Unable to reinstall Windows 8 with Error code: 0xc000000f "File:\Windows\system32\winload.efi"

Unable to reinstall Windows 8 with Error code: 0xc000000f "File:\Windows\system32\winload.efi"
Original title: ask the community

I have got a problem in loading the operating system, only the following details are shown on screen.

My laptop is DELL VOSTRO, Model 3560, windows 8,64 BIT 3RD GEN i5


Your PC needs to be repaired

The application or operating system couldn't be loaded because a required file is missing or contains error.

Error code: 0xc000000f

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 manufacture.

Press Enter to try again
Press F8 for Startup Settings
Press Esc for UEFI Firmware settings

When I press Enter OR F8 screen just flashes but nothing happens and I also tried to re-install windows 8, installation was successful but windows could not load but appeared that couldn't attempt the repairs.

Last edited:


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Was this a system that was pre-installed with Windows 8, and was installed in the UEFI configuration?

As you probably realize, if the file being referenced is corrupted, it is on the OS partition. Have you done anything to your system or do you know what event might have been involved in the situation?

Since you tried to reinstall Windows 8, what type of install media do you have?

Have you forced it to reboot or shutdown and start over?



Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
When you did a reinstall, did you install over the old version or do a custom clean install?

I suppose I can assume you have not altered the partitions on the drive? There is not a second hard drive in the system that might be involved?

The error code seems to indicate the wrong drive is being used. It might be looking in the wrong hard drive volume, or the information in the volume is gone. A reinstall should have certainly repaired whatever might have been wrong. Does the bios still show the Windows Boot Manger as the primary boot device?

Any chance the hard drive is failing?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If the file is corrupted, hopefully a virus is not involved, but you might run a dskchk to see if it can correct the corruption.

Dism.exe might also be able to help. I will have to check the command on my system to make sure it is correct, but you might look up Dism.exe for Windows 8 and you would be working with an offline image. I will be back it about an hour.


Senior Member
Did the OP resolved this problem?

I had the same problem before when I had to reinstall my Win 8 and when I did, my PC won't turn on and got stuck somewhere in the boot up process. It simply just won't boot up even after a successful re-installation. It doesn't give any error message or BSOD or what to do next. So I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me this procedure. Apparently, the error script is stuck somewhere in the PC's memory (mobo probably) and to get rid of that, you have to do a power drain procedure on the PC. I did exactly what I was told and my PC boot up successfully after that. This may not exactly be the case on this problem posted by the OP, but there's no harm trying. The steps are very simple to follow. I will copy-paste the steps below this message. Cheers!


1.Turn off computer and unplug power cord.

2.Disconnect everything except monitor, mouse and keyboard.

3.Press power button and hold for 30 seconds.

4.Plug power cord back into computer and press power button.

5.Check front panel LEDs (lights) on bezel (front face) or optical drives and listen for power supply fan.

6.If LEDs are on or power supply fan starts spinning, watch for boot screen on monitor.

7.If computer begins to start, turn it off.

8.Reconnect any external devices.

9.Press the power button and make sure the computer starts.

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Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I just ran the DISM command and it does seem to work from offline. It is normally used to repair problems with the Windows Update and other items associated with the image. But you could try it and when it completes, perhaps run the System File Check From Offline. The DISM process may take 8-12 minutes and will seem to stop at 20%--don't worry, just let if finish. Make sure and put a space in front of all the /..

Both of these utilities need to know the drive letter of the Windows partition. It will probably be C: , but might change in the Recovery environment. You might want to go to a partition and check for the proper files, or use Diskpart and then the list volume command to check the drive letters. Type Exit to leave Diskpart.

I am adding an additional space after c: just to avoid the smiley face...You, of course, do not want the space there.

DISM /Image:C: \ /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


So I just had an HP Laptop that kept erroring during the factory restore I tried about 4 times and it eventually said that it was succesful, but when I went to boot up for the first time after I had the same BSOD with the same blinking screen when hitting most of the options. I went to the BIOS as previously mentioned and the boot options had legacy boot enabled and secure boot disabled, as well as the cd drive was the primary boot device( since I changed it to load the restore DVD). I changed these back to match what the previous post suggested and when I rebooted I got the same BSOD. It did let me choose a different OS (hitting f10 i believe) and there was actually a different Primary OS named TDC -SDV (file) (\windows) so I selected Windows 8 instead and It booted and let me continue with the new pc setup. Hope this helps, I have spent 3 days trying to reset this computer.

I had the same trouble with re-installing OS. The trouble was that I set wrong order of boot or smth. Fortunately there was an option called "override" or smth in that way. And there I managed to manually choose the boot option afterwards the os installed successfully. Sorry if my English gives you a pain in the ass)


Essential Member
Premium Supporter

What was the answer to the question in post #2 from saltgrass, and from where did you obtain the DVD installation?

If from a third party source, other than a retailer, then you might possibly have a lemon. Re configuring the EFI is the usual way that hackers install Windows 8 without activation. This modification can be detected in a normal install of Windows 8, with the result you have experienced.

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