Boot error code 0xC000000F in an Azure VM

Applies to: Virtual Machine running Windows

Symptom


Windows doesn't start and generates the one of the following errors:

Error 1

File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Status: 0xc000000f

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

Error 2

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc000000f

Info: The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains errros

Error 3

File: \Windows\System32\drivers\<Binary>

Status: 0xc000000f

Info: The operating system couldn't be loaded because a critical system driver is missing or contains errors.

Note In this message, <BINARY> represents the actual binary file that's found.

 

Cause


This issue occurs when one of following conditions is true:

  • The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is corrupted.
  • The reference to DEVICE and OSDEVICE on the boot configuration data is missing or unknown.
  • The binary displayed on the screenshot (other than winload.exe or \boot\BCD) is missing from the operating system disk.

How to fix


To fix the issue, try the one of following resolutions:

Resolution for error 1 and error 2

Step 1: Attach the OS disk of the VM to another VM (troubleshooting VM) as a data disk

  1. Delete the virtual machine (VM). Make sure that you select the Keep the disks option when you do this.
  2. Attach the OS disk as a data disk to another VM (a troubleshooting VM). For more information, see How to attach a data disk to a Windows VM in the Azure portal.
  3. Connect to the troubleshooting VM. Open Computer management > Disk management. Make sure that the OS disk is online and that its partitions have drive letters assigned.
  4. Identify the Boot partition and the Windows partition. If there's only one partition on the OS disk, this partition is the Boot partition and the Windows partition.

    If the OS disk contains more than one partition, you can identify them by viewing the folders in the partitions:

     The Windows partition contains a folder named "Windows," and this partition is larger than the others.

     The Boot partition contains a folder named "Boot." This folder is hidden by default. To see the folder, you must display the hidden files and folders and disable the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option. The boot partition is typically 300 MB~500 MB. 

    boot folder
     

Step 2: Repair the Boot Configuration data

  1. Run the following command line as an administrator, and then record the identifier of Windows Boot Loader (not Windows Boot Manager). The identifier is either the tag {default} or a 32-character code and it looks like this: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx. You will use this identifier in the next step.
    bcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /enum

    command prompt window: boot loader
     
  2. Repair the Boot Configuration data by running the following command lines. You must replace these placeholders by the actual values:

    Note This step is applied to most Boot configuration data corruption issues. You need perform this step even if you see the Device and OSDevice are pointing to the correct partition.

    <Windows partition> is the partition that contains a folder named "Windows." 
    <Boot partition> is the partition that contains a hidden system folder named "Boot."
    <Identifier> is the identifier of Windows Boot Loader you found in the previous step.

     
    bcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device partition=<boot partition>:bcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} integrityservices enablebcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {<Identifier>} device partition=<Windows partition>:bcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {<Identifier>} integrityservices enablebcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {<identifier>} recoveryenabled Offbcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {<identifier>} osdevice partition=<Windows partition>:bcdedit /store <Boot partition>:\boot\bcd /set {<identifier>} bootstatuspolicy IgnoreAllFailures
  3. Detach the repaired OS disk from the troubleshooting VM. Then, create a new VM from the OS disk.

Resolution for error 3

  1.  Attach the OS disk of the VM to another VM (troubleshooting VM) as a data disk.
  2. On the attached disk, browse to the location of the binary file that's displayed in the error message.
  3. Rename the file to <BINARY.SYS>.OLD.
  4. On the attached disk, browse to the \Windows\winsxs folder. Then, search for the binary file that's displayed in the error message. To do this, run the following command at a command prompt:
    dir <binaryname> /s 
    The command lists all the different versions of the binary file together with the created date. Copy the latest version of the binary file to the windows\system32 folder by running the following command:
    copy <drive>:\Windows\WinSxS\<directory_where_file_is>\<binary_with_extension> <drive>:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ 

    For example, see the following screen shot.

    Sample of the DIR command


    Notes 
     
    • The screen shot shows volume E. However, the actual letter will appropriately reflect the one of the faulty drives (the OS disk attached as a data disk on the troubleshooting VM). 
    • If the latest binary doesn't work, you can try the previous file version to obtain an earlier system update level on that component.
    • If the only binary that's returned in this step matches the file that you're trying to replace on the affected VM, and if both files have the same size and time stamp, you can replace the corrupted file by copying it from another working VM that has the same OS and, if possible, the same system update level.
  5. Detach the repaired disk from the troubleshooting VM. Then, create a VM from the OS disk.