I'm helping a buddy of mine repair his laptop (we've all been there before!) and I'm stumped. He claimed he didn't do anything wrong to it, but apparently, the laptop displays the "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart". I've tried the following, all to no avail:
Ran Startup Repair 3 separate times - it either found problems it couldn't repair, or repaired the problems, which didn't help.
bootsect /nt60 c:
BootRec /FixMbr -
BootRec /ScanOs - I get the message "Total identified Windows installations: 0"
BootRec /RebuildBcd - I get the message "Total identified Windows installations: 0"
sfc /scannow - the scan won't run at all. I get a "Windows Resource Protection can't run now", or something similar
I removed the drive and hooked it up to a couple of different Windows machines using different drive docks just to be sure the drive wasn't bad. It mounted with no issue, and the drive had three partitions: one with the main Windows files on them, one labeled "RECOVERY" which is probably an OEM partition, and another 200MB partition which I assume is the Windows 7 System Protection partition.
I ran chkdsk on the drive, and it ran without issue, however when it reached the end, the scan locked up, and chkdsk wouldn't finish, even after several hours, so I canceled it.
I've also checked the SATA cable in the laptop, and it's fine. I've also checked the drive for viruses with AVG, but it came up clean.
After attempting to manually repair the bootmgr with the commands above, I decided to get a little more in depth. I attempted to copy over the bootmgr file from the Windows 7 isntall DVD that I have, which didn't help.
I also decided to follow the advice from EasyBCD's website on recovering the Windows bootloader from the DVD
. Unfortunately, none of that worked either.
I decided to move the active partition from the System Reserved partition to the primary Windows partition, so that it would simply the process of rebuilding the bootloader. I've included a screenshot of the drive from Disk Management for reference. It's attached at the end of the post.
After making that active, I tried running the command prompt repairs again, but no luck. However, after I installed EasyBCD, I decided to try rebuilding the MBR and bootloader files on the Windows partition using that program. I did have some better luck here: after starting Windows Startup Repair, it recognized a Windows partition, however it reported the installation as being 0MB!
When I attempted to reboot the laptop, I got the error:
"Windows failed to start."
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
So it looks like I've traded one problem for another! The good news is that, before I used BCDedit, a partition on the drive was reported as being unallocated, and now it is reported as being a 100MB partition named HP Tools, and it is the active partition, not Windows. This leads me to believe that the partition was deleted, and I have since recovered it by rebuilding the bootloader info somehow. Unfortunately, it hasn't fixed the boot error.
When I run the bcdedit command, this is the output:
Windows Boot Loader
identifier GUID (very long sequence of letters and numbers)
description Microsoft Windows
Windows Boot Loader
device ramdisk [E:] \Windows Recovery Environment
and more details that just pertain to that entry.
Windows Memory Tester
description Windows Memory Diagnostic
Now the first entry I know I made myself, the second must have been made by Startup Repair from the Win installer DVD, and the last one was there when I started working on the computer.
I think that just about covers it. A very nasty situation, but I'm afraid a reinstall isn't possible: my friend has a copy of MS Office on there, and he has since lost the product key, so he wouldn't be able to reactivate it if Windows were reinstalled.
I'd love to hear someone offer some advice, as I'm out of luck and ideas! I think the best thing to do would be to simply the whole setup. Deleting the extra partitions would be a good start, as my friend doesn't use the recovery options that are offered by the OEM, and he probably wouldn't use the Windows recovery options either. If he does need them, I'll just burn him a Recovery CD. What I'd like to do is remove the partitions, and try and make the Windows partition the sole logical, active, boot volume. Then the system would boot correctly, and I wouldn't have to fiddle around with four separate partitions, most of which are unnecessary.