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December 5, 2021

Fix Windows boot issues with Macrium Reflect

We’ve all seen the dreaded Recovery screen or another error message reporting that the PC could not boot. Sometimes, nothing is shown, just a blank black screen. A common repair/recovery method is to try to boot into the Windows Recovery Console either from USB install media or WinPE and let Windows try to repair the boot records.

I have had my share of various boot issues. Most times, a built-in gem from the Macrium Reflect Rescue Media has helped me to fix them, quickly and effortlessly. If you boot to the Macrium Reflect Rescue Media, it can repair Windows boot records simply by rewriting them. The feature is available in all Reflect editions, including Macrium Reflect Free.

Boot to the Reflect Rescue Media, then select Fix Windows boot problems:

Reflect goes through all internal hard disks, and lists all installed Windows operating systems it finds:

Notice that operating systems installed on virtual hard disks will only be found when attached to a virtual machine that is booted from the Macrium Rescue Media, because a VM sees the VHD it’s installed on as a physical disk. Native boot virtual hard disks will not be found, so they must be added to the host PC’s boot menu manually.

The Installed Windows Operating Systems dialog shows all Windows installations found. In case an OS is not found, clicking the Add button allows you to add one manually. Ignore will remove the selected OS from the boot menu, while Search resets found operating systems and performs a new search. Clicking Edit allows you to edit the path to the selected OS.

If you are satisfied that all present operating systems have been found, click Next to rebuild boot records, and click Finish on the Summary page:

Boot records will be rewritten. Click Yes to restart and boot to the main operating system:

That’s it. If the reason for your boot issues was missing or damaged boot records, they’re now fixed. Reflect to the Rescue really works!




Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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