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.


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However, sometimes BOOTMGR may be missing or lost due to reasons including incorrect bootable disk, damaged MBR, outdated BIOS, loose or damaged hard disk interface cables, etc.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:

BOOTMGR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

In addition, you may receive different messages like “BOOTMGR is missing. Press any key to restart” or “CDBOOT: Couldn’t find BOOTMGR“.

Tip: BOOTMGR issue only applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows Vista. In Windows XP, missing NTLDR issue is common. Thus, if you encounter NTLDR missing error, please refer to this post – 10 Solutions to Fix NTLDR Is Missing in Windows 10/8/7.

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.

Here is a related video for you:

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.

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.

Step 3: Then under the Boot tab, modify the boot order to set the hard drive as the first boot device.

change boot order in BIOS

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.

Tip: 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 the boot order in BIOS. Then start to fix BOOTMGR missing issue with a USB drive or DVD/CD disc by rebuilding MBR.

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

MiniTool PE Loader interface

Step 2: In the MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface, right-click the target disk and choose the Rebuild MBR feature.

rebuild MBR with MiniTool Partition Wizard

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:

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /rebuildbcd

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.

set boot partition active

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.

click apply to execute all changes

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.

surface test in MiniTool Partition Wizard

Related article: What to Do If I Find Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7?

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.

copy disk or partition

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).

Windows 10 Advanced options interface

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.

“When I ran Windows 10, I got a black screen showing “BOOTMGR is missing”. Luckily, these solutions are helpful to fix BOOTMGR. Hope you can get rid of it.”Click to tweet

Bottom Line

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!


How do I fix Bootmgr is missing?
Insert your Windows install CD. Restart your computer and boot from the CD. Click Repair your computer after selecting your language, time and keyboard method. Then choose Startup Repair under the System Recovery Options window to continue. After the Startup Repair is done, restart and check if the error “Bootmgr is missing” is fixed.
How do I fix Bootmgr is missing in Windows 10?
You can run Startup Repair to fix Bootmgr is missing in Windows 10. Create a bootable USB drive with Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Boot from the USB drive. Click on Repair your computer after selecting language preferences. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair. After the repair process completed, follow the prompts to restart Windows 10.
How do I fix Bootmgr is missing in Windows 7 without CD?
To fix BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 7 without CD, you can create a bootable USB from ISO and then boot the PC from the USB drive to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. Click the Repair your computer option after selecting your language, time and keyboard method. Then on Windows 7, choose Startup Repair under the System Recovery Options window to continue.
What is a Bootmgr?
BOOTMGR, the abbreviation of Windows Boot Manager, is a small piece of software that is loaded from the volume boot record. It executes winload.exe (Windows boot loader) to load important device drivers and core parts of Windows operating system. BOOTMGR helps your Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista operating system start. When BOOTMGR is missing, the operating system will not load, so you are unable to boot into Windows.
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