June 28, 2009 at 10:34 am | Posted in Windows recovery | 1 Comment

If you can get to a command prompt/DOS screen, go to d:\windows\system32

“d” is the drive where vista is installed.

Once there, type: “bcdedit.exe” or you can just type “bcdedit“. Do not include the quotation marks ” “.

It will generate a screen like this:


Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=C:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {default}
resumeobject            {fe04aef5-e49c-11db-9f2f-cdf57e93812b}
displayorder            {ntldr}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 10

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier              {ntldr}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \ntldr
description             Windows 2003 Server Enterprise

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {default}
device                  partition=D:

path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Microsoft Windows Vista
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
osdevice                partition=D:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {fe04aef5-e49c-11db-9f2f-cdf57e93812b}
nx                      OptIn



now check your result against the above, make sure that all the parameters above are the same (except for your drive letter, which might be different from mine).

Now look at the “windows bootloader” section and note what you see in your report/DOS screen:

You may notice that instead of displaying “osdevice partition=D:” it may display “osdevice unknown“. The same applies with “device“. I have highlighted what I am referring to as bold in the report above.

If these settings are not showing the drive on which your vista is installed, you must change it. Since mine is drive “D” for vista, this is the command you must type:


D:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /set {default} osdevice “partition=D:


Also, if the “device” is showing as unknown, type this command: 


D:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /set {default} device “partition=D:


If the path is  \Windows\system32\winload.exe, then that’s fine. Remember “D” above is the name of the drive on which your vista is installed. If your vista in on “F”, use “F”, etc. “default” in the blue text command above is the identifier for the os boot-up that you are trying to fix, in this case, vista. Sometimes, for the identifier you might have some long random numbers (GUID), just copy it and use it if is not the “default” that is shown.


Exit the DOS screen, restart your system, and you should be ok. If you have any problems please let me know.



1 Comment »

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  1. How are you suppose to access the DOS commandPrompt in the first place if you can’t get into windows.

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