The error: Failure when attempting to copy boot files
“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”. Dell tech support ran me through hard drive tests and no problems were found. I was told the only way to fix this issue is to reinstall the Operating System, which will cause me to lose all my files and applications I have installed. 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?”
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. When you come across this error, don’t worry; let’s try to fix it with the following methods.
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
Fix the error using a free GUI MBR repair tool
You can also fix the BCDboot failure when attempting to copy boot files via AOMEI Partition Assistant. It is a free and professional disk manager. The Rebuild MBR feature allows you to repair corrupted MBR to the computer without destroying any data.
Step 1. Download free AOMEI Partition Assistant in a running machine and open the software. In the left column, click Make Bootable Media and follow the instruction to make a bootable USB drive.
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.
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)
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.