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winload.exe is missing or corrupt!!! Vista will not boot!!

(7 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Ripper
  • Latest reply from Ripper
  • Topic Viewed 9037 times

Posts: 0

i have used every anti virus iso known to man, u name it i tried it! winload.exe is on my hard disk and i have scanned it for virus and malware to no avail, no threats, i have a vista home premium, gateway tower. i read online that it has to do with the BCD, certain paths r not right but can't get to it to edit it, tried bcdedit nope, tried chkdsk it runs until the 3rd leg and stops due to unknown error, F8 to go to safe mode or last known good config takes me to error winload.exe is missing or corrupt!! do not have vista repair cd or os cd my bad on that part when i bought this machine i did not do my homework on these cd's. how does one get to the bottom of this? i also ran xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, ran malwarebytes anti-malware and it said it found 11 threats, 3 trojans and the rest malware , threats were quarantined but when i went to remove them it could not, but any other scan from other software produced no threats.i can see my hard drive with partition software everything is there also ran a manufacturer hard drive test and it passed with flying colors, it is a western digital, when i ran Dr.web live cd it could not open 14 files on the scan don't know why? anyway i need someone who has a plan to get this solved!!! i consider myself a little computer savy but this one has stumped me.

Edit by mod; that CD contains illegal software

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0

Have you Googled your problem (vista winload.exe is missing or corrupt)?

Here is one that might help --> for instance.

Irv S.

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0 i found this page but i can't get to the commands is there anyway i can?
here is the link to this problem. i posted it here as well, so my question is now how to get to these commands to see if that this might be my problem? i need a live cd to perform this task but what program should i try any suggestion would be appreciated, thanks.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 6:20 AM
Avatar of topol
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Divine Logix wrote:

Hi All,

I had this problem and I have just fixed it. The winload.exe is not currupt. What is wrong is that entries in your bcdedit are corrupt. Once you change that manually, you will be back up and running. Once again, there is no need to re-install or even do a repair as vista suggests. You do not need to replace winload.exe file.


If you can get to a command prompt/DOS screen, go to d:\windows\system32

"d" is the drive where vista is installed.

Once there, type: "bcdedit.exe" or you can just type "bcdedit". Do not include the quotation marks " ".

It will generate a screen like this:


Windows Boot Manager
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {default}
resumeobject {fe04aef5-e49c-11db-9f2f-cdf57e93812b}
displayorder {ntldr}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 10

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {ntldr}
device partition=C:
path \ntldr
description Windows 2003 Server Enterprise

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {default}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows Vista
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {fe04aef5-e49c-11db-9f2f-cdf57e93812b}
nx OptIn


now check your result against the above, make sure that all the parameters above are the same (except for your drive letter, which might be different from mine).

Now look at the "windows bootloader" section and note what you see in your report/DOS screen:

You may notice that instead of displaying "osdevice partition=D:" it may display "osdevice unknown". The same applies with "device". I have highlighted what I am referring to as bold in the report above.

If these settings are not showing the drive on which your vista is installed, you must change it. Since mine is drive "D" for vista, this is the command you must type:

D:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /set {default} osdevice "partition=D:

Also, if the "device" is showing as unknown, type this command:

D:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /set {default} device "partition=D:

If the path is \Windows\system32\winload.exe, then that's fine. Remember "D" above is the name of the drive on which your vista is installed. If your vista in on "F", use "F", etc. "default" in the blue text command above is the identifier for the os boot-up that you are trying to fix, in this case, vista. Sometimes, for the identifier you might have some long random numbers (GUID), just copy it and use it if is not the "default" that is shown.

Exit the DOS screen, restart your system, and you should be ok. If you have any problems please let me know.


Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0

Maybe your Hard drive has failed

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0

no my hard drive is fine, i have ran many test on it all show healthy. this problem is in a totally blown out state, i have read online on so many websites and forums with other pc's having this problem with winload.exe corrupt or missing. i have checked my MBR and it is good, ran paragon recovery software and all is good, but i think i will try and make a bootable disk using windows pe and put some software on the disk so i can mount my hard drive and do some editing in the bcd and registry, this will be a challenge because this is unknown territory for me, might take some time. another opition is maybe find another windows vista machine and burn a repair disk or a least copy a version of winload.exe of another machine and delete mine ,then copy the copied file to my hard drive. just running out of options i have taken all the data i need or want to save off the machine for later use, anyway if some out here has a opinion on this fix i would gladly give it a try, thanks. this is off topic,but i know we all cruise the net a lot i ran across this awesome video of the red bull free fall from space it is worth checking out!!
put into full screen, if u want just move video to about half way to where he makes the plunge,enjoy.

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0

Ripper, have you looked at this http://social.technet.microsof.....85fb7544c/

Posted 5 years ago
Posts: 0

thanks i will check it out, my problem all started when i ran a Microsoft update, i just found another site that says to change in the boot loader section of the bcd the path entry from path \Windows\system32\winload.exe to path \Windows\system32\boot\winload.exe. so i say again i need to find a way into cmd.exe
just to see if everything is good. thanks.

Posted 5 years ago

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