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Windows 7: Bootmgr not found, Bootrec /fixboot displays "Element not found"

10 Feb 2013   #1
Pikay2k

Windows 7 Starter
 
 
Bootmgr not found, Bootrec /fixboot displays "Element not found"

Hello, I've run into a problem with my Windows 7 install. For context, I originally had Windows XP dual booting with Windows 7 because I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the upgrade at the time. Windows XP was on my old 300 GB HDD, while I had Windows 7 on my 1.5 TB HDD (with 83GB allocated into my Windows 7 partition while the rest is used for storage).

Yesterday my 300GB HDD died (R.I.P.), and I realize that along with it, I must have still been using that hard drive for my boot loader. With the drive dead, I can no longer boot into my Windows 7 partition, even though bootrec /scanos reads that it's still there.

My issue is that /fixboot and /rebuildbcd both give me an "element not found" error when attempting them. My Windows installation doesn't appear in the list of installations to repair on my recovery DVDs. I've set the partition as active via Diskpart and Partition Wizard, but it still refuses to boot. It used to be a logical partition, but I set it to primary with Partition Wizard, so it should be fine.

I have executed the automatic startup repair option 6 times, and my installation still isn't listed under my repair DVD. The repair informs me that my Partition Table is corrupted, and that Windows should work after a restart, or repair will try again next restart. However, Windows is not repaired and automatic repair still doesn't fix anything. It's rather frustrating, because I know for a fact my files are all there and unharmed, but there's simply no way for me to get into them. I'm running out of ideas. I've searched extensively for a fix to this, and it seems everyone can find a fix but me by simply marking the partition as active and running /fixboot with automatic repair.

The only other thing I can think of is perhaps making another partition, throwing a Linux distribution with Grub onto it, using that to boot into Windows 7, and then do a repair install from there. Would that work out? Any better suggestions are of course welcomed with open arms.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Feb 2013   #2
essenbe
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Look at option 2 and see if this will help. Windows Boot Manager - Delete a Listed Operating System
Also, to recover your files. Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console
But, it sems that what you have done should work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #3
Pikay2k

Windows 7 Starter
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
Look at option 2 and see if this will help. Windows Boot Manager - Delete a Listed Operating System
When typing bcdedit I get "The boot configuration data store could not be opened. The requested system device cannot be found."

As for saving my data, I'm not too worried about it since I could always just install over it and keep it all in the Windows.old folder, but I'd rally like to just keep my current install. It's still there, there's just no boot manager to lead me to it.


Edit: In another forum I was asked to upload a screenshot of my Partition Wizard window. Not sure if it'd help any of you to see. The partition that's active is the Windows partition, the bad disk isn't even in my computer anymore. I'm using a USB stick to load Partition Wizard, so it's possible it's just reading that as the "bad disk" anyway.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Feb 2013   #4
essenbe
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Pikay2k, I'm a little out of my element here. I've asked for more help. But, if you have marked the windows 7 partition as active, startup repair should work and find the installation.Will your XP drive work at all? If it will, there is another tutorial that will copy the MBR to the windows drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #5
Pikay2k

Windows 7 Starter
 
 

Unfortunately no. I just plugged my XP drive back into my tower and it's not even being read in my bios anymore. If I do get this drive to work, would just booting into Windows 7 and doing a repair install from in there fix my boot manager?

Edit: After a few tries, I actually managed to get it up again! However, since I changed my partition on my Windows 7 drive from logical to primary, it seems the Windows 7 option from my XP hard drive no longer leads me to Windows 7. Instead I get an error, which is understandable. While waiting for more information, I guess I an use this time to double check if there's any more data I should backup from this drive while I still can. Might as well see if chkdsk can extend its life a little longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #6
gregrocker

 

Since XP HD was connected when you installed Win7, the Win7 installer merely updated the XP boot files to configure the Dual Boot. Those boot files for both OS's went south with the XP HD leaving Win7 unable to boot.

The solution is to unplug all other HD's, boot into the Win7 DVD or System Repair Disk to Mark Win7 Partition Active (Method Two) then run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots and has the System Active flags.

All boot recovery commands are automated in Win7 Startup Repair, which also runs multiple tests and fixes that cover alll parameters of Win7 boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #7
Pikay2k

Windows 7 Starter
 
 

Because I'm able to get into XP now, is there anything I can do within my XP installation to fix my Windows 7 boot partition's boot manager? Perhaps if I update my XP boot manager with my new Window 7 location and then import the updated MBR to my Windows 7 partition as essenbe mentioned earlier?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #8
gregrocker

 

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Partition Wizard disk map and drive listings. Tell us what's on each partition.

How did you get XP to finally boot?

Did you say that the small partition way over on the right side (farthest from where the disk reader parks)on Disk1 is your Win7 partition? If so did you unplug all other HD's to run Startup repair with reboots until it starts up?

You're better off having each HD boot independently via the BIOS for a multitude of reasons. You could install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required)
to XP (requiring Net Framework 2) to add Win7 but then it remains dependent upon possibly failing XP HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #9
Pikay2k

Windows 7 Starter
 
 

Wow, I didn't think it'd really make a difference so didn't try it; but removing all drives aside from the Windows 7 one did the trick. When I went into repair it actually showed a notification that it was looking for a Windows 7 install, rather than just showing me a lisst of nothing and asking if I'd like to load drivers or go straight into recovery options.

My Windows 7 booted just fine after 2 repairs. Thanks for all the help, guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2013   #10
gregrocker

 

What I would do now is set Win7 HD first HD to boot in BIOS setup.

Then when you want to boot XP, tap the one-time BIOS Boot menu key, choose its HD to boot.

If this is not satisfactory then install EasyBCD to Windows 7 to add XP to a Windows Dual Boot menu.

Are you getting any Boot Menu listings now left over from your previous Dual Boot, and do they work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Bootmgr not found, Bootrec /fixboot displays "Element not found"




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