Posted on June 2, 2015 · Posted in Windows 8

Windows 8: winload.efi is Missing or Damaged

Let’s consider another Windows 8 loading issue that occurred due to the damaged or missing winload.efi file.

The problem manifests itself as follows: Windows 8 (Windows 8.1) won’t boot with BSOD this the following error message in the recovery console:

Recovery 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


winload.efi error code 0xc0000225

Note. The error code can look like this: Error code: 0xc000000f

This error occurs when the system boot file – \windows\system32\winload.efi is missing or its structure is damaged. As a rule, the problem comes up after the incorrect update of the system, file system corruption, after disk partition using third-party tools, antivirus update or other interventions.

Next, we’ll consider the basic steps able to solve this problem and start Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 correctly.

Solution 1. Disable Secure Boot

Earlier we have already told what UEFI is and why you need the Secure Boot mode. It is likely that the system boot error will be eliminated after you disable the Secure Boot mode in the UEFI settings.

To do it, restart your system and enter the UEFI settings menu. The key to enter the UEFI menu depends on the PC manufacturer. As a rule, these are F2, F8, Del, or Esc.

dell setup F2

In the UEFI settings find and disable Secure Boot mode. The location of this setting also depends on the UEFI firmware manufacturer. Usually, it is found in Security, Authentication, or Boot sections. On an HP laptop, Secure Boot is located in the Security section.

disable secure boot on HP laptop

Disable the Secure Boot mode (Disabled or Off).

Save the changes and restart the system.

Solution 2. Automatic system repair

Try to eliminate this error using Automatic repair tool. To do it:

  • Boot from Windows 8 installation DVD (or bootable UEFI USB flash drive)
  • Click Repair your computer or press R.WinRe -Repair your computer
  • Go to Troubleshoot-> Advanced options->Automatic repair
  • The Recovery Wizard will start. Then follow its instructions.

If you don’t have Windows 8 installation disk, you have to restart your computer several times with the Power button till the recovery console screen appears. Select See advanced repair options. Then follow the instructions above. Select See advanced repair options

Solution 3. Disable ELAM  Protection

If the first  and the second solutions haven’t helped, try to disable ELAM (Early-launch Anti-Malware) protection, which is active by default.

Note. ELAM allows certified antivirus to start prior to all third-party software. The antivirus can perform early antivirus scanning and control the launch of drivers and other software.

To do it:

  1. Do steps 1 and 2 from Solution 2.
  2. Go to Troubleshoot-> Advanced options -> Startup settings
  3. And restart your computer with the Restart button
  4. After the next boot the system will automatically open Startup Settings (by the way, it is from here you can start Windows 8 in the Safe Boot mode)
  5. Press F8 to select the item 8) Disable early launch anti-malware protection  Disable early launch anti-malware protection

Solution 4. Rebuilding Boot Records with bootrec

If neither of the previous solutions helped, let’s repair the boot entries with bootrec.

  1. Do steps 1 and 2 from Solution 2.
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Command Prompt
  3. In the command prompt , run the following commands one after another:
  • bootrec /FixMbr – writes the MBR to the system partition
  • bootrec /FixBoot – overwrite a new boot sector on the system partition
  • bootrec /ScanOs – scans the disk for the installed OSs
  • bootrec /RebuildBcd -repairs the bootloader configuration
  • Close the command prompt with the command:  exit
  • Restart your computer

Solution 5. Repair Windows 8 EFI Bootloader

Your Windows 8 may have been installed in the native UEFI mode. It is recommended to use  this instruction:  How to repair Windows 8 EFI Bootloader .

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