Get the fix to the 0xc000000e: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible boot error message affecting Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.


About the “0xc000000e” error

The following information on this error has been compiled by NeoSmart Technologies, based on the information gathered and reported by our global network of engineers, developers, and technicians or partner organizations.

Description and Symptoms

The error messages, alerts, warnings, and symptoms below are tied to this error.

Symptom 1: 0xc000000e error screen on startup

As a part of the system startup procedure, the BOOTMGR bootloader introduced in Windows Vista and subsequently used in Windows 7, Windows 8(.1), and Windows 10 uses a database of entries and configuration options known as the BCD1, which acts as a global store for all boot-related options and settings on newer Windows PCs. If an error is encountered trying to reach a drive to read an entry in this BCD file, the following error message will appear:



Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."

If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

File: \Windows\System32\Winload.exe

Status: 0xc000000e

Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

And here is the screen for that error that appears on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.

0xc000000e Windows 8/WIndows 8.1 error screen


Your PC needs to be repaired

A required device isn't connected or can't be accessed

Error code: 0xc000000e

You'll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media. If you don't have any installation media(like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer.

Press Enter to try again
Press F8 for Startup Settings

Note that this error message doesn’t usually apply to Windows XP as it does not use the bootmgr bootloader with the BCD configuration file. Windows XP uses the NTLDR bootloader with the plain-text boot.ini configuration file instead. Please refer to our Windows XP boot process guide if you want to know more about this topic.

There is also a similar error that shares an error code with this one but is usually caused by a corrupt BCD file and has a different error message. Feel free to check out linked article: 0xc000000e: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt for more info.

Causes of this Error

This error has been known to occur as a result of one or more of the following:

Cause 1: BCD is invalid

One of the most common causes of this error is the BCD that became either missing, corrupt, or misconfigured. That could happen because of disk write errors, power outages, boot sector viruses, or errors made while configuring the BCD manually.

Cause 2: An external disk is connected

If your BIOS’ boot order is set to boot from external disks first, then the boot process checks whether any of these disks is bootable before loading from your hard drive. If it finds a bootable media, but can’t boot from it properly, then the boot process will be halted.

Cause 3: Disk is marked as offline

Sometimes the disk can be marked as offline by external programs, boot sector viruses, or even by Windows built-in disk partitioning utility Diskpart. For example, if the user decides to change the disk unique ID so that it matches the ID of another disk installed, Diskpart automatically marks one of these disks as offline to avoid read/write conflicts – and the offline disk becomes unbootable as well.

Cause 4: HDD data cable is faulty

Like all components of our PC’s, hard drive data cables tend to deteriorate as the time passes. If you have used the same cable for several years(or even the same one across several computers), then it might give you periodic read/write errors that can affect the loading process.

Cause 5: Incorrect BIOS configuration

If the user made changes to the BIOS recently, the new settings he has entered might not be compatible with the hard drive. The UEFI/Legacy BOOT mode setting is the most infamous one in that regard, so users should take extra care when making changes to the BIOS.

Another thing that could happen is that the SATA controller has an incorrect work mode selected in BIOS. For most PC’s, there are three main SATA controller work modes available:

  1. IDE is the most-basic mode that treats the SATA controller in the same way legacy IDE controllers treat ATA drives: the controller itself contains almost no read/write-related logic and simply serves as the most ascetic of bridges, simply proxying data to and from the drives.
  2. AHCI is the more advanced and modern mode that also offers substantial optimized hardware-level read/write logic and caching, which results in a significant speed increase compared to IDE.
  3. RAID mode that allows the user to combine multiple physical disk drivers into a single logical unit for optimized performance, redundancy, or combination thereof.

If the user’s hard drive does not support one of these modes, or if Windows was installed and booted using one mode, but a different mode was configured, then the boot process will be halted.

Cause 6: Incompatible drivers

Just like with BIOS, if any custom drivers were installed, especially HDD ones, they might be incompatible with the current OS or hardware.

Fixing “0xc000000e” on Windows

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Rebuild BCD via Easy Recovery Essentials

Easy Recovery Essentials’ one-click automated system repair feature incorporates full repair and reconstruction of the BCD to resolve the “0xc000000e” error, even in cases where Windows won’t boot as a result of the error.

The automated boot repair component of EasyRE will address all BCD-related issues, fixing the BCD or recreating it from scratch using the correct encoding and path for the partition that is refusing to load properly. It will also mark the disk as online to ensure that it works correctly.

Easy Recovery Essentials is guaranteed to fix the “0xc000000e” error automatically using its built-in Automated Repair option. EasyRE is currently available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11 and can be downloaded and created on any PC.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Make sure to note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, or Windows 11) before you download EasyRE. This guide can help you identify what version of Windows you have installed.
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Boot up your PC from the Easy Recovery Essentials CD or USB you created.
  4. Once EasyRE is running, choose the “Automated Repair” option and click Continue.
    EasyRE Home

    Choose “Automated Repair” in Easy Recovery Essentials

  5. After EasyRE scans your computer’s drives, identify and select the drive letter for your Windows installation from the list, and then click on the Automated Repair button to begin.
    EasyRE displays a list of found Windows operating systems

    Choose the drive associated with the Windows installation you’re trying to repair.

  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will start analyzing the selected drive for problems. EasyRE will test for and attempt to automatically correct errors with the disk, partition, bootsector, filesystem, bootloader, and registry. No intervention is required, as EasyRE’s repair is fully automated:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Easy Recovery Essentials searches for errors and makes corrections to the selected Windows installation.

  7. Once the process is complete, EasyRE will report its findings. Click on the Restart button to reboot your PC and test the changes.
  8. The “0xc000000e” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:EasyRE: Automated Repair

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix #2: Make sure no additional devices are plugged in

Before jumping into the command line or Startup Repair, it’s best to try another restart with the fewest number of devices and external drives plugged into the computer. This will make sure that nothing that was recently added to the computer isn’t causing this issue. It would be best to unplug any recent USB drives, CDs, DVDs etc. This includes a memory card reader too. Make sure that all external drives and USB keys or USB jump drives have been disconnected, then try again.

Fix #3: Check your data cables, BIOS and drivers

Unplug all HDD data cables, and then plug them again. Revert to the previous drivers and BIOS settings if they were changed, or use “Restore factory settings” option in the BIOS. Make sure to write down all current BIOS settings that were previously selected, just in case it is required to switch back. If the error is caused by a change of the SATA disk controller’s mode in the BIOS or firmware, the fix can be as simple as entering the BIOS and toggling the SATA controller’s “mode” setting. The exact instructions differ from one manufacturer to the other, but the options will resemble what is shown in the screenshots below.

To check the boot order, follow these steps:

    1. Restart the computer
    2. Press the necessary key to open BIOS menu. This key depends on the computer manufacturer and computer model. This is usually listed on the first screen that appears on the monitor. It can be any of the following: Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10 or F12.
    3. If the screen shows multiple keys, find the key to open “BIOS”, “setup” or “BIOS menu”
    4. Attempt to toggle between all three (or more) modes until a combination that results in Windows booting successfully once more is found.
BIOS loading screen

Notice the key guide in the top-right corner

BIOS configuration screen

BIOS configuration screen

Fix #4: Use Windows’ built-in Automatic Repair

The Windows Automatic Repair may recover certain boot process related errors in some cases. Here are the steps to access the Automatic Repair from an install disc:

  1. Boot from Windows install disc
  2. Click Next in the setup page after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input
  3. Click Repair your computer and select Troubleshoot
  4. Click on Advanced options
  5. Select Automatic Repair and select your operating system.

Here is an example screenshot of System Recovery Options Menu.

System Recovery Options Menu

System Recovery Options Menu

Fix #5: Rebuild the BCD manually

Since the boot error is often caused by a corrupted BCD, rebuilding it is often a good solution.

Here are the steps to rebuild the BCD:

  1. Boot from the Windows install disc
  2. Click on Repair your computer after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is usually C:\, and click Next
  4. Choose Command Prompt when the System Recovery Options box appears
  5. Write the following command and press Enter afterwards:
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
  6. If the program finds a Windows installation and asks whether it should add it to the boot list, press Y

Here is an example screenshot of what the PC’s console output should look like once Bootrec is done rebuilding the BCD.

Bootrec utility results screen

Bootrec utility results screen

Fix #6: Mark your disk as online

If the disk is marked as offline, the user may use the Diskpart utility to mark it as online once again.

Here are the steps to run Diskpart and change the disk’s status:

  1. Boot from the Windows install disc
  2. Click on Repair your computer after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is usually C:\, and click Next
  4. Choose Command Prompt when the System Recovery Options box appears
  5. Write the following command and press Enter afterwards:
  6. Then, write either
    list disk

    to get the list of all available disks or

    list volume

    to get the list of all available partitions, and press Enter.

  7. Write either
    select disk X

    to select the disk you want to edit or

    select volume X

    to select the volume you want to edit, and press Enter

  8. Write either
    online disk X

    to enable the currently selected disk, or

    online volume X

    to enable the currently selected volume, and press Enter

Here is an example screenshot of what the PC’s console output should look like after Diskpart marked the required disk as online.

Diskpart utility results screen

Diskpart utility results screen

Fix #7: Check your disk with CHKDSK utility

If the hard drive has its file integrity compromised, it is possible to use built-in Windows CHKDSK utility to scan the disk and fix the file system errors.

Here are the steps to run CHKDSK:

  1. Boot from your Windows install disc
  2. Click on Repair your computer after selecting proper language, time and keyboard input.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is usually C:\, and click Next
  4. Choose Command Prompt when the System Recovery Options box appears
  5. Write the following command and press Enter afterwards:
    chkdsk C: /f

    Replace C: with the letter of the driver where Windows is installed.

Here is an example of what the PC’s console output should look like once the chkdsk.exe is complete:

Chkdsk utility results screen

Chkdsk utility results screen

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

Propose an edit

  1. BCD is an abbreviation of Boot Configuration Database.