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Fix BOOTMGR Is Missing Error on PC in Windows 7/8/10


Alternative BOOTMGR Error Messages

Yesterday one of my friends told me his PC was unable to boot and encountered a black screen. At startup, this computer showed an error message "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". He restarted the PC several times, but this issue still appeared. He didn’t know what to do to fix it, so he asked me for help. Fortunately, I once encountered such a problem, and then I helped him to let the PC run properly. Do you also have such a problem? If it is "Yes", just read this post. Here I will introduce you the error in details in Windows 7/8/10.

What is BOOTMGR? It refers to Windows Boot Manager. Usually, this error message appears shortly after the computer is turned on, immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST for short) is complete. When BOOTMGR error message occurs, the Windows only has initially started to load. This issue often shows up on your computer with the message, just like the first screenshot shows below:

bootmgr is missing

In addition, there are two other ways, "BOOTMGR is missing. Press any key to restart" or "CDBOOT: Couldn't find BOOTMGR".

couldn't find bootmgr

recommend Recommendation:
BOOTMGR issue only applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows vista. In Windows XP, missing NTLDR issue is common. So if you meet NTLDR missing error, please refer to this post How to Fix: NTLDR Is Missing.

When the issue happens to you, you probably feel very confused: why does the PC fail to boot? In this case, to fix BOOTMGR error becomes an emergency thing in Windows 7/8/10. Don’t worry and be patient. Please read on.


Before giving the solutions to you, perhaps many of you don’t know what BOOTMGR is. Generally speaking, BOOTMGR is short for Windows Boot Manager, which refers to a small piece of software that is loaded from the volume boot code. It is first introduced in Windows Vista, and it replaces the NTLDR boot manager in previous versions of Windows. Usually, the BOOTMGR file is read-only and locates 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 on your primary partition C.

BOOTMGR can read boot configuration data and display the operating system selection menu. However, BOOTMGR is easily missing or lost, just like the above first part mentioned at startup in Windows 7/8/10. Do you know the reasons about Boot Manager missing issue?

Causes of BOOTMGR Is Missing Error

In general, there are some possible causes for missing BOOTMGR error.
  • The most common factor for this error is that the files are corrupted and misconfigured. Then MBR gets damaged, and BOOTMGR missing issue appears during computer startup.
  • In addition, your PC is configured to boot from optical drive, floppy drive, a hard drive, or flash drive which is not properly set to be booted from. That is to say, the PC is set to boot from a non-bootable device.
  • If there are some bad sectors on the hard drive, BOOTMGR is possibly missing.
  • Besides, the common reasons for BOOTMGR error also contain an outdated BIOS, loose or damaged hard disk interface cables, hard drive and operating system upgrade issues.

After learning the information about missing BOOTMGR issue, now it is time to find the solutions to fix such a problem.

How to Fix BOOTMGR in Windows 7/8/10

When it comes to Windows couldn’t find BOOTMGR or missing BOOTMGR issue, many of you choose to search methods on the internet. Usually, when making a search, you will find many articles or forums about this topic. Here we summarize eleven solutions to you. Hope you can solve your problem in Windows 7/8/10.

solution 1 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, just do as the error message suggests since maybe BOOTMGR error is a fluke. However, to a great extent, only a rebooting can’t repair BOOTMGR. So please try the next way.

solution 2 Solution 2: Remove All Removable Media

Since BOOTMGR error can be caused by booting your computer from a non-bootable hard drive. So you should check whether your PC is configured to boot from a USB flash drive, a floppy disk, or other unbootable disks. If it is, please remove it and make sure your BIOS doesn’t load from any of them. Otherwise, missing BOOTMGR issue will happen again.

solution 3 Solution 3: Change Boot Order in BIOS

After unplugging a non-bootable disk, perhaps BOOTMGR error still appears. In this case, you need to consider checking the boot sequence in BIOS.

1. Restart your computer.
2. Then press a specific key to go to the main interface of BIOS.

Note: The key is different depending on different computers and different Windows operating systems. It can be F2,F8, F10,F12, Esc or Del, etc.

3. Then under "Boot" tab, modify the boot order so that the hard drive is set as the first boot device.

boot order

After restarting the PC, if the issue also happens, just try the next way.

solution 4 Solution 4: Repair Master Boot Record

It is most likely that the issue happens due to damaged Master Boot Record (MBR) which is caused by virus attack, improper operation, system corruption or sudden power outage. In this case, it is necessary to repair MBR. You may ask: how to do this work to fix bootmgr is missing Windows 7 fix with USB drive effectively, especially the operating system is unbootable. Don’t worry, here I will offer you a piece of professional partition and disk management software – MiniTool Partition Wizard. This tool is designed to own six editions including Free Edition, Professional, Prof Ultimate, Server, Enterprise and Technician Edition. Thereinto, Professional Edition and the advanced editions have a feature called "Bootable Media" which is available when there is no OS or OS fails to boot. In this post, please try this function in Windows 7/8/10. Here the Free Edition doesn’t support such a feature.

attention Attention:
Before you do, please purchase MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition to build a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD disc, then connect this device to your PC and boot from this device by changing boot order in BIOS. Then start to fix BOOTMGR is missing with USB drive by rebuilding MBR.

Step 1: A few seconds later, you will go to MiniTool PE Loader interface. Please launch MiniTool Partition Wizard.

boot pe loader lg

Step 2: Then in MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface, select the target disk to click "Rebuild MBR" feature from "Check Disk" feature.

rebuild mbr

Step 3: Then click "Apply" to perform MBR restoration. When finishing this operation, please exit the program, and then restart your computer again. Perhaps, BOOTMGR missing issue can be solved.

For more information about MBR repair, please watch the following video:

In addition to the way for MBR recovery, perhaps some of you choose to use bootrec tool. Firstly you need to prepare a Windows installation disc, and then 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. In Windows 7/8/10, type the following commands in turn:

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /rebuildbcd

To fix bootmgr CMD seems to be complicated, so we suggest that you should use MiniTool Partition Wizard.

solution 5 Solution 5: Mark Partition Active

If you have marked a wrong partition active, the computer will fail to start up with BOOTMGR error message in Windows 7/8/10, because the active partition probably doesn’t contain boot files. As you know, system partition or boot partition must be primary and active, and there is only one active partition. 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 do this work? It is very easy. You also can use MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition. Please boot your computer from the bootable disc to enter the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Then select the wrong active partition, you will see there are many partition functions in the left pane, here please select "Set Inactive" feature.

set inactive

Step 2: Next select the target partition, click "Set Active" function from "Partition Management" drop-down menu.

set active

Step 3: At last, you will go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Click "Apply" button to make these changes effect.

solution 6 Solution 6: Test Hard Drive

Besides, if there are some disk bad sectors, BOOTMGR files probably get missing. So you should check the disk surface. MiniTool Partition Wizard provides a feature to do this work with its "Surface Test" in Windows 7/8/10. If bad sectors exist, this tool will mark them red. On the contrary, the healthy sectors will be marked green.

test bad sector

Once bad blocks are found, you can use 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 also has such two functions, including "copy partition" and "copy disk". Here it is suggested to clone the entire disk data to a destination hard drive.

copy disk

tips Tips:
1. The destination hard drive should be larger than the used disk space of the original disk.
2. Ensure no important data are on the destination disk, otherwise, all data will be destroyed during the copy process.
3. Disk copy adopts sector-by-sector mode, so the logical bad sectors will be cloned. In this case, after finishing disk copy, you can format the faulty disk to fix the disk, and then move the copy back to the target hard disk.

Now follow the guidance to do disk copy, a visual video is recommended to you:

tips Are you experiencing the same issue? Now try MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition to create a bootable disc to boot your computer and then fix missing BOOTMGR.

If there are no logical bad sectors on your hard drive, you can skip the backup operation, and try the next solution.

solution 7 Solution 7: Perform Windows Startup Repair

In addition, you also can perform a Windows startup repair. This way can replace any missing or corrupted files, including BOOTMGR. You may ask: If there is no CD disc, can BOOTMGR is missing Windows 7 fix without CD be done? Of course, in Windows 7, you can press F8 to go to startup option.

startup repair

In Windows 8/10, please press F8 several times during the process of booting the computer to enter WinRE. Also when there is something wrong with your PC, there will be a pop-up window to repair OS. Then go Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Automatic Repair(Windows 8) or Startup Repair (Windows 10).


solution 8 Solution 8: Reseat All Internal Data and Power Cables

The above content mentioned BOOTMGR missing error could be caused by some loose, unplugged or malfunctioning power cables. Please try to replace the faulty one with a new IDE cable.

solution 9 Solution 9: Update the Motherboard BIOS

Sometimes, the BIOS on your motherboard is outdated, then you get a BOOTMGR error message. So please ensure the BIOS is upgraded to the latest version. If it is not, please try to update it. The BIOS must be available for your computer. If you don’t know how to do this work, just look at the article How to Update Your BIOS.

solution 10 Solution 10: Perform a Clean Windows Installation

If all solutions can’t work to solve Boot Manager missing issue, it is a good way to perform a Windows installation for this error repair. This way will completely remove Windows from your PC. However, all data will be deleted. So you had better back up important files before reinstalling OS. Just do as the solution 6 shows, use MiniTool Partition Wizard to clone disk or partition for your data. Then start to install a new operating system.

solution 11 Solution 11: Replace the Hard Drive

If you still receive BOOTMGR message, you should consider the hard drive has a physical issue. In this situation, the only thing you can do is to replace the died or damaged hard disk with a new disk and then reinstall Windows.


Bottom Line

Now we come to the end of this post. After learning so much information about BOOTMGR, you have got what BOOTMGR is missing error is, the causes of BOOTMGR error message and the detailed solutions to this issue in Windows 7/8/10. Hope this post can help you to fix missing BOOTMGR problem and ensure your computer runs normally. What’s more, if you have any suggestion, please don’t hesitate to tell us by leaving a comment below or sending an email to [email protected]. Thanks.