Fix: Total identified Windows installations 0 in Windows 11/10

The error Total identified Windows installations 0 in Windows is observed to occur in pursuit of repairing or reinstalling the Windows OS. Troubleshooting the above error, when confronted with it, essentially involves understanding its potential causes, as it can effectively facilitate the eventual corrective measures.

At its core, the error signifies that the system cannot detect any existing Windows installations, wherein quite a few factors can contribute to the cause, as detailed below.

Causes of the Error: Total identified Windows installations 0 in Windows

  1. Corrupted Boot Configuration Data (BCD): The Boot Configuration Data or BCD is a database that comprises the information pertaining to the booting options of the concerned system. Hence, if the BCD is corrupted, Windows cannot locate or gather the required information of any installed operating system, eventually leading to the above-mentioned error message.
  2. Faulty or Disconnected Hard Drive: Another probable cause for the error can be attributed to the hard drive connection or its possible malfunction. If the hard drive is not connected to the motherboard aptly, or the hard drive has supposedly gone bad, it can lead to the aforementioned error since Windows relies on the integrity and presence of the hard disk to recognize the instances of any installed operating system.
  3. Incorrect BIOS/UEFI Settings: Improper BIOS or UEFI settings, specifically those in relation to the booting order of the system or the disk controllers, can prevent Windows from identifying or locating the installed OS in the system, leading to the said error.
  4. Missing or Inaccessible System Files: If the essential system files that happen to comprise the prerequisite for the booting process are either inaccessible or missing, the system will not be able to detect the presence of any installed Windows OS instance, contributing majorly to the cause of the error.
  5. Partition or Disk Errors: Any particular error in the existing hard drive partitions or the partition structure can contribute significantly to the underlying cause since the partitioning problems can lead to Windows installation not being correctly located.

Total identified Windows installations

Fix: Total identified Windows installations 0 in Windows 11/10

Effective troubleshooting of this issue involves careful introspection of the boot process, including the files and the components involved. The below-mentioned remedies have been tried and tested in resolving the aforesaid error:

  1. Repair the BCD
  2. Use of Windows Installation Media
  3. Restore from a System Image
  4. Check and Reconnect the Hard Drive
  5. Review BIOS/UEFI Settings

You will need admin permission to execute these suggestions and a clear idea of how to use advanced commands and BIOS/UEFI

1] Repair the BCD:

In its entirety, the primary cause of the above-mentioned error can be a corrupted or improperly configured Boot Configuration Data (BCD). Since the contents of the BCD comprise all the relevant information pertaining to the installed operating system in the computer along with the boot sequence info, the first step towards the solution would be to repair or rebuild the BCD.

The below-mentioned steps can be followed to repair the BCD:

  • Restart the system, and once the Windows Logo comes up, hold down the Power Button to forcibly shut down the system.
  • By repeating the above step 3 times consecutively, the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) can be launched.
  • Select the Command Prompt option in the WinRE menu by selecting Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt
  • Enter the below commands in the same sequence as mentioned to repair the BCD

 bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec fixmbr

 bootrec /fixboot

bootrec fixmbr

 bootrec /scanos

bootrec scanos

 bootrec /rebuildbcd

bootrec rebuildbcd

  • The bootrec utility initially updates or fixes the Master Boot Record (MBR) using the fixmbr command. After that, it updates the partition boot sector code with fixboot as the preliminary step in rebuilding the BCD.
  • The next step involves scanning the storage device to locate active OS instances using scanos. Finally, it executes rebuildbcd to select the particular installation that should be added to the BCD, thereby completing the rebuilding process.
  • Restart the computer for the changes to take effect

2] Use of Windows Installation Media

As the error pertains to a missing Windows installation, booting the system using external devices like Windows Installation USB or DVD can facilitate access to the repair tools and reinstallation options. Once the system boots through the installation media, choosing the available Repair your Computer option can be explored to make automatic repairs.

Repair Your Computer Windows

3] Restore from a System Image:

If there are any recent system image backups available, they can be used to restore the system to a previously stable state by way of the below-mentioned steps:

  • Boot the system to WinRE.
  • Select the System Image Recovery option from the WinRE.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the system to a previously backed-up stable instance.

WinRE system image recovery

4] Check and Reconnect the Hard Drive:

A faulty or disconnected hard drive can also lead to the Total identified Windows installations 0 error. Hence, checking to see if the hard drive is connected correctly with the cables can eliminate the possibility of error concerning physical connectivity issues.

5] Review BIOS/UEFI Settings

The incorrect boot order in the BIOS/UEFI can also lead to the error in question. Hence, checking the BIOS settings to verify the correct boot order and drive can be an effective troubleshooting option. We ensure that the drive containing Windows is selected as the Primary Boot Device, which can help the system correctly identify Windows installation.


To conclude, the Total identified Windows installations 0 error occurrences can be attributed to several factors like corrupt Boot Configuration Data, faulty hardware, or an improper BIOS/UEFI setting. Following the above-mentioned steps can help eliminate the error. However, caution must be exercised since it involves modifying the boot settings and system files.

Sandip Basu
Sandip has worked as an IT solutions consultant for the last 15 years and specializes in troubleshooting software and hardware.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here