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Windows 7: Missing Boot Manager

07 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 
Missing Boot Manager

Hello,

So after browsing multiple forums and posts I decided to make my own since following little snippets of advice for others has possibly led me to my current problem.

Currently my Win 7 does not boot. I believe the current message is
"no active partition"

This all occurred after an update to Ubuntu on a separate external drive and subsequent use of linux based program boot-repair. Might have messed things up.

First off I am having trouble getting the Windows Repair Option to start sometimes with the message "This version of system recovery options is not comparable with the version of windows you are trying to repair"

I understand this is something to do with "EFI mode?" which I don't totally understand. The Win 7 install is on a SATA drive. In BIOS I have the option of switching things around between IDE, RAID or AHCI mode.

When I do get it up and running sometimes it doesn't even see my installation and gives me a "failed to save start up options" error when I try to repair. When I did get it do actualy display my windows install (not sure what combo of settings did it) It tells me it's a "Windows 7 Home Premium on (unknown) Local Disk. I try to repair this and it gives me a read out starting with

"Problem Signature" etc etc

#7 is missingbootmanager

So with all the reading I've done over the last few days from what I can gather there are tools that I can hypothetically use to mark a partition active. My main issue so far is that when I go to the command prompt I can browse all drives except the one my win 7 is on. Is that normal? It starts on X:, C: is not my Win 7 install but rather a completely different internal IDE drive that I have music on.

I apologize that this is long and rambling, if there is anything else I can answer or any tests I can run or post please let me know. I have access to the Internet through a old laptop in the house and have a 1gb thumb drive I can use for diag tools/programs. No ability to burn out anything on a CD. I also have a current report output from the Ubuntu program boot-repair if that would be helpful at all, it lists a lot of info about boot loaders, drives, partition, etc.

I DON'T care about the Ubuntu install at this point. I just want to be able to get back into my windows install.

thanks in advance..
Cheers

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Follow the steps to mark Active then run 3 Startup Repairs with only the Windows 7 HD plugged in: Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot.

If this don't work then use the bootrec commands also given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I'm really sorry but I can't seem to find the website I was on with the instructions to set the partition active. Can you post a link or instructions for me? And when you say to run repairs with just the Win 7 HD do you mean to physically disconnect my IDE drives/cable from the motherboard since the Win 7 install is connected to SATA 1?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

It's best to unplug all other HD's so that no other HD partition set Active can derail the repairs.

To mark Active from the Windows 7 DVD System Recovery Options or System Repair Disk Command Line use Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Ok.. so I unplugged the IDE cable inside and have only my Win 7 HD and DVD rom drive connected (on SATA 1 & 5) When I start up Windows recovery on the disk it is not finding my installation drive to recover and I'm not sure if that matters? When I use Diskpart is sees the drive as Disk 0 with the following set up ..

Partition 1 System 100MB 1024KB
Partition 2 System 128mb 101mb
Partition 3 System 465GB 229MB

I'm pretty sure this is my WIN 7 install on Partition 3. (drive is 500gb) When I try to use the active command I get.. "The selected disk is not a fixed MBR disk"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Try marking the 100mb System Reserved partition Active then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.

However if Windows 7 was installed using EFI Boot on a GPT disk, this may not repair it.

What I would do is reinstall Windows 7 after converting the disk to MBR format using Diskpart and Option Two here: Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk

In the future if you cannot install Linux distro to another HD booted only via BIOS so that GRUB doesnt' corrupt Windows 7, then follow these steps to Dual boot Ubuntu-Win7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

I attempted to mark just the 100mb partition as active and got the same results. Volume 1 is listed as FAT32, Info:Hidden, Required: No, Attrib:0000000000000000 No listing for active or inactive. Details on all partitions of this drive give the same Info and Attrib. The 2nd small partition is type:RAW (not familiar with this), and 3rd partition is NTFS as expected.

I'm still confused on this EFI boot and GPT disk (were these settings possibly changed via the boot-repair program?) I built this rig from scratch and installed Win 7 myself. All bios settings were default to the board (for better or for worse). I tried to emulate the starting conditions (bios settings, etc) when attempting to repair. So boot order is..

1) 2.2TB Infinity (some MB option that is my understanding it helps to boot disks that are really large, mine is 500GB however)

2) SATA 1 (Win 7)

3) DVD (with Win 7 DVD inserted)

When I boot this way I get a black screen with /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/BCD "an error occurred while tempting to read the boot configuration"

ALSO.. If it is important every time I try to do the repair I look at the log when it can't auto repair and have noticed something that may be helpful. On the external that houses my Ubuntu install there is a NTFS partition that houses a WIN 7 backup disc image from March. When I leave the external OFF the "Problem Signature" part says under (#5 External Media) and (#07 No OS Installed), when it's ON is says (#5 unknown) and (#7 Missing Boot Manager)

I'm curious what part my backup disc image is playing in this? Is my original Win 7 install healthy on my SATA drive and just can't be booted to or is the repair utility somehow seeing my back up image as my install and that's why it can't mark it as active? Maybe I'm reaching as I admittedly don't understand all this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Why is the Windows 7 HD not set first to boot? ENter BIOS setup to change that now.

While in BIOS setup see if you have an EFI Boot Disk in the boot order.

If you have an EFI BIOS then Windows 7 is installed in EFI mode by choosing the EFI Boot Disk as first to boot, installing only 64 bit this way to a GPT disk: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forum

The way an EFI BIOS is normally deselected is to remove EFI Boot Disk from the boot order, however you should look for any other EFI settings in BIOS setup and in the Manual for your mobo found on its Support Downloads webpage.

If your HD is MBR and the Windows 7 partition is Primary then it should mark as Active. The fact that it will not makes me think it is GPT formatted.

It would be very helpful to see a picture of your HD using free Partition Wizard bootable CD. Post a clear camera snap of the entire drive map and listings box: Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

The HD is not #1 since that isn't how it was set up from the beginning. I have tried with it as first boot option as well. I'll change it back to first boot but when I set up with PC initially that "2.2TB" thing was already set as first boot in BIOS. I didn't know what it was so I never messed with it.

I've already looked over the spec for my MB online and have looked through the various options. Nothing that says EFI that I can find unless it's called something else. I have a MSI 890GXM-G65.

Just an update. I'm downloading the partition wizard now and will post results.

I appreciate you patience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium X64 Service Pack 1
 
 

Is there another comparable utility that has the ability to boot from USB? I read the instructions but don't have the ability to make a disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Missing Boot Manager





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