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BOOTMGR is missing fix

Discussion in 'Software' started by mcsmc, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek


    Working on a friend's laptop, the hard drive bit the dust so I ordered a new drive.

    Installed Windows 7 on it using a bootable USB drive installation, as the optical drive on the machine also doesn't work (and he doesn't feel like forking over $150 to HP for a new one). Also, I don't have an external USB optical drive (can systems boot from those?).

    Either way, after a fresh install of Windows 7, rebooted once and everything is fine, it continues to download and install updates. After that, it goes to the "BOOTMGR is missing, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart" message. I'm not sure if this a bug from using a bootable USB drive to install or not. Either way, here's what I've tried:

    Fixing it using Startup Repair (works temporarily, but reverts back to the error, and after a time or two, it isn't able to repair)
    Reinstalling Windows 7 AGAIN
    Re-creating the bootable USB install (and installing Windows 7 yet again)

    I'd like to know how to simply manually fix this problem once I'm booted into Windows, if that's possible.

    The drive I ordered is a WD Scorpio Black and the computer is an HP Pavilion DV6700. The only things I've installed on it before rebooting (and having the BOOTMGR missing issue) is Comodo Internet Security, Firefox, The KMPlayer (freeware media player) and K-Lite Mega Codec Pack.

    I'd also like to note that I'm having the same issue trying to install Windows 7 via a USB stick on another friend's computer (though it's not as crucial, as his optical drive works).
  2. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

  3. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Not yet, but I will now. Thanks for the tip, I'll see if it works. :)

    Currently running a sfc /scannow on the system, though I doubt it'll do much good with a fresh install.
  4. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    You might find EasyBCD the answer to this situation.
  5. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    Thank you both for the tips. I'll keep them both in mind for the future!

    Now, it doesn't want to act up... hope it doesn't change its mind once its back with its owner. Heh.
  6. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    I figured out what the issue is, and ironically, it has nothing to do with Windows, the MBR, or anything else software-related.

    It has to do with the BIOS' boot from USB boot order option. Apparently (and this is both on an HP AND a Dell laptop), when the BIOS is set to boot order>1USB, 2ODD, 3HDD (or anything with USB first), when a USB thumbdrive is in the computer when it is turned on, the BIOS assigns the drive letter C:\ to the USB thumbdrive. Obviously, since Windows is installed on C:\ on the hard drive partition, "BOOTMGR is missing" because it's missing from the "C:\" drive the computer sees at boot.

    This is one of the more strange things I've seen recently (and I've confirmed the issue). Only solution is to either never boot with a USB device connected, OR after using a bootable USB device, change the boot order to exclude USB or have USB last.

    I finally happened upon the fix once I was in Recovery, I went to the Command Prompt to try the bootrec commands. I decided to double check C:\ and Windows wasn't in C:\, it was in D:\.
  7. Earthling

    Earthling Interplanetary Geek

    The BIOS never assigns drive letters, but what it does do is look at the first boot device in the boot order to see if it has an Active partition, and if it has it passes control to the boot sector of that drive. Depending on what has been installed on that drive the boot sector looks for a bootable file - NTLDR in XP, Bootmgr in 7 or Vista. Not too sure exactly how this relates to your problem but that is what happens.
  8. mcsmc

    mcsmc MajorGeek

    I understand what you're saying, and would've agreed with you prior to this strange experience. The boot order DOES affect Windows' ability to start somehow, I'm not sure how else to explain it.

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