Get the fix for the error winload.efi is missing or corrupt on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

About “winload.efi is missing or corrupt

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: “winload.efi is missing or corrupt” error screen on startup

If the error screen mentions winload.exe and not winload.efi, go to Fix: winload.exe is missing or corrupt.

Other common winload.efi related error messages can be any of the following, depending on your Windows versions:

  • winload.efi cannot be found
  • winload.efi is missing
  • winload.efi is missing or contains errors
  • This program can’t start because winload.efi is missing from your computer
  • There was a problem starting [path]\winload.efi. The specified module could not be found.”
  • This application requires the file winload.efi, which was not found on this system

The error code can be different from computer to computer, but the File: row mentions the winload.efi file at the \windows\system32\ folder:


The winload.efi error can have different error codes, such as Error code: 0xc0000225 or Error code: 0xc0000001 or any other, but File always mentions the file as being winload.efi

Here’s how the winload.efi error with the 0xc0000225 code looks on Windows 8/8.1 systems:

winload.efi error with the 0xc0000225 code


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: 0xc0000225

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
Press ESC for UEFI Firmware Settings

On a Windows 7 computer the error screen looks like this:

winload.efi with 0xc000000f code

Windows Boot Manager

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\boot\winload.efi

Status: 0xc000000f

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

Causes of this Error

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

Cause 1: The winload.efi file is corrupt or missing

Failed Windows Updates or Automatic Updates to Windows that involve an upgrade of critical system files (especially service pack installations) that update winload.efi may result in this error. Alternatively, this may happen because of hardware failure.

Cause 2: File system integrity compromised

The hard drive’s file system may become damaged because of disk write errors, power outages or virus attacks. If that’s the case, the operating system cannot find winload.efi to boot properly and the loading process is halted.

Fix winload.efi error with Easy Recovery Essentials

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

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Make sure to note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) 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 “winload.efi error” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Windows, booting up successfully.

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix winload.efi missing or corrupt in Windows 7

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 the BCD

You can try to rebuild the BCD if the winload.efi error appears because of a corrupt BCD file:

  1. Insert the installation disc
  2. Restart your computer and boot from the disc
  3. Click Repair your computerWindows 7 Install Now screen
  4. At the System Recovery Options screen, select Command PromptSystem Recovery Options in Windows 7
  5. Run the following commands:
    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /scanos
    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
  6. Press Enter after each and wait for the commands to finish
  7. Restart your computer
bootrec utility results screen

bootrec utility results screen

If the above bootrec commands didn’t worked, try running the same commands 3 more times before proceeding to Fix #2 below.

If you don’t have the installation disc, you can check if your system has the system recovery tools installed on the hard disk to access Command Prompt. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Press F8 as soon as your computer boots. Make sure you don’t have any media in your drives (CDs, DVDs etc)
  3. At the Advanced Boot Options screen, select Repair your computerRepair Your Computer Option
  4. Press Enter
  5. Your computer should now boot into the System Recovery Options screenSystem Recovery Options in Windows 7

Fix #2: Run chkdsk and sfc

To run the chkdsk or sfc commands, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the installation DVD
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Boot from the DVD by pressing any key whenever the “Press any key” message appears
  4. At the Install Windows screen, click Repair your computer or press R
  5. Select Command Prompt
  6. Enter the chkdsk command:
    chkdsk c: /r

    Replace c: with the letter of the drive where Windows 7 is installed

  7. Press Enter
chkdsk utility results screen

chkdsk utility results screen

If the chkdsk utility doesn’t fix the winload.efi error, try running the sfc utility instead:

  1. At Command Prompt, type the sfc command:
    sfc /scannow /offboot=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows
  2. Press Enter
sfc utility results screen

sfc utility results screen

Fix #3: Disable secure boot

If you happen to have Windows 7 installed on a computer with UEFI and not BIOS, you can try to disable the Secure Boot option found in the UEFI boot options menu. This might fix the winload.efi error:

For more information on how to disable Secure Boot, follow the Disabling Secure Boot Guide.

  1. Boot into UEFI as soon as you boot the computer.Depending on your computer manufacturer, the key to boot into UEF menu can be F2 or F8 or F12 or Del or Esc.If none of the above keys work for your system, boot your computer and find the key you need to press listed on the first screen that appears on your monitor.
  2. Depending on your computer manufacturer, the UEFI boot menu can look different. Look for a Secure Boot option. This is usually found in a Boot or a Security or a Authentication tab listed in the menu.
  3. Once you’ve found the Secure Boot option, make sure it’s Disabled or Off.
  4. Save the changes and exit the UEFI menu
  5. Restart your computer

Fix winload.efi missing or corrupt in Windows 8

Fix #1: Disable Secure Boot

In most cases the winload.efi missing or corrupt error can disappear if the Secure Boot option is Disabled or Off in the UEFI boot menu.

For more information on how to disable Secure Boot, follow the Disabling Secure Boot Guide.

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Press the necessary key to boot into your system’s UEFI menu. Depending on your computer manufacturer (HP, Acer, Asus etc.), the key can be F2, F8, Esc or Del.Dell POST ScreenOn this Dell computer, the F2 key would open the UEFI menu. This screen is listed right after the computer boots.
  3. Search for the Secure Boot option. This option is usually placed in any of the following tabs: Security, Authentication or Boot.On HP computers Secure Boot is listed at the Security tab:HP BIOS Security TabOn Acer computers it’s listed at the Authentication tab:

    Acer BIOS Authentication Tab

  4. Select the Secure Boot option and make sure it’s Disabled or Off
  5. Save the changes
  6. Restart the computer

Fix #2: Run Automatic Repair

Follow these steps to run Automatic Repair:

  1. Insert the Windows 8 media: the DVD or the USB
  2. Restart the computer and boot from the media
  3. Click Repair your computer or press RWindows 8 Install Now Screen
  4. Select Troubleshoot
  5. Select Advanced options
  6. Click Automatic repair
  7. Follow the remaining steps to complete the process

If you don’t have the original Windows 8/8.1 media to access Automatic Repair, you can try to restart the computer multiple times:

  1. Hold the Power button to shutdown your computer
  2. Press the Power button to start your computer
  3. As soon as your computer stats to boot, press the Power button to shutdown your computer
  4. Perform these steps a few times until Windows 8 shows the Recovery screen:Windows 8 Didnt Load Correctly Screen

Fix #3: Disable early launch anti-malware protection

If Fix #1 or Fix #2 doesn’t work to fix the winload.efi error, you can also try to disable the built-in anti-malware protection that your Windows 8 system has activated by default.

  1. Access the Advanced options screen (see Fix #2 steps on how to do this using the original disc or try to shutdown/start your computer a few times using the Power button)
  2. Click Startup settings
  3. Click Restart
  4. Your computer will restart and boot into the Startup Settings screenWindows 8 Startup Settings Screen
  5. Press F8 to select 8) Disable early launch anti-malware protection

Fix #4: Run bootrec

Similar to Fix #1: Rebuild the BCD for Windows 7, you can try to run the same bootrec commands on your Windows 8 systems:

  1. Boot from the installation DVD or USB
  2. Click Repair your computer or press R
  3. Navigate to Troubleshoot > Command Prompt
  4. Type the bootrec commands:
    bootrec /FixMbr
    bootrec /FixBoot
    bootrec /ScanOs
    bootrec /RebuildBcd
  5. Press Enter after each command
  6. Remove the DVD or USB and type exit in Command Prompt:
  7. Press Enter
  8. Restart your computer
bootrec utility results screen

bootrec utility results screen

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

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

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

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