SBS 2008 fails to boot with Unable to locate file C:\Windows\System32\Winload.exe error

DBrookfield used Ask the Experts™
I've got the above problem, running SBS 2008, now I've tried the repair process but I can't do a repair. When I try the repair in the dialogue box for operating system I get [Microsoft Windows Server 2008] and for Partition SIze I get [o MB] Location [unkown]
But and this is the weird thing when I choose load drivers I can see everything on the drive, I would of course just laod teh last image, however the last good backup was the 9th and I'd really prefer not to loose a week of data.
Also FYI before I get comments on back up, I know this and I've been banging on to these guys for years about getting proper support backup checks etc, I suspect they'll take my advice now, but it would be good to get this backup and running without having to resort to restoring from the 9th.

Thanks in adance

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Boot from the VDVD, go to the repair options (if you cannot select any valid current installtions of Windows do it without selecting anything; it will work) and from there open the command promt. And no do a simple copy:

Code Snippet
copy c:\windows\system32\boot\winload.exe c:\windows\system32\

that did it for me. But of course it is somehow strange cause what happend that Vista wasn't able to locate the winload.exe itself (I just always auto updated my Vista and installed KB938371 manually as it didn't work in the auto update).


Righto sadly that didn't work, I wonder if winload is on the Disk?


I ran BCDEdit and I guess I know why I get the error BCDEdit reoprts
device unknown and
osdevice unknown
 Which explains why it can't find winlaod.exe I guess, the question is how do I edit these parameters?
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Righto System fixed:
This is the procedure,
At first I received an error "SBS 2008 fails to boot with Unable to locate file C:\Windows\System32\Winload.exe"
The standard repair prcocess didn't work, by this I mean, putting the install DVD in and attaempting a repair failed and at teh dialogue box where you would normally find the os etc I  I got:
[Microsoft Windows Server 2008] and for Partition SIze I get [o MB] Location [unkown]

Wantebe2 put me in the right direction (Many thanks for that),

After going to the cmd prompt and running BCDEdit I noticed that both Device and OSDEvice were unkown so I knew that I needed to do something about this. I checked around the interweb and saw alot about BCDEdit but nothing that gave me a straight forward howto edit the bits I needed. Anyway I then remembered about bootrec.exe
I ran that and took the rebuild switch bootrec.exe/rebuild. This fixed the BCD and hey presto I now have a running server. Wantebe2 I'm going to split the points between you and me, I'd have spent ages trolling the net if you hadn't put me in the right direction.

Leon FunnellGlobal Lead Architect for HSBC Private Bank

Mate I would seriously consider leaving the data alone on the disk you have unless you lose more of it.  Put a new hard disk in an build from scratch then attach the old disk and copy the data back.  It might be more work but there is a saying my old boss used to use which rings true even now "always save the current disaster".


It's working now, appreciate what you are saying, and they're putting a real DR in action. Sadly a rebuild and loseing Exchange and Database isn't an option.
I'll be swapping out the drives shortly, although I'm pretty sure it's not a drive failure, the problem was caused by someone pulling out the power, never a good thing for any machine.


I of course have no objections I'm just trying to assign the points correctly
This solution worked for me too, thanks!

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