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FIX: Steps to Fix Winload.EFI Error

Winload.EFI Error, is pretty much self explanatory by it’s name is an error that prevents windows from loading. This is usually caused by corrupt boot records or incorrect boot configuration. Depending on your Operating System, the error message may vary but the keyword winload.efi will be same. On a Windows 8/8.1/10 system, the error usually pops-up in the following form.

 Your PC needs to be repaired. The application or operating system couldn’t be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors. File: \windows\system32\winload.efi Error code: 0xc000***”

In this guide, i will walk you trough a couple of troubleshooting steps that should help you fix the issue.

How to BOOT into BIOS to change Boot Order

You must know how to boot and change boot order since this will be needed to perform the solutions below. Restart your computer. Enter your computer’s BIOS (or UEFI) settings as soon as it starts up. The key that you need to press to enter these settings depends on the manufacturer of your computer’s motherboard and can be anything from Esc, Delete or F2 to F8, F10 or F12, usually F2. This is displayed on the post screen, and the manual that was supplied with your system. A quick google search asking “how to enter bios” followed by model number will also list results. 

Method 1: Disable Secure Boot

If you have a UEFI based computer instead of the old traditional BIOS, then the issue can be caused by a certain setting in UEFI called Secure Boot. It can stop your system from accessing the winload.efi file causing this error to appear. Windows 8 and later versions have this feature enabled by default.

To disable Secure Boot, boot to BIOS or UEFI. The UEFI setup user interface differs by model. Generally, look for Secure Boot, which can be found in its own separate section, or in the Security tab or in Boot tab or in the Authentication tab depending on your system model. Consult your system model’s manual to know exactly where it is. Once you find the Secure Boot option in a tab, disable it or turn it off.

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Save the UEFI settings and exit. Now boot up your system normally. If you still get the same error, move on to the next solution

Method 2: Repair Boot Record

To repair boot record, we will repair the files required by Windows to boot, which includes the file winload.efi.

Windows 7 Users

In order to continue, you will need to start windows in repair mode, for that (see steps here).

Once you boot to start-up repair, and see the “System Recover Options” choose Command prompt. Once the command prompt’s black window appears, type the following commands and press Enter after each line.

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /scanos

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /rebuildbcd

After the commands have executed successfully, restart your system and check if the issue’s still there.

If the issues still there, then repeat the above procedure and execute the above commands 3 times each. Now check if the issues still there. If yes, then move on to the next solution.

Windows 8/8.1/10

To start W8/8.01 and 10 in Repair Mode, see steps here.

In the advanced option click Command Prompt.

Once the command prompt’s black window appears, type the following commands and press Enter after each line.

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /scanos

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /rebuildbcd

After the commands have executed successfully, restart your system and check if the issue’s still there.

If the issues still there, then repeat the above procedure and execute the above commands 3 times each. Now check if the issues still there. If yes, then move on to the next solution.

Method 3: Using the BCDBoot Utility

Use the above given method to reach the Command prompt from start-up repair, once in command prompt, proceed with the steps below.

  1. type diskpart and press Enter.
  2. Type list volume and press Enter.
  3. Under the label row, find the label System Reserved and note its corresponding Volume number.
  4. Now type select Volume=N and press Enter, where N is the Volume number you noted earlier.
  5. Now type assign letter=w and press Enter.
  6. Type exit and press Enter.
  7. Type bcdboot c:\Windows /s w: /f uefi and press Enter.

Now restart your system and check. If the issue is still not resolved, proceed to Method 4.

Method 4: Disabling Anti Malware Protection

  1. Power on your system, then forcefully shut it down when you see the Windows logo. Repeat the process a few times until you get the Recovery screen.
  2. Click See advanced repair options.
  3. Then click on Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
  4. Click Startup settings in Advanced Options.
  5. In the startup settings screen, click on Restart.
  6. Startup Settings menu will appear after restart.
  7. Now press 8 on your keyboard. Your windows will launch with anti-malware disabled only for this session.

15 Comments

  1. The second fix (secure boot) worked me but with a WEIRD issue, upon every boot I’ve to change the state of the secure boot in order to have the system to load :

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Expert Tip

FIX: Steps to Fix Winload.EFI Error

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