I have two partitions and have Linux Ubuntu running on one partition and Windows 7 running on the other.

Now when I try to boot from Windows 7, I get an error saying the /system32/winload.exe file is corrupted or deleted. Now I have Windows 7 files on my system but do not have the DVD, I have made USB bootable with Windows 7, but when I boot it with the USB stick, a blue screen is coming on with weird errors messages. Now I am trying to restore my Windows instance to a restore point where it can work normally.

How can I do that in my situation?

  • What do you think you may have done to cause this scenario? Was this setup previously working before or did you just set it up? – jmort253 Feb 1 '11 at 5:43
  • yes it was working earlier. I am not a big windows fan, so I use my ubuntu instance most of the time. I had some work with Photoshop so tried to boot into Windows, and it gives me an error about the file system32/ntosktl.exe. When I try to boot the windows instance from my usb stick, it gave me the error for winload.exe – macha Feb 1 '11 at 14:47

I would guess that something went wrong when you created the USB boot.

I don't believe that you can fix it, or rather that it may take quite a long time and many tries before you can find a solution. Some strong-arm means may be the simplest solution.

You can as first attempt Download Windows 7 System Recovery Discs. It cannot be used to install or reinstall Windows 7, just for recovering your system via automated recovery (searches for problems and attempts to fix them automatically), rolling-back to a system restore point, recovering a full PC backup, or accessing a command-line recovery console for advanced recovery purposes.

If this doesn't help, the simplest thing, if you have a legal Windows 7 serial, is to grab the correct Windows 7 installation DVD from a bit-torrent site (a good ones is isohunt, but read well the comments on the torrent).

Try first How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7, which will conserve all installed applications, before resorting to a full install.

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There are many reasons why this could happen.

First, did you make any changes to the BIOS recently or hardware reconfigurations (specifically with RAID controllers or moving HDs to different ports)? I have seen similar issues when AHCI is enabled in the BIOS for a SATA disk after Windows was installed using IDE compatibility mode or vice versa.

The boot.ini file may also have been broken if the harddisk configuration has changed since it was created.

It could also be a hardware failure of some sort. Have you run any disk tests to see if this HD is healthy?

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Fixing a system after a crash yields many times a system that is still unstable. Consider mounting your windows partition from ubuntu (or a linux live distribution) to backup important data, and reinstall the system.

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  • Welcome to SU. Before answering, it is advised to read all existing answers, in order to avoid duplicates. (Note: use for example @harrymc anywhere in a comment to ensure that the person is notified.) – harrymc Mar 2 '11 at 10:56

It seems like the winload path is missing or it has changed, it could be a change in the UUID of the disk, name letter, etc.

You must try with a recovery cd of Windows 7 or a WinPe disk and the command bcdedit (an explain of use here) or bootrec, then you could verify that the path, UUID, partition are correct and/or fix it.

good luck!

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