moved that to top of list and now I'm back to normal.
    I think I will use some utility (Macrium Reflect?) to make a complete copy of C (Windows) partition and then run Microsoft MBR2GPT utility. I hope this will speed up the slow boot time (20+ seconds) that has plagued me since I created this system 2 years ago.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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