I am running Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate on two PCs on my home network. I went to use one yesterday and was presented with a black screen. I rebooted the PC hoping that would solve my issue and was presented with the following error message while trying to reboot:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
Info: An error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data
I checked my other PC and saw that it had been updated with several Windows patches yesterday. I'm guessing that the broken PC had an issue installing or rebooting from one of the patches.
I ran the repair utility on the windows 7 dvd as instructed by the error message. It was unable to find a previous installation of windows with an error box saying:
The file or directory C:\Boot\BCD is corrupt and unreadable please run Chkdsk utility.
I tried the auto repair anyway, which appears to be working until the end when it gives me the "The file or directory C:\Boot\BCD is corrupt and unreadable please run Chkdsk utility" error again. Then it says it can't save the fixes and says it can't be repaired. When I check the details it says I need to "repair offline" and that it cannot find an OS installed.
In my searches for an answer, I read about rebuilding the BCD through the command prompt. I ran the following commands:
BOOTREC /FIXMBR - said it was successful
BOOTREC /FIXBOOT - said it was successful
BOOTREC /REBUILDBCD - failed saying The file or directory C:\Boot\BCD is corrupt and unreadable please run Chkdsk utility
I ran chkdsk and got no errors.
I only have one hard drive, but when I go to a command prompt (from the repair section on the Windows 7 Install disk) it defaults to D:. I checked C: and it appears to be making the reserved system space drive C:, which would explain why I can't find a windows install on it.
Is there a way to fix that?
If not, does anyone have any other suggestions?
Worst case, If I just go down the path of re-installing windows without formatting the drive, will it pickup my old settings?
Here is what system info I could get (from the BIOS startup diagnostics):
Main Processor: AMD Athalon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 3800+
Memory Testing: 2030592K +64M shared memory
Memory Information: DDR2 533 Dual Channel, 128 bit
CPU L2 cache size: 512K x 2