Error Code 0xc00000e9: What It Means and How to Fix It

A troubleshooting guide for error code 0xc00000e9 in Windows 7, 8, 10 and Vista

Windows Error Code 0xc00000e9 recovery screen

Windows error code 0xc00000e9 or status 0xc00000e9 (IL) can appear in Windows 7, 8, 10, and Vista. It's a relatively common error that indicates either a hardware failure or a corrupted system file encountered during boot.

The 0xc00000e9 error code always has to do with the boot process for Windows, and appears shortly after the computer starts, but before the operating system displays the login screen.

Causes of a Windows 0xc00000e9 Error Code

An I/O or input/output error occurs when the system is unable to access a drive or disk, which means it cannot read or copy data. While this is commonly a fault with hard drives, namely the one Windows is installed on, it may also stem from related hardware devices or additional media. Malfunctioning I/O ports on the motherboard may cause it. External CD, DVD, or flash drives may also be the source.

Windows 10 refers to the 0xc00000e9 error as a Boot Manager Error. On some error screens you may also see the message: "An unexpected I/O error has occurred."

Because it's so common, there are many reasons why the error might appear. You may run into the error code under the following conditions:

  • Input/Output (I/O) problems
  • Malfunctioning hardware or PC components
  • Improperly seated components such as a disconnected hard drive that is not making contact with the motherboard
  • Improperly configured UEFI/BIOS/CMOS settings
  • Corrupt system files or registry problems
  • Windows build and Windows update problems
  • Viruses may also cause the error in some circumstances

How to Fix 0xc00000e9 Errors in Windows 7, 8, 10 and Vista

As you can see, there are several reasons why the error code might appear during boot, which makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly what's wrong, so you'll need to do some troubleshooting to find the culprit.

Common errors are often the most difficult to solve because they have so many potential sources.

  1. Restart your computer. While not always true, the problem may stem from something temporary that goes away after a power wipe. Keep in mind, because the error code can prevent Windows from booting, you’ll have to do a hard reset by powering off the machine and powering it back on.

    If Windows loads successfully after a reboot, check your hard drive and system install from within the operating system to ensure the error code doesn’t appear again. You can assess your hard drive using the check disk tool, and you can assess important system files using the scan now command.

  2. Check the components inside your computer. Look for anything that may be loose or any disconnected cables. Also, be sure to disconnect all external devices including external hard drives, flash drives, USB devices, smartphones, and more. These extraneous devices can interfere with the boot process at times.

  3. Try booting into safe mode. Many times, when Windows doesn't boot normally, you can still gain access via safe mode, because it runs in a minimal environment. If it works, you can perform many of the other steps discussed here from within Windows, as opposed to the recovery tool command prompt.

  4. Update your drivers. If you're able to boot into Windows, either through safe mode or normally, then you should check to see if all your drivers are up to date, particularly those related to I/O ports and storage. Outdated or poorly configured drivers can occasionally cause the 0xc00000e9 error to appear.

  5. Perform a startup repair using the Windows disc or a prepared USB drive that includes the startup fix-it tool. Corrupt system files, registry errors, and missing content sometimes cause this error to show up.

  6. Scan your machine for viruses using a bootable antivirus tool. You will need to download a suitable antivirus program on another machine, update its virus definitions and either install or copy it to a bootable drive—such as a USB thumb drive. Most virus tools include a bootable rescue tool that allows you to scan your system from a command prompt.

  7. Test your hard drive(s). One way to do this is to replace the hard drive with another drive you know works. You might also try the hard drive in another machine.

    You can use the check disk tool in Windows to scan the offending drive for problems. It’s also worth noting that the check disc tool can be run from a command prompt, as well. If you have access to the recovery console you can run the tool from there without removing the hard drive.

  8. Check the boot sequence of your hard drives in the BIOS settings. Ensure the hard drive Windows is installed on is listed first, or at the top of the boot order.

    This problem is likely if you recently installed a new hard drive, plugged in an external drive, or connected a USB drive. It can also occur when you make changes to the BIOS or flash a new BIOS.

  9. Update the volume boot code to use BOOTMGR. It's possible for the volume boot code to become corrupted. It may also be configured to work with a boot loader other than the Windows default. Updating the volume boot code should fix this problem.

    Volume boot code problems may also cause additional problems, including Hall.dll related errors.

  10. Update the Master Boot Record (MBR). Similar to the volume boot code, the master boot record contains data necessary for loading Windows. Essentially, it tells Windows what drive and partition to use during boot. If this is swapped, either by accident or maliciously—from say, a virus—then Windows will have trouble starting up.

  11. Change the boot mode from "UEFI" to "Legacy" and disable secure boot in the BIOS settings.

  12. If you’re sure the hard drive and hardware components are fine, perform a system restore. This Windows function will roll back the operating system copy to an earlier version.

    Rolling back to a previous version basically returns you to the exact image of an earlier date. If you choose, say, three days earlier you’ll lose any applications, documents or changes you made after that particular date.

  13. Perform a clean install (reinstall) Windows. This will effectively format the existing install of Windows, overwriting it with a clean and fresh copy. This means any system files that were corrupted or missing should now be in proper order.

  14. Nothing Working? It's time to try some different support options, which may mean figuring out repair costs, getting your files off the hard drive, choosing a repair service, and a whole lot more.