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Winload.exe is missing or corrupt - Recover CD does not boot - Problem SOLVED!

    General discussion

  • After a power failure the Master Boot Record (MBR) got destroyed on my harddisk.
    My entire harddisk appeared to be an unpartitioned area.
    All partitions were gone!

    ***** Shock! *****

    ***** Panic! *****

    As software developer I have a multi-boot system with several operating systems and a huge data partition.
    I was not willing to install all this anew.


    1.)
    So I searched for a tool that may recover the MBR.
    And I found "EaseUs Partition Recovery".
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/EASEUS-Partition-Recovery.shtml

    I put the corrupted disk into another computer.
    This program scanned my disk and found all partitions within one minute.
    It allowed me to enable the partitions and I saw that all data was still there.

    And the best of all: This program did that great work for free!


    2.)
    After reinstalling the Boot Manager I noticed that the Windows XP partitions were still running fine while Windows Vista did not boot any more with a blackscreen:

    ########################################################################################

    Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
    File: \Windows\System32\winload.exe
    Status: 0xc000000e
    Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

    ########################################################################################

    This error message is (as I'am sure now) a complete nonsense.
    As usual in Microsoft products the error messages are wrong or at least misleading.
    The file Winload.exe is neither missing nor corrupt!

    People report in serveral blogs to get the same error after resizing the Windows partition with any third party tools that are not certified for Vista like old versions of Partition Magic, Acronis or Linux tools.

    3.)
    I read that many people in this case successfully booted with the Windows Vista DVD and went to the "Repair" option to repair Windows Vista.
    But in my case this did not work.
    This stupid DVD did not boot.
    In the middle of the boot process it was hanging without any error message.
    No chance at all.
    It's from Microsoft, so we cannot expect too much.


    Other people used
    Bootrec /RebuildBCD
    or
    Bootrec /FixBoot
    or
    BcdEdit /xyz...

    from the rescue console in the Vista boot DVD.
    In my case: No hope because Microsoft does not offer any usefull Recover Console.

    Searching for hours in blogs I found 99% bullshit. No solutions or misleading nonsense.
    Only people reporting the same problem who at the end installed their Windows anew.

    Many people don't understand what a restore point is.
    It is COMPLETELY useless to have any restore point for this kind of problem.

    One of the few interesting comments, that I found was this:
    __________________

    First,
    most rescue disk and other programs will not boot correctly if you have more than 2 active partitions on the harddrive, have more than 4 partitions including and extended partition with several partitions in it.

    Second,
    Vista uses a different bootloader and thus creates a 'custom' mbr, which if modified by any standard mbr tool will cause vista not to boot. Also because of this some other CD's will not boot if they check the mbr.

    Third,
    as of yet there are no tools that will allow you to resize or check the NTFS drive of a vista machine. If any program other than vista checks or makes any changes (including XP rescue console) to the drive such as chkdsk this may hang vista.

    Fourth,
    many computers now include a recover partition most of the time this should be hidden, but sometimes may become active and cause problems booting.

    So these things make it more difficult to work with. I would recommend you check out the articles on dual boot with vista, as these help you understand where your system is probably hanging at.
    __________________


    4.)
    After googling for hours I could not find any solution.
    So I investigated on my own.
    Like a cracker using SysInternals Process Monitor I invesigated about what BcdEdit is doing on the harddisk.


    **** And I found a solution which I will describe here: ****

    I hope to receive some dollars from Microsoft giving support for their badly programmed products.

    Microsoft pays 8,5 Billions dollars to buy Skype but they don't pay one dollar to give support to the millions that suffer from a blackscreen.
    Why are there no Microsoft employees responding in social.technet.microsoft.com ?

    The internet is full of people reporting this Winload.exe problem and no solution except the Windows Install DVD that does not work (at least in my case).


    ##################################################

    Here comes the solution that I found on my own:

    5.)
    Put the harddisk with the corrupt Vista into another computer that is running Windows (in my case Windows XP).

    6.)
    Mount the defective Vista partition on a drive (in my case F:\)

    7.)
    On the Vista partition the file F:\Boot\BCD is the one that needs to be repaired.
    You can make a backup of this file now, but why should you backup a corrupt file ?


    This file has no extension, the name is simply "BCD".
    This file is a database that stores the information how to boot Windows and replaces the former Boot.ini.
    This file is hidden. If you don't see it use a real file manager like TotalComander because Windows Exporer really sucks.

    8.)
    Open a command prompt (Cmd.exe)

    9.)
    Enter
    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store F:\Boot\BCD /enum

    NOTE:
    The parameter /store will access F:\Boot\BCD, otherwise it would access C:\Boot\BCD which does not exist on Windows XP!


    What I saw was this:


    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    device                  unknown
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {default}
    resumeobject            {1f20452f-f2af-11db-9299-adf714858873}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier              {default}
    device                  unknown
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice                unknown
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {1f20452f-f2af-11db-9299-adf714858873}
    nx                      OptIn



    This is the content of a corrupt BCD file.
    I have no idea what destroyed this file in my case.
    But you see that there are three lines with "unknown".
    This is the cause why Vista does not boot anymore.

    The Windload.exe is NOT corrupt or missing.
    The corrupt file is the BCD file, but the programmers at Microsoft are not able to show helpfull error messages.


    10.)
    Now enter the following 3 commands:


    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store F:\Boot\BCD /set {bootmgr} device boot
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store F:\Boot\BCD /set {default} device boot
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store F:\Boot\BCD /set {default} osdevice boot
    The operation completed successfully.


    11.)
    To check the result enter again:
    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store F:\Boot\BCD /enum


    Now it should look like this:

    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier              {bootmgr}
    device                  boot
    description             Windows Boot Manager
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {globalsettings}
    default                 {default}
    resumeobject            {1f20452f-f2af-11db-9299-adf714858873}
    displayorder            {default}
    toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
    timeout                 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier              {default}
    device                  boot
    path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description             Microsoft Windows Vista
    locale                  en-US
    inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
    osdevice                boot
    systemroot              \Windows
    resumeobject            {1f20452f-f2af-11db-9299-adf714858873}
    nx                      OptIn



    You see that instead of "unknown" there is a "boot" now three times.



    12.)
    Now BcdEdit has fixed the BCD file and you are ready.

    Yeahh!


    13.)
    This procedure should be added to the MSDN for all those who cannot boot with the misdesigned Boot DVD.


    I don't know if this procedure also works for Windows 7.
    But I think so, try it, it should work!



    14.)
    If you don't have a backup of your partitions I URGENTLY recommend that you install "Partition Backup" from Paragon Software.
    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/index.html

    It is extremely easy to use and can create an image of entire partitions that you must OBVIOUSLY store on ANOTHER harddisk (e.g. an external USB disk or burn them on a Blue Ray).
    It also makes a backup of the Master Boot Record.

    "Partition Backup" is better than alternatives like CloneZilla, which is very awkward to use and only has a simple text user interface.
    And in comparison with the competition from Acronis it is for free!

    With the backups of your partitions and the Paragon Rescue DVD you will never again have to care about any Windows that does not boot.
    You simply play back the image.



    P.S.
    If you are interested in more technical details about BCD and the Vista boot process, read this excellent article:
    http://www.multibooters.co.uk/bootmgr.html


    Elmü


    • Changed type ElmueSoft Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:36 PM Solved
    • Changed type ElmueSoft Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:39 PM
    • Changed type ElmueSoft Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:41 PM
    • Edited by ElmueSoft Saturday, November 19, 2011 8:26 PM
    • Changed type Sabrina Shen Monday, November 21, 2011 5:42 AM
    Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:34 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    Thank you for updating the status which will direct other communities who encounter the similar issue.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights. |Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, November 21, 2011 7:46 AM
  • THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!

    This article ended many hours of searching and trial & error for me.

    I had a similar issue when I copied an image of the C drive on a Server 2008 SBS machine to a backup server (very similar hardware). I got the same error mentioned above, and this method worked like a charm. The backup machine booted immediately after executing the above procedure. 

    I have just a couple things to add that may be helpful:

    There are two different version of bcdedit 32 and 64 bit, both work, but if you try to use the 64 bit version in a 32 bit environment you will get an error.

    I actually used Hirens boot cd to view the partitions and data and execute the bcdedit command, as the server's hard drive was a SAS RAID array and I could not simply remove it and plug it into another machine. Hirens (v. 15.1) does not actually have the bdcedit command built in so I had to copy this to a thumb drive from another computer.

    Thanks again!

     

    Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:57 PM
  • you can by pass having to put ur harddrive in another machine by

    load the live cd 

    go through the gui to the repair menu

    open a terminal (should be the bottom one on the list)

     then type in bcdedit 

    -----also---

    if you don't have your live cd, or ur machine is "diskless"

    you can press esc during your boot process to make it take you to a dos like prompt...

    but i couldnt figure out how to get the bcdedit to show up

    though the instructions i got this from are here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1181105

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012 7:58 AM
  • This is a wonderful fix and it worked for me!!!!  I had a similar problem after I used a Partition software to re-partition my C: on my Windows 8.  After the re-partitioning, windows wouldn't boot up and it shows "\windows\system32\winload.efi" is missing.  After going through the entire night of frantic googling, I finally arrived at the solution.  My solution is a variation from the one you have and I wanted to share this here.  I wish my experience can help others who run into similar problem in the future.

    Symptom:

    My computer uses UEFI for booting.  If you have BIOS boot, your procedure may be different.

    I used Free EaseUS Partition Manager Software to resize my 750GB c: into a 80GB drive.  I could have used the microsoft computer management to resize my partition, but for some reason, it will only let me go down to 350GB.  That's why I had to use another software.

    I followed all the direction on the partition software and hit apply.  The system restart and begin to resize the partition as I expected.  When it was done, the system restarted and a blue screen appeared.  The screen says "\windows\system32\winload.efi" is missing

    Diagnose:

    The first thing I checked was the partition table.  I used the windows 8 recovery media or installation media to run command prompt.  (You can also download an ubuntu livecd or bartPE for this task.)  BAD NEWS : Diskpart show me I don't have any partition table on my volume - nothing!!  - If you don't know what that means, think your harddrive as your house and partition as the walls inside your house.  No partition table means your house don't know where the walls are.  

    If you have a partition table backed up - you can restore it and will be good to go - at least for the first part.

    Step 1:

    Fortunately, the same company let you use their partition software also let you use their Partition Recovery software for free.  So I downloaded it and burn the boot media onto a DVD using another computer.  I used the DVD to boot up the system.  Pick partition recovery and just hit next until the end.  It will scan through your hard drive and try to figure out the best match partition configuration.  It may take a few hours if you have a big hard drive.  For my 750 GB harddrive, it took about 3 hours.  At the end - IT WORKED!!!  The software figured out for me what my original partition was.  It was almost perfect - some partitions was smaller than I remember it used to be but I think it means there is some free space.  The best part is all my files are back intact.

    Step 2:

    I tried to restart again with UEFI.  However, I run into the same screen.  So the next thing i do is to google.  And Google led me into this article - thank God and thank ElmueSoft.

    Since my steps are pretty much the same as the original post, I'll just layout the difference on my computer.

    I have a windows 8.  The boot file for windows 8 is in a hidden FAT32 drive.  Here's how to do it:  (You can also refer to the microsoft article for more details on recovering your boot file : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766223(v=ws.10).aspx)

    1) Boot into command prompt with your recovery/installation media

    2) Run "diskpart"

    3) Type "list disk".  Look for the correct disk #.  Let's say 0 is the hard drive I have problem with.

    4) Type "select disk 0".

    5) Type "list volume".  Look for the volume # that is hidden FAT32 with the boot files.  Let's say #2 is the volume.

    6) Type "select volume 2"

    7) Type "assign letter=u:"

    8) Type "exit"

    9) Type "u:\efi\microsoft\boot"

    Here's your BCD file.  Before you start, I would recommend backing up your current file even it is bad.  Type "copy BCD BCD.old" to perform this task.

    Now, you can follow the procedure described on the top post.  Stop on Step #10.  Here's what you will need to do instead:

    10.)
    Now enter the following 3 commands:

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {bootmgr} device partition=u:
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {default} device partition=c:
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    The operation completed successfully.

    After performing these steps, I restarted the computer and it finally boot up with UEFI.

    I really think Microsoft can do a better job on supporting issues with on booting.  As much as I like the new Windows 8, the level of technical support from Microsoft is just not there yet.  This article should be added to MSDN technet like ElumeSoft have said.

    Thank you ElmueSoft.  

    Monday, November 26, 2012 3:03 PM
  • chak man you are super!!!! Last night I ran into similar situation as you during resizing and moving my WIN8 partition. I have gone through the Elmue Soft procedures many times but still get the same fail booting message, beause I was using the WRONG BCD file. After following your procedures I modified the correct BCD now. Everything come back and the partition resizing and moving completed successfully after the fix. Thanks alot!
    Sunday, December 2, 2012 3:03 PM
  • Hi,

    at step 1, which software did you downloaded ?

    Sunday, December 9, 2012 10:48 PM
  • Hi,

    at step 1, which software did you downloaded ?

    Hi,

    Have the same problem... Would also like to know.


    • Edited by 13genesis37 Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:04 AM
    Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:03 AM
  • This is a wonderful fix and it worked for me!!!!  I had a similar problem after I used a Partition software to re-partition my C: on my Windows 8.  After the re-partitioning, windows wouldn't boot up and it shows "\windows\system32\winload.efi" is missing.  After going through the entire night of frantic googling, I finally arrived at the solution.  My solution is a variation from the one you have and I wanted to share this here.  I wish my experience can help others who run into similar problem in the future.

    Symptom:

    My computer uses UEFI for booting.  If you have BIOS boot, your procedure may be different.

    I used Free EaseUS Partition Manager Software to resize my 750GB c: into a 80GB drive.  I could have used the microsoft computer management to resize my partition, but for some reason, it will only let me go down to 350GB.  That's why I had to use another software.

    I followed all the direction on the partition software and hit apply.  The system restart and begin to resize the partition as I expected.  When it was done, the system restarted and a blue screen appeared.  The screen says "\windows\system32\winload.efi" is missing

    Diagnose:

    The first thing I checked was the partition table.  I used the windows 8 recovery media or installation media to run command prompt.  (You can also download an ubuntu livecd or bartPE for this task.)  BAD NEWS : Diskpart show me I don't have any partition table on my volume - nothing!!  - If you don't know what that means, think your harddrive as your house and partition as the walls inside your house.  No partition table means your house don't know where the walls are.  

    If you have a partition table backed up - you can restore it and will be good to go - at least for the first part.

    Step 1:

    Fortunately, the same company let you use their partition software also let you use their Partition Recovery software for free.  So I downloaded it and burn the boot media onto a DVD using another computer.  I used the DVD to boot up the system.  Pick partition recovery and just hit next until the end.  It will scan through your hard drive and try to figure out the best match partition configuration.  It may take a few hours if you have a big hard drive.  For my 750 GB harddrive, it took about 3 hours.  At the end - IT WORKED!!!  The software figured out for me what my original partition was.  It was almost perfect - some partitions was smaller than I remember it used to be but I think it means there is some free space.  The best part is all my files are back intact.

    Step 2:

    I tried to restart again with UEFI.  However, I run into the same screen.  So the next thing i do is to google.  And Google led me into this article - thank God and thank ElmueSoft.

    Since my steps are pretty much the same as the original post, I'll just layout the difference on my computer.

    I have a windows 8.  The boot file for windows 8 is in a hidden FAT32 drive.  Here's how to do it:  (You can also refer to the microsoft article for more details on recovering your boot file : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766223(v=ws.10).aspx)

    1) Boot into command prompt with your recovery/installation media

    2) Run "diskpart"

    3) Type "list disk".  Look for the correct disk #.  Let's say 0 is the hard drive I have problem with.

    4) Type "select disk 0".

    5) Type "list volume".  Look for the volume # that is hidden FAT32 with the boot files.  Let's say #2 is the volume.

    6) Type "select volume 2"

    7) Type "assign letter=u:"

    8) Type "exit"

    9) Type "u:\efi\microsoft\boot"

    Here's your BCD file.  Before you start, I would recommend backing up your current file even it is bad.  Type "copy BCD BCD.old" to perform this task.

    Now, you can follow the procedure described on the top post.  Stop on Step #10.  Here's what you will need to do instead:

    10.)
    Now enter the following 3 commands:

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {bootmgr} device partition=u:
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {default} device partition=c:
    The operation completed successfully.

    F:\Windows\System32\bcdedit /store BCD /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    The operation completed successfully.

    After performing these steps, I restarted the computer and it finally boot up with UEFI.

    I really think Microsoft can do a better job on supporting issues with on booting.  As much as I like the new Windows 8, the level of technical support from Microsoft is just not there yet.  This article should be added to MSDN technet like ElumeSoft have said.

    Thank you ElmueSoft.  

    the same problem happened to my laptop (hp pavilion m6)
    when i type ''Diskpart''

                       ''disk list''

                        Disk 0   Online    3875 MB

    the hard disk was not found ,only the flash USB appeared 
    what should i do ??? 
    how can i make a bootable Partition Recovery software CD or USB ???
    plz help
     


    Saturday, January 5, 2013 7:09 PM
  • Hi,

    at step 1, which software did you downloaded ?

    Hi,

    Have the same problem... Would also like to know.


    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
    try this link
    you will find (free bootable CD download at the bottom ) 
    burn it on CD and use it 
    Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:11 PM
  • Dear, First of all congratulations for the information provided. They are very important!

    I'm having the same problem, I have a samsung ultrabook 530U3C-AD5, and it partitions with EASEUS not the same boot more

    And the same message is displayed. (0xc0000225)

    To solve the problem I followed the footsteps of friends  Chak Man and ElmueSoft but a little of each.

    In my case there 2 files that needed to be corrected BCD:

    first:
    Inside the Hidden FAT32 Partition
    \ EFI \ Microsoft \ Boot \ BCD

    For this aquivo used the following commands:

    <partition>: \ Windows \ System32 \ bcdedit / store <FAT partition>: \ EFI \ Microsoft \ Boot \ BCD / set {default} device partition = c:

    <partition>: \ Windows \ System32 \ bcdedit / store <FAT partition>: \ EFI \ Microsoft \ Boot \ BCD / set {default} osdevice partition = c:

    second:
    Inside the Hidden FAT32 Partition
    \ Boot \ BCD

    For this aquivo used the following commands:

    <partition>: \ Windows \ System32 \ bcdedit / store <FAT partition>: \ Boot \ BCD / set {bootmgr} device boot

    <partition>: \ Windows \ System32 \ bcdedit / store <FAT partition>: \ Boot \ BCD / set {default} device partition = c:

    <partition>: \ Windows \ System32 \ bcdedit / store <FAT partition>: \ Boot \ BCD / set {default} osdevice partition = c:


    Thank you all for your help!!
    • Edited by Ramires Ramos Monday, January 14, 2013 5:31 PM Nome errado
    Monday, January 14, 2013 5:23 PM
  • THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!

    This saved me hours of work! Thanks for the effort of writing down your findings!

    Im am running a multiboot configuration using XOSL, residing in a dedicated primary partition.

    I just installed windows8 in one of the partitions, reinstalled XOSL and got the infamous

    "File:\Windows\system32\winload.exe; Error code: 0xc000000e"

    The repair option of the installation disk was completely useless.

    Using your guide I was able to repair windows 8 from within another OS.

     

    Saturday, January 26, 2013 3:19 PM
  • Great post by ElmueSoft! Very helpful!

    For more up-to-date info for recovering/repairing the Windows 8 EFI boot loader, go here:

    http://superuser.com/questions/460762/how-can-i-repair-the-windows-8-efi-bootloader

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:38 AM
  • i need your help please

    i reached to step 8 successfully but when i tried to do step 9 in gave me an error ( is not recognized as an internal or external command operable program or batch file ) 

    how can fix this

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:36 AM
  • When you change (shrink, grow, move) partitions on disk the correspondence between changed partition parameters and partition parameters stored in BCD are no longer relevant.

    So BCD displays device = unknown (no actual partition is in correspondence with partition stored in BCD.

    A simple bcdboot.exe command can repair the BCD:

    bcdboot c:\windows

    where c:\windows is the root of Windows 7 ( change drive letter accordingly )

    This way BCD is either created (if missing) or repaired so you can boot if MBR and PBR are intact.

    For fixing MBR, PBR use bootsect.exe from recovery.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 2:09 PM
  • FANTASTIC WORK, this is still not fixed in Windows 8.1 !!!!!  PLUs shorter command to fix it

    bootable USB of 8.1 install did boot, must choose correct language locale to be sure to get right keyboard layout,

    get to recovery tools and get command prompt

    type bcdboot.exe C:\windows /s C: /f ALL          

    where C is the install that wont boot

    PS in Win 8.1 the "automatic repair boot" does not fix the bcd files, MS is rubbish

    Sunday, December 8, 2013 7:06 AM