How To Fix “BOOTMGR is missing” Error in Vista and Windows 7

Fixing the "BOOTMGR is missing" error isn't too hard; here's how.

Please note: We are unable to provide individual support in the comments under this article. If you need assistance, please post here in our forum.

The day before yesterday I was testing out a program with several system utilities built in. One of its components left my computer in a bit of a mess – no icons anywhere and other assorted woes. I had set a system restore point before I ran the program, so I thought I’d do a system restore. System restore gave me a message that it couldn’t restore my files. I decided to restore a disc image I had made a short while back. When I booted up the computer I got a message:
BOOTMGR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
I stared at it the white letters on the black background for a few minutes, while the cursor blinked back at me. After some searching (on another computer) I had some solutions.
Barring any hardware errors, here’s how to fix that error:

  • Insert your Windows Vista or Windows 7 disk into your DVD player and restart your computer.
  • The next screen you see should have the Language, Time and Currency and Keyboard boxes.
  • In the lower left side there are two options: “What to know before installing Windows” and “Repair your computer.”
  • Click on “Repair your computer”
  • Windows will then try to find the installation directory for Vista or Windows 7, depending on what you have.
  • Next up is a screen with a box called Recovery Options. Click the first option, Startup Repair.
  • You’ll see a Startup Repair box with the message “Startup Repair is checking your system for problems…”
  • When it’s done, it will prompt you to reboot. If there is more than one problem it may reboot again to continue repairing.
  • At this point, you can remove the DVD, reboot and everything should be working.

Two sites I found helpful are BOOTMGR is Missing at and cyberstorms How to fix "BOOTMGR is missing" in Windows Vista
If the method outlined above doesn't work, try Solution #2 at the cyberstorm link.
Oh, restoring the disc image went fine and all is well. All my data was backed up (somewhere other than the hard drive Windows is on) so that was one thing I didn't need to worry about. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are the only Windows operating systems where this message appears; XP users don't have to worry about this one.

Please note: We are unable to provide individual support in the comments under this article. If you need assistance, please post here in our forum.

Signing off for now,

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by Alienrio on 20. July 2014 - 8:41  (117427)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop PCs that came with Windows 7.

The following error opens when attempting to start the PC:

BOOTMGR is missing
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart the PC

If you recently installed an additional hard drive, turn off the computer and remove the drive before using the
following steps:

1. Open HP System Recovery:

CAUTION: Do not perform a system recovery! Stop at the first recovery screen.
Press the F11 key repeatedly while the computer is starting.

If you have a recovery disc, turn on the PC and insert the first recovery disc into the drive. Use the disc to enter the system recovery.

Select Microsoft Startup Repair tool and wait for repair to find and fix errors. When finished, restart the computer; even if the startup repair tool finds errors but cannot fix them.

If the error message persists, open the recovery manager screen as was done in step 1.

At the recovery manager screen, press ALT + D.

Enter the following text at the command prompt: bootrec /rebuildbcd

If bootrec displays "Add installation to boot list?", press y .
After bootrec completes successfully, the computer displays "The operation completed successfully".

To close the command prompt, enter the following text: exit

At the Recovery Manager screen, select Microsoft Startup Repair tool (again) and wait for startup
repair to find and fix errors. When finished, restart the computer.

The error should no longer open. If it does, perform a system recovery, making sure to backup
important files.

If you removed a hard drive before using these steps, replace the drive. If the error occurs again, make sure the additional hard drive is not set as an active drive. Only the main bootable drive should be set as active.

by kp155 on 17. June 2013 - 8:55  (108567)

I have a Problem to starting windows. It shows that BOOTMGR missing and while i press Alt and f10 Simulationaly then it doesn't word. Then What would i have to do to restore computer?

by Anupam on 17. June 2013 - 9:08  (108568)

We cannot provide individual support in the comments. If you want assistance please post here in our forum.

by Chris Sr. (not verified) on 25. November 2012 - 5:09  (102863)

After realizing my factory hard drive has crashed, i bought a new internal hard drive that i am attempting to install. The only Operating System disc i have is a "Windows Vista Anytime Upgrade" CD. I have been getting a BOOT MGR IS MISSING message and i am not sure what i can do here... any advice??

by MidnightCowboy on 25. November 2012 - 5:28  (102865)

As per the note in the article above, we cannot provide individual support in the comments. If you want assistance please register and post here in our forum. MC - Site Manager.

by Jeannie (not verified) on 9. November 2012 - 3:43  (102052)

Where can I find a windows 7 disc? I don't believe I received one with my computer. Thanks.

by rhiannon on 9. November 2012 - 21:01  (102080)

Hi Jeannie,
I would contact the manufacturer of your computer. Sometimes a disc is included, and other times the only way to restore a computer is from a hidden partition that's usually accessed during boot up.

by nitesh fender (not verified) on 4. November 2012 - 14:45  (101874)

what to do if start up repair cannot repair that problem?

by elpaps (not verified) on 2. November 2012 - 11:04  (101728)

. will it reformat my laptop? o.O

by Junaid (not verified) on 26. October 2012 - 10:05  (101369)

First of all, a bundle of thanks for above solution (BootMgr is missing in Windows 7). i am so glad when the my windows 7 had been repaired with the provided solution.

Thanks again

Junaid Younas

by rhiannon on 26. October 2012 - 17:13  (101400)


You're quite welcome, I'm glad the article helped. :)

by Vamsi (not verified) on 22. October 2012 - 10:42  (101176)

One of the solution is remove the BIOS battery and place it.

by rhiannon on 22. October 2012 - 16:14  (101180)

Are you referring to the battery on a motherboard?

by Happy Days (not verified) on 1. October 2012 - 18:08  (100051)

What if there is no system to boot as well as no bootmgr? I am trying to instal a new hard drive after my last one was ruined by a hacker

by faith (not verified) on 23. September 2012 - 10:42  (99635)

thnx it worked...:)

by rhiannon on 23. September 2012 - 16:44  (99654)

Glad to hear it. =)

by Robiul Islam (not verified) on 18. September 2012 - 9:01  (99414)

BootMGR is missing Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart

how to improved it..

hdd cnt format..
system cd

cnt format system..
every times BootMGR is missing Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart

what is the problem..
please help me
as soon as possible....

by iris7pt (not verified) on 23. September 2012 - 11:08  (99636)

One of the causes of the "BootMGR is missing Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart" is the need to cool and clean up your computer.
After 4 different times on occurring of the very same message and having applied all your suggestions with no more than a few hours or days success, I lost my patience and on the 5th time that it happened (the machine was working normally and suddenly reboot itself and shows the damned message)and without engaging on any attempt to solve the issue, I simply opened the machine, carefully cleaned all the fans including the processor's with a gentle brush.
The machine simply started without any problems as if the issue never existed.
Apart viruses, corrupt files or sections on the disk, or any other expert indicated problem, your machine can simply need a clean up and/or better cooling system for it (the damned message) also went away when I turned the AC on before implementing the expert solutions for several times before success.

by rhiannon on 23. September 2012 - 16:43  (99653)


You're right, overheating can cause a variety of problems, sudden shutdowns being one of them. :)

by Some Guy (not verified) on 26. September 2012 - 14:36  (99779)

Overheating can cause a variety of problems. The BOOTMGR missing is absolutely 100% not one of them.

by iris7pt (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 6:58  (99832)

Well, never say never should be a saying that one should live by specially when computers are involved.
It happened to me.
The message "bootmgr is missing" was on, I opened the machine and cleaned it without performing any recovery attempt and afterwords the machine started normally as usual.
If it is impossible, I do not know but if so, the impossible happens...
And as usual one is never an only child, so it bounds to have happened to anyone else as well.
Sorry about those impossible 100% sure not to happen!

by rhiannon on 27. September 2012 - 20:37  (99873)

Yep, there isn't much of anything that's 100% when it comes to computers. Unless it's hardware - some hardware failures are easy to diagnose, others not so easy.
I've seen too many strange things with computers to say with absolute certainty anything is 100%. Add all the the things I've never seen and don't know about and there's a wide open field.

by iris7pt (not verified) on 28. September 2012 - 20:09  (99927)

Someone is on my side! :D

All I am saying is that perhaps the message "bootmgr is missing" can occur on issues that are not related to Bootmgr at all.
Windows can simply do not recognize the error, pulls the next best error code and acts on it as if it were true.
I am, if anything, a complete ignorant when it comes to computers, but "Murphy" LAW (that guy that should have kept his mouth shut) dictates that when one needs to deliver work on Monday, the computer shall broke on Friday night, after working hours, so that one cannot finish the work nor call anyone for help.
So I have learned over the years, to detain some amount of control over my computers in order not to get under "Murphys Law". My learnings are empirical (trial and error) so the real technical reason for anything to happen is out of my reach.
I only want to help, stating that "Bootmgr" message is not always accurate on the real issue.
Simply cleaning the machine can be an option without any further technical intervention.
Thank you guys for not insulting me and sorry for my English for I am Portuguese and making myself understood is somewhat difficult.
Bye now :)

by rhiannon on 26. September 2012 - 18:51  (99793)

Some Guy;
I agree. I probably wasn't as clear as I should have been - sudden shutdowns can be caused by heat, but wouldn't be the of cause a BOOTMGR missing message.

by kartik (not verified) on 15. September 2012 - 5:40  (99285)

I am having windows vista and it is showing the same bootmgr is missing but I do not have any windows dvd what should I do please help me please.

by Dutto11 (not verified) on 13. September 2012 - 21:45  (99229)

I have a Acer Iconia tablet and have had the 'Boot Manager Missing' error on screen now for two days.
I have put my recovery disk into the external disk drive and restart the tablet. It wont go into the reinstall mode at all. It keeps coming up with the same error message.
Not sure how to fix.
Please help.

by Jojo Yee on 14. September 2012 - 1:13  (99234)
by mazhar (not verified) on 22. August 2012 - 4:28  (98103)

hai ihave problem in my dell laptop it is telling error windows cannot start up please tell me how to solve this

by MidnightCowboy on 22. August 2012 - 4:39  (98105)

Please post your issue in our forum as we are unable to offer support here in the comments.

by Aman (not verified) on 6. August 2012 - 7:09  (97273)

I have been working for 4 year in technical support. I faced this "bootmgr is missing" many of times. so i would like to share my experience to all.
So lets started to repair or to fix this cute problem :

First of all you should have win 7 dvd or bootable usb of win 7.
Procedure :
1.Boot from DVD or USB then choose option Repair you computer .
2.Click on Startup Repair .
3. Click on Command prombt and types these commands
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /RebuildBcd
then restart your pc you will get your windows 7 now.
thanks . but one thing if you don't get your windows fine .Do this procedure again it will help you .

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