A PC with two hard drives no longer boots. A secondary (data only) hard drive failed, but it seems that the drive contained the Windows boot record. Booted from Windows 10 installation media and tried to fix the boot records via command prompt:

  • bootrec.exe /fixmbr
  • bootrec.exe /fixboot
  • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

The first command succeeded, but the other two failed with error: Element Not Found


The issue was fixed by making the system boot partition active:

  • In the command prompt run the following commands:
    • diskpart
    • list disk
    • select disk X (where X is system disk)
    • list partition 
    • select partition X (where X is system partition)
    • active 

After this, all the bootrec.exe commands completed successfully and after a restart Windows booted normally.

Note: These instructions are only valid for MBR disks that boot in BIOS (not UEFI) mode.


April 2022
Windows 10 Pro

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