I have my Windows 7 x64 ISO on my pendrive, but WinToFlash app forgot to install the MBR (again).

The only PC I have, uses x86 Win7 , so it won't install the bootrec.exe, since that is a 64bit binary.

I need the /boot/ folder from the Win7 ISO/disc. (32-bit)
Where can I download only that? Can anyone give me a link?

  • Found a "bootsect.exe" on ZippyShare using Google, and it works. HOWEVER, this is not really safe (even if Avast says so), so the question remains open.
    – Apache
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 10:18
  • I doubt you'd be able to download folder folders such as those.. without having to resort to "seedy" places. Perhaps I can upload it somewhere.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 11:01
  • I'd appreciate that upload. But seriously... Microsoft doesn't provide a legal way for people? :/
    – Apache
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 12:19
  • you can borrow a Windows DVD or download a Windows DVD over torrents and use your key and remain legal.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 12:30
  • @Sathya - I'm using MSDN ISO. But this happened to me a lot of times. Downloaded the ISO from my MSDNAA account. Made the (there are some options here) USB install "disk", and then it wouldn't boot. Now, you don't have a PC where you can fix things ... worse if you have a PC with XP and so on. Downloading the whole ISO again (since you used YOUR PC to do that), takes some time.
    – Apache
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 13:05

10 Answers 10


BootRec.exe is not officially available for download. However, you can extract it from any legitimate Windows 7 ISO.

You'll need something capable of reading a WIM file - 7zip should suffice for this. From the root of the ISO, open .\sources\boot.wim. From there, BootRec.exe can be found in .\1\Windows\System32\.

  • If this is true I believe it should be marked as the best answer. Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:54
  • On my old Lenovo ThinkPad X201i, it can be found here: Hidden recovery partition → 7z l FactoryRecovery/sdrivebackup.wim | grep -i '\.wim'Recovery/WindowsRE/winRE.wim7z l winRE.wim | grep -i bootrec.exeWindows/System32/BootRec.exe. Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 9:31

you can find it in the install.wim\Windows\System32\Recovery\Winre.wim\Windows\System32\bootrec.exe

  • 1
    Man that was the only working and real adress to that file, yet this post has 2 dislikes. What the .. is wrong people?
    – ek.bic
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 4:43

Microsoft doesn't offer individual files from their operating systems available for download. However, you can legally and safely download the entire Windows 7 64-bit .iso from http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msvista/pub/X15-65805/X15-65805.iso

Sources: This SuperUser answer, which provides a full list of ISOs available for download, as well as that answer's original source.

Or you could visit a friend and make a copy of the file from their computer...

  • 2
    Are you sure that bootrec.exe is inside ISO? I have have browsed original Windows7 ISO content and found no bootrec.exe. There is only boot\bootsect.exe.
    – dma_k
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 11:33

If you have a working computer that has a similar image, such as in an enterprise environment, you can do the following: WindowsKey + R and then type recdisc.exe and press Enter. This will give you the dialog used to create a repair disc which when finished contains a WinRE-image that has BootRec.exe on it.


Hiren's Boot CD contains several boot environments that include that tool, among others (Try Mini Windows XP). You can download it here:

Download: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

Info: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

  • 1
    Thanks for the hint for Hiren's Boot CD 15.2. After booting from that ISO, its "Dos Programs" menu contains lots of MBR tools (and there is a trick: type "M" + "<ENTER>" in DOS command line will bring up Hiren's Boot CD's menu, to save you from a reboot to switch to next tool). I'm yet to find a bootrec.exe nor any tool to be able to fix my hard disk booting issue, though, but still thanks for sharing the interesting Hiren's Boot CD.
    – RayLuo
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 9:01

You can also install grub on the drive using a linux distro which will automatically scan and add all available operating systems on the drive to it's loader. Note removing the usb drive woun't affect booting.

More info 1 Recovering GRUB after installing Windows More info 2 Grub as bootloader


You can open up boot.wim using the free 7-Zip utility at http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

  • Welcome to Super User! This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 19:55

Or simply download the entire .Iso installer file of the windows OS you are using and look for it in the folders or simply do a search in that directory.


If you can still boot into Windows, then this should work on Windows 10:

  • From the windows start menu, or in the cortana search box enter ‘Change advanced Startup Options’
  • Alternatively go to 'Settings' from the windows start menu, and search 'Recovery options'.
  • Under 'Advanced Starup' click 'Restart now'.

When the computer restarts, choose 'Troubleshoot', 'Advanced options', and select 'Command Prompt'.

When the computer restarts, you should get a recovery prompt where 'bootrec.exe' is available. You may have to login with your windows account first.

  • Thank you for your reply. To be fair, I mostly used the tool for recovery, where you can't boot anymore. But, the issue is getting less and less relevant now. 1) I was able to backup the tool for all Windows for myself. Which every IT admin should do I guess until Microsoft comes to it's senses. 2) Today we have 100mbps+ connections, SSD, etc. Back in '11, it was a major hassle to grab an entire ISO, extract, and just copy up the tool. Thank you for your post!
    – Apache
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 7:47

You can also extract BootRec.exe from the Windows 10 ISO file. My Win 10 is in 7z archive, so I used the 7-Zip program to browse the Wim in the ISO.

If you have just a plain ISO, which is not compressed in any other format you can still browse the ISO with 7-Zip.

The file location is as follows:


I right clicked on the file and extracted to desktop, so I can copy to my System32 folder.

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