Refresh: Drive is locked

Fix a Windows 8 boot issue

This is a little off topic, but I thought it would be useful to post here.

I recently updated my home PC from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  The PC was only a month old, so it made sense to take up the low price offer.

After a couple of days of normal working, it suddenly failed to boot.  The error was saying that there was a missing operating system or the disk had failed.  However, the hard disk diagnostics were saying that there wasn't a problem.

I eventually worked out that this message was actually a red herring.  The PC has the newer UEFI bios so it should attempt to boot directly into the Windows boot manager.  The error I was getting was actually because this wasn't happening and the startup options were falling through (down past CD, USB, etc.) to the legacy disk option.  This obviously wouldn't work because it wasn't set up for it.

Having identified the problem, I then tried to get online and find the fix.  Unfortunately, this wasn't as easy as I expected so this is why I am posting here so that others may find it on Google.

The usual type of fix for this were to boot off the Windows CD and run the Command Prompt and run a command like this:


However, this returned the error:

The boot configuration store could not be opened

This was quite strange.  I could see all the files on my drive and could see that all the partitions that were supposed to be there were there using DISKPART.

Other suggestions were to run this set of commands:

Bootrec /fixmbr
Bootrec /fixboot 
Bootrec /rebuildbcd

One posted suggested that this worked 100% of the time.  It didn't.  I got the error:

The requested system device cannot be found

Other sites suggested that I should make the System partition (the 100MB partition with no drive letter that Windows 8 uses  to store the boot files on a UEFI system) Active using DISKPART.  However, when I tried this I was told that my drive was not an MBR - is isn't, it is GPT.

At this stage, I thought that I should just cut my losses and try a refresh install.  However, when I chose this option, I got the error:

The drive where Windows is installed is locked

Very curious.

Finally found a site that suggested using:

BCDBoot c:\Windows

Now this didn't work either, I got:

Failure when attempting to copy boot files

There was an option to use a /S to specify where to copy the boot files to.  However, I wanted them to be copied to the system partition which doesn't have a drive letter.  So, I used DISKPART to assign the letter Z to volume:


Then I could use BCDBoot to run this:

BCDBoot c:\Windows /s z: /f: UEFI

Lo and behold, my system now boots!  To say that I am a bit frazzled, after a couple of days of family members looking at me expecting me to be able to fix this issue, would be a major understatement.

I hope this helps someone.