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Windows Failed to Start - Winload.efi

The issue below occurred when restoring a crashed Windows 2012 R2 server from an image based backup. It appeared as though Windows Update had staged or pre-installed updates but had not yet restarted to finalize the operation when the server crashed. Upon restore, the system immedately attempted to finish the updates which progressed to 30% then rebooted. From that point on the system would not boot with the following error.


Windows Wont Load - Winload.efi
Experiencing this problem? Read on


Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:


    1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.


    2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."


    3. Click "Repair your computer.


" If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance


   File: \windows\system32\boot\winload.efi


   Status: 0xc000000f


   Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt


The Solution


1. To recover from the failed update insert the OS installation media (USB or DVD) and boot into the installation menu.

2. If you have RAID based storage go to step 3. If you have a single disk installation proceed to step 7. 

3. Click Install

4. Select Custom

5. Click the selection to load a driver and load the Windows driver for your RAID controller

6. Click the X in the top right hand corner of the window to exit and confirm, which will bring you back to the main menu

7. Click the Repair link

8. Select the Troubleshooting option

9. Select Command Prompt

10. With Command Prompt open, type "diskpart"

11. Type "list volume"

12. Make note of your primary drive letter

13. Type md c:\Scratch (where c:\ is the drive letter of your primary drive)

14. Type dism.exe /image:c:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions /Scratchdir:c:\Scratch (where c:\ is the drive letter of your primary drive)

15. The system will revert the actions of the update display when it has completed the task

16. Reboot the system once the process is complete


Windows should boot, detect the failed update and finalize the uninstall then boot normally


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