How to fix a digital signature error on Windows 10/11 (error code 0xc0000428)?

How to fix a digital signature error on Windows 10/11
Quick Fix

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Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a common problem for Windows users, as it is difficult to diagnose and can appear unexpectedly.

Some of the blue screen errors you might have come across include:

On Windows 10/11, a “blue screen of death” is also known as a stop error or fatal system error. This happens when the operating system crashes, which means it encountered a problem that prevented it from executing properly. When this occurs, Windows displays a blue screen with information about the issue before restarting.

Blue screens can occur due to various reasons, which we’ll discuss further below. Bad drivers, hardware issues, and operating system failures are all common BSOD triggers.

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Another common BSOD error that Windows users frequently get is the Error Code 0xc0000428. This boot error has left several PC users stumped and unable to proceed with their startup.

This article hopes to shed light on how to fix the Error Code 0xc0000428 on Windows 10/11 and what triggers it in the first place.

What Is the Error Code 0xc0000428?

The boot manager Error Code 0xc0000428 comes with the message, “The digital signature for this file couldn’t be verified. It can occur on any Windows OS version. However, because Windows 10/11 is outperforming prior versions and attracting more users every day, we’ll focus on that version in this guide. Many people have already complained about this issue in internet forums. However, solutions do not work for all of them in the same way.

When Windows 10/11 fails to boot with the Error 0xc0000428 (Your PC/Device requires repair), one of the following things may have happened:

  • During a Windows update, the PC was unintentionally shut down due to a power outage or any reason.
  • Cloning or resizing is occurring in the operating system’s hard disk.

This error shows that a particular program is not genuine. You may experience a “blue screen of death” as a result, accompanied by any of the following notifications:

“Your PC/Device needs to be repaired.

The operating system couldn’t be loaded because the digital signature of a file couldn’t be verified.


Error code: 0xc0000428”

“A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source.

If you have a Windows installation disk, insert the disk and restart your computer. Click “Repair your computer”, and then choose a recovery tool.

Otherwise, to start Windows so you can investigate further, press the Enter key to display the boot menu, press F8 for Advanced Boot Options, and select Last Known Good. If you understand why the digital signature cannot be verified and want to start Windows without this file, temporarily disable driver signature enforcement.

File: \Windows\System32\winload.exe

Status: 0xc0000428

Info: Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file.”

According to the error message, the issue has something to do with the digital signature of a specific program on the affected computer.

Per Microsoft, digital signatures are generated according to a Microsoft public key infrastructure technology. This is based on Microsoft Authenticode paired with an infrastructure of a trusted certification authority (CA). Using a code-signing digital certificate issued by a CA, Authenticode allows vendors or software publishers to sign a file or a group of files (such as a driver package).

An authentic digital signature is used by Windows to validate the following:

  • The file (or a group of files) is signed.
  • The signer is trusted.
  • The CA that verified the signer’s identity is trusted.
  • The collection of files was not modified after it was published.

When this BSOD issue occurs, it means that there is a problem anywhere along the digital signature verification process. Now, what triggers this blue screen error?

What Causes the Digital Signature Error on Windows 10/11?

One or more of the following factors have been linked to this error:

  • The BOOTMGR file is outdated. The 0xc0000428 issue may appear if you have upgraded to a newer version of Windows but the BOOTMGR file has not been updated properly.
  • A newer version of Windows is using an older boot disk. To set up a dual boot mode, the user may install a newer version of Windows on one hard drive and then attach another hard drive with an older version of Windows. However, in such a situation, the outdated version of BOOTMGR is used, and the boot process is stopped.
  • Windows is having trouble verifying the digital signature of running hardware or software. If Windows is unable to verify the digital signature of a hardware or software that it’s trying to access, the Error Code 0xc0000428 will appear. So, all digital signatures of hardware or software should be properly signed.
  • The BOOTMGR is outdated due to a service pack update. This issue can also occur if a user fails to update an existing BOOTMGR file after installing a new service pack. If this is the case, an updated version of Windows will be stuck with an old version of BOOTMGR, which will prevent it from loading properly.
  • The existing installation disk became disconnected before installing Windows. Many users are advised to detach their primary boot disk prior to installing a new version of the OS. This will help avoid corrupting an existing installation or losing data during a system upgrade. However, following this advice may cause the system bootloader on the primary boot disk to become corrupted, resulting in the boot manager error after the drive is reinstalled.

Now, you know what triggers the digital signature error on Windows 10/11 and you have a better understanding of what happened. As such, you can formulate the most effective solutions to resolve this.

How to Fix a Digital Signature Error on Windows 10/11

The first step you need to try when you encounter this error is to try to boot normally. If you’re able to do so, then the troubleshooting process will be a lot easier. If you can’t boot normally, then you need to boot into Safe Mode to be able to apply some of the workarounds below.

It is recommended that you regularly clean up the junk files on your computer using Outbyte PC Repair. Doing so will prevent problems, such as the 0xc0000428 error, from happening.

Fix 1: Repair Windows 10/11 Using Advanced Boot Options.

The commands we’ll run rely on a program called bootrec.exe, which is used to fix problems that arise during the boot process. Because this Blue Screen of Death occurs during the startup phase, you may need to learn how to access Command Prompt without turning on your computer.

  1. Wait for the boot screen to appear after restarting your computer. It’s usually the screen with the brand of your PC and options like “Press to Run Setup,” etc.
  2. Start tapping the required key on your keyboard as soon as the boot screen shows. If the key still doesn’t work, restart your computer and try tapping some of the function keys (F12, F5, F8, etc.).
  3. The Windows Advanced Options Menu should appear, allowing you to select from a variety of boot options for your computer.
  4. Enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  5. When the Command Prompt window appears, copy and paste the following commands into the terminal, making sure to press Enter after each one to run them:
  • bootrec/fixMBR
  • bootrec/fixBoot
  • bootrec/rebuildBCD
  1. Try booting your computer again after restarting it. If the Windows Advanced Options menu does not appear, try booting your computer with a recovery DVD or USB disk.
  2. When your computer starts up, select the language you want to use and then choose Repair Your Computer from the drop-down menu. Next, select Command Prompt and type the same commands.

You should now be able to boot normally without getting the digital signature error.

Fix 2: Update BOOTMGR Manually

An outdated BOOTMGR often causes boot failure, so replacing it with the updated version is an effective solution.

The steps to replace the BOOTMGR are as follows:

  1. Start by booting from the Windows installation CD.
  2. After selecting the appropriate language, time, and keyboard input, click Repair Your Computer.
  3. Select the Windows installation drive, which is normally C:, and then click Next.
  4. When the System Recovery Options box appears, select Command Prompt.
  5. Type the following command:

Bcdboot C:\Windows /s D:\

Note: C:Windows is your Windows installation location and D: is your active boot partition.

It’s worth noting that using bootsect.exe to change the MBR or bootsector isn’t necessary. The fact that BOOTMGR starts means they’re both configured correctly.

Fix 3: Turn Off the Driver Signature Enforcement.

This option disables driver signature enforcement, which could be one of the causes of your computer’s boot failure. You can proceed with this solution via a third-party tool, or you can do it yourself by following the guidelines below.

If you want to manually disable the Driver Signature Enforcement, you need to access the Advanced Startup Options. We’ll show you four ways to do this.

Option 1: Via the Login Screen

  1. Log out of your account or simply turn on your computer to get to the login screen. After that, press Restart while holding down the Shift key.
  2. You can also access the login screen by using the power icons in the Start menu or any other method.
  3. This function will not operate with the on-screen keyboard, so you’ll need to connect your real keyboard to complete these procedures.
  4. Next, Advanced Startup Options should appear.

Option 2: Via Windows 10/11 Settings

  1. To open Settings, click on the Start button and then on the gear symbol. You can also use the search box to look for Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings app and select Update & Security from the drop-down menu.
  3. On the left side of the Update & Security page, click Recovery from the tabs.
  4. This option should include an advanced startup section, so look for it at the bottom of the Recovery tab.
  5. Now, press the Restart button.
  6. Advanced Startup Options should now be displayed on the screen.

Option 3: Via Command Prompt

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing “cmd” (no quotes) in the Search box and selecting the first result.
  2. To redirect to the Advanced setup screen, copy and paste this command:

/r /o shutdown

  1. Make a backup of anything you’ve been working on because this will immediately shut down your computer.
  2. When you see the “You’re about to be signed off” message, click the Close button.
  3. The windows will close and the “Please wait” message will appear.
  4. In a few seconds, Advanced Startup Options should appear.

Option 4: Via the Windows 10/11 Recovery Drive

  1. Turn on your computer and insert a bootable Windows 10/11 DVD or a properly configured USB device.
  2. It does not have to be your original Windows 10/11 DVD because you will only need it to access certain settings and not to activate your operating system version.
  3. By restarting your computer after inserting the drive, you can boot from it after following the instructions.
  4. Configure your computer’s language, time, and date settings.
  5. Choose the Repair Your Computer option at the bottom and the Advanced Startup Options will appear in a matter of seconds.

Following the methods below, you can now freely navigate to the Startup Settings option after successfully accessing the Advanced Startup Options. Here are the next steps to proceed:

  1. Click the Troubleshoot option under the Continue button.
  2. The three options available to you include:
  • Refresh your PC
  • Reset your PC
  • Advanced options
  1. If you aren’t intending on refreshing or resetting your PC, go to the Advanced options (which can be useful as well). It’s worth noting that the Refresh Your PC option keeps your files but removes the programs you’ve installed.
  2. Click Startup Settings on the Advanced Choices screen to see a list of startup options accessible to you.
  3. Disable driver signature enforcement should be the seventh option. Use the F7 function key or the number 7 on your keyboard.
  4. To return to Windows, press Enter.

Fix 4: Use Automatic Repair

Various Windows-based issues can be quickly addressed by using the troubleshooters that come preinstalled on PCs. This one may be accessible by following the steps from the step above.

  1. Navigate to the Advanced Startup Options menu, using any of the methods discussed in Fix 3.
  2. Select the Troubleshoot option.
  3. Select Advanced settings > Automatic Repair from the Advanced options screen, which will launch the troubleshooter for you.
  4. To complete the Automatic Repair and fix your computer, follow the onscreen instructions.

If All Else Fails…

If none of the above solutions worked, reinstalling the operating system is your last option. Boot from the installation media, then start to reinstall the operating system. Choose the operating system you want to install and select the “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” option. After that, you can only wait patiently for the installation process to be completed. Once you’re done, all system-related problems, including the Error Code 0xc0000428, should now be resolved.

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