Windows 10 and 11 are modern and stable operating systems that usually do not annoy users with frequent crashes or cryptic errors. Still, they are complex products with hundreds of thousands of code lines, meaning pesky bugs can slide under the radar and get under your skin. Sometimes, users report that Windows failed to start with 0xc000000f error. It is a common bug anyone could encounter when turning on a computer.
The 0xc000000f error usually goes hand in hand with Boot\BCD or winload.efi files. Although the problem may look terrifying for some less tech-proficient users, it is relatively easy to fix the 0xc000000f error in Windows 10 and 11. This article focuses primarily on Windows 10 and 11, the most popular operating systems. Still, you can use the following information to troubleshoot the error on a computer with Windows 7.
What Does Windows Failed to Start 0xc000000f Mean?
The 0xc000000f error is a sign of broken or corrupted boot configuration files. Do not panic! That does not mean your files are gone. In a nutshell, fixing the 0xc000000f error requires repairing the files responsible for finding the operating system on your drive. It is a relatively simple procedure that should not take much time or effort.
0xc00000f Windows 10 Fix
Before you start running troubleshooters, try disconnecting all drives except the one having your Windows installation (drive C). If you have not connected any drives to your computer recently, you may skip this step.
If you have a desktop PC and you can access its internal components, try the following:
- Turn off the PC and disconnect it from a power source.
- Hold the power button for a few seconds to discharge the capacitors on the motherboard and power supply.
- Open the case and check your system drive. Make sure power and SATA cables are not damaged. They also should be properly seated in their respective ports. A loose connection or a broken cable is one of the reasons why the 0xc000000f error happens to some people. If you have an M2 drive, ensure it is properly and tightly secured with a screw.
- Tighten cables, if necessary, close your computer and try to power it on. If possible, replace the SATA cable with another one.
If you have a laptop with non-user-replaceable drives, skip the steps above and proceed to the next section. Do the following steps if you have a desktop PC, as they will show you how to get into recovery and solve the 0xc000000f error in Windows 10 and 11.
- To fix the 0xc000000f error in Windows 10, turn on your computer as you usually do. If you are stuck on the black screen with the error message, hold the power button until your computer shuts down.
- Once back on the error screen, press F1. If nothing happens, press Fn + F1 as some laptops require a modifier key to input function keys.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to get to Recovery.
- Click Troubleshoot.
- Select Advanced Options.
- Click Startup Repair and wait for Windows to try to restore your BCD.
- Once Windows finishes recovering your BCD, try to load the system in a normal mode.
If the previous part of the article did not help you fix the 0xc000000f error in Windows 10, proceed to the following section.
Fix Error 0xc000000f in Windows Using Bootable Media
For this part, you need a USB stick with 8GB or more and another working computer with a relatively modern Windows version. Go to the official Windows 10 or Windows 11 installation website and download Media Creation Tool. Use that tool to create bootable media. It is a straightforward app that does not require any technical knowledge or skill. Just fire up the downloaded app and follow the on-screen instructions. Be sure to select the option to create a USB drive, not download ISO.
- Connect Windows installation media you have just created and boot from it. Different computers use different buttons to launch boot menu. Refer to your motherboard user manual to see what button selects boot device. Alternatively, you can boot into BIOS and select the USB drive from there.
- Press Shift + F10 on the welcome screen. Again, if Shift + F10 does not work, try Fn + Shift + F10. The shortcut will launch Command Prompt.
- In Command Prompt, type diskpart and press Enter.
- Next, enter list volume and press Enter.
- Find your system drive and check its letter. In 99.99% of cases, it is letter C.
- Enter exit and press Enter.
- Now, enter the following command:
chkdsk C: /f
The command initiates a mechanism that scans the selected drive for errors and applies possible fixes.
- Next, run the command:
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\Windows
Note that the process may take a while. Do not think your computer is stuck (unless it takes many hours to complete the process). Wait for Windows to complete the recovery. The speed of the process depends on how large and fast your system drive is. If you use old spinning hard drives, prepare to wait for a while.
- Run the command:
The command will create a new boot configuration and bring your computer back to its working state.
- Restart your PC and boot it as usual.
If nothing helps, try reinstalling Windows from scratch. Just beware that you might loose unsaved data and apps on drive C. Also, you can try temporarily replacing your hard drive or SSD with another one to see what causes the problem. It is possible that your system drive is about to bite the dust.
These are the steps you need to take to fix the 0xc000000f error in Windows 10, 11, and older versions.