12 Solutions to “BOOTMGR Is Missing” Error in Windows

BOOTMGR is Missing” is a Windows Startup error. This error occurs during the booting process and your system is unable to read or find the BOOTMGR from the Volume Boot Record. The consequence of this failed BOOTMGR reading results in a black screen and an error message pops up on your PC screen stating “BOOTMGR is Missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”.

BOOTMGR is Missing Error message

In this article you will find a brief introduction to BOOTMGR, the causes behind the error “BOOTMGR is Missing” and various solutions to tackle this error. Just keep reading the article and arm yourself with the knowledge that you might need to use it on your system now or keep it for future use. 

What Is Bootmgr And What Role Does It Play?

BOOTMGR is a special piece of program that is embedded in the original Volume Boot Code. Here BOOTMGR is a short term for Windows Boot Manager. It is a read-only type of data and is responsible for reading the boot configuration data of your PC system and showing the Operating System selection menu. BOOTMGR helps your PC start the corresponding OS by executing “winload.exe”.

In most cases, BOOTMGR is located in the Root directory, a small separated partition boot drive that is set as Active in Disk Management. This partition is a system reserved partition and doesn’t even have a drive letter. If there is no System Reserved partition drive then it can be found in the system drive or primary partition i.e Drive C. 

What Is The Cause Of “Bootmgr Is Missing”?

The “BOOTMGR is Missing” error occurs shortly after the POST(Power-On Self-Test). The error message is displayed in different forms such as “BOOTMGR is Missing such as:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”.
  • “BOOTMGR is Missing. Press any key to restart”.
  • “BOOTMGR image is corrupt. The system cannot boot”.
  • “CDBOOT: Couldn’t find BOOTMGR”.

The main causes behind the error are:

  1. Corrupt BOOTMGR files.
  2. Windows Boot Partition is damaged.
  3. The system is set to boot/load from a non-bootable device.
  4. Presence of bad sectors, corruption and errors in Hard Drive.
  5. Outdated BIOS version.
  6. Other reasons include loose hard drive interface cables, Operating System upgrades problems.

Solutions To Fix Bootmgr Is Missing in Windows XP/7/8/10

Below is the list of solutions that you can follow to “fix BOOTMGR is Missing “problem:

  1. Restart Your PC(Desktop or Laptop).
  2. Check and Remove all External Removable Media.
  3. Check and Replace Old Internal Data and Power Cables.
  4. Change the Boot Sequence/Order in BIOS.
  5. Repair/Rebuild the Boot Configuration Data.
  6. Repair Master Boot Record(MBR).
  7. Mark partition ‘Active’.
  8. Test the Hard Disk Drive.
  9. Run Startup Repair.
  10. Update the Motherboard BIOS.
  11. Perform a Clean Windows Installation.
  12. Replace the Hard Disk Drive.

12 Solutions To Fix Missing Windows Boot Manager in Windows XP/7/8/10

Solution 1: Restart Your PC(Desktop Or Laptop).

Restarting a PC is the easiest solution and it is also the first solution that users should follow when their computer prompts “Bootmgr is Missing”. Sometimes the error may be a fluke or a minor technical glitch and restarting will surely solve the problem in this situation.

When you face the error message “Bootmgr is Missing”, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and select the Restart/Reboot option. However if simply restarting your PC doesn’t solve the problem then you have to try another solution given in this article.

Alternatively, you can also Power OFF your PC by pressing down the Power button for a short duration(approx. 30 seconds) and press the same Power button again to switch ON your PC. If the BOOTMGR error message occurs due to minor glitches in your system then restarting can easily solve it.

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Solution 2: Check And Remove All External Removable Media.

BOOTMGR error can occur if the boot code storing device or location is in corrupt condition. For example, if your computer configuration is set in such a way that it boots up from removable external storage devices such as Flash Drive, CD drives, or any other non-bootable disks.

To solve this problem you need to remove the external bootable storage drive or disks and reconfigure your PC to boot up instructions.

Solution 3: Check And Replace All Internal Data And Power Cables.

Hardware connection faults such as loose internal power cables damaged hard disk interface cables, etc. can be another reason for the “BOOTMGR” error. To resolve this problem, check these cables and wires and replace the old ones with new ones and check if the error is caused by faulty cables or not.

Solution 4: Change Boot Order In BIOS

If the above solution i.e “Removing external media” doesn’t fix “BOOTMGR is Missing” error, then you can try to change the BOOT device order in BIOS(Change the first Boot device setting) on your PC to remedy the above error.

Step 1- First Restart your PC.

Step 2- Open the BIOS Setup by pressing a specific key(F2, F8, F10, F12, Esc, Del, etc) on your keyboard.

Step 3- Go to the BOOT tab in the main interface.

BIOS Setup- Boot Option Priorities

Step 4- Now under the “Boot Options Priorities” set the Hard Drive as the first boot device for “Boot Option #1” 

Step 5- Go to the “Save & Exit” tab and select the “Save Changes and Exit” option to get out of the BIOS interface.

After successfully restarting, if you still face the “BOOTMGR is Missing” error then you can try other solutions written in this article.

Solution 5: Rebuild/Repair Boot Configuration Data Using Windows Recovery Environment

“BOOTMGR is Missing” can also occur when the Boot Configuration Data(BCD) is damaged or missing. It is very easy to solve this problem by rebuilding configuration data and you only need to have a Windows installation disc or USB flash drive(Bootable media) and execute a few simple commands in Command Prompt.

Step 1- Reboot your PC from the Windows Installation Drive.

Step 2- In the Windows Recovery Environment, select the Language, Time & Currency format and Input method and click on the Next button.

Windows Setup Screen

Step 3- Click on Repair your computer option.

Step 4- Navigate to Troubleshoot-> Advanced Options.

Step 5- In the Advanced options screen, there is a list containing six different options including Startup Repair, Uninstall Updates, CMD, Startup Settings, UEFI Firmware Settings and System Restore. Select Command Prompt option.

Choose the Command Prompt option in Advanced options

Step 6- In the CMD window, type in the command “bootrec /RebuildBcd” and hit the Enter button.

Step 7- Now if the Command finds the Windows Installation disc, it will ask for an entry. Type “yes” and hit Enter.

Step 8- If the Command can’t find the Windows Installation, type the following commands in the Command Prompt window sequentially as it is written:

Bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
ren C:\bcd\boot bcd.old
Bootrec /rebuildbcd

Step 9- When the Command has been executed, Restart your PC.

Solution 6: Repair Master Boot Record(MBR)

The “BOOTMGR is Missing” error can also occur due to damaged master boot records. In this situation, repairing the MBR can solve the BOOTMGR error effectively. 

Now, you might ask what MBR is? To make a short intro, MBR is the information that is found in the first sector of any hard disk. When the computer starts, MBR is the very first data that is read.

Its main function identifies the location of the BOOT sector so that the OS data can be read and loaded into the main memory of Random Access Memory(RAM). To repair MBR you need to have a Windows Installation Disk or bootable USB drive.

Step 1- Restart your PC and Boot from the Windows Installation Drive.

Step 2- In the Windows Recovery Environment, select the Language, Time & Currency format and Input method and click on the Next button.

Step 3- Click on the “Repair your computer” option.

Step 4- Navigate to Troubleshoot-> Advanced options.

Step 5- In the Advanced options screen, there is a list containing six different options including Startup Repair, Uninstall Updates, CMD, Startup Settings, UEFI Firmware Settings and System Restore. Click on the CMD option.

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Step 6- Execute the following commands as it is written sequentially:

Bootrec /fixmbr
Bootrec /fixboot
Bootrec /scanos
Bootrec /rebuildbcd

Note- Press the Enter button after each command and wait for the successful execution of the previous command.

Solution 7: Mark Partition ‘Active’

In every system, there is a primary partition that is ‘Active’. When the computer starts it first reads the data in this ‘Active’ system partition and then following the instructions loads the instructed operating system into the main memory and Random Access Memory.

Now there can only be one ‘Active’ partition in one hard disk drive. So the “BOOTMGR is Missing” error can also occur when your system has set the wrong disk partition as ‘Active’ partition and this very partition doesn’t have the Windows boot loader therefore it can’t find the BOOTMGR data.

To set a primary partition ‘Active’, you can refer to three different methods written in this article.

Method 1- Using Disk Management Administrative Tool In Windows.

Note- To use this method you must be logged on as an Administrator.

Step 1- Open the Run dialog box. Type “diskmgmt.msc” and press Enter.

Launch Disk Management Administrative Tool using Run dialog box

Step 2- Right-click on the primary partition that you want to set as ‘Active’ partition and select the “Mark partition as Active” option.

Mark partition 'Active' using Disk Management tool

Step 3- Restart your PC.

That’s how it is done. Now if you are unable to log in to your PC due to a BOOTMGR error then you can follow the second method written below.

Method 2- Using Command Prompt. 

Step 1- Boot using a Windows Installation or Repair disk.

Step 2- Select the Language, Time & Currency format and Input method and click on the Next button.

Step 3- Click on Repair your computer option.

Step 4- Navigate to Troubleshoot-> Advanced Options.

Step 5- In the Advanced options screen, there is a list containing six different options including Startup Repair, Uninstall Updates, CMD, Startup Settings, UEFI Firmware Settings and System Restore. Click on the CMD option.

Step 6- In CMD, type “diskpart” and press Enter.

Execute "diskpart" and "list disk" command in Command Prompt

Step 7- After the DISKPART is loaded, type “list disk” and again hit the Enter button.

Step 8- Type “select disk <number of the disk you want to select>” and hit Enter.

Execute "select disk 0" and "list partition" command in Command Prompt

Step 9- Type “list partition”, press Enter then type the following command “select partition <partition number>” and press the Enter button.

Command Prompt list the available partitions on your system

Step 10- Now Enter the command “Active”.

This is the way of using Command Prompt to mark a partition ‘Active’. Now close theCMD and Reboot your computer.

Method 3- Using Professional Disk Partition Tools. 

Using Command Prompt to set a partition ‘Active’ is a time-consuming and messy process. But there are some professional Partition tools available online that make this process easy and less time-consuming.

To use this method you need to purchase a Partition Wizard/Tool and burn a Bootable Disk or USB Drive, then depending on the type of program/tool you are using select the partition you want to mark as ‘Active’.

Solution 8: Test Hard Disk Drive

The presence of ‘bad sectors’ in Hard Disk Drives can be another reason behind the “BOOTMGR is Missing” error. So the solution to this problem is to check the Hard Disk for any possible bad sectors and resolve them.

Method 1- Test Hard Disk Using Windows Explorer.

Step 1- Open “My PC” or “This PC” from your Desktop screen.

Step 2- Right-click on the Disk Drive that you want to scan and select the “Properties” option.

Step 3- Go to the “Tools” tab and under the Error-checking box click on the “Check” option.

Hard Disk Properties window

Step 4- Now if there is no presence of any error, the Windows will inform you that you don’t have to scan the drive. Nevertheless, if you want to Scan the drive for further assurance you can Click on the “Scan drive” option.

Proceed further by clicking on "Scan drive" option

Method 2- Test Hard Disk Using Command Prompt.

Step 1- Open Command Prompt in Administrative mode.

Step 2- Enter the command “chkdsk X:”. Here ‘X’ refers to the Drive letter of the Disk Drive you want to scan.

After the command is accepted the CMD will automatically scan the drive and the process will be shown in different stages.

Method 3- Test Hard Drive Using Professional Partition Tools.

This method is by far the easiest method to use. Professional Partition Tools come with a variety of functions that are usually unavailable in the above two methods. 

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Scanning the Hard Disk partition drive using Partition Tools usually shows the bad sectors as red and the normal ones in green. After the scan is completed, you can use the function of “Copy partition” or “Copy disk” to make a backup of the data in ‘bad sectors’.

Solution 9: Run Startup Repair Using Windows Installation Disc Or USB Drive.

You can use this solution to perform a Startup Repair on your system. Windows comes with a System repair tool that specifically treats the BOOT errors of your system.

To do a System Repair you need to have a Windows Installation Drive(Bootable media). if you have one of these Bootable Installation Drives then follow the given step-by-step guide and complete the System Repair Process.

Step 1- Connect/Insert the Windows Installation Drive to your PC.

Step 2- Open the BIOS Interface and change the BOOT order to the Installation Drive(Follow the process written in Solution 3- Change BOOT Order in BIOS).

Step 3- Now that you have entered the Windows recovery Environment, select the preferred Language, Time & Currency format, Input Method, and click on the Next button.

Step 4- In the next screen you will have two options: “Install Now” and “Repair your computer”. Select the option “Repair your computer”.

Step 5- The next screen will give you four options- “Continue”, “Use a device”, “Troubleshoot” and “Turn Off your PC”. Click or select the Troubleshoot option.

Windows Recovery Environment- Choose an option screen

Step 6- Now select “Advanced options” from the given two options.

Windows Recovery Environment- Troubleshoot screen

Step 7- In the Advanced options screen, there is a list containing six different options including Startup Repair, Uninstall Updates, CMD, Startup Settings, UEFI Firmware Settings and System Restore. Click on the Startup Repair option.

Step 8- Select the version of the Windows operating system you want to Repair.

Now “Windows System restore wizard instructions” will automatically start repairing your system files.

Solution 10: Update The Motherboard BIOS

Outdated BIOS version is also another reason for some Windows OS users to receive the “BOOTMGR is Missing” error message. Try to update your BIOS with the latest version from the manufacturer’s website.

Solution 11: Perform A Clean Windows Installation

Performing a Clean Windows Installation is the stop-gap solution to resolve the “BOOTMGR is Missing” error message. If none of the above-mentioned solutions doesn’t work for your system then you can try this “Clean Windows Installation” solution. Using this method to fix the error will completely remove Windows OS from your system. So make a backup of your important data before proceeding with this method.

Solution 12: Replace The Hard Disk Drive

If any of the above-written solutions doesn’t work on your system then the chance that the source of the BOOTMGR error is related to the physical condition of your Hard Disk Drive.

In this situation, it is advisable to replace the current Hard Disk Drive with a new one. Purchase a matching HDD from the market or you can also buy it from an online store and replace it with the old one. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How Do I Fix “Bootmgr Is Missing”?

Below is the list of solutions that you can follow to solve the Windows Boot Manager(“BOOTMGR is Missing”) problem:
Restart Your PC(Desktop or Laptop).
Check and Remove all External Removable Media.
Check and Replace Old Internal Data and Power Cables.
Change the Boot Sequence/Order in BIOS.
Repair/Rebuild the Boot Configuration Data.
Repair Master Boot Record(MBR).
Mark partition ‘Active’.
Test the Hard Disk Drive.
Run Startup Repair.
Update the Motherboard BIOS.
Perform a Clean Windows Installation.
Replace the Hard Disk Drive.

How Do I Fix “Bootmgr Is Missing” Without Installation Disk?

If you don’t want to fix “BOOTMGR is Missing” with Windows Installation Disc, then you can try to make/burn a Bootable Windows Installation USB Flash Drive. Insert the USB drive and boot your PC from it to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. The follow-up process is the same as navigating to Troubleshoot-> Advanced options.

Why Does “Bootmgr Is Missing” Happen?

The main causes behind the “Bootmgr is Missing” or “Couldn’t find Bootmgr” error are:
Corrupt Boot files.
Windows Boot Partition is damaged.
The system is set to boot/load from a non-bootable device.
Presence of bad sectors, corruption, and errors in Hard Drive.
BIOS version is outdated.
Other reasons include loose hard drive interface cables, Operating System upgrades problems.