By Emily / Last Updated October 27, 2020

What is Winload.efi file?

As its name suggests, the Winload.efi is an EFI (or Extensible Firmware Interface) file. The executable EFI files apply on the UEFI based on computer systems And execute the tasks of loading the files to the computer bootloader. They contain important data on how the operating system boot process should proceed. Therefore, Winload.efi files are very important for a successful OS boot. If the Winload.efi is missing or corrupted, the Windows cannot boot as normal and stuck into the blue screen along with some error codes like “0xc0000225”, 0xc00000e and 0xc0000001.

Winload Efi Missing

What trigger "Winload.efi missing" boot error?

Typically, you will meet the Winload.efi missing problem during Windows startup in the following three situations:

  • You fail to update Windows that involves an upgrade of vital system files (especially service pack installations) and Winload.efi files;

  • The hard drive's system file is damaged due to disk write error, power outages or virus attack, the OS will not be able to locate Winload.efi files;

  • You clone the OS to another hard drive, or replace the computer motherboard.

How to fix "Winload.efi missing or contains errors" in Windows 10/8/7?

In order to solve this issue and boot Windows 10/8/7 correctly, we have collected the below methods many users have proven effective

Method 1. Enable CSM compatibility mode and disable Secure Boot

If your computer supports both UEFI boot mode (boot from GPT disk), and legacy boot mode (boot from MBR disks), you can try to enable CSM Boot (Compatibility Support Module allows legacy BIOS mode on UEFI systems), and disable secure boot to check if the problem can be fixed.

1. Restart your computer and constantly press F2, F8, Del (the key might be different depending on the PC manufacturer) to enter the UEFI configuration menu. Enable the compatibility (legacy) mode CSM Boot in the UEFI settings (in some versions of UEFI firmware it is called Legacy Boot);

2. Then find the "Secure Boot" option. It usually located in the "Security", "Authentication" or "Boot Sections". Change the "Secure Boot" option from "Enable" to "Disable". Save the changes and reboot your computer.

Method 2. Check system drive for errors

If the first method does not help with your problem, you can run CHKDSK.exe tool to check the system hard drive for errors.

1. Boot your computer from your Windows installation DVD.

2. At the Welcome screen, click "Repair your computer".

3. Select "Troubleshoot" and then "Command Prompt" (for Windows 10/8).

Note: for Windows 7, you need press any key in the "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD" screen, select a language, keyboard layout, click "Next", select the operating system, and choose "Command Prompt" at the subsequent "System Recovery Options" screen.

4. In the elevated Command Prompt window, input "chkdsk c: /f" and press Enter to scan the C drive for errors and fix them if possible.

Method 3. Run System File Checker to check system file integrity

Besides, you can also use SFC (System File Checker) tool to scan your Windows system files for corruption and any other changes. If any protected system files are detected to be covered by wrong files, it will automatically extract the correct file from the system backup and replace the incorrect one.

To run it, you just first access the Command Prompt window (refer to the last method), and then execute the command: "sfc /scannow".

Or execute command : sfc /scannow /offboot=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows.

Scannow Windows

Method 4. Rebuild BCD and MBR

In many cases, the Windows boot failure can be related with damaged MBR (Master Boot Record) and BCD (Boot Configuration Data). Therefore, rebuilding MBR or BCD is also worth trying.

After you have got Command Prompt window open, run the following commands one after another:

  • bootrec /FixMbr – repair the corrupted or damaged boot sector on the system partition;

  • bootrec /FixBoot – overwrite a new boot sector on the system partition;

  • bootrec /ScanOs – scan the disk for the installed OSs;

  • bootrec /RebuildBcd – rebuild the boot configuration data.

Then close the Command Prompt window with “exit” command and restart your computer to see if it can boot up successfully.

If it does not help, you can run the following commands instead to rebuild the BCD for the MBR.
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot
bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
bcdedit /set {default} path \windows\system32\winload.efi

If you do have the Windows installation DVD, you can try the above methods. If you don’t have one, you can switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. With it, you can create a bootable USB drive, boot your computer from the USB drive and rebuild MBR in the WinPE mode. Quite easy!

1. Connect an empty USB drive to a working Windows PC. Free download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Install and run it on that computer. Click "Make Bootable Media" on the left side and follow it to create a bootable USB stick.

Make Bootable Media

2. Plug the created bootable USB drive (containing pre-installed AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard) into the computer with a boot problem. Boot the machine from the USB. Once login, you will be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

3. Right click the system disk and select “Rebuild MBR”.

Rebuild System Disk Mbr

4. Choose an appropriate MBR type according to your current OS, and click “OK”.

Choose Mbr Type

5. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the pending operation.

Apply

Notes:
1. Moreover, you can also right-click the system drive and select “Advanced”> “Check Partition”, then choose the first way to check bad sectors and fix them on the boot drive.
2. If your system partition is deleted by accident and causes boot failure, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to recover deleted boot drive with ease.

Method 5. Repair EFI bootloader

At last, you can manually repair EFI bootloader using some commands.

1. Open Command Prompt via Windows installation media.

2. Execute the below commands to assign a drive letter to the EFI volume.

  • diskpart

  • list disk

  • select disk

  • list volume

Then find a partition labeled ESP or EFI with a size of 100 MB. Remember it.

  • select volume #: select the ESP or EFI volume

  • assign letter= k (or another available drive letter)

Now you can type “exit” the diskpart. After that, execute the below command to recreate the bootloader and copy files from the Windows directory:

  • bcdboot c:\Windows /s k: /f ALL (replace c:\ with the your OS drive letter)

At last, reboot your computer and check if the boot problem is fixed.

Final words

In this post, 5 effective methods are shared with you to fix “Winload.efi missing” boot error in Windows 10/8/7. Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard provides easier solutions. If you need to solve “Winload.efi missing” problem in Windows Server 2012 R2/2016/2019, etc, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server will be a great choice.