Operating System Couldn’t Be Loaded Because A Required



Having trouble booting Windows? Greeted with BSOD on launch? If you are facing errors related to error code 0xc0000098, we may have a solution.

Here’s how to fix “Error code 0xc0000098: The operating system could not be loaded because a required file is missing” on Windows.


What is error code 0xc0000098?

Error code 0xc00000098 can refer to a range of problems, all of which fall under the umbrella of boot sector issues.

This could mean anything, physical problems caused by disk write errors, a user improperly configuring the boot sector, or you just got unlucky and your data was corrupted during a faulty Windows Update .

What is pci.sys?

An additional term that may also appear with error 0xc0000098 is that pci.sys is missing.

A missing pci.sys file can indicate a number of different problems, as pci.sys refers to Windows’ software solution to plug and play devices.

However, if this term is being generated with error code 0xc0000098, it would indicate that a hardware failure is occurring at some stage of the boot process.

This can be useful in determining if you need new hardware, or if this is something the user can easily fix themselves.

What you need to fix error code 0x0000098

This is a serious error, and fixing it can be an involved process. Since you will encounter this error only with Windows failing to boot, you will be locked out of normal Windows functions.

The first thing you need to check is whether you can access the Windows recovery environment. This should be an option presented to you with the boot error. If it is not, there is a possibility that the recovery environment is missing or was never enabled.

Check out our guide on accessing the recovery environment to make sure you’re not missing anything before proceeding.

If you can’t access the recovery environment, the next few steps will need to be done from a bootable USB drive. We have a comprehensive guide on the best way to create a bootable USB device.

If you’re closing the recovery environment, click Troubleshoot, and then click Command Prompt.

If you’re doing this from a bootable USB, make sure you click Repair your computer when prompted. From there you will be given the same options as the recovery environment, and will need to open Command Prompt similarly.

This will be the staging ground for our efforts to fix this boot error. Connecting to the Internet with an Ethernet cord would be beneficial. Now, let’s take a look at our options.

1. Run Check Disk Scan

Our first option is to run the Check Disk command. Input chkdsk /f /r directly into Command Prompt (see How to open Command Prompt) and press Enter.

It will take some time to complete. It will scan the drive you installed Windows on and report any major errors. Hopefully, this will cure them too.

This is unlikely to completely solve your problem, since a fatal error caused by a boot sector failure is unlikely to be fixed by the check disk command. However, it will report back to you if it fails, and give you valuable information about which drives, partitions, and sectors may be experiencing errors.

2. Verify Boot Configuration Integrity

This next step will check the overall integrity of your Windows installation. Unlike the previous step, this will not scan your entire drive. Rather, it will just check to see if anything went wrong with Windows. This is a useful step to rule out a potentially corrupt update.

Again, at the P:rompt command, start by inputting sfc /scannow . Let it run and check for any errors with protected system files. If this command picks up any corrupted files, it’s capable of replacing them and potentially solving your boot issues.

This next command will require internet, so it’s a good idea to plug in that ethernet cord at this point.

This command will check the integrity of Windows in its entirety, and then try and find online replacements for any broken files.

If, after running these commands and restarting, you’re still experiencing boot problems, it’s time to completely rebuild the boot sector.

3. Manually Rebuild Boot Configuration Data

Whatever’s wrong with the boot sector, we’re going to take it out and start over. Still in Command Prompt, enter each of these four commands separately.

Each of these orders may take some time to process. However, if they all succeed and there are no further errors, there’s a good chance you’ve fixed your boot sector. restart and check it out.

If you’re still having problems, for example an error denied you access to one of these commands, read on.