Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Winload.exe error & Windows 8 boot loader

  1. #1

    Winload.exe error & Windows 8 boot loader

    Something with horribly wrong. After a Windows 7 update I am now getting a Winload.exe error in both Windows 7 and 8. I tried to repair using the Windows 8 install CD but with no success. I reinstalled 8 to it's partition with the same results.

    I think the problem is this...
    Windows 7 was installed to drive 0 partition 1
    Windows 8 was installed to drive 1 partition 0

    When I installed Windows 8, it loaded it's own boot loader and did so on drive 0 (the Windows 7 drive). When Windows 7 updated, something went very wrong and the Windows 8 boot loader got messed up.

    Being unable to install Windows 8, I disconnected all drives but the Windows 8 drive and installed Windows 7. Thus I am currently running on the clean install of Windows 7 with drive 1 now operating as drive 0.

    When I put drive 0 back to it's position, I get the same Winload.exe error.

    Question is, how do I restore the Windows 7 boot loader to drive 0 and get rid of all traces of the Windows 8 bootloader that is trying to load when my main drive is connected as drive 0?

    For the moment, I have given up on Windows 8 as it didn't have many of my apps installed.


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Normally I would have just deleted this but the solution wasn't one that I could not find so I will list it here.

    !!! First try the recommended fixes which are to run the Windows repair feature on the installation CD, and/or copy over the winload.exe file and bootmgr files.

    However if that fails, here is what worked for me and it's not for the faint of heart! So if you loose all your data don't blame me.

    1) Disconnect the main drive and install a clean version of Windows to a secondary drive connected to SATA 0. (7 or 8 doesn't matter)
    2) Once Windows is running, shut down and connect the problem drive to SATA 1.
    3) Start the clean install of Windows and go to the Disk Manager.
    4) Located the System Reserve on the problem drive (Disk 1) and simply deleted it.
    5) Shutdown and disconnect the temp Windows drive and reconnect the problem drive to SATA 0 with the now deleted System Reserve partition.
    6) Boot the system from the Windows installation disc and run the repair.

    This time it will work and Windows will recreate the System Reserve partition and all the proper files.
    Because I had a dual boot in to Windows 8, I had to use EasyBCD Edit to remove the now defunct Windows 8 partition but this didn't stop the system from booting and now works perfectly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    NOTE: The problem original problem appears to have been caused when I downloaded updated nVIDIA drivers included in the Windows 7 updates.

    Never ever do this!!!

    Always update your nVIDIA drivers from the nVIDIA website. Drivers that are included in Windows updates are often outdated by those on the nVIDIA site and this is not the first time I have had problems using the ones included with a Windows update.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Manchester, UK
    Posts : 113
    OS X / Windows 8.1 Pro / Ubuntu 13.10

    It can be necessary to run the repair function up to 3 times, as it can only fix one thing at a time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckface View Post
    It can be necessary to run the repair function up to 3 times, as it can only fix one thing at a time.
    Yeah, I had actually run it six time with no change. Something was there that it didn't think needed fixing. Deleting the partition was risky but I figured my data was still safe on the main partition.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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