SOLUTION: “The requested system device cannot be found” on UEFI systems

With GPT disks and UEFI all the rage now, it’s not uncommon to encounter a scenario where boot parameters need to be repaired in order to reach the operating system.  Generally speaking, it’s often easy enough to accomplish this by executing the command bcdboot X:\windows (where X is the system drive letter) from a recovery environment.

However, other times, even in spite of this command properly completing, the system still will not boot.  In many cases the failure is evident when attempting to perform bcdedit /enum and receiving a message such as this one:

The boot configuration data store can not be opened.
The requested system device cannot be found.

Performing bootrec /fixboot also provokes the following error:

Element not found

This is bad news on a GPT disk using UEFI rather than BIOS.  Essentially, the system is looking for the EFI partition, which in this case is either missing or corrupt.

If it’s corrupt but still exists, you can simply enter diskpart, select the system partition (usually around 500 MB in size and with an ID of “EFI”) and assign it a letter, exit diskpart, and then perform a chkdsk command on the new partition assignment.  This sometimes will correct it.  Other times, forcibly removing the EFI and boot folders from the EFI partition and then executing the bcdboot command with a specific system partition parameter (e.g.: bcdboot X:\windows /s E:, where X: is the Windows partition and E: is the EFI paritition) works.

But let’s say the partition is missing altogether.  This is most often the case following a drive image using imaging tools to a new SSD for example.  Sometimes the tools (especially if executed externally on another system rather than live within the target OS) will remove the EFI partition and only image the Windows partition.

If this happens, most people will tell you that you will need to reinstall Windows from scratch.  However, all is not yet lost!  It’s fixable — but in order to accomplish it, you must recreate the EFI partition manually and then reload the boot parameters from there.

Here’s how it’s done at a command prompt from a recovery environment.  I’ve bolded the commands I typed to make it easier to read — hold on tight:


Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.10240

Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: MININT-3A416N9

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
——– ————- ——- ——- — —
Disk 0 Online 489 GB 0 B *

DISKPART> sel disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list part

Partition ### Type Size Offset
————- —————- ——- ——-
Partition 1 Primary 489 GB 1024 KB

DISKPART> sel part 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> shrink desired=1024

DiskPart successfully shrunk the volume by: 1024 MB

DISKPART> create partition efi size=260

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> format quick fs=fat32

100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.


Leaving DiskPart…

X:\windows\system32>bcdboot c:\windows
Boot files successfully created.

Following these steps, the machine should now be bootable.  If it’s not, it’s probably time to call a professional!

Good luck!


Donate to say "Thanks" if this post has helped save you time and money! 🙂

35 thoughts on “SOLUTION: “The requested system device cannot be found” on UEFI systems

  1. Hi,
    Can you help?
    I have a Surface Pro 4 which started crashing a few weeks ago. I was able to reset/ restore initially ; it crashed again and was able to boot using a USB. It crashed again and now wont boot using a USB as it does not find the SDD. Diskpart lists only the USB drive.
    1. I’ve tried the bcdedit /enum procedure you mentioned, but no luck . Still returns the original error (req. system device cannot be found)
    2. Scannow process complete with no integrity violations found
    3. chkdsk / r returns error : Cannot lock current drive . Windows cannot run disk checking as volume is write protected.
    4. Startup repair doesnt work

    Diskpart > list disk shows only the USB drive

  2. Your easy-to-follow guidance helped me manually recreate the EFI partition and, so far, successfully reboot. Good job. Many thanks.

  3. Everything was going fine and i thought yes finely.. but when i type fixboot…. bloody hell again access denied… whats going on plz help

  4. And the first time when i type bcdboot c:\windows said failure when attempting to copy files…..

  5. Just thought I’d add another possibility in regard to this error “Device not found” which affects these windows boot utilities looking for the BCD store (bcdedit, bootrec etc).Wasted a huge amount of time trying to find the answer to my issue which resulted after swapping Windows 10 system to an SSD. The SSD was smaller then original HDD so couldn’t clone easily due to size difference and bad sectors on old disk. So I used a “novel”, i.e. lazy, method of copying partitions and only cloning the Windows partition (had bad sectors) using sector to sector clone. I should mention that I used BCDBoot to get the SSD to boot OK, so that wasn’t an issue. Anyhow, I basically made the mistake of copying the system EFI partition rather than cloning it. Eventually dawned on me that perhaps because I’d copied not cloned some marker on the partition was missing so Windows couldn’t identify the EFI system partition. Finally worked out it’s the partition Type ID that was wrong. The EFI system partition has it’s own specific Type ID:

    Changed the partition type ID and now all works as it should. Still amazed that I couldn’t find this issue mentioned in any of the stuff I found on the net … perhaps because others have the sense to clone not copy when swapping systems to a new disk.

  6. thank you very much, it worked. I almost desperate reinstall my Windows because found no solution like this.

  7. Worked great for the issue I was having with a friend’s machine. It had a keyboard error loop on startup after she ran an update. Couldn’t boot to safe mode and running bcdedit kept failing until I ran into your post. Thank you for getting us back up to speed!

  8. You are a life saver man. Finally was able to make the bios boot windows, even though I encountered the 0xc000000f boot error, which was resolved with bcdrepair. You saved me from backing up my drive using Ubuntu live USB and all the hassle of reinstalling windows. Thanks for all the help

  9. Thanks man. You’re a lifesaver. Finally was able to boot my windows. Although ran into the 0xc000000f error on boot, which was solved on bcdreset.

  10. Thanks very much for this post. You’re a lifesaver. You saved us from agony and headaches.

  11. Thank you very much. Nothing else worked. All the steps made sense and I was able to add my windows to bcd. Fantasic and good job.

  12. Wow, brilliant! I spent WAY TOO LONG on this before finding your simple solution. Thanks so much!

  13. How to change a partition type ID? I followed the above steps everything works fine but when I type

    bcdboot c:\windows
    Failure when attempting to copy boot files.

    What should I do???

    Help should be really appreciated

  14. Hey Lui,

    Usually that error indicates that the bootable WinRE media is the wrong flavor (i.e. You booted to the CD in Legacy mode when it’s actually a UEFI installation or vice versa). Check that first and if it still doesn’t work I’ll try to dig up some literature for you.


  15. Hi,

    i followed all steps, all run as expected till this step:

    create partition efi size=260

    in this command, the diskpart system is just stuck, look like hang, and no respond.
    Does someone have solution for my case

  16. After typing this step:

    DISKPART> create partition efi size=260

    I got the following message:

    MSR and EFI partitions are only supported on GPT disks.
    Convert the selected disk to GPT and try again.

    It doesn`t work on mine

  17. Wow, the only solution among huge variety of tutorials that really worked for me, kinda magic! My respect to you and thanks a lot 🙂

  18. My windows 10 computer displays the following errors:
    1.Windows Boot Manager
    File: \Boot\BCD
    Status: Oxc000000f
    Info: The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errors.
    2. When botrec /fixboot command is entered, the error is:
    Access is denied.
    3. When booyrec /rebuildbcd command is entered, it displays:
    [1] C:\Windows
    Add installation to boot list?
    And when Y is entered, it displays:
    The requested system cannot be found.
    4. When I run list vol command in Disk part, there is no BOOTSTRAP label volume in FAT32 file system of 100 MB size. There are two volumes
    – volume 1 and volume 2 – labelled F and G that are FAT32 file system each of 7993 MB size.
    Please guide me how to fix the booting problem considering the above errors.

  19. Worked for me! I moved an SSD from an old computer with two drives to a new computer with just one drive. Turns out the boot files were on the other drive in the old computer. This solution worked perfectly.

  20. You’re actually a legend. Saved me the trouble of reinstalling Win 10 and no pants were shat in the process.

  21. Please I need help my PC windows 10 and the first issue is stuck in loading but after trying to follow many guides online to fix the infinite loading then after doing that guides it turns my pc to 0xc0000098 error now I can’t fix the issue. Please help what I need to do?

  22. When I type shrink desired=1024 It shows Diskpart has encountered an error: The parameter is incorrect. How can I fix this?

  23. My disk seems to be MBR (I got the “MSR and EFI partitions are only supported on GPT disks…” message). Please, could you suggest me something?

  24. This is fantastic! Thank you so much!! I was working an issue from 7:30pm and I finally found this around 3:30 am. This helped my host come back online so we could work the next morning.

    I had the same problem with booting into Legacy BIOS first and getting the “Failure when attempting to copy boot files”. Changed over to UEFI and all is well!

    Again THANK YOU!

  25. This helped, thank you so much! One thing to point out in my case is that even if the last step did not work, the system was still able to boot. I don’t remember the error I got when running the last step (bcdboot X:\windows) but at this point, it doesn’t matter

  26. as advised, i did the same steps but it gives “There are no fixed disks to show” in diskpart.

    server 2016 VMWare machine

    Mohamed Bilal

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