Easily Fix Error--The Requested System Device Cannot Be Found

Get the error prompting “The requested system device cannot be found” when you run “bootrec /rebuildbcd”? Learn how to solve this error and repair Windows 11/10/8/7 in different methods.


By Lucas / Updated on September 14, 2023

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The Requested System Device Cannot Be Found

“My computer was in sleep mode and run a power outage. I restart it after powering on, and it said the PC needs repair. I guess there is something wrong with the boot configuration data (BCD) because it said Windows failed to start file boot BCD. Searched some tutorials on the Internet and I typed ‘bootrec /fixmbr’ and ‘bootrec /rebuildbcd’ on CMD from Windows recovery media Advanced options. Then it scans all disks for Windows installation and I typed Y to confirm adding the installation to the boot list. Then it said ‘The requested system device cannot be found'. I just want to make my Windows start up normally. Any help will be appreciated.”

The requested system device cannot be found

Feel familiar with this error message? Actually, this type of error can also occur in the following situations. For example, if you get a boot failure and attempt to perform “bcdedit /enum” to repair the trouble, and then you’ll receive the “The boot configuration data store could not be opened. The requested system device cannot be found” error.

Other error messages would be “Element not found” when you perform “bootrec /fixboot”, or "The system cannot found" when running "bootrec /fixmbr" in Diskpart. Why would those errors occur and how do troubleshoot the error under different circumstances?

Why is The Requested System Device Cannot Be Found in Windows 10/8/7?

Boot Configuration Data (BCD) was created to provide an improved mechanism for describing boot configuration data. On BIOS-based operating systems, the BCD registry file is located in the \Boot\Bcd directory of the active partition. On EFI-based operating systems, the BCD registry file is located on the EFI system partition.

In total, six main reasons account for the “The requested system device cannot be found BCD” issue.:

▶ Booting from USB drives
Usually, you would turn to Windows Recovery Media, Windows Repair Disc, or other types of USB repairing media in the trouble of booting failure. If the PC’s BIOS supports a given USB slot but the Windows PE or repair environment does not support it, you are likely to get the error.

▶ BCD registry file gets damaged
On the GPT disk, the system is looking for the EFI partition. If the partition is missing or corrupted, you’ll encounter the error as well. On the MBR system disk, you need to make sure the partition that stored the BCD registry file is active and online.

▶ Use non-EFI boot USB Recovery Media
If fixing startup error on UEFI boot Windows with non-EFI boot USB recovery media, the MBR USB drive will not be recognized by the Windows of GPT disk.

▶ Booting with USB 3.0 instead of 2.0
Some users boot with the advanced USB 3.0 interface. However, the USB 3.0 interface currently cannot be detected by the Windows repair environment.

▶ Windows adds the wrong installation
By default, Windows will access the installation path on the local disk, i.e. the internal hard disk that cannot boot normally. Nevertheless, you need the installation of recovery media to be added. Then, the error prompts.

▶ Get the error after partition scheme conversion
MBR disk and GPT disk boot from different modes. After converting the disk partition style to GPT, you need to select UEFI boot in BIOS and start the PC again.

After acquiring the reasons for the system device not finding errors, it is easier to fix the error in different situations within different Windows versions. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Fix “The requested system device cannot be found rebuildbcd” Error Accordingly?

In general, you can fix this problem with the following methods and each method requires different tools.

Repair Windows with Windows Repair DVD/CD

Due to Windows 7 PE/repair environment does not recognize USB drives or USB 3.0 cannot be detected by Windows, you can either try the repairing with a Windows CD disc or USB 2.0 interface. Just choose the one that is easier for you.

Boot from the CD or USB 2.0 interface, and then press Shift + F10 to bring out Command Prompt. Type these commands and press Enter:

• bootrec /fixmbr

• bootrec /fixboot

• bootrec /rebuildbcd

Restart your PC after that and you’ll find it starts fine. Alternatively, you can type bcdboot.exeC:\Windows /s C: directly on the prompt in Windows Recovery Environment to solve the issue.

Fix “The requested system device cannot be found” on GPT Disk

A GPT system disk boots Windows with UEFI/EFI mode. If the repair disc/USB comes with MBR boot mode, Windows cannot find the requested system device. If Windows also report the installed version was not a compatible Windows version, you can turn off the UEFI boot in BIOS and run the repair commands again.

Rebuild MBR to Solve the Error via Professional Tool

Since mostly the Diskpart gets “The requested system device cannot be found” error after running “bootrec /fixmbr” command, you can perform disk MBR repair with another tool.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a powerful hard drive partition manager that allows you to fix said error by rebuilding MBR. It supports creating bootable media (USB drive or CD/DVD) to solve the boot issue. However, to make the bootable media, you need first install this software on a working PC and prepare a USB drive equal to or larger than 16GB in size. Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista supported.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant on the function PC. Connect a USB drive (or CD/DVD disc) and make sure it can be detected by Windows.

2. Click on Make Bootable Media under Tools menu. In the pop out window, choose USB Boot Device and then follow the wizard to complete.

Make Bootable Media

3. Insert the bootable media to your PC and boot off the media. You may need to change boot priority to the bootable media in BIOS. Then you’ll get into AOMEI Partition Assistant main interface after login.

4. Right click the disk you want to repair and select Rebuild MBR.

Rebuild System Disk MBR

5. Select the type of MBR for your Windows now.

Choose MBR type

6. Finally, click Apply and then Proceed to execute the pending operations.

7. Plug out the bootable media on completion and boot up your PC normally.

1. To fix “The requested system device cannot be found” on Windows Server, please turn to the Server version, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition.
2. If you find any data lost during the operation, you can run "Recover Data" function to retrieve lost data.


When you get “The requested system device cannot be found” error in Windows 11/10, 8, 7. You can avoid the error by using Windows repair CD/DVD disc instead of the USB drive, turning off EFI boot mode in BIOS, or rebuilding MBR for that disk with a comprehensive free tool.

Except for rebuilding MBR for disk, AOMEI Partition Assistant can also check and fix hard disk errors in Windows 10, 8, 7, and the latest Windows 11. If the disk is failing or Windows getting slower, you can switch the hard drive to SSD for a better experience.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.