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Windows 7: Boot manager is missing (please read and help)

19 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 (32bit)
Boot manager is missing (please read and help)


I know that there are many threads dealing with this problem but none of the recommended solutions has worked so far and I tried so many different suggest solutions. Please help me. Here is what happened:

I have 3 partitions on my PC:

C: Windows Vista
W: Windows 7
D: my files (documents, pictures, etc)
F: external hard drive for backup = my files on the D drive.

My PC came with Windows Vista pre-installed on it (I have the installation CD), and then I bought and installed Windows 7 (I have the installation CD) on partition W. I set up my PC so that when it starts it chooses Windows 7 automatically. Since I haven't used Windows Vista in a very long time and it was taking way too much space that I needed for the W drive I decided to get rid of Windows 7/partition C (big mistake!)

So from Windows 7 I tried to format and delete the C partition but I got an error saying that I cannot do that since there are files on the C drive that are in use. So I said "Ok", it was no big deal I could live with Windows Vista taking space on the hard drive--as long as the computer is working! But I set Windows 7 (partition W) as the Active Drive in the hope that I would be able to format/delete the C partition (I thought that's why I was not allowed to get rid of the C partition/Windows Vista). But again I got other errors telling me that I cannot format/delete the C partition so I forgot about it. However, I did not change the set up back to make the C partition as the active partition before shutting down the computer.

I shut down the computer and restarted and now I get the boot manager is missing error, and asking me to press ctrl+alt+delete to restart. Even pressing those three buttons does not restart the PC--I have to restart the computer manually by pressing on the restart button. I also cannot access the BIOS; when the computer starts there is a screen that says press F2 to access the BIOS but when I do that the computer just freezes.

I tried some suggested solutions I found on different forums but none of them worked. First, my Windows Vista CD does not give me the option to repair the computer--it starts a new installation automatically (which I cancel as soon as it starts). Second, my Windows 7 CD is unable to repair the computer. Actually, my Windows 7 CD cannot even detect any installed Windows OS on the hard drive; you know, the System Recovery Options window shows no operation system whatsoever. Even when I followed some command prompt codes such as diskpart, etc, it only shows there is one hard drive and one partition! I even tried the suggest command prompt codes for both drives, C and W, and it made no difference. Safe Mode did not work either. Storing and re-creating BCD, etc, did not work either.

The only thing that kind of made a difference is when I followed some suggest solution about changing nt50 to nt60 command code, then when I restarted it said NTLDR is missing instead of boot manager is missing. But again, the PC still doesn't work so I changed it back to nt50, or something.

Thanks God I have my family photos, etc recently backed up on the external hard drive, but I still have some important work documents on the Windows 7 desktop that I really need, and so I don't want to lose them. I just want to be able to access Windows 7 once to save those few important files and then I don't care if I format the hard drive or not. Can I log in/boot Windows from the Windows 7 CD?

Please help, thanks a lot

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Dec 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


It might be a good idea to ask in advance next time rather than just trying things in the hopes they'll work out. There is a very specific way this is done. We normally ask for a screenshot to see if there are unknown hurdles such as Logical partitions in the mix, but you're unable to do that now so try this:

Mark the Windows 7 partition Active, then boot into the Windows 7 DVD System Recovery Options to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times to write the System boot files to Windows 7 partition until it starts. Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Once Windows 7 starts post back the screenshot of maxmized Disk management drive map with listings, using the Snipping Tool in Start Menu. We'll give you the steps to remove Vista and recover its space into Windows 7 - which can under correct conditions be done neatly all at once following these steps: Partition Recover Space Used by an Older OS

If recovery fails, boot into free Partition Wizard bootable CD to post back a camera snap of your full drive map with listings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 (32bit)

Thanks a lot for the reply, I will follow these steps as soon as I get home

PS: I agree with you, what I did was stupid--I should've asked first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 8 Core X64

I can't find the author, but there is a quote that applies here

"Lessons learned best are those that hurt the most"

(or something like that)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 (32bit)

Like I said, I will try the above instructions when I go home, but I am afraid it won't work because when I tried similar instructions yesterday I got the following message:

Successfully scanned Windows installations...
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.

So it looks like the computer is unable to locate any Windows (Vista or 7), and is unable to locate any partitions--it just sees one whole hard drive as one partition. Even the Windows - System Recovery Options window does not display any recognized OS. Anyway, I will try to follow the instruction when I go home, hopefully it will work.

I downloaded the Partition Wizard bootable file on a USB stick but I doubt my PC is set up to read from a USB stick, and I can't access the BIOS to make the PC read a USB stick (when I press F2 the computer freezes). So I will try to burn it on a CD.

Thanks a lot for your help and I will let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


You must burn PW CD ISO using an image burner like ImgBurn.

Confirm that Windows 7 is Active partition. Then click on HD to highlight, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, Apply.

This may preclude the need to run the repairs 3 times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 (32bit)

The System Recovery Options failed even though I run it over 3 separate times

So today I will try the Partition Wizard bootable CD, hopefully that will work

Thanks a lot and I will let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 (32bit)

Hello, how can I make Windows 7 the active partition when the diskpart does not even detect/recognize the Windows 7 partition?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
You must burn PW CD ISO using an image burner like ImgBurn.

Confirm that Windows 7 is Active partition. Then click on HD to highlight, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, Apply.

This may preclude the need to run the repairs 3 times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP


Use PW CD following the steps given earlier.

If no Windows 7 partition is detected, run Partition Recovery Wizard from the Wizards tab on the correct HD. If it recovers the partition, check it's box and click Next. Then Apply the operation when you get back to recovered PW map.

If Windows 7 partition exists, check which is Active, click on HD, select Rebuild MBR from Disk tab, Apply. Reboot to see if Windows 7 starts, if not boot Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD to try 3 Startup Repairs no matter what it reports.

If another partition like System Reserved or Recovery is already marked Active, run Rebuild MBR and if necessary Startup Repairs as given, however if they fail move the Active flag (rightclick partition>Modify>Mark as Active, OK) to Windows 7 partition itself and do Rebuild/Repair operations again.

If you want post back a camera snap of the PW drive map and listings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 (32bit)

The Partition Recovery Wizard only detects 465gb of free space on Disk 1 OS_Install which was my drive C which had Windows Vista installed on it which I "deleted". There is no recognition of Windows 7 which was installed on the W drive which I made the Active partition the last time I was able to access my computer. The is also no recognition the D partition which I saved my files on. My hard drive was divided as follows:

C=Vista(aka Os_Install)=200gb
W=Windows 7=50gb
D=my personal files=250gb

And it tells me there is only Os_Install (which is set to Active according to the boottable CD) with 465gb of free space. Also I could not find any of the instructions/options you mentioned such as: Rebuild MBR.

I need so much help, thanks a lot and please help me resolve this problem if you can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Boot manager is missing (please read and help)

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