FIX: Patched Windows boot loader detected when launching games

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Patched Windows boot loader detected

Besides the Denuvo anti-tamper software, more and more game studios implement various anti-cheat tools with the EAC (Easy Anti-Cheat) leading the group. In the most likely scenario, users will hardly know this service is working in the background. However, on some occasions, it shows peculiar errors, like “Patched Windows Boot Loader, detected“. This insinuates that you’re running a pirated version of the system, which breaks the game’s agreement terms.

We provided some solutions for this ache, but the fact is that you won’t be able to remove this service. If you’re seeing this error regularly, advance through the list of solutions we provided below.

How to resolve the “Patched Windows boot loader detected” error on Windows 10

  1. Restart PC
  2. Insert valid product key
  3. Scan for malware
  4. Exclude the game from AV scans
  5. Repair the game
  6. Reinstall Windows 10

1: Restart PC

The simplest solution of them all. But, seemingly, rather fruitful. Namely, after a system reboot, lots of affected users resolved the error and were able to access the Steam and EAC-covered (Easy Anti-Cheat) games.  Now, this tool might block the software with pirated activation but, since this error occurs on legit Windows 10, we’re probably looking at some kind of a bug.

So, just close everything and restart your PC. After that, the problem with EAC and the ‘patched loader detection’ error should be addressed. On the other hand, if you’re still having a hard time starting the games and the error is persistent, move on with the steps below.

2: Insert valid product key

Based on various reports, this error can occur even if you don’t have the activated version of Windows 10. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance for both the gaming segment and overall experience, to activate it right away. We don’t recommend using illegal activators or loaders for Windows 10. This can cause a lot of issues and it can completely brick your PC, especially if you have a genuine installation.

If you, on the other hand, have a valid activation key but, for some reason, the system isn’t activated, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click Start and open Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  3. Click Activation under the left pane.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  4. Activate Windows 10 manually (by inserting the license key).

3: Scan for malware

Malware is another thing which can provoke this and similar errors. Prior to moving on, confirm that your system is completely clean. The Real-time protection your antivirus provides might not suffice, so we suggest running a deep scan.

This feature is available on Windows Defender or any third-party antivirus solution you can put your hands on. There are some antiviruses we highly recommend, specialized for Windows 10. Make sure to check the list, here.

In the meanwhile, this is how to perform an in-depth scan with Windows Defender:

  1. Open Windows Defender from the taskbar notification area.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  3. Click on Run new advanced scan.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  4. Select Windows Defender Offline Scan and click Scan now.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  5. Your computer will restart and the scanning procedure will start.

4: Exclude the game from AV scans

Malware is indeed dangerous. However, there’s more to EAC than it meets the eye. Especially as some regard the Easy-Anti-Cheat service as the grey area of the associated game software. Some even claim that this service is malicious on its own, but we won’t say so.

It’s indeed a bit more intrusive and it does some things which are not exactly welcomed by the community. An example is frequent screenshots and tracking your activity in the background. Sometimes it crosses the line and the security blocks it.

Now, if you really want the game, despite the EAC, we suggest creating an exclusion for this software. That way, your antivirus will let it be and you’ll be able to play the game at last. In our own experience, the EAC isn’t dangerous at all and we never had an issue with it.

Here’s how to create an exclusion for EAC in Windows Defender:

  1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  3. Select Virus & threat protection settings.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  4. Scroll down and, under Exclusions, click Add or remove exclusions.Patched Windows boot loader detected
  5. Select a folder from the drop-down menu and select the EasyAntiCheat folder. It should be somewhere amongst the game files.

5: Repair the game

Reinstalling the game might help as well. We’re aware that this means a lengthy and annoying procedure, but it seems that something completely went wrong with your game. Now, if you use Steam, you might avoid reinstalling the game with the Integrity Verification tool. This tool checks and verifies the state of installation files and, if there are signs of corruption, it replaces them accordingly.

Follow these steps to check the integrity of installation files with the Steam client:

  1. Open Steam‘s Library.
  2. Right-click on the game and open Properties.
  3. Choose the “LOCAL FILES” tab.
  4. Click on the “VERIFY THE INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES” option.Patched Windows boot loader detected

6: Reinstall Windows 10

Finally, and this is the last resort, you can reinstall the system. We won’t recommend doing so, but if you already took some steps, causing issues in the process, this is the last thing which comes to my mind. Of course, in the most situations, you’ll resolve the error with some of the previous steps. This is the last available option.

In case you’re unsure how to reinstall Windows 10, make sure to check our in-depth explanation, here. Don’t forget that you can move the game files to a secondary partition and run it from there after the system reinstallation. That way, you’ll save up some time.

That’s it. Don’t forget to share your concerns with the game developers if needed. Also, feel free to share alternative solutions or post questions in the comments section below.


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