[Fix] The boot configuration data store could not be opened

When you run bcdedit to view the settings in the boot configuration database (BCD), the following error may occur:

The boot configuration data store could not be opened.

The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid.

bcdedit cannot open BCD store - volume externally altered

When you boot into Windows RE and run the bootrec /rebuild command to rebuild the BCD, the following error appears:

Cannot create a file when that file already exists.

bcdedit cannot open BCD store - volume externally altered - file not found

Also, when Windows Setup is run, it fails to complete the installation if the BCD is inaccessible. You may see the following error or similar errors in the setupact.log.

Error IBSLIB BCD: File is not system store. File: \Device\HarddiskVolume1\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD Status: 0[gle=0x000000cb]
Warning SP SPGetCurrentOSGuid: BCD Open failed. Error: 0x000003EE

Info                  MOUPG  MoSetupPlatform: Opening BCD store...
Error                 MOUPG  CDlpActionDiskSpaceReq::CalculateRequiredDiskSpaceInstallReq(2227): Result = 0x800703EE[gle=0x000000cb]

0x800703EE - Windows Setup error MCT ISO

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Error code 0x800703EE

Note: 0x800703EE or ERROR_FILE_INVALID means “The volume for a file has been externally altered so that the opened file is no longer valid.”

Any operation that requires modifying the BCD file may throw an error message. For instance, when enable or disable Windows RE using ReAgentC.exe command, the following error may appear:

REAGENTC.EXE: Unable to update Boot Configuration Data.

reagentc.exe: unable to update boot configuration data

All of the above errors indicate that the BCD file is locked somehow.


The above issue occurs if the EFI boot partition file system is corrupted. Running the WinRE command “bootrec /rebuildbcd” may be unable to overwrite the “BCD” file (Y:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD) in such cases.

Formatting the EFI boot partition and running the bcdboot command-line regenerates the BCD (and copies the boot files) should fix the errors.


To fix the BCD store error, format the EFI boot partition and rebuild the BCD and boot files via Windows RE.

hand point iconA detailed, step-by-step guide on this subject is posted in the article How to Rebuild the EFI Boot Partition, BCD and Boot Files.

That’s it. After rebuilding the EFI boot partition, the bcdedit command should work correctly from admin Command Prompt in Windows as well as WinRE.

bcdedit output from admin command prompt

I hope that helps!

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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