How To Backup and Restore BCD Store in Windows

BCD (Bootable Configuration Store) Store contains very important information to properly boot up your Windows system. When it’s missing or becoming corrupted, or miss configured, your Windows System won’t be able to start. So it’s important to have a good backup copy of your BCD Store before you do anything, such as setting up dual- or multi- boot system, that involves making changes to it.

This post is to show you how to properly make a backup copy of your BCD store and how to restore them, as well as how to rebuild the store when something really went wrong.

How to back up BCD store

To make a backup copy of your BCD store, open Command Prompt as Administrator and run the following command:

bcdedit /export filepath\filename

bcdedit export command

It’s a good idea saving the file on an external storage, e.g. USB flash drive.

How to restore it

If you are still able to boot and have a need to restore your BCD store to the previously state, you can run the following command in a Command Prompt window that runs as Administrator:

bcdedit /import filepath\filename

How to rebuild the BCD store

What if when things really went wrong, such as message like BOOTMGR is Missing, that prevents you from booting into any of boot system you have on your computer? When this happens, here is what you can do:

1. Find a Windows 7 or 8 installation media, either DVD or USB, and boot from it.

2. Go to Repair your computer, when prompted.

Install windows - repair your computer

If it’s a Windows 8 installation media, you will need to go through Troubleshoot → Advanced OptionCommand Prompt to open the Command Prompt window, and run the command bootrec.

The command bootrec has four options to restore your BCD store:

  • /FixMbr – writes the master boot record of the system partition using the master boot record
  • /FixBoot – write a new boot sector onto the system partition
  • /ScanOS – scall all disks for installations compatible with Windows
  • /RebuildBcd – scan all disks for installations compatible with Windows and all the users to choose which to add and which to ignore.

bootrec - rebuild bcd store

The option /rebuildbcd is probably the best one you can try to get your BCD store back. And it works just great. It’s the option I used to saved my computer when the test of PWBoot tool destroyed my BCD store completely.

The drawback of using bootrec is that the rebuilt BCD Store doesn’t seem to be the same version as Windows 8. It’s more like one on Windows 7 which doesn’t have a nice fancy GUI, but who cares.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/28/2014

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