Recently, one of my friends here at MIT had a very common error that many of you might have come across, which is the ‘BOOTMGR is missing’ error. You might even come across the ‘blue screen of death’ which begins to dump your physical memory and then when you try to reboot the computer, the DOS command line flashes ‘BOOTMGR is Missing’.
What I realized over the entire period while searching on google for different possibilities of the above mentioned problem, there was no single article which talked about the collection of all these problems and their solutions as well so that any person if landed on such a page would return back either with a solution or a better direction to search for the errors he/she comes across.
So I have attempted to include all the possibilities that we could think of in solving this problem. At the same time, I have tried to keep this post as simple as possible from the technical perspective for everyone’s use and reference.
The computer used was a Dell Inspiron 1564 Laptop Camputer.
Insert a bootable Windows/ Linux disc into the computer, if it takes you to the installation setup, it means there was some problem with the registry and you can solve that from steps 1 and 2 below.
If you get a message still saying that the boot manager is missing and asking you to reboot like the one shown below. It means that there is either a problem with one/more of your RAM chips or the Hard Disk. In such a case you may want to skip the points 1&2 and directly jump to point 3
1. Start-up Repair using Windows Install CD
You need a bootable Windows Install Disk for performing this operation. Many a times, the ‘BOOTMGR is missing’ error is mainly because of some unwanted change in the system’s registry. This is not the only reason why the ‘blue screen of death’ occurs leading to the ‘BOOTMGR is missing’ error. There are tons of errors and out of the scope of this post. You can however find them on the following article here.
In such a case you should insert your windows install disk and allow the boot operation to run until you arrive at this selection menu on your screen.
Select the ‘Startup Repair’ Option and wait for the system to update its registry to default values.
Wait for the operation to get over select finish and reboot your computer; and remember to remove your install disk before rebooting.
In case you get an error go to option 2 although 2 is just an alternative to 1.
2. Command Line using Windows Install Disk
If the startup repair does not work, this is what you should do…
Arrive at the same menu described earlier and in the image below:
Select the Command Line Option instead of Startup Repair and type in the following set of commands:
bootrec /fixboot (This command will fix your boot options only)
If this works, you should get the following meassage displayed in the command line:
If you still get an error go to step 3
3. Now either there is a problem with your RAM in allocating or accessing the registry or the hard disk is corrupt.
Try to play around with the RAM if you have multiple RAM chips installed try using permutations and combinations to check whether any particular RAM is corrupted. If you still seem to get an error you may want to check with another Hard Disk
Before you open your computer make sure you read some manuals or search over the web for images/videos that describe how to open your particular system(especially for laptops/notebook computers).
For example, for our machine, i.e. dell inspiron 1564,. this procedure is explained on this link.
Follow the instructions carefully and replace the hard disk and check whether the system goes to the linux/windows installation after inserting the linux/windows install disk (bootable).
In our case, changing the hard drive solved the problem, but we also found one of the RAM chips to be corrupt.
- Blue Screen of Death : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc750081.aspx
- Fixing ‘Bootmgr is Missing’ error : http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/fixing-bootmgr-is-missing-error-while-trying-to-boot-windows-vista/
- Using the Bootrec.exe tool : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
- Fix ‘Bootmgr is Missing’ in windows 7 : http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-fix-bootmgr-missing-error-vista-and-windows-7.htm
- Hard Disk Damage or Corrupt Boot Manager : http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/316097-Hard-disk-damage-or-corrupt-boot-manager-[Solved]
- How to open dell Inspiron 1564 : http://beercafe.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/how-to-open-dell-inspiron-1564/