Winload.exe is Missing or Corrupt in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/ Vista, How to Fix it

/ Posted by Shawn Hamilton to Computer Help

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"I am getting the winload.exe missing or corrupt error, and I can't seem to find a fix for it, and thus no installation disk. I cannot go to the startup repair option. Is there any fix?"

When winload.exe is missing or corrupt, you may get these following error messages:

  • 1. File : \windows\system32\winload.exe Status:0xc00000e9 about boot error
  • 2. File : \windows\system32\winload.exe Status : 0xc0000001 about failure to be loaded
  • 3. File : \windows\system32\winload.exe Status:0xc0000428 about digital signature failure
  • 4. File : /windows/system32/winload.exe Status:0xc0000221 about black screen

This is pretty annoying, because you fail to boot up, suffer system crash and freeze, fail to start CPU, and you can't do anything about your computer. Here we will give you more details about this winload.exe error, and how to fix it.

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How to Fix Winload.exe Missing or Corrupt Error

When receiving an error about a missing winload.exe, you may think the only choice is to reinstall Windows. Actually, you don't have to. A reliable and versatile Windows repair tool is enough to help you out. This is why I highly suggest Windows Boot Genius here. If you are not a computer expert, it doesn't matter, since this tool is easy to use.

Preparation: a workable computer (Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista); a blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive


  • Download Windows Boot Genius and install it on the workable computer you've prepared.
  • Insert a blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive into the computer and launch the software.
  • Select CD/DVD or USB and click "Burn" to create a bootable disk.

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  • Insert the bootable disk into the "winload.exe is missing or corrupt" computer and set BIOS to boot computer from bootable disk.
  • When the computer boots, you will see the main interface of Windows Boot Genius. Head into Windows Rescue bar and backup your Windows first in case of any data loss. Then choose an appropriate situation in the solution center and follow the instructions on the interface to fix this winload.exe error.

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After the above-mentioned steps, you can reboot your computer normally.

Bonus: What is winload.exe?

Winload.exe, known as Windows Boot Loader, is a small piece of software started by Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe). It is used in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista operating system. The default location is \windows\system32\winload.exe.

The job of winload.exe is to load ntoskrnl.exe, a core part of Windows. It is first introduced in Windows Vista. In older versions of Windows system, such as Windows XP, the loading of ntoskrnl.exe is done by NTLDR, which also serves as the boot manager.

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