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Windows 8 multiboot partition says its empty but has files

  1. #1


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit

    Windows 8 multiboot partition says its empty but has files


    Hi, I recently tried to install Ubuntu 12.10, and lost access to Windows 7 and 8.1, after a LOT of looking for bootable disks and stuff, I did fix it.

    After recovering the operating systems (I had to delete Ubuntu partitions and then fix the Windows 7 bootloader, because there was 6 primary partitions), the Windows 8.1 partition says its 10.0GB and empty, but when I double click on it, you can see the files inside.

    This is bad, because when I try to boot in Windows 8, it gets to the login screen after a long boot time, then it just shows the time, battery, and internet status, and the rest is a blue screen, implying its broken. I found out this is because some OS files are missing, which might be related to the above paragraph. I have lots of paid software in Windows 8, and it was LOTS of downloading, so I dont want to wipe the drive, or have to touch the data, only be able to boot into Windows 8 again.

    Many thanks in advance.

    **** Edit ****
    When I open in a partition viewer, it shows the 70GB partition as it should, and also
    Sorry this is in the wrong catergory, I wanted help quickly, and misread the category title.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I suppose a question and a request. When you boot and use whatever F key to open the Boot Device menu or go into the bios, what options (devices) do you show for booting into your OS? For instance, is there a Windows Boot Manager

    A snipping tool picture of your disk management window attached here might help us understand the situation.

    The type of install you have and the way you installed Ubuntu might be important, for instance if you have a system configured as UEFI and installed Ubuntu as MBR or Legacy, it might help determine what happened to your system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit


    When you boot and use whatever F key to open the Boot Device menu or go into the bios, what options (devices) do you show for booting into your OS? For instance, is there a Windows Boot Manager

    The Windows 7 boot menu does display, with my old Wubi (Windows Ubuntu), which I deleted now, and Windows 7.

    A snipping tool picture of your disk management window attached here might help us understand the situation.
    http://i.imgur.com/4uc1ifE.png
    (and there is files inside D:/ when I open it)

    The type of install you have and the way you installed Ubuntu might be important, for instance if you have a system configured as UEFI and installed Ubuntu as MBR or Legacy, it might help determine what happened to your system.

    I got a Ubuntu boot USB, and installed it like that. I had made a empty Extended partition of 30GB to install Ubuntu, so I put the required 3 partitions on it, and it deleted the Extended partition and made it Primary partitions. This meant I had 6 primary partitions.
    Then Ubuntu installed on it's 3 partitions, then when I shut it down to go into Windows, I noticed it took over the Windows 8 bootloader. After hours of trying different things, I got a Hyrins Boot USB, and selected boot from Hard-Drive, and the Windows 7 boot manager appeared.
    Then I had to delete the Ubuntu partitions, and get a Windows 7 disk and repair the bootloader file, so I dont need to plug in the USB every time.
    Then I realised Windows 8 is still down, and the one in the Win7 bootloader is the (recovered) one. The Windows 8.1 alone doesnt boot at all, giving an error, that /Windows/System32/winload.exe is missing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    From looking at your attachments, it might appear at least some of your problem is being created by D: which shows as 78 GB in device Manager, but 10 GB in Explorer. Possibly some data about the drive has gotten corrupted, probably by the 6 primary partition situation.

    It may be necessary to get that situation sorted out, But taking the wrong step might cause loss of data, so be careful. But, for now, I would suggest downloading one of the third party partition managers, like Partition Wizard free Home bootable version, so you can look at the drive from outside of windows. Depending on what it shows, it may contain some utility to straighten out the drive dynamics so as to correct the problems.

    If it were to become necessary to change which partition was marked active, this utility would also be good for that.

    You show the C: partition as active. Was it always that way or was that part of your initial fix so you could boot Windows 7? I am thinking the boot files for Windows 7 and 8 are still in the small partition. If you were to check it, after allowing for viewing of hidden and protected operating files, you may see a Boot folder and a bootmgr file, plus a couple of others. If the files are there, you might be able to use that partition to boot after you get the D: partition straightened out.

    Let us know how it goes and a camera is good for taking some pictures and you can attach them here using the paperclip on the Advanced replies.

    You may think I am being vague, and you would be right. I don't want to suggest something that might harm your data.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit


    I did use GParted to delete the Ubuntu partitions, and it did show WIN8 as the size it is now.

    Windows 7 has always been the Active partition, because of how the boot works.

    The F:/ has lots of unusual folders, most importantly it contains the System Volume data.
    All of the drives have a bootmgr file, and I know what they do. Windows 7 has always been the one who boots, even when the Windows 8 bootloader was being used.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    It looks like we aren't going to get very far but you probably still need to straighten out the disparity in how Windows thinks the D: partition is configured. GParted may show the same configuration as Partition Wizard, but not really sure.

    You also might try booting into the recovery media or install media and running the command bootrec /scanos to see if it picks up the other Windows version. If it shows another one, using the bootrec /rebuildbcd command might allow you to add it to the boot. Still not sure if will work if the Windows 8 OS partition is being recognized as only 10 GB. Running the /FixBoot and /FixMBR flags with bootrec.exe might also help, but it might also cause problems for your current situation.

    Use Bootrec.exe in the Windows RE to troubleshoot startup issues

    I don't really have anything else I can suggest, so hopefully someone else will have a recommendation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit


    Hi,
    When I run Windows 8.1 (without the recovered), it gives that error that winload.exe is missing, is this likely due to the boot sector, or a partition error.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit


    https://neosmart.net/wiki/winload-exe-missing-corrupt/
    I was thinking fix #3, which I can do in about 7 hours (I got school and im doing a virus scan.)

    **** Edit ****
    This error seems to be all over the web with people dual-booting Windows XP and Windows Vista,
    They just needed to run some fixboot command, but it doesnt tell the command specifically.
    winload.exe is missing or corrupt (no it's not!)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    The winload.exe file is for a legacy install, which you seem to have, and is kept in the \Windows\System32 folder on the OS partition. I am thinking your system cannot read the D: partition correctly and does not see that file structure.

    Open an Adminstrative command prompt and type the following and attach the resulting .txt file, or zip and attach.

    bcdedit /enum all > %userprofile%\Desktop\bcdtext.txt

    The BCD store controls how the system boots, so it may give some indication of what your system is seeing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 26
    Windows 7 Proffessional 64-bit


    Do I replace the file path with the location to a txt file on D:/ ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8 multiboot partition says its empty but has files
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