Error Code 0xc0000185: What It Is and How to Fix It

Get back to Windows by fixing that annoying boot configuration error

Error code 0xc0000185 header

If you've tried booting up your PC and found yourself facing an irritating and immovable blue screen with Error Code 0xc0000185 on it, you're not alone. This boot configuration data error is a relatively common roadblock on many a Windows user's PC journey. It's also not too hard to fix in most cases.

This error can appear on Windows 7 and 8.1, though it's most commonly found on Windows 10.

How Error Code 0xc0000185 Appears

Error code 0xc0000185 almost always appears during your Windows PC's boot up, typically after a system restart. It will almost always manifest as a BSOD, or Blue Screen of Death, with text that says "The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains certain errors," followed by the error code. It's also possible the message reads, "Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information."

Whatever variation of that error you receive though, if the code is the same, the solution should be too.

Causes of Error Code 0xc0000185

Error Code 0xc0000185 is caused by a corruption of files related to the boot function of your Windows PC. That may be because certain files have been deleted, or damaged in some way, or something as innocuous as a faulty shut down or a new peripheral is throwing a spanner in the works.

It could also be the result of malware or faulty hardware and this error is merely a symptom of a growing problem.

How to Fix Error Code 0xc0000185

Whether this error is the main problem affecting your system or there's another grander issue this is merely a symptom of, you can't fix anything until you get your PC working again. Follow these steps to get your system running as it was before.

Once you've tried each of these fixes, reboot your system and see if it starts up properly. If it does, congratulations! You've fixed your Error Code 0xc0000185 issue. If you feel there's an underlying problem that caused it, make sure to focus on that next before using your PC as normal. If it doesn’t fix it, move on to the next step.

  1. Reboot: It's unlikely this will fix this particular issue, but trying a complete reboot never hurts. It could be that Windows is able to fix this problem itself in the time it takes to start up again.

  2. Rebuild the BCD: If this issue persists, rebuilding the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is a great next step to take. To do this, you'll need to access the Advanced Startup options menu.

  3. Rebuild the BCD with boot media: Sometimes, Windows boot problems make actually fixing them difficult because you can't get to the repair tools you need to use. Fortunately, there are ways around that. While you could use another Windows install drive, a simple method is to create and use a bootable Windows 10 USB drive. To make one you'll need to download a Windows ISO (it's entirely free) from one of Microsoft's sources, then create a bootable USB drive.

    When that's done, rebuild the BCD in Windows like you may have done in the last troubleshooting step, but this time make sure to boot to your USB drive rather than your main drive.

  4. System restore: If repairing the BCD hasn't fixed the problem, a more drastic approach is to roll back your whole system to a previous point in time. Using a System Restore can delete applications and data, so if you can, backup anything important to a secondary drive before continuing. You'll need to do the restore from the Advanced Startup options menu, however, since you can't boot into Windows properly.

  5. Format new partition: If you're still facing problems booting your PC after completing the above steps, it's probably time to throw in the towel, format the drive, and reinstall Windows. Make sure to backup any important information you have on the drive, as everything will be gone forever after you complete this step.