Winload.exe error code 0xc0000605 on an Azure VM

Applies to: Virtual Machine running Windows


Windows doesn't start and generates the following error:

File: \Windows\System32\winload.exe

Status: 0xc0000605 

Info: A component of the operating system has expired.


This issue occurs for the following reasons:

  • The image that's used to build the virtual machine isn't an RTM (Release to Manufacturing) image but is instead a preview image that has an expiration date.
  • The preview image has a designated life cycle, and the trial period for the image is over.

How to fix

Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix this issue. You must redeploy the VM with the correct image. All the non-RTM or trial images have an expiration date. After the expiration date, the machine may not start or it may keep shutting itself down. These images are provided for testing purposes only.

For the images provided in Azure marketplace, you can find the trial period information in the description of the image:

Description of a Trial image in azure portal