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Windows 7: BCD Boot error 0xc000000f while booting from USB installation disk

29 Aug 2014   #1
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 
BCD Boot error 0xc000000f while booting from USB installation disk

Hi all,

I've been attempting to do a clean install (following the tutorial here) on an HP Probook 5310m, using a USB installation disk created from a genuine ISO (from msft.digitalrivercontent.net) with the official Windows 7 USB / DVD tool.

The initial phase of the installation ran without any errors but after the first reboot the installation went back to the start (i.e. the "select language" etc. screen) and did not continue automatically. As I was unable to re-start the installation, I decided to take a rest for the night and so shut down the computer, cancelling the installation completely. Prior to the installation I had prepared the HDD via the method shown here, ensuring there was only one partition before I started the installation.

Now, upon power up, I am greeted with the infamous BCD boot error 0xc000000f, even with the same USB disk used previously inserted and the BIOS set to boot from USB hard drive. I cannot boot from the USB disk regardless of its contents (I tried Partition Wizard and a "Repair Disk" I found online). As a result I can't access StartUp Repair, Advanced Boot or bootrec.exe.
However, if I physically remove the HDD from the SATA connector I am able to boot to the USB disk. Installation operates as normal but obviously there is no disk to install to.

My question is: how should I proceed from here? To my mind, there are 3 options :
  1. Buy a new HDD
  2. Buy a SATA-USB cable and attempt to format existing HDD on my other laptop
  3. Insert the HDD with the laptop running after installation has launched (not a good option!)

Sorry for the long-windedness, I thought it best to be thorough.

Cheers,
JC


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Aug 2014   #2
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Actually, now that I think about it, inserting the HDD after booting probably wouldn't work as all the hardware has been scanned and initialized by then. If anyone has any other ideas they would be much appreciated!

JC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #3
gregrocker

 

Set the hard drive first to boot in BIOS setup then trigger the stick to boot using the one-time BIOS BOot Menu key at boot. This should prevent the stick from starting the install over again, but if not unplug it at the first reboot.

Other steps for Overcoming Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Aug 2014   #4
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Hi Greg,

Since I first posted I went and picked up a new hard drive, inserted it and followed the steps in the clean install tutorial. Installation launched from USB and I proceeded to format the new HDD to ntfs and make it active. Alas, I still got the "Setup was unable to create a new system partition" and was unable to proceed so I decided to restart. Now, even though the installation hadn't even started previously I can't get back to the start of the installation. Instead I get "Bootmgr is missing" with & without my installation USB inserted. I am manually selecting to boot from USB upon startup, BIOS is set to hard drive as you recommended.

Any tips? Have I just shot myself in the foot again by restarting? There seemed no other way to proceed....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #5
gregrocker

 

The error means its trying to boot the HD and not booting the stick.

Make sure you're booting the stick correctly as I gave in my last post, because failure to boot media is 90% of the time a User failure. But if it won't boot then create a new stick from the http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ml#post2714895.

Are there any UEFI devices listed in BIOS setup Boot Priority order? If so you'll need to format the stick from Option One of UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows then choose it as a UEFI or EFI device in Boot Menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #6
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

I don't think the issue is with the USB or how I've created it - I bought the USB disk yesterday and have created all bootable disks using the official Windows tool. Again, the ISO used to create bootable disk is the official Digital River one. The only thing I could possibly think of is that I'm creating the disk on a Win7 virtual machine on my MacBook Pro. The fact that it worked initially makes me doubt that this affects anything.

With regards to UEFI devices, does it explicitly state in the Boot List if a device is UEFI? My list just contains the standard HDD, various USB options, SD card and Network boot. No mention of UEFI anywhere.

The BIOS does have a UEFI boot mode which I can enable, but which gives the following warning:
"The UEFI Boot option on this system is provided for development purposes only and is currently not fully supported or warranted by HP. Preboot Authentication and Drive Lock are currently not supported under UEFI Boot. HP strongly recommendes disabling Preboot Authentication and Drive Lock before enabling UEFI Boot on this system."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

Have you tried every step from Overcoming Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums including resetting the BIOS to defaults which is one of the first steps?


Can you install from DVD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2014   #8
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Yup, tried all that are applicable. There's no optical drive on this laptop and seeing as I'm having issues with it detecting the USB drive I don't want to invest in a USB DVD drive.

I've found a "Disk Sanitizer" option in the BIOS setup which claims to wipe all data on the HDD. Giving that a go to see if I can get back to the installation again once the drive is clear of any trace of a previous installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2014   #9
gregrocker

 

Are there any settings for UEFI, CSM, Legacy BIOS or UEFI/EFI boot listings in Boot Priority order when you scour all tabs in BIOS setup? Please report back the exact choices for these settings.

What is the SATA controller setting?

What steps did you not do because they were "not applicable?"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2014   #10
JJACa

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

The Disk Sanitizer is still running (~11 hours to clean 50% ) so I have no access to BIOS menus right now. As I mentioned above there is an option for UEFI boot mode. Legacy BIOS is enabled by default. There are no UEFI / EFI items in the boot order menu.

The original HDD was a SATA II Seagate Momentus 7200.4 (ATA-8, SATA 2.6, 3.0 Gb/s, NCQ) which I've since replaced with a SATA III Momentus Thin.

As I can't boot from the USB disk / access installation at this point I deemed all steps beyond no. 4 in your guide as non-applicable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BCD Boot error 0xc000000f while booting from USB installation disk




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