Have you encountered the situation when a black screen pops up and says "BOOTMGR is Missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart" while you are booting your Windows 10/8/7/XP computer? Don’t worry and take it easy! This post will walk you through 11 useful solutions to fix the issue of Boot Manager missing.
What Is BOOTMGR
BOOTMGR is short for Windows Boot Manager which refers to a small piece of software that is loaded from the volume boot code. Usually, the BOOTMGR file is read-only and is locating in the boot directory of the partition which is set as "active".
On most PCs, the partition is labeled as system reserved without a drive letter. If there is no system reserved partition, BOOTMGR probably locates in your primary partition C. BOOTMGR can read boot configuration data and display the operating system selection menu.
However, sometimes BOOTMGR may be missing or lost due to reasons including incorrect bootable disk, damaged MBR, outdated BIOS, loose or damaged hard disk interface cables, etc.
BOOTMGR Error Messages
This issue usually appears shortly after the computer is turned on, immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST for short) is complete.
When the BOOTMGR error message occurs, the Windows has initially started to load. And you can see the message "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart", as shown below:
In addition, you may receive different messages like "BOOTMGR is missing. Press any key to restart" or "CDBOOT: Couldn't find BOOTMGR".
How to Fix BOOTMGR Is Missing Windows 7/8/10
When the issue “Windows couldn’t find BOOTMGR or missing BOOTMGR” occurs, you would try to search for solutions on the internet. Here we have summarized eleven solutions for you and hopefully, you can solve your problem on your Windows 7/8/10 computer.
Solution 1: Restart Your Desktop or Laptop
Once Windows prompts you “BOOTMGR is missing, please try to restart your PC by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del keys or any key”, follow what the error message suggests first because maybe the BOOTMGR error is just a fluke.
However, sometimes a reboot can’t solve the BOOTMGR problem. Therefore, please try the following ways if rebooting did not work.
Solution 2: Remove All Removable Media
Since BOOTMGR error can be caused by booting your computer from a non-bootable hard drive, you should check if your PC is configured to boot from a USB flash drive, a floppy disk, or other non-bootable disks.
If this is the problem, please remove the device and make sure your BIOS doesn’t load from any of them. Otherwise, missing BOOTMGR issue will happen again.
Solution 3: Change Boot Order in BIOS
After unplugging a non-bootable disk, perhaps Boot Manager not found error will still appear. In this case, you need to consider checking the boot sequence in BIOS.
Step 1: Restart your computer.
Step 2: Then press a specific key to go to the main interface of BIOS.
Step 3: Then under the Boot tab, modify the boot order to set the hard drive as the first boot device.
After restarting PC, if the error “Boot Manager is missing” still happens, try to look for the next way.
Solution 4: Repair Master Boot Record
It is most likely that the message “BOOTMGR is missing” happens due to damaged Master Boot Record (MBR). In this case, it is necessary to repair MBR. You might be wondering about how you can repair MBR to fix BOOTMGR is missing with USB drive effectively; especially when the operating system is unbootable.
Don’t worry, we will introduce you a piece of professional partition and disk management software – MiniTool Partition Wizard. This tool has multiple editions including Free, Pro, Pro Ultimate, Server and more which are designed for users with different needs.
Professional Edition and the advanced editions all have a feature called Bootable Media, which is available when there is no OS or OS fails to boot.
If you fail to boot your Windows 7/8/10 OS due to the error “BOOTMGR is missing”, you can try this function. Unfortunately, the Free Edition doesn’t support this feature.
Step 1: A few seconds later, you will see the MiniTool PE Loader interface. Please launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Step 2: In the MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface, select the target disk to click the Rebuild MBR feature from Check Disk.
Step 3: Click Apply to perform MBR restoration. After finishing this operation, please exit the program and restart your computer again. The “BOOTMGR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart” error might be solved by this way.
In addition to performing MBR recovery, some of you choose to use the bootrec tool. Firstly, you need to prepare a Windows installation disc and connect it to your PC. Next, try to repair the issue “BOOTMGR is missing” in Windows 7 with Command Prompt.
Please launch CMD according to the wizard. On Windows 7/8/10, type the following commands in turn:
Tip: For Windows 8/10, you need to type bootrec /scanos before rebuilding BCD.
To fix BOOTMGR using CMD seems to be a bit complicated. Therefore, here we suggest using MiniTool Partition Wizard since it is a more convenient solution.
Solution 5: Mark Partition Active
If you have marked a wrong partition active, the computer will fail to start up and show the BOOTMGR error message because the active partition probably doesn’t contain boot files. In PC there is only one active partition and system partition or boot partition must be primary and active.
In this case, you must mark the partition within boot files active to ensure the computer runs properly. In order to solve the issue, please reset your system partition active.
How to mark the partition active to fix “BOOTMGR is missing” on Windows 7/8/10? You can use MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition as well and the operation is also very simple. Remember to boot your computer from the bootable disc or USB drive to enter the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard first.
Step 1: Select the wrong active partition. You could see there are many partition functions in the left pane and please select Set Inactive.
Step 2: Select the target partition, click the Set Active function from Partition Management menu.
Step 3: At last, you will go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard again and click the Apply button to make these changes effective.
Solution 6: Test Hard Drive
Another reason that may cause BOOTMGR files missing is that there are some bad sectors. What you need to do is to check the disk surface.
MiniTool Partition Wizard provides a feature to do this with its Surface Test on Windows 7/8/10. If bad sectors exist, this tool will mark them red. On the contrary, healthy sectors will be marked green.
Once bad blocks are found, you can use the chkdsk tool to shield them. If there are many bad blocks, in order to avoid data loss, please back up the significant data on the target disk.
Fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard has those two functions: copy partition and copy disk. Here we strongly suggest cloning the entire disk data to an appropriate hard drive.
1. The destination hard drive should be larger than the used disk space of the original disk.
2. Make sure there is no important data on the destination disk, otherwise, all data will be destroyed during the copy process.
Are you experiencing the same issue? Now try MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition to create a bootable disc or USB drive to boot your computer and then fix the issue of missing BOOTMGR on Windows 7/8/10.
If there are no logical bad sectors detected on your hard drive, you can skip the backup operation and try the next solution.
Solution 7: Perform Windows Startup Repair
In addition, you can perform a Windows startup repair. This way can replace any missing or corrupted files, including BOOTMGR. You may be wondering that if there is no CD disc, can BOOTMGR is missing Windows 7 fix without CD be done? In other words, how to fix BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 7 without CD?
Create a bootable USB from ISO and then boot the PC from the USB drive to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. On Windows 7, choose Startup Repair under the System Recovery Options window to continue.
On Windows 8/10, go Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Automatic Repair(Windows 8) or Startup Repair(Windows 10).
Solution 8: Reseat All Internal Data and Power Cables
The above content mentioned the “BOOTMGR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart” error could be caused by loose, unplugged or malfunctioning power cables. Please try to replace the old cable with a new IDE one to check whether your cable works or not.
Solution 9: Update the Motherboard BIOS
If the BIOS on your motherboard is outdated, sometimes you will get a BOOTMGR error message. Thus, you should ensure the BIOS is upgraded to the latest version. If it is not, try to update it first since the BIOS must be available on your computer. If you don’t know how to update it, you could find the way from the article How to Update Your BIOS.
Solution 10: Perform a Clean Windows Installation
If all the solutions above did not work when trying to solve the Boot Manager missing issue, it is a good way to perform a Windows installation to repair this error. This way, it will completely remove Windows from your PC. However, all data will be deleted so you’d better back up important files before re-installing OS.
At first, follow solution 6 which shows you how to clone disk or partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then you can start to install a new operating system. There is another professional backup software: MiniTool ShadowMaker that you can use it for Windows 10/8/7. It’s very easy to back up data without booting OS with the help of this software.
Solution 11: Replace the Hard Drive
If you still receive a BOOTMGR message, you should consider that the hard drive has a physical issue. The only solution for this situation is to replace the died or damaged hard disk with a new one and re-install Windows after that.
Here you have come to the end of this post. After learning so much information about BOOTMGR, we think you now know what “BOOTMGR is missing” error is and understand several solutions to solve the BOOTMGR error. Now, it is time for you to solve this problem in order to fix your computer and make it runs normally.
If you have any suggestions to fix BOOTMGR on Windows 7/8/10, please don't hesitate to tell us by leaving a comment below or sending an email to [email protected]. Thank you!