How to Fix BCDboot Failure When Attempting to Copy Boot Files

If you try to use bcdboot command but receives this error: failure when attempting to copy boot files, you can get it fixed in this article.


By Dervish / Updated on July 10, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • The error message "Failed to copy boot file attempt" may cause your computer to fail to boot from the hard disk.
  • Corrupt boot files, an inactive system partition, or the loss of a system reserved partition may cause BCDboot failure problems.
  • AOMEI will provide a detailed solution to fix bcdboot error and introduce one of the best boot repair alternatives.

Sometimes, when applying BCDBOOT for a new image or just repairing an MBR, you may get this error: Failure when attempting to copy boot files. When this happens, your new image or computer will not boot from the hard drive. Here is a typical case:

"I have Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook and recently received the error message when I try to run bcdboot command: “Failure when attempting to copy boot files”. I was told the only way to fix this issue is to reinstall the Operating System. Is there any other way to fix this problem so that I will not lose everything? And how do I prevent this issue from happening again?"  - from Microsoft Community

When you come across this error, don’t worry. This guide will provide a full solution, including solving bootrec /fixboot access denied, bcdboot failure when initializing library system volume.  let’s try to fix it with the following methods.

Fix the error using a GUI MBR repair tool

You can  fix the BCDboot failure when attempting to copy boot files via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It is a powerful and professional disk manager. The Rebuild MBR feature allows you to repair corrupted MBR to the computer without destroying any data. 

This tool simplifies the steps of Diskpart, follow the steps and even if you are new, you can use this tool to fix the BCD boot failure.

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Step 1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant in a running machine and open the software. In the top column, click Make Bootable Media and follow the instruction to make a bootable USB drive.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. After making the bootable USB, insert the USB on the problematic computer and boot the computer from the bootable USB drive. Then it will bring you to the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 3. Right-click the system disk and select Rebuild MBR.

Rebuild System Disk MBR

Step 4. Set up the type of MBR to rebuild in Rebuild MBR window. And then the program will set the type of MBR for your OS. (Choose a proper MBR type according to your operating system)

Choose MBR Type OS

Step 5. Click Apply on the toolbar to commit Rebuild MBR operation.


When you encounter BCDboot failure when attempting to copy files, just follow the methods mentioned above to solve it. If you have bootcd error in Windows Server, you can download AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition to get it fixed. After solving the issue, it is recommended to back up your system in case system issues happen.

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Fix BCDboot failure when attempting to copy boot files via CMD

If you boot your WinPE drive via UEFI interface/options, BCDBOOT will default to try working with GPT and EFI firmware. With an EFI reserve partition missing because it wasn’t created, you will get: Failure when attempting to copy boot files. If you boot your WinPE drive via BIOS / LEGACY options, BCDBOOT will default to try working with MBR and BIOS firmware.

Therefore, if you are booting non-EFI to USB drive, but your drive is GPT and UEFI, you should run this command:

● bcdboot c:\Windows /s S: /f EFI

Where c: means Windows partition and S: is the EFI partition.

Conversely, if you cannot or don’t want to run LEGACY, you should use this command for generating the old MBR style drive.

● bcdboot c:\Windows /s S: /f BIOS

Where S: in this case is system partition.

If you are not sure whether the computer is UEFI support or LEGACY support, you can try this command:

● bcdboot c:\windows /s s: /f ALL

Where ALL means copy both the BIOS and UEFI files to the disk

Remember S is the system partition, not the partition containing windows files.

Other Quick Solutions to Fix failure when attempting to copy boot files

Usually, repairing the MBR is the most effective solution. If this method does not solve the problem, we offer some additional methods:

1. Use System Restore Points

If you have previously created a system restore point, you can use System Restore to roll back all settings to the restore point. System Restore is one of the most effective ways to fix Windows errors!

Step 1. Boot your Windows system using the installation media.

Step 2. Navigate to Repair Your Computer > Troubleshooting > Advanced Options > System Restore.

2. Set the system partition as the active partition

An inactive system partition is the most common cause of the "Failed to copy startup file when attempting to do so" error. You can use the Windows diskpart utility to set the system partition as the active partition. This method also requires Windows installation media:

Step 1. Boot the Windows system using the Windows installation media.

Step 2. Click on "Repair your computer" in the lower left corner.

Step 3. Navigate to Troubleshooting > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Step 4. Type in the following commands and press enter:

  • diskpart
  • select disk 0
  • List Partition
  • Select Partition
  • active

3. Reinstall Windows OS

When the problem remains unresolved, the only possible way to fix the problem is to reinstall the operating system. This method will fix all the problems. But this may result in data loss.

Why failure when attempting to copy boot files

BCDBOOT is a built-in Windows utility that can be used to configure your operating system's startup files and even repair them if they are accidentally corrupted. When a user receives the message "Failed to copy the boot file when attempting to do so", it means that your system partition may be inactive. The system partition should always be set to "active", otherwise bcdboot will return an error message.

In addition, a corrupted boot file may also cause bcdboot to return this error. A corrupted master boot record file can cause the boot partition not to be found. Problems with the boot mode and the lack of a system reserved partition may also cause the error.

Trying AOMEI Partition Assistant can fix these problems and the tool can better maintain your disks and keep your computer running smoothly.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.