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I Am Unable To Boot My Vista PC Please Help!

by Robs58 / October 14, 2012 12:35 PM PDT

Greetings To All!

Background Info:

Am running Windows Vista Home Premium
Service Pack 2
System Type: 32 bit


Computer Model: HP a1700n
Processor: AMD thlon X2 250 Processor 3.00 GHz


I am unable to boot. Previously, I was able to boot successfully. When I now try to boot, I encounter a screen which says the following:

"A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed
incorrectly or damage..."
File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Status: 0xc0000428
Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the file"

What I have done to attempt to fix the problem as of this writing, is to install a known good HD into my computer that I can boot from. I then ran the "Malware Bytes" program against the non-bootable drive to check for viruses. The scan came back clean indicating no viruses, etc.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated!


Rob S.

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Sadly, from my research a virus.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2012 1:41 PM PDT
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Windows Vista forum: I Am Unable To Boot My Vista PC
by Robs58 / October 17, 2012 11:32 AM PDT

Yes, I am able to mount and scan the non-bootable drive, and therefore I can recover the files/data if it comes down to that. However, my goal is to make the drive bootable again, and I feel that this can be done if I can arrive at the correct solution to the original problem - that the drive is non-bootable and the error message continues to appear as follows during boot attempt:

"A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damage...
" File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Status: 0xc0000428 Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the file"

Also, I am not able to boot into the Advanced Boot options so booting into Safe Mode or "Last known good configuration" is not an option available to me. I performed all of the following, several times each, and I am still unable to boot:

bootrec /fixmbr
" /rebuildbcd
" /fixboot
" /scanos
sfc /scannow

In addition, I booted from a Vista repair disk and performed the "startup repair" option. Unfortunately, am still unable to boot. I have scanned the HD using the Malware Bytes application, but have not scanned with a regualr Anti-virus program. I am starting to think this could be a registry issue. Any thoughts?


Regards, Rob S.
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Disable signature verification
by Edward ODaniel / October 17, 2012 2:29 PM PDT

If you are able to boot to safe mode or the Windows Recovery Environment via the installation DVD.

There are 2 ways to disable digital driver signature enforcement; the 1st way is using command-line tool cmd.exe to execute this command-line bcdedit.exe /set nointegritychecks ON (be sure you include the spaces), the 2nd method which is recommended is to disable it through Group Policy Object (GPO),

1. Start -> In the search bar -> GPEdit.msc
2. Enable and Ignore Code signing for drivers policy under User Configuration ->
Administrative Templates -> System -> Driver Installation -> Code signing for drivers.

You may still get the warning but should get an option to press F8 key to continue booting.

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There is no one correct method.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 17, 2012 2:35 PM PDT
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Forget this. MalwareBytes is not an Antivirus program.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2012 1:43 PM PDT
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SOLVED !!! Non-Bootable Windows Hard Drive Has Been Fixed
by Robs58 / October 21, 2012 12:47 PM PDT

Previously, I was unable to boot my windows Vista PC due to the problems indicated in my initial posting. Recently,
I have been able to restore my HD to a bootable condition and the problem has apparently been fixed.

Down below is the COMPLETE solution to fixing this extremely difficult problem! I say extremely difficult because I browsed through literally *HUNDREDS* of Google links before I found the correct link which listed the complete solution.

I emphasize the word "complete" because literally all of the links I visited except the referenced link (down below) only listed the partial solution and unless you had the complete solution, the problem would literally never get resolved!

Specifically, all of the "partially correct" links would direct you to perform steps 1 and 2 only; while omitting the most crucial step - step 3. Here is the link:

Ultimately, here are the exact steps, ran in the correct sequence order, which fixed my windows Vista boot problem.

One last time - you must run ALL of these steps (1,2 and 3). Only running steps 1 and 2 and then stopping will NOT fix the boot problem!

Boot from the Windows DVD or a repair CD (you may have to change the first boot device to CD/DVD in the BIOS), answer a few questions, select the Repair option in the bottom left corner and choose:

1. Startup Repair

2. If the above doesn't cure the problem, go back to the Repair Option and this time choose Command prompt, then type these 4 commands (in all instances the capitals are for clarity only):

BOOTREC /FIXMBR and press Enter
BOOTREC /FIXBOOT and press Enter.
BOOTREC /SCANOS and press Enter.
BOOTREC /REBUILDBCD and press Enter.

3. If it's not successful or you receive 'No operating system found' or 'Element not found' messages, go back to the command prompt and make the partition active by typing these commands:

DISKPART and press Enter.
LIST DISK and press Enter.
SELECT DISK N and press Enter (N represents the disk you want).
LIST PARTITION and press Enter.
SELECT PARTITION N and press Enter (N represents the partition you want).
ACTIVE and press Enter.
EXIT and press Enter.

Now go back to 1 above and run it again, perhaps run 2 as well.

It took me the better part of a full week of searching through many, many help links before I found the correct one!



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