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I don't have a Windows 7/Vista CD on me, and I don't know if Windows on this computer is windows vista/7. it's a friend's computer.

It says

an error occurred while attempting to read the boot configuration data
File: \boot\BCD

I'd like to boot from a USB stick and fix that error.

I have a working Windows XP machine and a USB stick. And the problem computer can boot from USB.

Could anybody answer with instructions on how to go about this?

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I have since told my friend to pass the machine to somebody else to fix since I lack the time and equipment to fix it at the moment. I'd have backed up his data too / cloned his drive, but just don't have what is needed to do it. If I had it i'd have tested some of these answers. I will do but will be months, but one day when I get windows 7 and a new machine. –  barlop Feb 21 '12 at 13:04
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4 Answers

Download Visual BCD Editor. It comes with "Dual-boot Repair". Install in XP.

If you have an installed Windows 7/Vista on any partition "Dual boot Repair" -> "Automatic Repair" will fix Windows 7/Vista booting.

Later when in Vista/7 you can add entry for booting XP (if missing) using Visual BCD Editor -> rightClick and select "Create missing Windows loaders".

Everything is done on click automatically - no parameters, partitions or what ever to specify.

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http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download

you don't need to created a Windows 7 USB drive, and you their is no documented way to do it without a Windows 7 DVD.

For Example: http://maketecheasier.com/boot-and-install-windows-7-from-usb-flash-drive/2009/01/23

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How will this solve it? Could you edit and expand your answer more for a reason as to why downloading ubuntu will do a thing? –  Simon Sheehan Feb 19 '12 at 21:20
    
@SimonSheehan better than nothing! second link is bette than nothing at least.. and he doesn't have enough rep to post a comment –  barlop Feb 19 '12 at 23:02
    
@barlop He can comment on his own posts. –  Simon Sheehan Feb 19 '12 at 23:10
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In this case I would go to www.pendrivelinux.com, download he YUMI bootable USB stick creator, then go to http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd, and get the zip file of Hiren's boot disc. Use that to make a bootable pen drive that will allow you to boot to Hiren's boot disc. I'm sorry I don't have exact instructions from there, but I know there is a way to repair boot records, plus a host of other utilities on that disc that will allow you to fix your problem. You should have no problem doing all of this from your Windows XP machine.

If you run into issues, post comments here and I'll try to help you.

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Using second link mark provided you can install windows from a usb drive, you need to have an image of windows to copy to the usb after you format it to ntfs. the bootsect command in that tutorial is what makes the usb become a "bootable" drive. After that all you have to do is get into the bios and make sure you change boot priority to the given usb drive.

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