Use Bootrec.exe to Troubleshoot Windows 7 Startup Issues

October 15, 2018

If you can’t troubleshot the startup issues with Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Option dialog box under Windows RE, you can use Bootrec.exe tool to manually troubleshot additional issues.

Bootrec in Windows

Bootrec or the bootrec.exe utility is a tool provided by Microsoft in Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). It can help you to troubleshoot and potentially fix errors that are preventing your computer to start. It is used in connection with:

  • Master Boot Record (MBR)

  • Boot Sector

  • Boot Configuration Data (BCD)

  • Boot.ini

Commonly, when a computer fails to start, it will automatically starts in the Windows RE, where you can troubleshoot the startup issues with Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Option dialog box. If this does not resolve this issue, you can use Bootrec.exe tool in Windows 7/8/10 to help you manually troubleshot the startup issues.

How to run Bootrec.exe in Windows 7 to troubleshot startup issues?

You can run bootrec in Windows with/without an installation disc. And here are the instructions of how to access bootrec.exe in Windows 7 if you have or don’t have the installation disc.

If you have installation disc

If you have the installation disc, you can access bootrec.exe as the following steps:

1. Insert the installation disc the the drive and reboot your computer, press any key to boot from the CD/DVD.

2. When it shows Select language page, you need to select a language, time and keyboard, click Next.

3. When it show the following screenshot, you should click Repair your computer, and select operating system.

Repair Your Computer

4. After that, you will get into the System Recovery Options, click Command Prompt here.

Select Command Prompt

5. At command Prompt, type the commands: bootrec.exe, and hit Enter key.

6. Then, type the following commands to troubleshoot the Windows Startup issues.

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot 

bootrec /rebuildbcd

If you don’t have the installation disc

If you don’t have the installation disc, here provides you two ways to help you troubleshoot the issues:

Method 1: Instructions on how to access bootrec.exe without the installation disc in Windows 7

If you do not have the installation disc, you can do as follows to access bootrec.exe in Windows 7 to troubleshoot your issues.

1. Reboot the computer, press F8 key as the Windows logo appears. And then, select Repair Your Computer and hit Enter key.

Boot Settings

2. Then, select Command Prompt here.

Command Prompt

3. When you open the command prompt, you can type those bootrec commands to troubleshoot issues for you.

However, you may stuck at Repair Your Computer at the beginning. The Repair Your Computer may be not available, System Recovery Options is not installed on your system. Thus, you need to access the command Prompt from the installation disc, or you can turn to a third party software.  

Method 2: Instructions if you use AOMEI Partition Assistant

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a freeware that can help you troubleshoot the startup issues. And you can do as follows:        

First, download AOMEI Partition Assistant free, install it on a valid computer. Then, use it to create bootable media (CD/DVD, USB drive, etc).

* To create bootable media with AOMEI Partition Assistant, you should know that for Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows 2008, you need to download Windows AIK (Automated Installation Kit) which is a set of tools that could help you configuring and deploying operating system to new hardware. If your system is Windows 7/8/10 and Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2, normally you can make a Windows PE bootable media without downloading and installing Windows AIK.

Then, insert the bootable media to the Windows 7 computer, which fails to start. Boot it from the bootable media. You may need to change boot priority to the bootable media in BIOS. Then, you’ll get into AOMEI Partition Assistant main interface to rebuild MBR as the following steps:

1. Right click the disk that need to be repaired, select Rebuild MBR.

Rebuild MBR

2. Then, select the type of MBR for the current OS.

Choose Current OS

3. After that, you can click Apply -> Proceed to execute the progress.

Apply Proceed

Finally, after the progress finished, you can remove the bootable media and boot up your computer normally.

Conclusion

Here are the ways about how to use bootrec in Windows 7 with/without reinstallation disc. AOMEI Partition Assistant Rebuild MBR can help you rebuild MBR. Once there are some errors with MBR that caused your system startup issues, you can use it to create a bootable media, and use it to boot your computer and run into AOMEI Partition Assistant to rebuild MBR, thus your question can be solved easily.  

Besides, AOMEI Partition Assistant provides you many other features. You can use it to check and fix partition errors, test your disk with the function Surface Test. Or you can upgrade it to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to finish other advanced tasks, like convert boot disk from MBR to GPT disk, quickly partition hard drive, copy hard drive to another hard drive, etc. For Windows Server users, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which provides more features.