Windows crash - Refresh - Hard drive locked, unlock hard drive


 I have recently purchased a new pc and installed windows 8 with no problem.  Then booting it up a week later it gave an error message, which i can’t remember now what it said but I chose default setting and then the pc reset. Now windows won’t start up at all. It says please identify the boot able drive or insert a boot able media. None of the option from the windows 8 dvd help. When i try reset it states my hard drive is locked please unlock hard drive first. I have tried googling on how to unlock the hard drive but have found nothing. Also when i try doing a fresh install it can’t find a hard drive. My pc is only 2 weeks old so don’t think it’s the hardware. There are settings in the bios which I think could be causing the issue but don’t know anything about them. Also bios can see my hard drive.

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Hi everyone. I had this issue happen twice now. I got a blue screen of death during PC use and then when I reboot I get a blue screen saying \Windows\system32\winload.exe is missing.


The first time I was unable to work out how to unlock my SSD so done clean install losing all data.(Thankfully I had a backup on a server of important stuff) I have the Windows 8 DVD but it was unable to recover, reset or auto resolve. The problem seems my hard drive was locked. I believe the master boot record or something was corrupted during the crash and the drive is locked by windows. Hence I am unable to mount the disk unless I define it as a new volume which is essentially wiping it.


Here's what I done to unlock:

I booted from the win 8 DVD

Went into a command prompt and ran a few bootrec commands:

Bootrec /fixMBR

bootrec /fixBoot

bootrec /rebuildBCD

I then went back into the win 8 auto repair and it seemed to work.


I have no idea why windows 8 has now had 2 fatal crashes. My PC is ~6 years old and previously ran Vista with no issues. Bought a new SSD with windows 8 back in April and had it fail twice!!


Motherboard Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus

CPU: Intel Q6600

MSI Geforce 8800GT

Creative SoundBlaster XFi Extreme Fidelity

4 gig Corsair MSRX2 RAM

Sandisk 128Gb SSD


I'm wondering if it's because my PC is old and got some driver incompatibility with win 8. Hence just turned on windows driver verifier today and will leave running for a week to check. I've never overclocked my PC. Might bite the bullet and upgrade my PC fully to a core i7, new mobo etc but no idea if this will solve the issue. I am less than impressed with windows 8 because of this.

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Question Info

Last updated June 16, 2021 Views 505,855 Applies to: