Winload.exe error when additional SATA drives connected

#1
Hi Everybody,

I have 3 SSD drives in the PC.

1. Win 7 64 bit
2. fresh Win 8 Pro
3. SSD with data only

I also use hot-swappable SATA HDDs (4TB and 2TB) (the PC case has 4 bays for that). They were not present when I installed Win 8.

Everything works fine, I can multiboot without problems but only when no HDD is connected. As soon as I connect any SATA HDD, Windows 7 will not boot because it cannot find winload.exe (0xc000000e). Win 8 can boot with no problems, but it just takes much longer than without the HDDs.

Winload.exe is of course in System32 on Windows 7. It can be found and is working when the HDDs are disconnected.
I suspect something happens to the drive letters when the additional HDDs are plugged in.
I tried the repair option in Easy BCD, deleted the Windows 7 entry and added it again. No help.

Windows 7 just refuses to boot when the HDDs are present. Does anybody have an idea how to fix it?
Please help.
Cheers
Tom
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
It shouldn't be a drive letter problem. There are no drive letters in the BCD.
Those you see displayed in EasyBCD are simply being translated from the unintelligible actual format (UID) into the letters mapped by the running OS from its registry (i.e. as Explorer displays them on that OS)
Did you install W8 to its SSD as UEFI/GPT, or BIOS/MBR ?
Can you include EasyBCD "view settings" data as it appears from W8 in both scenarios.
 
#3
Thanks Terry.
Unfortunately my Easy BCD on Windows 8 stopped working yesterday, so I cannot check the settings.
Windows asks for User permission to start the program but then nothing happens, Easy BCD process disappears quickly in the task manager. The
event viewer says: Application Error, .NET Runtime Error: System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException etc. (I don't use English Windows, so I don't paste the whole error message)
Reinstalling doesn't help.

On Windows 7 Easy BCD still works fine.

I don't remember having to select GPT or MBR when installing Windows. The mainboard is relatively modern, a high end model from 2012.
I don't know, would it install Windows as GPT by default?

Actually, this is a longer story.
When Win 8 came out I had the option to purchase it as an upgrade for some 14 EUR. I installed it on an HDD, booted once, didn't like it very much and forgot about it and used WIn7 until now. I read that Win 8.1 is much better than 8, so I wanted to give it a try.
I wanted to boot the old installation and it wouldn't boot. It might have been also winload.exe error. What's more I was not even able to boot from DVD (selected in BIOS) - I just got a black screen with a cursor, no drive activity whatsoever.

So I disconnected all drives except 1 formatted SSD and installed Win 8 there. It went fine, but later I could not install some updates and could not activate for some reason. At least I could boot from DVD then so I decided to reinstall it.

I reconnected the other SSD (one with Win 7) and installed Win 8 again, this time with active internet connection.
I thought that the small system or boot partition on Win7 disk was corrupted because it hadn't allowed me to boot from DVD before, so I formatted it.
That seemed to have worked very well, windows 8 was activated automatically and some updates were downloaded & installed during installation. I added Win7 to the bootmanager with Easy BCD in Win8 and everything seemed perfect. Previously Easy BCD in Win7 had been very slow and frequently freezing. Now it wasn't freezing anymore and was very fast.

I can boot both systems as long as the swappable HDDs are not present. As far as I can see in Windows Disk Management there are no boot partitions on those disks.
Now with those HDDs present I cannot boot from DVD again (I do select it in BIOS as the first device)...

Is there a way out of this mess? How can 3 SATA HDDs cause this?
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you can't run EasyBCD
run cmd as administrator and
bcdedit /enum
and copy/paste that.
 
#5
Hello Terry,

here is Windows 8.1 without any HDDs (only 3 SSDs):


C:\WINDOWS\system32>bcdedit /enum

Windows-Start-Manager
---------------------
Bezeichner {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale de-DE
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
displayorder {current}
{4ceeb0a1-bdb4-11e3-ade0-bc5ff43588c0}
toolsdisplayorder {bdbdbd00-6057-11e0-a7f3-ce9adfd72001}
{memdiag}
timeout 20
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows-Startladeprogramm
-------------------------
Bezeichner {current}
device partition=C:
path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 8.1 Pro
locale de-DE
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {a629bc28-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
recoveryenabled Yes
allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \WINDOWS
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
nx OptIn
bootmenupolicy Standard

Windows-Startladeprogramm
-------------------------
Bezeichner {4ceeb0a1-bdb4-11e3-ade0-bc5ff43588c0}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8ee6dc51-bdb4-11e3-8201-806e6f6e6963}

C:\WINDOWS\system32>

---------- Post added at 03:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:34 PM ----------

And here is Win 8.1 with 2 additional SATA HDDs connected:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>bcdedit /enum

Windows-Start-Manager
---------------------
Bezeichner {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale de-DE
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
displayorder {current}
{4ceeb0a1-bdb4-11e3-ade0-bc5ff43588c0}
toolsdisplayorder {bdbdbd00-6057-11e0-a7f3-ce9adfd72001}
{memdiag}
timeout 20
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows-Startladeprogramm
-------------------------
Bezeichner {current}
device partition=C:
path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 8.1 Pro
locale de-DE
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {a629bc28-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
recoveryenabled Yes
allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \WINDOWS
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
nx OptIn
bootmenupolicy Standard

Windows-Startladeprogramm
-------------------------
Bezeichner {4ceeb0a1-bdb4-11e3-ade0-bc5ff43588c0}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8ee6dc51-bdb4-11e3-8201-806e6f6e6963}

C:\WINDOWS\system32>

---------- Post added at 03:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:40 PM ----------

And here is Windows 7 with no HDDs connected (only 3 internal SSDs - succesful boot):

C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /enum

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=K:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale de-DE
inherit {globalsettings}
default {default}
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
displayorder {default}
{current}
toolsdisplayorder {bdbdbd00-6057-11e0-a7f3-ce9adfd72001}
{memdiag}
timeout 20
displaybootmenu Yes

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {default}
device partition=K:
path \WINDOWS\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 8.1 Pro
locale de-DE
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {a629bc28-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
recoveryenabled Yes
custom:17000077 352321653
osdevice partition=K:
systemroot \WINDOWS
resumeobject {303828c9-bd48-11e3-9dc1-c9707c5fb8ab}
nx OptIn
custom:250000c2 1

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8ee6dc51-bdb4-11e3-8201-806e6f6e6963}

C:\Windows\system32>


Every time I boot Windows 7 without the HDDs it wants to scan the existing 3 SSDs for errors. No errors are detected but next time it always wants to scan again.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Turn off "fast boot" in the power options of W8.1
(see this post for details)
It will be responsible for the constant chkdsk excursions in the W7 boot.
See what happens when you've got rid of that.
 
#7
I disabled "fast boot" in the control panel of W 8.1.
Now Win7 wants to scan only the SSD with Win7 and the SSD with Win8 but it doesn't want to chkdsk the SSD with data anymore.
It still won't boot when any HDD is present - winload.exe error.
Any other ideas, Terry?

Cheers
Tom
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
I'm pretty sure whenever you add the SATA the BIOS is changing the active boot device. Make sure the BIOS is still booting from the original disk even after the others are plugged in.
 
#9
I press F11 and select the original disk and it doesn't work.
I cannot even boot from the optical drive when the HDDs are present (I do select it in BIOS).
The drive is just idle for a minute or so, cursor blinks, and then the PC attempts to boot from the next device (SSD), which causes winload.exe error.

Windows DVD can boot only when the HDDs are disconnected.
I tried automatic repair. Win 8 DVD said: the system cannot be automatically repaired. Win 7 DVD did some repairs but it didn't help.

When I press F11 during boot I can see all the drives in one list and can click on any of them to boot from it. But when I click on "boot configuration" and want to set boot priority, only 1 SSD is available (with Win 8) + optical drive + USB. The other drives do not appear. This seems strange to me. Could this be some hint?

I can always get to the screen with system selection (Win 7 / Win 8), the error happens after I select Win 7 there.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Did you clone the W7 SSD from one of the HDDs which is now being hot-swapped ?
If so, and you allowed your cloning software to copy the UID, that could be causing the problem. ( 2 devices with duplicate identities).
You could check by connecting all but one HDD and seeing if the problem only happens when one particular drive is present.
 
#11
No, I didn't clone any OS. This is the original installation.
The error happens with any single HDDs.

As I wrote, the problem with booting from DVD happened before, so my steps were:

1. Disconnecting all SSDs and HDDs leaving only 1 formatted SSD.
2. Installing Win 8 on that formatted SSD.
3. Reconnecting 2 SSDs: 1 with old working Win7 and one with data only.
4. Win 8 had some issues with activation and updates, so I decided to reinstall it.
5. Reinstalling Win 8 with the other SSDs present, during the installation I deleted the small system partition on Win7 disk, as I thought it had been corrputed.
6. Fixing the bootloader in Easy BCD.
7. Everything seems to work great, fast boot times, no problems whatsover so proceeding to 8.
8. Reconnecting HDDs and the problem starts, again even booting from DVD is not possible unless the HDDs are disconnected. Win7 has winload.exe problem when they are present.
It doesn't seem to matter which drive I select with F11 during boot.

One of the HDDs had an old, not used installation of Win8 but I had formatted that partition. And the error happens with any HDD.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
Are you drilling down far enough in the BIOS boot sequence ?
Your post #9 suggests that you're looking at the top level of the boot priority i.e type of device HDD/CD-ROM/USB.
There should be a second level in each category, i.e order within HDDs, order within CD-ROMs (if you have 2 like I do), order within the USB drives.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
There is an issue that pops up from time to time with Windows, where it won't boot if certain MBR conflicts (like Terry suggests, coming from mis-cloned hard disks) are present, or if certain miscoded bootsectors and partition sectors are present. I know you said you formatted, but format is different from disk initialize as format is for a partition and not the actual disk. You want something like dispart's "clean all"
 
#14
help

path: \windows\system32\winload.exe partition: 2 hard disk: 2184ae7 [ /NOEXECUTE=OPTION

how do i fix

Are you drilling down far enough in the BIOS boot sequence ?
Your post #9 suggests that you're looking at the top level of the boot priority i.e type of device HDD/CD-ROM/USB.
There should be a second level in each category, i.e order within HDDs, order within CD-ROMs (if you have 2 like I do), order within the USB drives.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
Can you be more specific ?
What are you trying to fix ?