Error message when you restart Windows Server 2008 R2 after you perform a full OS recovery: “Windows failed to start. Status: 0xc000000e”

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Article ID: 2261423 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you restart for the first time after you perform a full OS recovery of Windows 2008 R2, you receive the following error message:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."

If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

Status: 0xc000000e

Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.

Cause

When you perform a new installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 from a DVD to unallocated space, two partitions are created. During a recovery operation, the contents of the Boot folder are first restored from the ASR Writer backup and then restored again from the backup on drive C. This double restore action causes an inconsistency in the drive GUID definitions within the Boot folder data. This inconsistency leads to the boot error.

Resolution

To recover from this error, use the bcdedit command-line tool. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start the server by using Windows Server 2008 R2 media.
  2. Select Repair your computer.
  3. Select Command Prompt.
  4. At the command prompt, run the bcdedit command. Lists of items appear under Windows Boot Manager and under Windows Boot Loader.
  5. Look for the values for the following items :
    1. Under Windows Boot Manager, the Device item should be set to unknown.
    2. Under Windows Boot Loader, theDevice and osdevice items should be set to unknown.
  6. Run the following three commands to correct the settings, and then restart the computer:
    1. bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    2. bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    3. bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
  7. Or, locate X:\Sources\Recovery, and then run StartRep.exe to start a quick automated startup repair utility that corrects boot environment values.
Note This issue occurs only with certain backup tools. When most backup tools are used, you experience no GUID corruption.

More information

When you perform a new installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 from a DVD to unallocated space, two partitions are created. The first partition is 100 MB, and the remaining space becomes drive C. The 100 MB partition is a System Reserved Partition. This partition contains OS boot files and has no drive letter.

You can see the two partitions by running the mountvol command from the command line or by using the Disk Management interface.

You can change this default behavior of the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation by manually partitioning and naming the C:\ volume before you install Windows Server 2008 R2 from a DVD. This lets you install Windows Server 2008 R2 on a single partition without having the 100 MB System Partition created.

When the unnamed 100 MB System Reserved Partition does not exist, the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation puts the boot files in a hidden folder on drive C. This hidden folder is named Boot.

When a backup tool backs up a standard installation of Windows 2008 R2, it looks through the System Reserved Partition to back up the boot files by using the VSS Writer called Automated System Recovery Write (ASR Writer). You can see this VSS Writer by running the vssadmin list writers command at the command prompt.

When a full OS backup or restore occurs on a standard installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 that has the System Reserved Partition, there should be no problems booting up afterward. This is because the ASR Writer correctly reads and writes the needed data to the boot location, and no GUID corruption occurs.

However, when the Boot folder exists on a named volume like drive C, the contents of the Boot folder are backed up by the file system in addition to being backed up by the ASR Writer.

During a restore operation, the contents of the Boot folder are first restored from the ASR Writer backup and then restored again from the drive C backup. This double restore causes an inconsistency in the drive GUID definitions within the Boot data. This inconsistency leads to the boot error

To avoid this issue, use one of the following methods:
  •  When you perform a full OS recovery of Windows 2008 R2, make sure that you check for the presence of C:\Boot in Backup Archive and Restore. Then, if C:\Boot exists, make sure that you exclude it before you start the full OS recovery.
  • For Windows 2008 R2 clients on which C:\Boot resides because the 100 MB System Reserved Partition is absent, exclude this folder from being backed up.

Properties

Article ID: 2261423 - Last Review: August 17, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard without Hyper-V
  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2
Keywords: 
KB2261423

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