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"Winload.efi is missing or contains errors" BSOD


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#1 TheAdmiester

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 12:48 PM

Hi all, I've been having this error on my laptop for a while and it's got me stumped.

 

It's an Acer Aspire VN7-591G. I had noticed that similar models in the same series came with both a mechanical HDD and an M.2, while mine only had a mechanical HDD (I was aware of this from the start). I checked online and surely enough, they have the same motherboard, so mine supports M.2s.

 

I bought a 256GB M.2 (Kingston I think) and installed it - worked perfectly. I formatted it in Disk Management, it shows up in explorer and I can store/see stuff on it. But, with being on a laptop, and having a strong dislike for 5400RPM drives, my main intention was to put Windows on the M.2 and have the HDD for storage which is where things went wrong. After installing Windows 10 Pro x64 to the M.2 I now get a BSOD with the error in the title. I haven't wiped the HDD yet and I would rather not do so if I don't have to, so I can still boot to Windows and see if the files are on the M.2, which they are.

 

The M.2's install of Windows is also detected, as I get the boot manager screen asking if I would like to boot from the HDD, which is Volume 5, or the M.2, which is Volume 9.

 

I'd like to think I'm decent at diagnosing things so I can say I've already tried these:

 

- Reinstall Windows on the M.2 (5 times total)

- Mess with boot order/legacy boot/AHCI in the BIOS, no combination seems to change anything

- Boot onto the HDD, look for winload.efi on the M.2 (it's there and the correct size)

- Copied winload.efi from a computer with the exact same version of Windows that works perfectly

 

The only thing I haven't tried yet would be to wipe Windows from the HDD in case there's some kind of weird conflict between the two, but I'm reluctant to do that unless it's my only option and I'm doubting it would help anyway.

 

 

TL;DR: Bought compatible M.2 for laptop, works fine for storage, but displays error in title instead of booting

 

 



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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 01:58 PM

Hi :welcome: to BleepingComputer

 

If i was in your shoes I would disconnect the HDD and install Windows fresh on the SSD deleting all the existing partitions using the advanced option before continuing with the setup.


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#3 blueelvis

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 02:36 PM

Hi TheAdmiester ^_^,


Have you tried disconnecting the HDD from the laptop and then installing Windows on the M2 while it is connected to the system? Does it still give you errors?


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#4 TheAdmiester

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 03:13 PM

Hi :welcome: to BleepingComputer

 

If i was in your shoes I would disconnect the HDD and install Windows fresh on the SSD deleting all the existing partitions using the advanced option before continuing with the setup.

 

 

Hi TheAdmiester ^_^,


Have you tried disconnecting the HDD from the laptop and then installing Windows on the M2 while it is connected to the system? Does it still give you errors?


-Pranav

 

The HDD is a bit of a pain to get to in the casing of this laptop, as it's a clamshell kind of design and doesn't have any of those little panels for HDD/memory, so I'll have a go at some point and report back.



#5 blueelvis

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 03:36 PM

Sure thing ^_^

Let us know how it goes.

-Pranav

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#6 TheAdmiester

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 10:10 AM

Okay, so I've tried your suggestions (and thanks for the support so far) and still no luck.

 

First of all I wiped Windows from the HDD to see if there were any conflicts. Now it just says "No Bootable Device" like I was expecting, although it says that whether Windows is installed on the M.2 or if it's completely blank which is a bit annoying. Where before I could get to the Windows Boot Manager to pick a volume (due to the HDD I assume), now there's nothing, it acts as if the M.2 is completely blank.

 

After that I completely disconnected the HDD to remove all possibilities of whatever might be going on that I couldn't see, still no luck.

 

I've also done a bit of research for drivers, BIOS updates, etc and still no such luck. It seems that the laptop is fully up to date and that there are no boot drivers or whatever for the M.2 model I have, which I now know is a SanDisk 256GB, not Kingston like I thought before.

 

 

I know I could just easily go back to having Windows on the HDD, but it's painfully slow especially around boot time and the M.2 will end up being a waste of money. Any new suggestions?



#7 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 10:29 AM

Hi,

 

Did you install windows fresh to the ssd with the hdd disconnected?


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#8 TheAdmiester

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:08 PM

Hi,

 

Did you install windows fresh to the ssd with the hdd disconnected?

 

Yup. Deleted every partition/volume it had made on the M.2 and started entirely fresh.



#9 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:23 PM

 

Hi,

 

Did you install windows fresh to the ssd with the hdd disconnected?

 

Yup. Deleted every partition/volume it had made on the M.2 and started entirely fresh.

 

Can you describe what happen during the install?

 

Any errors? it fails to boot? what is the error message and in what stage?


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#10 TheAdmiester

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:34 PM

 

 

Hi,

 

Did you install windows fresh to the ssd with the hdd disconnected?

 

Yup. Deleted every partition/volume it had made on the M.2 and started entirely fresh.

 

Can you describe what happen during the install?

 

Any errors? it fails to boot? what is the error message and in what stage?

 

No errors until the BSOD in the title.

 

The install runs perfectly, it completes the "Copying Files... Installing Updates... Getting Finished" checkboxes, tells me to restart with a 10 second timer, at which point I remove the USB I'm installing from then when it tries to boot and finish the install I get the error.



#11 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 02:55 PM

Try this:

 

After the restart let the computer boot from the USB again, choose the option Startup Repair, after loading it should give you access to some options select Continue (Exit and continue to Windows 10) to boot Windows from the HDD/SDD see if this way the setup continues without the BSOD.


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#12 TheAdmiester

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 04:46 PM

Try this:

 

After the restart let the computer boot from the USB again, choose the option Startup Repair, after loading it should give you access to some options select Continue (Exit and continue to Windows 10) to boot Windows from the HDD/SDD see if this way the setup continues without the BSOD.

 

That would involve having the Windows boot manager, currently the laptop does the equivalent of having no drives installed at all.

 

The current error is what you see in this image (not my picture but the same laptop):

 

maxresdefault.jpg



#13 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 04:55 PM

- Is the BIOS set to boot from the M.2?

 

- It doesn't boot from the USB flash drive?


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#14 TheAdmiester

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 05:12 PM

- Is the BIOS set to boot from the M.2?

 

- It doesn't boot from the USB flash drive?

 

- Yes, although even if it wasn't it should have still tried the M.2 after seeing the HDD was empty.

 

- No, the flash drive was removed when I tried the M.2. If it was still in it would have booted to the Windows installer.



#15 SleepyDude

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 05:15 PM

 

- No, the flash drive was removed when I tried the M.2. If it was still in it would have booted to the Windows installer.

 

 

If the windows installation o the M.2 started but didn't finish before the BSOD try booting from the USB and use the Repair option like I suggested.


• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
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