Last updated on 18/01/2017
Table of Contents
The error messages show as below:
1. BOOTMGR Is Missing Press Ctrl + Alt + A to restart
2. Couldn't find BOOTMGR
When seeing such kind of error message, your computer cannot boot and enter Windows system normally.
The reasons for this problem are various. Before introducing all possible reasons, it is necessary for you to know what BOOTMGR is.
BOOTMGR, namely boot manager, was firstly used in Windows Vista to replace the NTLDR in Windows XP and its previous version of Windows. From then on, the later version of Windows OS like Windows 7, 8 and 10 also use BOOTMGR. The boot process of booting from BOOTMGR is a little different from the previous NTLDR.
When you boot Windows computer, the process usually includes:
BIOS > MBR > DPT > PBR > BOOTMGR > BCD > Winload.exe > Windows NT load > Enter Windows operating system
Therefore, if there is any problem with one of the process before BOOTMGR, it might cause the problem. Here are some common causes:
1. Mistakenly delete essential BOOTMGR files
Systems files are often stored on system partition, which are crucial for success of normal boot of computer. If you accidentally delete essential BOOTMGR files, PC probably report BOOTMGR is missing when trying to open computer.
2. System partition is corrupted due to bad sectors or virus attack
System partition might be damaged due to virus infection or bad sectors and more other reasons. System partition corruption might lead PC to be unbootable and shows BOOTMGF missing alert message.
3. Incorrect BIOS order
Windows often boot from the first partition of hard disk (namely system partition) by default. However, sometimes you may set incorrect BIOS order, in which situation the computer boot from another partition or another disk which contains no system. Thus, it says BOOTMGR is missing and cannot boot from Windows. This problem might occur when you have inserted a removable disk or a second hard disk drive to your computer.
4. BIOS is outdated
If BIOS is outdated, Windows will fail to boot and says BOOTMGR cannot be found.
5. MBR is damaged
Corrupted MBR can also lead the computer to unbootable and shows the error message BOOTMGR is lost.
6. Hard drive is damaged or loose
BOOGMGR is on the system partition of hard drive. If a hard drive is physically damaged or has loose contact to your computer, it might also result in unbootable system.
7. Set wrong active partition
Usually, system partition (C drive by default) is set as active partition. If you set other partition on which there is no system being installed, Windows cannot find the system files to load when booting it. Therefore, it would report cannot find the BOOTMGR.
Since this is a problem resulting from many reasons, you can follow the steps below repair the issue:
When seeing the warning message, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys on the keyboard to restart the computer. Please do not press the power switch to turn off the computer directly unless you cannot successfully switch off the PC by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys. Forced shutdown probably cause further disaster to your computer. Please remove all removable disks (e.g. USB flash drive, memory card, and external hard drive) before rebooting the computer to prevent Windows from booting from removable disk.
If PC still cannot boot after restarting PC for several times, you should check if the boot order is wrong in BIOS settings. Incorrect BIOS order will prevent normal boot to your computer if there are two or more disks (internal disk or removable disk) on your computer. For example, if the Windows OS is installed on the first hard disk, Windows will say BOOTMGR is missing when it has set boot PC from the second hard disk. In this situation, you just need to change the boot order in BIOS settings to set it to boot from the bootable volume.
You can follow steps below to change boot order in BIOS settings:
Step1. You need to enter BIOS when booting your computer. The methods to enter BIOS are various from different computers, which include press F1, F2 or Del key.
Step2. After entering BIOS, you can use arrow keys to navigate "Advance Bios Features".
Step3. You can see all devices now. Just use arrow keys to set the first boot device as the hard drive on which you installed Windows system.
Step4. Confirm to change the settings and exist by using arrow keys to choose "Yes" button to confirm save configuration changes and exist.
Tip: The BIOS setup utility might be a little different on different computers. Therefore, you do not need to feel strange if the screen shows a little different when you enter BIOS settings on your computer.
If you are sure that you have set the correct boot order but computer still cannot boot and reports missing BOOTMGR, you can boot Windows system from bootable CD or DVD to enter and repair Windows OS. To boot Windows from bootable CD or DVD, you can repair the corrupted system following guides below:
Windows 10 / 8: Insert the Windows CD or DVD to your PC and restart computer. Please select the Language, Time and Keyboard > click "Repair Your Computer" > click "Troubleshoot" > click "Advanced Option" > click "Startup Repair" on Windows 10 or "Automatic Repair" on Windows 8
Windows 7 / Vista: Insert Windows CD / DVD and reboot PC. Select the Language, Time and Keyboard > click "Repair Your Computer" > click "Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows" and then select Windows Vista or Windows 7 and click "Next" button > click "Startup Repair"
After repairing the Windows, you can reboot your computer to see if it will report the same error that it cannot find BOOTMGR. Usually, it can resolve the problem.
Please note: You can boot Windows from bootable CD or DVD and then fix the problem "couldn’t find BOOTMGR" only on condition that you have installed copyrighted Windows operating system on your computer. If you installed a ghost of Windows system, you can boot Windows from bootable CD or DVD, but you cannot fix the problem directly. If you installed a ghost of Windows OS or the above methods are not helpful with the problem, please try following solutions.
Please insert the Windows CD / DVD to PC again and boot your computer from it. PC will show desktop after booting from bootable CD or DVD. Then, you can open hard disk on your computer and access data normally. After entering Windows from bootable CD / DVD, you can use following methods to repair the problem that BOOTMGR is lost:
1. Backup the hard drive to another disk
Please attach an external hard drive to your computer and backup the hard drive. Doing this is to prevent unexpected data loss in the further. You can use backup software to backup the hard drive. Or you can use an external hard drive and only move all important data to this external HDD to make a backup.
2. Fixing BOOTMGR Not Found CMD
You can run command line and type "chkdsk c: /f /r" command to fix problems on C drive system partition. To do this is to check and repair possible errors on C partition to fix the issues.
You can also run error-checking tool on Windows to repair bad sectors on system partition.
3. Set boot volume as active partition
You can open Disk Management on Windows and right click the C drive > select "Mark Partition as Active" > Follow the wizard to set the selected partition as active
There are some other methods to set active partition. For example,
Method 1: Run CMD to set active partition: Run command line > type "diskpart" > type "list disk" > select disk x (e.g. select disk 1) > list partition > select partition x (e.g. select partition 1) > active
Method 2: You can use partition magic software to set a volume as active.
4. Repair corrupted MBR
You can fix the corrupted MBR to make sure that PC can boot normally. You can also use Startup Repair to fix boot volume on different Windows to repair the problem.
Recommend: Fix corrupted MBR>>
5. Restore system to previous point
You can perform system restore to restore the Windows back to previous state. You should make sure that you have created system restore point when Windows can still boot normally.
6. Reinstall Windows system
You can reinstall Windows system so as to remove the previous system completely, after which your computer will not show BOOTMGR cannot find error message when trying to boot from Windows system.
Without CD or DVD, what can you do to resolve BOOTMGR could not find error on Windows since you are unable to boot your computer?
1. Press F8 for BOOTMGR is missing no disc
You can free F8 when booting your computer to enter perform Windows Startup repair without CD or DVD disc.
2. Boot from USB
You can boot Windows from USB. You must ensure that there is Windows operating system being installed on your USB. Then, you can connect the USB to computer and select to boot PC from USB. After entering Windows from USB, you can try to fix the problems such as fixing bad sectors or reinstall Windows operating system.
3. Boot from WinPE
WinPE is a small system preinstalled on an external drive. You can boot PC from Windows PE and the repair the problem when BOOTMGR is missing on your computer.
BOOTMGR is missing on Windows XP? How to fix it for WinXP? In fact, BOOTMGR was introduced to Windows operating system when Microsoft released the Windows Vista. Therefore, there is BOOTMGR files in Windows XP. The BOOTMGR is equal to the NTLDR in Windows XP. When Windows XP is unable to boot due to missing NTLDR files, the error message usually says: "NTLDR is missing Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart" or "NTLDR is missing Press any key to restart".
Recommend: NTLDR is missing>>
Another problem related to BOOTMGR is the error message "BOOTMGR is compressed Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart".
You get this error message usually because you have compressed C drive. To fix this problem, you can follow this tutorial:
Step1. Boot Windows from another disk (such as CD, DVD or USB)
Step2. Decompress C drive and run CMD > type "Bootrec.exe" > type "fixmbr"
When the command is completed, you can restart your computer.