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A simple partition tool to manage disk space in Windows 10

Running [Bootrec /fixboot] Returned Error 'Access is denied' - FIX 2021

Updated by Jean on May 27, 2021

Bootrec (bootrec.exe) utility is for reviving a failed, not working, or not responding operating system in Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). What if running the command bootrec /fixboot returned the error message 'Access is denied? This article offers one real solution for you to fix the bootrec /fixboot access denied in Windows 10/8/7, plus other alternative ways to fix the Windows startup problems.

What's bootrec /fixboot?

The [bootrec /fixboot] is a command performed in the Bootrec.exe tool in Windows Recovery Environment. Bootrec /fixboot writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that's compatible with the present Windows system. E.g., if your system is Windows 7, fixboot will write a Windows 7-compatible boot sector and so forth. This fixboot command is normally used to fix a number of startup errors and problems like:

In fact, all three situations are pointed to a PC that cannot start properly. One common way to fix such errors is to run the command "bootrec /fixboot". However, running the bootrec /fixboot command is likely to cause a new round of problems. An error says that access is denied. How to make the command take effect while the access is denied then?

bootrec fixboot access is denied

How to Fix "bootrec /fixboot access is denied" Error?

To run the bootrec.exe, you'll first create a Windows installation media USB flash drive to enter the Windows RE. According to the discussions on Microsoft community, many victims who had the same issue with the command bootrec/ fixboot access is denied, are using the Windows 10 1709 installation media. After they tried the same command with Windows 10 1703 installation media, they do not get the error again.

Hence, the bootrec /fixboot access denied looks like an error with the installation media for Windows 10 1709.

On condition that your situation is not caused by the installation media, the most effective way to troubleshoot the bootrec /fixboot access denied error is to recreate EFI structure and reconfigure the boot files.

Step 1. At first, turn off your computer. After that, switch on as soon as your system starts up and you see the manufacturer's logo, press and hold the power button again to force shut down the system. Repeat the steps several times and it will automatically read the startup repair screen. Here is what we're going to officially apply the fixes.

Step 2. When your computer boots up, you will be represented by the Automatic Repair window. Click on the Advanced options button.

enter automatic repair mode

Step 3. In the Choose an option window, choose the Troubleshoot option.

Step 4. Next, proceed with the Advanced options.

Step 5. In the Advanced options window, choose the Command Prompt option.

choose an option and then troubleshoot and then command prompt

Step 6. In the Command Prompt window, type commands diskpart and then list disk one by one and hit Enter to open Diskpart and list information of your disks available.

list disk

Step 7. Next, you'll need to choose the disk # where Windows is installed, and the volume # that represents the EFI partition (Usually, the EFI partition have 100MB storage and formatted in FAT32 format. For example, disk 0 is the HDD drive containing Windows and volume 5 is the EFI partition. So, here you will type select disk 0, list vol, and select vol 5.

select disk 0
list vol
select vol 5

Step 8. Now you need to assign a new drive letter to the EFI partition. Type assign letter=V: and hit Enter.

assign letter=V:

Step 9. After diskpart assigned the drive letter successfully, type exit to exit the diskpart and press Enter.


Step 10. Now type the comamnd V: and after that run the command bcdboot C:\windows /s V: /f UEFI and hit Enter.

bcdboot C:\windows /s V: /f UEFI

Step 11. Close the Command Prompt window and return to the Troubleshoting window, click on Continue to normally boot into Windows 10 without getting any errors.

Alternative Ways to Fix Windows Boot Problems

According to Microsoft, there are several useful commands in Bootrec.exe that are used to troubleshoot the Windows startup problems causing by different locations on a Windows insllation hard drive. Besides bootrec /fixboot, which is used to fix the damage to the Windows boot sectors/boot records, the other command bootrec /fixmbr is also widely used when there is a problem with the hardware Master Boot Record (MBR). With MBR failure, Windows cannot start either.

Hence, when you must resolve the MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove nonstandard code from the MBR, use the command bootrec /fixmbr instead of bootrec /fixboot in this case.

Using the fixmbr command in Windows RE is also prone to cause the same access denied issue as the fixboot does. To prevent you from this annoying error and save your time from learning every possible way to troubleshoot the constant error like this, it's better to turn to a third-party partition manager that enables you to rebuild MBR for a specific drive.

Among which, we suggest EaseUS Partition Master. It's a perfect alternative to bootrec /fixmbr to rebuild the Master Boot Record that only requires a few mouse clicks. More importantly, ease your worry of typing the wrong commands and causing more serious boot problems in Windows 10/8/7. Download EaseUS partition magic software now, and see how intelligent it is to fix an MBR corruption issue.

Step 1. Create a WinPE bootable disk

  • Launch EaseUS Partition Master, click "WinPE Creator" on the toolbar. Select to create the bootable disk on a USB drive. If your computer has a CD/DVD drive, you can also create the bootable disk to CD/DVD.
  • Click "Proceed" to finish the process.
create a bootable disk

Step 2. Boot EaseUS Partition Master Bootable USB

  • Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD to your PC. 
  • Press F2 or Del when you restart the computer to enter the BIOS screen. Set and boot your computer from "Removable Devices" or "CD-ROM Drive". And then EaseUS Partition Master will run automatically.
rebuild MBR

Step 3. Rebuild MBR

  • Right-click the disk whose MBR is damaged. Choose "Rebuild MBR" to continue.
  • Select the type of MBR with the current operating system. Then, click "OK".
rebuild MBR
  • Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top-left corner and click "Apply" to build the MBR. After that, your computer can boot normally again.
rebuild MBR

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Updated by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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