I recently installed a fresh copy of Windows Vista on a new computer in our office and everything went fine. During the installation, I had no errors or problems. I removed the CD and restarted my computer, but the following error appeared to me:
Bootmgr is missing. Press ctrl-alt-del to restart.
Fabulous! Brand new installation of Windows Vista and it doesn’t work. So, by doing a little research on the internet, I was able to figure out what is causing the problem on my machine. In this article, I will also list several other ways to solve the problem, because this can happen in different circumstances.
First, I’ll start with some simpler solutions in case one of them works. If not, we’ll move on to more complex solutions.
Method 1 – Unplug the secondary hard drives
One of the reasons you might get the Bootmrg is missing error message is because there are multiple hard drives of different types installed. For example, if you have one SATA drive and an additional SCSI drive, you might have this problem.
One easy solution is to disconnect the second drive and restart your computer. If Vista starts normally, reconnect the additional hard drive and reboot again. Hopefully the problem goes away.
If the message appears again when you plug in an additional hard drive, you will have to unplug it again, reinstall Vista with one drive, remove the CD and reboot. Windows will boot normally. Then plug the additional drive back in and restart your computer.
The second method – change the hard disk boot priority
Another simple option that can fix the problem is the boot sequence and boot priority in BIOS. First, make sure the number 1 in the boot sequence is hard drive, not floppy drive, CD, etc.
As you can see from the picture above, CDROM is installed as the first boot device. We want to change this to the hard drive. Second, if you have a hard drive boot priority option as shown in the screen above, you want to select the hard drive (if you have more than one physical drive) that has Windows Vista installed.
If you change both of these to the correct boot device and hard drive, you should no longer receive the Bootmrg is missing!
Third method – disconnect any USB devices
I’ve read in several places that people have left USB flash drives connected to their computers for a long time, and if you happen to install a Windows update patch when the USB stick is plugged in and then reboots, you will end up with this message in Vista
Unplug any USB drives you might have connected to your computer and restart your computer. If that still doesn’t work, keep reading for more advanced solutions!
Fourth method – rebuilding the BCD store
The fourth method is a little more complicated, but it may be required if all else fails. First, make sure you only have one active partition and that it is configured for the partition on which Windows Vista is installed. If you have more than one active partition, you run into problems.
Then rebuild the BCD store using the bootrec tool in the Windows Vista Recovery Environment. You can do this by opening the Vista DVD and choosing Repair your computer.
Then select your operating system and click Command Prompt in the System Recovery Options dialog box.
Now enter the following command at the command prompt and press Enter:
Bootrec / RebuildBcd
If it finds a Windows installation, it will ask you to add an entry, so enter Yes. If it cannot find any Windows installation, you need to delete the BCD store and recreate it. If so, enter the following commands:
Bcdedit / export C: BCD_Backup ren c: boot bcd bcd.old Bootrec / rebuildbcd
Note that you should change C: to the partition where you installed Windows Vista. Now restart your computer leaving the Vista DVD inside. Choose a repair option and let it repair your Vista installation. Restart again and your problem should now be resolved.
Fifth method – copy the bootmgr file from another computer
Finally, you can try to copy the file from a working Windows Vista computer and place it in the appropriate directory on the computer that does not boot correctly. Bootmrg is at the root of the C drive (or whatever drive Vista is installed on), but only shows up if you are showing protected operating system files.
Typically open My Computer, click Organize, click Folder and Search Options, click the View tab, then select the Show hidden files and folders radio button and uncheck the Hide operating system files checkbox.
Now go to drive C and copy the bootmrg file to your USB stick or CD. Then go to another computer and either boot with the Vista DVD inserted or boot using a Vista boot disc. Copy the file to the same location and restart your computer without the Vista DVD. Hope you don’t get this message again!
If you are still having problems missing bootmgr, please post your problem in the comments section and I will try to help! Enjoy!
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