Question Win 8.1 error code 0xc000000f, drive locked


Jan 21, 2005
My system froze recently and I forced a shutdown. I had been trying to fix another problem with a USB port that wouldn't reset, but I'm not sure it's related to do my current issue. When I attempted to restart my computer, I got a blue error screen immediately with

Your PC needs to be repaired
The application or operating system couldn't be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors.

File:\ widnows\system32\winload.exe
Error code 0xc000000f.

I double-checked the boot order and found no issue. I booted off a Windows recovery USB stick. When I attempted to refresh the system, I got a message that it couldn't be done because the drive was locked. Unlock it and try again. When I attempted in the advanced options to repair boot problems, it attempted repair but failed. I opened the command prompt and took a directory of the C drive. It didn't show any of the files on the drive. When I ran CHKDSK it told me no problems were found. It also seemed to indicate that all the files and directories were still on the drive.

I have three drives in my system, 2 ssds and one HDD. I disconnected the other two drives and restarted
but no change. I have been finding various suggestions for using BOOTREC but am hesitant to try it since none of the problems seemed to be a match to mine. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks! =)
Aug 20, 2019
Your best bet would be to create Win 8.1 Installation media... boot with it, and select REPAIR on the lower left corner of the screen that says "Install"...

After clicking on a Troubleshooting, and maybe a Advanced, you will see a option for "Startup Repair"...

A automatic Startup Repair may start before you even get to that point...

What type of BIOS your machine is using determines how you may need to create the media... A DVD or NTFS Flash Drive will work for standard BIOS, But it will most likely need to be a FAT32 Flash Drive for EFI\UEFI BIOS...

You can create a Flash Drive, DVD, or download a ISO to convert to whatever you need here...