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

Correct a boot configuration error to regain access to Windows

Error code 0xc0000185 almost always appears when a Windows PC boots up, typically after a system restart. It 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." This error is easily fixed in most cases.

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

A Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows 10

Causes of Error Code 0xc0000185

Error Code 0xc0000185 is caused by a corruption of files related to the boot function of a Windows PC. Certain files have been deleted or damaged in some way, or something as innocuous as a faulty shutdown 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 more substantive glitch that this error merely hints at, you can't fix anything until you get your PC working again.

After you've tried each of these fixes, reboot your system and see if it starts properly. If it doesn't, move to the next potential solution.

  1. Reboot the computer. It's unlikely a standard reboot will fix this particular problem but trying a complete reboot never hurts. Windows fixes this problem during the startup sequence.

  2. Rebuild the BCD. If this error persists, rebuilding the Boot Configuration Data file is a great next step to take. Access the Advanced Startup options menu to begin.

  3. Rebuild the BCD with boot media. Sometimes, Windows boot problems are difficult to fix because you can't get to the repair tools you need to use. While you could use another Windows install drive, a simpler method is to create and use a bootable Windows 10 USB drive. To make one, download a Windows ISO (it's 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, boot to your USB drive rather than your main drive.

  4. Execute a system restore. If repairing the BCD doesn't fix the problem, a more drastic approach is to roll back the system to a previous point in time. Using a System Restore can delete applications and data, so if you can, back up anything important to a secondary drive before continuing. You'll need to run the restore from the Advanced Startup options menu, however, because you can't boot into Windows properly.

  5. Format the partition and reinstall Windows. If you still have problems booting your PC after completing the above steps, format the drive and reinstall Windows. Back up any important information on the drive, because this process wipes the drive.

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