How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (2023)

How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (1)The EFI partition isn’t well-known, but it is a very vital part of your Windows computer. When tinkering with the partitioning setup of your drive, you may accidentally delete it, resulting in your Windows computer not booting correctly.

If your EFI partition is not showing up, or if you accidentally deleted the EFI partition, read on to understand how you can fix it to restore your Windows computer to working order.

Table of Contents

What Causes “Error Loading Operating System” on Windows?

If your drive uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme, you will have an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) partition. It’s also commonly referred to as EFI System Partition (ESP). It’s a relatively small (100 MB) FAT32-formatted partition that typically isn’t assigned a drive letter. In fact, it won’t even appear in File Explorer, instead being found in Disk Management. It is responsible for storing essential files that your UEFI firmware uses to boot your Windows operating system, such as the bootloader.

Drives that use the Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme will not have an EFI partition. Instead, the bootloader is located in the first sector of the disk.

The “Error loading operating system” message will appear when your EFI partition is missing. If no EFI system partition was found, it may be because it was accidentally deleted, or it has become corrupted due to a sudden power outage or the appearance of bad sectors. Until it is fixed or restored, Windows will refuse to boot.

How to Fix Missing EFI Partition on Windows

Don’t worry too much if your EFI partition is lost, as you can easily fix it on your own. Use one of these methods to fix your EFI partition on Windows 10 or 11.

Method 1: Try Using Automatic Boot Repair

Automatic Boot Repair is the easiest way to rebuild your EFI partition and repair your partition table. Its effectiveness will depend on the type of damage your drive has sustained, but it’s a good starting point as it’s a built-in diagnostic tool that attempts to identify and repair boot-related problems.

(Video) Windows 10/11 - Repair EFI Partition

To initiate Automatic Boot Repair, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your computer. Then, turn it off before it finishes the boot process.
  2. Repeat these steps three times, then turn the computer on again.
  3. Automatic Boot Repair will run and try to repair the issue.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (2)

Should Automatic Boot Repair fail to rectify the issue, you can try manually recreating the EFI partition using Command Prompt instead.

Method 2: Manually Recreate EFI Partition Using DiskPart

When needed, you can always recreate your EFI partition using DiskPart. DiskPart is a command-line disk partitioning utility included with Windows that allows you to manage disks and partitions using Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, or Terminal (for Windows 11 users). Although it’s more hands-on than Automatic Boot Repair, it’s a viable option to get your EFI partition back.

You will need your Windows installation media for this method. If you don’t have one, read this guide on how to create a bootable USB.

Follow these steps to create an EFI partition using DiskPart.

  1. Boot into WinRE.
  2. Click Troubleshoot.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (3)
  3. Click Command Prompt.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (4)
  4. Type diskpart and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (5)
  5. Type list disk and press Enter. Make note of the disk number associated with your system drive.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (6)
  6. Type select disk *. Replace * with your disk number.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (7)
  7. Type list partition and make note of the partition where Windows is installed.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (8)
  8. Type select partition *. Replace * with your Windows OS system partition.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (9)
  9. Next, you will need to free up some space for the EFI partition. If there is already 100 MB of unallocated space due to the previous EFI partition being deleted, you can skip this step. Otherwise, type shrink desired=100 and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (10)
  10. Type create partition efi size=100 and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (11)
  11. Type format quick fs=fat32 and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (12)
  12. Type assign letter=s and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (13)
  13. Type list partition and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (14)
  14. Type list volume and press Enter. Make note of the volume letter where Windows is installed.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (15)
  15. Type exit and press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (16)
  16. Type bcdboot *:\windows /s S:. Replace * with the volume letter of your Windows OS, then press Enter.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (17)

When you still can’t create an EFI partition with DiskPart, the guaranteed way to fix the EFI system partition is by reinstalling Windows entirely.

Method 3: Reinstall Windows

Should you fail to restore a deleted EFI system partition using one of the aforementioned methods, you can reinstall Windows instead. While reinstalling Windows can seem like a drastic option, it can sometimes be the only one that works. This is a guaranteed fix because a new EFI partition is created as part of every Windows installation (at least on drives that use the GPT partitioning scheme).

It’s essential that you back up your data before you perform this method, as a clean install will delete all data on the disk. Connect your hard drive to another computer and make a copy of your files before proceeding.

(Video) Windows 10 and 11 Wont Boot, How To Fix UEFI Partition

These instructions will briefly guide you through performing a clean install of the Windows operating system:

  1. Boot using your boot media.
  2. Select your language and currency preferences, then click Next.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (18)
  3. Click Install now.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (19)
  4. Enter your product key and press Next. Alternatively, click I don’t have a product key.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (20)
  5. Select the OS version you wish to install and click Next.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (21)
  6. Agree to the license terms.
  7. Click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (22)
  8. Delete all existing partitions. Use this opportunity to create the partitions you want (if needed). Select the drive that you wish to install Windows on, then click Next.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (23)
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

How to Recover Lost Data From Hard Drive

When corruption causes your EFI partition to become lost, it’s not uncommon for it to affect other parts of your drive. Even after restoring the EFI partition, some of your files may still be missing. In this case, you should use a data recovery tool like Disk Drill. Disk Drill is an effective GPT partition data recovery tool that is able to scan your hard drive for recoverable data and restore it to a safe storage device.

Here’s how you can use Disk Drill to restore lost data from a drive that has been impacted by a missing EFI partition:

  1. Download Disk Drill.
  2. Connect the drive you wish to recover data from then select it from the list of devices. Click Search for lost data.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (24)
  3. Click Review found items once the scan has finished. Or, click Recover all to recover everything that Disk Drill found.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (25)
  4. Select the data that you wish to recover. Pay attention to the recovery chances column and preview panel to see which data is still recoverable. When you’re ready, click Recover.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (26)
  5. Select a safe destination for recovery. Avoid recovering the data to the same drive you’re restoring it from. Click Next.How to Fix Missing EFI System Partition on Windows 10/11 (27)

Conclusion

If you’ve accidentally deleted your EFI system partition, or it has become unusable due to corruption, then you won’t be able to boot into Windows. You can attempt to repair it using Automatic Boot Repair. If that doesn’t work, you can get a bit more technical and try manually recreating it with DiskPart. Should that still not work, you should back up your data to another storage device and reinstall Windows on the drive, as this will create a new EFI partition in the process.

Should you notice that some of your data is missing even after restoring the EFI partition, you need to recover the data, either from a backup or through the use of a data recovery tool such as Disk Drill.

FAQ

What is the EFI system partition used for?

(Video) How to Identify EFI or Boot Partition in Windows 10 | How do I find My EFI Partition Windows 10 & 11

Is it OK to delete the EFI partition?

What happens if there is no EFI partition?

How do I access my EFI partition?

FAQs

What to do if EFI partition is missing? ›

When you notice there is no EFI Partition or the EFI partition is missing, you may accidentally delete it. You can try to recover the EFI partition using a partition recovery tool or recreate the EFI partition in Windows 10 with diskpart.

How do I repair EFI partition in Windows 11? ›

How to recover EFI partition on Windows 11?
  1. In the search box, type “command prompt” and select the result “Run as administrator” to run the utility.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type “bootrec/fixmbr” to repair MBR in case it has been corrupted or damaged.
May 4, 2023

How do I add an EFI partition to Windows 11? ›

Step 1: Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Then, right-click the EFI system partition and select "Resize/Move Partition". Step 2: In the pop-up small window, position the mouse pointer on the right border of the partition and drag the border rightwards to extend the partition. Then click "OK".

How to recover EFI partition Windows 10? ›

How to Recover Data from an Unbootable Computer Due to Broken EFI Partition
  1. Step 1 – Create Bootable Media. Create a bootable media on a different computer, one that works fine. ...
  2. Step 2 – Boot Computer with Bootable media. ...
  3. Step 3 – Select Recovery Mode. ...
  4. Step 4 – Recover and Save.

How do I manually create EFI partition? ›

How to manually create ESP using Windows installation media
  1. Press Shift + F10 to open Command Line.
  2. Type diskpart Enter . ...
  3. Type list disk Enter A list of disks will be printed. ...
  4. Create ESP: create partition efi size=500 Enter ( 500 is partition size in MiB).
  5. Exit Diskpart: exit Enter .
Mar 27, 2018

How do I recreate Windows EFI partition? ›

Run the following commands to create the EFI system partition with the unallocated space:
  1. create partition efi size=100.
  2. format quick fs=fat32.
  3. assign letter=S (You may replace “S” with other letters which are not already used.)
  4. exit.
Oct 25, 2022

Where is the boot EFI file located in Windows 11? ›

The path element of a Windows boot loader specifies the location of the boot loader on that volume. For UEFI systems, path indicates the Windows boot loader for EFI, whose path is \Windows\System32\Winload.

Does Windows 11 use EFI or UEFI? ›

In general, install Windows using the newer UEFI mode, as it includes more security features than the legacy BIOS mode. If you're booting from a network that only supports BIOS, you'll need to boot to legacy BIOS mode. After Windows is installed, the device boots automatically using the same mode it was installed with.

Does Windows 11 need EFI? ›

Does Windows 11 require UEFI? Microsoft has decided to leverage the advances of UEFI in Windows 11 in order to offer enhanced security for users. This means that Windows 11 MUST run with UEFI and is not compatible with BIOS or Legacy Compatibility Mode.

What size EFI partition do I need Windows 11? ›

The partition must have at least 20 gigabytes (GB) of drive space for 64-bit versions, or 16 GB for 32-bit versions. The Windows partition must be formatted using the NTFS file format.

How does UEFI find EFI partition? ›

Instead, the UEFI firmware only looks for a specific "EFI system partition", a FAT32 partition that contains bootloader programs. The firmware also keeps a list of operating systems in the NVRAM, and each installed OS adds its own entry there, pointing to its own *. efi file within the system partition.

How do I add EFI boot options? ›

I hope it helps.
  1. - Navigate to settings.
  2. - Select Update & security.
  3. - Select Recovery from the left menu.
  4. - Click Restart Now under Advanced startup.
  5. - Click Troubleshoot.
  6. - Click Advanced options.
  7. - Select UEFI Firmware Settings.
  8. - Click Restart.
Jan 21, 2019

Can I copy EFI system partition? ›

In the Home screen, click “Clone” and select “Partition Clone”. If you only want to make a bootable clone of the operating system, choose “System Clone” instead. 2. Choose the disk including EFI system partition as the source, and then select a target disk to receive the cloning.

What is the command for fixboot? ›

Type BOOTREC /FIXMBR and hit <Enter>. This command will attempt to fix any corruption issues with the master boot record. If all goes well, you should see The operation completed successfully. Next, type BOOTREC /FIXBOOT then hit <Enter>.

Where does EFI partition go? ›

The mount point for the EFI system partition is usually /boot/efi , where its content is accessible after Linux is booted.

Do I need to create EFI partition? ›

Does Windows 10 need an EFI partition? Yes, it does. There are multiple reasons why it should not be disturbed. Not only the EFI partition is required to boot into the OS, but it also contains several other tools that are required when your PC is in trouble.

Is it necessary to partition EFI? ›

The EFI system partition (also called ESP) is an OS independent partition that acts as the storage place for the UEFI boot loaders, applications and drivers to be launched by the UEFI firmware. It is mandatory for UEFI boot.

Does Windows automatically create EFI partition? ›

If your hard drive is in the GUID Partition table (GPT) partition style, it will automatically generate an EFI system partition after you have installed your operating systems. Both Windows and Mac operating systems are supported.

How to repair Windows 11 with cmd? ›

To repair Windows 11 using CMD, you will first need to open the Command Prompt by searching for it in the start menu. Once open, type in the following command and hit enter: sfc /scannow. This will scan your system for any corrupt files and attempt to fix them.

How to repair Windows 11? ›

Perform system restore
  1. Open the run box by pressing the Windows key + R and type rstrui.exe.
  2. Once system restore windows open, normally it will suggest a restore point (sometimes it doesn't) if it does, select the 2nd option and hit next.
  3. Select your desired restore point date and time and hit next and finish.
Aug 22, 2022

Does Windows 11 have a repair tool? ›

Microsoft Software Repair Tool. Microsoft Software Repair is a nice straightforward tool designed by Microsoft to help mitigate software issues on Surface devices, but it can be used with Windows 10/11 installations on other devices just as effectively. This tool restores Windows 10/11 to its default settings.

Can I delete EFI system partition Windows 11? ›

For users who want to delete the EFI system, there are two methods available. One is to delete with the Windows built-in tool - Diskpart and the other is to apply a simple third-party tool - EaseUS Partition Master. To avoid unnecessary file loss, make sure you have backed up the ESP files in advance.

How do I know if my Windows 11 is UEFI or Legacy? ›

Click the Search icon on the Taskbar and type in msinfo32 , then press Enter. System Information window will open. Click on the System Summary item. Then locate BIOS Mode and check the type of BIOS, Legacy or UEFI.

Does Windows 11 use UEFI or MBR? ›

As for the question, Windows 11 do run MBR but only as a 2nd disk. That means you can not have MBR as the primary disk for Windows 11. Unfortunately, Microsoft has set GPT (GUID Partition Table) configuration UEFI, and secure boot enables running and installing Windows 11.

What happens if you run Windows 11 without TPM? ›

Any Risk? So that you can run Windows without TPM 2.0, but your PC won't go with any key or minimal updates, which will lead to data risk, even the PC crashes. So we do not recommend bypassing TPM 2.0 while installing Windows 11.

How to bypass Windows 11 CPU requirements? ›

How to bypass Windows 11 CPU requirements
  1. Windows+r and then type regedit.
  2. After that navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup.
  3. Then right-click on the left side and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Now you have to set its name to AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU and set its value to 1.
Mar 6, 2022

What needs to be enabled in BIOS for Windows 11? ›

If you plan to upgrade to Windows 11, you must first check and enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot in the BIOS (UEFI) of your computer's motherboard (from Asus, Dell, MSI, GigaByte, etc.) as part of the preparation.

What partition scheme should I use for Windows 11? ›

For the OS disk drive, Windows 11 requires GPT as its disk partition style. While for the data disk, you can either set it as GPT or MBR according to the disk storage size - for larger than 2TB, use GPT; for smaller than 2TB, use MBR.

What partition should I install Windows 11 on? ›

Choose the amount of space (in megabytes) to allocate for Windows 11 and apps. (The operating system requires at least 64GB of space, but to prevent problems with future updates and running out of space installing apps, you should be creating a partition between 100GB to 200GB in size approximately.

How many partitions should Windows 11 have? ›

How many disk partitions should I make? The partitions on Windows depend on your drive. If it is formatted in GPT, then you can create a maximum of 128 partitions. However, if it is an MBR drive, you can only have 4 primary partitions with any number of logical partitions for storage.

How do I find my EFI boot? ›

Boot files are located in C:\Windows\Boot\EFI .

How do I find my Microsoft EFI boot? ›

There is a " Bootmgr . efi " "Bootmgfw. efi" in the E:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot folder (since your letter is E). At an Administrator Command Prompt, try "DIR E:\ /a /s" to see a full listing of folders & files.

How do I select an EFI partition? ›

Show activity on this post.
  1. open a command prompt with admin privileges (approve UAC if demanded)
  2. start diskpart -> diskpart.
  3. select your disk with efi partions -> sel disk 1 (if disk 1 is the correct disk)
  4. list your available partitions -> list part.
  5. if partition 2 that is the efi partition -> sel part 2.
Jan 29, 2019

How do I reset my EFI boot? ›

1. Reset internally from your device's BIOS or UEFI menu
  1. Navigate to the Settings tab under your Start menu by clicking the gear icon.
  2. Click the Update & Security option and select Recovery from the left sidebar.
  3. You should see a Restart now option below the Advanced Setup heading, click this whenever you're ready.
Oct 10, 2019

Is UEFI and EFI the same thing? ›

The UEFI Specification was primarily intended for the next generation of IA architecture–based computers, and is an outgrowth of the "Intel® Boot Initiative" (IBI) program that began in 1998. Intel's original version of this specification was publicly named EFI, ending with the EFI 1.10 version.

What is the name of the boot file for EFI? ›

What is file: \efi\microsoft\boot\bcd? This file is the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) file for your Windows operating system.

Is system Reserved partition same as EFI partition? ›

If you see a 100MB system reserved partition, then you do not have an EFI partition and your computer is in legacy BIOS mode. If you had an EFI partition, both Disk Management and diskpart would tell you so. EFI partitions are found on GPT formatted drives and are used to boot the operating system.

How do I fix startup repair? ›

On the Install Windows screen, select Next > Repair your computer. On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot. On the Advanced options screen, select Startup Repair. After Startup Repair, select Shutdown, then turn on your PC to see if Windows can boot properly.

How to repair system files using Command Prompt? ›

In the command prompt window, type SFC /scannow and press Enter . System file checker utility checks the integrity of Windows system files and repairs them if required. After the process is complete, reboot the computer.

How to increase EFI partition Windows 10? ›

Step-by-step guide:
  1. Step 1: On EaseUS Partition Master, go to Partition Manager and right-click the target GPT partition, choose "Resize/Move".
  2. Step 2: Resize the GPT drive.
  3. Step 3: Click "Execute Task" and "Apply" to save the changes to resize the GPT partition.
Feb 22, 2023

How do I reinstall EFI? ›

If you do have the Installation Media:
  1. Insert the Media (DVD/USB) in your personal computer and restart.
  2. Boot from the media.
  3. Select Repair Your Computer.
  4. Select Troubleshoot.
  5. Choose Command Prompt from the menu: ...
  6. Verify that the EFI partition (EPS - EFI System Partition) is using the FAT32 file system.
Apr 27, 2023

How do I add an EFI partition? ›

Part 3. How to Create EFI System Partition (ESP)
  1. Diskpart.
  2. List disk.
  3. Select disk.
  4. List partition.
  5. Create partition efi.
  6. Format quick fs=fat32.
  7. List partition.
  8. List volume (i.e. the volume letter where the Windows OS is installed)
Jun 1, 2023

Where is my EFI system partition? ›

On GPT drives, this is known as the EFI System Partition, or the ESP. This partition is usually stored on the primary hard drive. The device boots to this partition. The minimum size of this partition is 100 MB, and must be formatted using the FAT32 file format.

How do I enable EFI boot? ›

Press the F2 key until you see the BIOS Setup screen. Step 3. Under Boot, click on UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode and press Enter.

How do I reset my EFI shell? ›

From the EFI Boot Manager menu, select the Boot Option Maintenance menu. Then from the Boot Option Maintenance menu select the Cold Reset menu to reset the local nPartition. The Cold Reset menu item resets all active cells in the nPartition and reboots them.

Where is the boot EFI file located in Windows 10? ›

The path element of a Windows boot loader specifies the location of the boot loader on that volume. For UEFI systems, path indicates the Windows boot loader for EFI, whose path is \Windows\System32\Winload. efi .

How to create EFI boot file? ›

To access the UEFI menu, create a bootable USB media:
  1. Format a USB device in FAT32 .
  2. Create a directory on the USB device: /efi/boot/
  3. Copy the file shell. efi to the directory created above. ...
  4. Rename the file shell.efi to BOOTX64.efi.
  5. Restart the system and enter the UEFI menu.
  6. Select the option to Boot from USB.
Mar 1, 2023

Can you format EFI partition? ›

You can format the EFI system partition as FAT32 with the Diskpart command line tool that can be used by following the instructions below. To complete this process, you'll need local administrator access on the computer. Make a disk backup before because this process will clean the entire disk.

Does Windows 10 require EFI? ›

UEFI, more specifically GPT which is required if you install Windows while in UEFI mode, is not required for Windows 10. Windows 10 fully supports MBR. However, your storage device, might require it. Since your device supports UEFI, there is no reason, not to install Windows while in UEFI mode.

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4. How to Restore & Recover Accidentally Deleted Windows EFI Boot Partition | Fix Can't Boot EFI System
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5. Fix UEFI Firmware Settings missing in Windows 11/10/8/7 | How To Solve uefi Option Not Found
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6. Fix Winload.efi Is Missing or Corrupt UEFI In Windows 10 (Solved)
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