As a tech geek and Windows expert, I know how frustrating the 0xc0000225 error can be. One moment your Windows PC is working fine, and the next – you are staring at a blue error screen with a cryptic code.
This dreaded error prevents you from booting into Windows, rendering your system completely unusable. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through multiple methods to troubleshoot and fix the 0xc0000225 error on your Windows 10/11 computer.
By the end of this post, your Windows machine will be up and running again. So let‘s get started!
What is Error Code 0xc0000225?
But first, what exactly is the 0xc0000225 error?
This is a critical startup error that occurs when your Windows operating system is unable to locate the system partition or bootloader files it needs to start up.
Specifically, the 0xc0000225 error indicates that the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store containing boot settings and preferences is corrupted or missing. This prevents the Windows boot manager from doing its job – loading Windows.
You‘ll typically see the error message "The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors" or "Boot Configuration Data file missing required information" when 0xc0000225 strikes.
As you can imagine, not being able to boot into Windows renders your PC completely unusable. So it‘s vital to fix this error ASAP.
What Causes Error Code 0xc0000225?
Before we get into the specific fixes, it‘s important to understand what causes the 0xc0000225 error. Knowing the trigger points will help you prevent this issue in the future.
Based on my experience troubleshooting this error for clients, these are the most common culprits:
1. Corrupted System Files
One of the top reasons you see error 0xc0000225 is corruption in critical Windows system files.
Windows stores the files related to booting in the BCD store. If these files get damaged or deleted due to a glitch or interruptions during installation/updates, you get a BCD error.
Power outages, forced shutdowns, and installation failures often corrupt system files leading to startup issues.
2. Faulty Storage Drives
Since the Windows boot files reside on your primary storage drive (C drive), any issues with this drive can also trigger a 0xc0000225 error during startup.
Problems with your HDD, SSD, or external USB drives like bad sectors, file system errors, connector issues can damage the boot files giving this error.
As per Microsoft, nearly 30% of 0xc0000225 errors are caused by storage drive failures. So don‘t rule out hardware faults.
3. Incorrect BCD Configuration
The BCD store contains the boot settings for all operating systems installed on your computer. If you dual-boot Windows with Linux or macOS, for instance, the BCD must be configured properly.
Any changes or incorrect BCD settings can cause conflicts resulting in a missing boot files error.
Adding a new OS or entry, switchingBoot from Legacy to UEFI, incorrect drive letter mapping, etc. lead to BCD issues.
4. Driver Conflicts and Firmware Bugs
Outdated, broken, or incompatible drivers and firmware issues can also sometimes trigger startup error 0xc0000225.
Corrupt or flawed boot drivers, storage drivers, motherboard firmware, etc. can fail to load Windows boot files leading to this error.
So keeping your hardware drivers and firmware updated is important to avoid conflicts.
5. Malware Infections
Finally, malware like boot sector viruses and rootkits that target the master boot record (MBR) or BCD can manipulate boot settings causing error 0xc0000225.
Always use comprehensive antivirus software to keep such infections away from your system files.
Now that you know what causes the 0xc0000225 error, let‘s get into the business of actually fixing it.
Fixing Error Code 0xc0000225 in Windows 10/11
When you see the 0xc0000225 error, Windows itself provides some built-in troubleshooting options. You can access these from the Advanced Startup Options screen.
Here are the best methods to fix error code 0xc0000225 in Windows 10 and Windows 11:
Method 1: Rebuild BCD and Boot Sectors
The first go-to option is rebuilding the BCD store and rewriting the boot sectors. Here are the steps:
On the 0xc0000225 error screen, select Advanced options.
Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
In Command Prompt, type the following commands pressing Enter after each one:
This rebuilds the entire BCD, fixes the boot sector, and repairs the master boot record. In most cases, this simple BCD rebuild fixes the 0xc0000225 error.
However, if you get an "Access Denied" error when running
bootrec /fixboot, first run
bootsect /nt60 sys before retrying the command.
Once done, close Command Prompt, go back to Advanced Options, and select Continue to restart your PC. This should hopefully boot your system normally.
Method 2: Make C Drive Active Using Diskpart
If method 1 did not resolve the issue, try making your Windows drive active using the diskpart tool:
From Advanced Options, open Command Prompt.
diskpartand press Enter.
list diskto display all disks. Note down the disk # of your Windows drive (usually Disk 0).
select disk X(replace X with your disk number).
list partitionto list all partitions on this disk.
select partition Ywhere Y is the partition number of your Windows drive (generally partition 1 or 2).
activeto set this partition as active.
Close Command Prompt, restart your PC, and check if the startup error is fixed.
This sequence marks your Windows partition as active which is required for the boot files to load.
Method 3: Run SFC and DISM Repair Scans
Running System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scans help repair corrupt system files that may be causing error 0xc0000225.
Follow these steps:
Open Command Prompt from Advanced Options.
sfc /scannowand press Enter to run SFC scan.
Once SFC finishes, run DISM scan with:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Restart your computer after the scans complete.
SFC scans for file inconsistencies and DISM can retrieve correct copies of damaged system files. Together they can fix many boot issues.
Method 4: Start in Safe Mode
Starting Windows in Safe Mode isolates any third-party drivers or startup programs that may be interfering with system files.
Here is how to boot in Safe Mode:
Access Advanced Startup Options via Settings or by pressing Shift and restarting your PC.
Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
On the Startup Settings screen, press F5 or 5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Run SFC and DISM scans again in Safe Mode. Also check for malware.
The minimalistic environment of Safe Mode eliminates software conflicts so you can troubleshoot boot errors.
Method 5: Reinstall Windows 10/11 as a Last Resort
If all else fails, the nuclear option is to reinstall Windows completely. This wipes out any corruption or inconsistencies causing problems.
Follow these steps:
Boot from a Windows 10 or 11 USB installer drive.
On the installation type screen, select Custom Install Windows Only (do not keep files and apps).
Install on your existing Windows partition. Do not format it.
Follow the on-screen directions to complete installation.
Your personal files will be saved in a Windows.old folder that you can recover later. Reinstallation removes any stubborn system errors.
Make sure you‘ve exhausted all other options before considering a reinstall.
Troubleshooting Steps for Specific Scenarios
The general fixes discussed above should resolve most cases of 0xc0000225 errors. However, you may need to take additional troubleshooting steps in certain specific scenarios:
If you dual-boot multiple OS: Check that only one OS is set as default in the BCD. Remove extra boot entries. Rebuild the EFI partition using
For UEFI systems: Run
chkdisk /f before
bootrec commands. Make sure secure boot is disabled. Reset BCD by deleting boot entries.
With external drives: Disconnect all external drives and peripherals, then try booting. If it works, plug devices back one by one.
With new hardware/drivers: Boot in Safe Mode and use DDU tool to remove bad drivers. Revert to old drivers if issues appear after an upgrade.
For SSDs: Check for firmware updates from manufacturer. Update chipset and controller drivers. Disable disk indexing if enabled.
With RAID systems: Ensure the RAID is configured correctly and drivers are up to date. Rebuild RAID if needed.
If issue persists: Attempt startup repair using Windows media. Refresh or reset Windows. Check HDD health and replace if needed.
The key is to isolate the culprit based on your PC configuration and troubleshoot accordingly.
How to Recover Data from an Unbootable Drive
If Windows becomes unbootable due to the 0xc0000225 error, first focus on fixing the operating system using the methods discussed above.
However, your personal data is equally critical. So how do you recover data from a drive that cannot boot into Windows?
Here are a few options:
Boot from a Windows install USB and use Command Prompt to copy data to external storage.
Use a Linux bootable USB to access the Windows drive partitions and copy data to another device.
Attach the unbootable drive as a secondary drive on another working PC and retrieve your files.
Remove the HDD/SSD and connect it to another computer via USB adapters to copy data.
Use data recovery software like Disk Drill to pull data from unbootable drives.
As long as the drive is detectable and not completely dead, you can recover data through bootable media before fixing the operating system.
How to Prevent Error Code 0xc0000225
They say prevention is better than cure. Follow these best practices to avoid error 0xc0000225 down the road:
Use a UPS to prevent forced system shutdowns during updates or installations.
Keep your hardware drivers and firmware updated to avoid conflicts.
Only install software and updates from trusted sources – especially boot-related.
Use a sturdy antivirus programs like BitDefender to keep malware at bay.
Maintain backups of critical data and system image using tools like Macrium Reflect.
Run CHKDSK periodically to check drive errors and fix bad sectors proactively.
Replace aging HDDs and SSDs that may be prone to failures.
Limit startup programs to reduce boot time and avoid potential conflicts.
By taking these preventive measures, you can avoid abrupt system failures that lead to BCD errors down the line.
Staying on top of proper PC maintenance goes a long way in preventing frustrating errors like 0xc0000225.
When to Seek Professional Help
Despite your best troubleshooting efforts, if the 0xc0000225 error still persists, it may be time to seek professional help.
Hardware faults with storage drives, motherboards etc. that cause boot issues can be tricky for non-experts to diagnose and fix.
PC repair technicians have the skills, tools, and experience to get to the bottom of the 0xc0000225 error and any underlying hardware or firmware problem causing it.
Seeking professional assistance can save you hours of frustration and avoid making things worse. The cost is justified compared to losing access to your system entirely.
So if you have hit a dead end trying to fix error code 0xc0000225 yourself, don‘t hesitate to take it to the pros.
Debugging error 0xc0000225 may seem daunting but armed with the right knowledge, you can get Windows booting again.
Start with simpler options like rebuilding BCD via Command Prompt or scanning for system file errors using SFC and DISM.
For persistent issues, reinstallation or professional help may be warranted. Don‘t forget to backup your data first.
Implementing appropriate preventive measures will also save you from this headache in the future.
I hope these detailed, practical solutions and troubleshooting tips help you successfully resolve error code 0xc0000225 and regain access to your Windows system. Let me know if you have any other questions!