FIX: Steps to Fix Winload.EFI Error / 0xc0000001

Winload.EFI Error, is pretty much self-explanatory by its name is an error that prevents Windows from loading (a Blue screen of death or BSOD). 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 the same. On a Windows 8/8.1/10 system, the error usually pops up in the following forms:

 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***

or:

Error Code 0XC0000001

Your PC Needs to be repaired. An Unexpected Error has Occurred. Error code: 0xc0000001. You’ll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media. If you don’t have any installation media contact your system administrator or pc manufacturer.

In this guide, I will walk you through 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 the 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 options, 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: Perform a Startup Repair

You may get the error code 0XC0000001 if the startup items of your system are corrupt. In this context, performing a startup repair of the system may solve the problem. But before that, make sure the system’s boot order in the BIOS settings is properly configured (the Windows drive is first in the Boot order).

  1. Power off your system (if it is powered on) and then power it back on.
  2. When the Windows logo appears (with spinning dots), press and hold the power button to forcibly shut down the system.
  3. Repeat thrice and at 3rd time, your system may boot into the Recovery Environment, if so, select Troubleshoot.
    Open Troubleshoot in Advanced Startup Menu
  4. Now open Advanced Options and select Startup Repair.
    Open Advanced Options in the Startup Menu
  5. Once Startup Repair has completed its course, check if the system is clear of the error code 0XC0000001.
    Open Startup Repair in the Advanced Options
  6. If the issue persists, create a Windows 10 bootable USB and boot system through that USB device (if you cannot boot by using the USB, then try different USB ports on the system and also make sure Secure Boot is disabled in the system’s BIOS).
  7. Now select Repair Your Computer and open Troubleshoot.
    Click on Repair Your Computer
  8. Then select Advanced Options and open Startup Repair.
  9. Now follow the prompts on the screen and once the Startup Repair has completed its course, reboot your PC to check if the 0XC0000001 issue is resolved.

Method 4: Uninstall the Buggy Update

Microsoft has a very long history of releasing buggy updates and the issue at hand can also be a result of the same. In this case, removing the buggy update (either Quality or Feature Update) may solve the problem.

  1. Boot your system into the Recovery Environment as discussed in solution 1 and open Troubleshoot.
  2. Now select Advanced Options and open Uninstall Updates.
    Uninstall Updates in the Windows Recovery Environment
  3. Then either select Uninstall Latest Quality Update or Uninstall Latest Feature Update.
    Uninstall Latest Quality Update or Feature Update
  4. Now let the uninstallation complete and then reboot your PC to check if the system is clear of the BSOD error.

Method 5: Perform a CHKDSK Scan

The current BSOD error could be a result of logical bad sectors of the storage drive. In this context, performing a ChKDsk scan may solve the problem.

  1. Boot your system in the Recovery Environment or (preferably) use Repair Your Computer by booting your system through a Windows 10 bootable USB (as discussed in solution 1) and open Troubleshoot.
  2. Now select Advanced Options and open Command Prompt.
    Open Command Prompt in the Advanced Recovery Options
  3. Then execute the following to find the drive letter of the system drive (the drive letter may not be the same as shown in Windows):
    Diskpart
  4. Now list down the partitions by executing the following:
    list vol
  5. Now check for the drive letter (e.g., E drive) of the OS drive (most probably, having Boot in the Info column, or otherwise use Dir in the Command Prompt to check the contents of the partition) and then close the Diskpart by executing the following:
    Exit
  6. Then navigate to the system’s drive (in the Command Prompt) by entering the drive letter followed by a colon (e.g., if the system drive is C, then enter C: and hit Enter).
  7. Now run the ChkDsk scan by executing the following (where C is the system drive):
    chkdsk C: /r
    Find the System Drive By Using the Diskpart and Navigating to it
  8. Then wait till the completion of the ChkDsk scan and once completed, boot into Windows and check if the BSOD error code 0XC0000001 is resolved.
    Run the CHKDSK Command

If the above process is too techy for you, then attach the problematic system’s hard to another PC and perform the ChkDsk scan there to check if the BSOD issue is resolved.

Method 6: Using the BCDBoot Utility

Use the above-given method to reach the Command prompt from start-up repair, once in the 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 7: 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.
    Open Advanced Options in the Startup Menu
  4. Click Startup settings in Advanced Options.
  5. In the startup settings screen, click on Restart.
  6. Startup Settings menu will appear after the restart.
  7. Now press 8 on your keyboard. Your windows will launch with anti-malware disabled only for this session.

Solution 8: Perform a System Restore

The error code 0XC0000001 could be a result of a recent (unwanted) change to the system and restoring the system (to an earlier point in the time when the system was operating fine) may solve the problem.

  1. Boot your system into the Recovery Environment (as discussed in solution 1) and open Troubleshoot.
  2. Now open Advanced Options and select System Restore.
    Open the System Restore in the Windows Recovery Environment
  3. Then follow the prompts to restore the system to an earlier point in time and when the process is complete, reboot your PC to check if the system is clear of the 0XC0000001 error.

You can also use the following in the Command Prompt to perform the System Restore (where C is the system drive, you can find the system drive by following the steps mentioned in the ChkDsk solution):

rstrui.exe /OFFLINE:C:\Windows

Method 9: Rename the Corrupt Registry Files and Copy the Backup Registry Files

You may encounter the 0XC0000001 error if some of the essential files (especially, related to the system’ registry) are corrupt. In this scenario, renaming the corrupt files and placing the original OS files (from the registry backup folder) may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the Command Prompt in the Recovery Environment (as discussed in solution 3) and execute the following (where C is the system drive) one by one (make sure to press the Enter key afterward):
    Ren C:\windows\system32\config\SAM SAM.BAK
    
    Ren  C:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM SYSTEM.BAK
    
    Ren  C:\windows\system32\config\SECURITY SECURITY.BAK
    
    Ren  C:\windows\system32\config\DEFAULT DEFAULT.BAK
    
    Ren  C:\windows\system32\config\SOFTWARE SOFTWARE.BAK
    
    Copy  C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SAM C:\windows\system32\config
    
    Copy  C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SYSTEM C:\windows\system32\config
    
    Copy  C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SECURITY C:\windows\system32\config
    
    Copy  C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\DEFAULT C:\windows\system32\config
    
    Copy  C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SOFTWARE C:\windows\system32\config
    Rename the Registry Files in the Command Prompt
  2. Once the above commands are executed, reboot your PC into Windows and check if the BSOD issue is resolved.

Method 10: Perform System operations in Command prompt

There are different cmdlets (like Bootrec, SFC, DISM, etc.) in the Command Prompt that can be used to solve the current BSOD issue.

Perform the SFC and DISM Scans

  1. Execute the following in the Recovery Environment’s Command Prompt (where D is the system drive):
    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows
    Perform the SFC Scan in the Recovery Environment
  2. Once the scan is complete, type Exit in the Command prompt and boot your system into Windows to check if the system is clear of the BSOD issue.
  3. If the issue persists, then check if perform a DISM scan to repair Windows (preferably, after attaching your system’s hard disk to another PC) solves the problem.

Disable Hibernation

If the issue started to occur after hibernating the system, then disabling hibernation may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the Command Prompt in the Recovery Environment and navigate to the system partition (as discussed in solution 3).
  2. Now execute the following cmdlet to disable hibernation:
    powercfg -h off
    Disable Hibernation in the Command Prompt
  3. Then reboot your PC and check if the system is clear of the BSOD issue.

Rename the EFI Folder

  1. Launch the Command Prompt in the Recovery Environment and navigate to the system drive.
  2. Now execute the following:
    dir
  3. Then check if the EFI directory is shown, if so, then rename it by executing the following:
    ren EFI oldEFI
    Rename the EFI Folder in the System Drive
  4. Now reboot your PC and check if the system is clear of the 0XC0000001 issue.
  5. If the issue persists, then check if deleting the EFI folder by executing the following in the Command Prompt in the Recovery Environment (make sure you are executing the command in the system drive):
    rd /s C:\oldEFI

If the issue persists, then you may have to perform a clean installation of Windows either on a different partition/disk or after completely repartitioning the problematic drive. If you cannot back up the system drive data in any other way, then it will be better to use the Custom Install option (the system drive data will be in the Windows.old folder) when performing the clean installation of Windows.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

FIX: Steps to Fix Winload.EFI Error / 0xc0000001

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