How to fix error 0xc00000e in Windows

Error code 0xc00000e manifests as a blue screen signaling Windows startup problems and prompting for repair. This issue can stem from recently connected external devices, corrupted system files, or missing startup files. Potential solutions include a straightforward Windows repair or, as a last resort, formatting the system.

When does the Windows error 0xc00000e occur?

Causes of error code 0xc00000e can be diverse, so it’s important to stay calm even when faced with the dreaded Windows blue screen. The accompanying Windows messages can also vary, from ‘An unexpected error occurred’ to ‘The selected entry could not be loaded because the application was missing or corrupted’.

The cause of error code 0xc00000e can vary, including device errors, incorrect drive configurations, corrupted system files, or faulty external device connections. If the source of the error is not immediately clear, similar to error codes 0x80073701, 0xc0000225 or 0x80240fff, follow the exclusion procedure.

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Solutions for 0xc00000e

The following solutions are available to fix error code 0xc00000e:

Check external physical devices

If your BIOS or UEFI Windows settings prioritise externally connected devices over hard disk drives, this could be the cause of the error. Ensure that external physical devices are properly connected. These devices may include:

  • External hard drives
  • USB storage devices
  • Data media such as CDs and DVDs
  • Pen drives

Rebuild BCD startup configuration data

If the issue isn’t related to physical devices, it might be related to the ‘Boot Configuration Data (BCD)’, also known as the boot manager. These files contain startup parameters for your operating system and are crucial for a successful boot. Corruption or absence of the BCD files can result in the error. To resolve this, follow these steps to repair or recreate the files:

  1. Since your PC isn’t booting correctly, start by creating a bootable USB stick by following the instructions for making a USB stick bootable.
  2. Connect the bootable USB stick, restart your computer, and click ‘Next’ in the first menu.
  3. In the ‘Install Now’ menu, don’t click ‘Install Now’ but instead choose ‘Computer Repair Options’.
  4. Follow this path: ‘Troubleshooting’ > ‘Advanced Options’ > ‘Command Prompt’.
  5. Select the Windows account your device is running under and enter your password if required.
  6. In the command prompt, type the following command: boutre /rebuildbcd.
  7. If Windows installation is found, press [Y] to rebuild the BCD.
  8. Then type the boutre /fixmbr command and press [Enter].
  9. Type the command boutre /fixboot and press [Enter] as well.
  10. Now restart your computer without bootable media and check if the error still occurs.

Use Windows Startup Help

The Windows Startup Help functions similarly to the Troubleshooter. It diagnoses problems with booting, checks registry settings and startup configurations, and repairs the errors as much as possible. Proceed as follows:

  1. Restart Windows from bootable media and go back to ‘Computer Repair Options’.
  2. Follow the path ‘Troubleshooting’ > ‘Advanced Options’ > ‘Startup Help’.
  3. Windows will automatically scan the system for problems and diagnose possible sources of errors.
  4. At the end of the scan, Windows restarts. If the error no longer occurs, the startup help was able to eliminate the source of the error.

Format hard drives

If nothing helps, this could mean there are serious defects in system files or Windows partitions. In this case, formatting the hard disk may be necessary. Proceed as follows:

  1. Since formatting results in the loss of all saved data and settings, you should begin by backing up all important data from your hard drive or SSD. You can use a live environment or data recovery software for this purpose. You’ll need a bootable medium to create a backup of your data.
  2. Typically, data recovery software includes built-in tools for formatting the hard drive. Alternatively, boot Windows from your bootable medium and select ‘Install now’.
  3. Follow the subsequent installation steps according to the installation and formatting wizard to reinstall Windows.
  4. Finally, transfer your backed up files to the new Windows installation.

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