TechSpot

BOOTMGR ERRORS - issues and solutions

By odriscoll27
Jun 1, 2012
Post New Reply

  1. Recently a few people who have attempted to build a PC, (perhaps for the first time), upgrade their OS or their PC is just simply playing up have received the error “BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart”. This article will try to help people understand why this may have happened and what they can do to resolve it.



    First things First:
    BOOTMGR issues apply to Windows 7 and Windows Vista operating systems only. Windows XP does not utilize BOOTMGR. The equivalent function in Windows XP is NTLDR


    BOOTMGR Error Message:
    There are few ways that the "BOOTMGR is missing" error may show up on your computer, with the first error I have listed being the most common:
    • "BOOTMGR is missing
      Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart"
    • "BOOTMGR is missing
      Press any key to restart"
    • "Couldn't find BOOTMGR"

    The "BOOTMGR is missing" error displays shortly after the computer is turned on, immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST) is complete. Windows 7 or Windows Vista has only initially started to load when the BOOTMGR error message appears.


    Causes of BOOTMGR Errors:
    There are a number of possible causes for BOOTMGR errors, including the most common "BOOTMGR is missing" error message.

    The most common reasons for BOOTMGR errors include corrupt and misconfigured files, hard drive and operating system upgrade issues, corrupt hard drive sectors, an outdated BIOS, and damaged or loose IDE cables.

    Another reason you might see BOOTMGR errors is if your PC is trying to boot from a hard drive or flash drive that is not properly configured to be booted from. In other words, it's trying to boot from a non-bootable source. This also would apply to media on an optical drive or floppy drive that you're trying to boot from.


    Fixes for BOOTMGR Errors:
    Restart the PC. The BOOTMGR error could be a fluke.
    Check your optical drives, USB ports, and floppy drives for media. Often times, the "BOOTMGR is Missing" error will appear if your PC is trying to boot to a non-bootable disc, external drive, or floppy disk.
    Note: If you find that this is the cause of your issue and it's happening regularly, you might want to consider
    changing the boot order in BIOS so the hard drive is listed as the first boot device.


    Perform a Startup Repair of Windows. This type of installation should replace any missing or corrupt files, including BOOTMGR.

    Even though a Startup Repair is a common solution for BOOTMGR problems, don't worry if it doesn't fix your problem. Just continue troubleshooting - something will work.

    Write a new partition boot sector to the Windows system partition to correct any possible corruption, configuration problem, or other damage.

    The
    partition boot sector is an important piece in the boot process so if there's any issue with it, you'll see problems like "BOOTMGR is Missing" errors.

    Rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). Similar to the partition boot sector, a corrupted or incorrectly configured BCD could cause BOOTMGR error messages.

    Important: The following troubleshooting steps are much less likely to help fix your BOOTMGR problem. If you've skipped any of the above ideas then you may have overlooked a very likely solution to this problem!


    Check the hard drive and other drive settings in BIOS and ensure they are correct. The BIOS configuration tells the computer how to use a drive so incorrect settings can cause problems, including BOOTMGR errors.
    Note: There's usually an Auto setting in BIOS for hard disk and optical drive configurations which is usually a safe bet if you're not sure what to do.


    Reseat all internal data and power cables. BOOTMGR error messages could be caused by loose or malfunctioning power or controller cables.

    Try replacing the
    PATA or SATA cable if you suspect it might be faulty.

    Update your motherboard's BIOS. An outdated BIOS version can sometimes cause the "BOOTMGR is Missing" error.

    Perform a clean installation of Windows. This type of installation will completely remove Windows from your PC and install it again from scratch. While this will almost certainly resolve any BOOTMGR errors, it's a time consuming process due to the fact that all of your data must be backed up and then later restored.

    If you can't gain access to your files to back them up, please understand that you will lose them all if you continue with a clean installation of Windows!


    Replace the hard drive and then install a new copy of Windows. If all else has failed, including the clean installation from the last step, you're most likely facing a hardware issue with your hard drive.


    Hope this helps some people and im open to any comments and questions
    James


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.