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Windows 7: BOOTMGR and missing a hard drive

18 Jun 2009   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
BOOTMGR and missing a hard drive

When i first installed windows 7, everything was going great. until i restarted without the windows 7 disc in my drive... then it all went wrong.

I have three hard drives.
1) Windows Vista 32bit Ultimate
2) Windows 7 Ultimate RC 32bit (partitioned in half, primary and logical)
3) Storage of my junk

The second hard drive is 160gb, partitioned in half to make to 80GB's. They are all sata, along with my dvd drives.

When i turn my computer on with hard drive 1 set to boot first, it boots vista perfectly fine. (no option comes up to pick an operating system)

When i turn my computer on with hard drive 2 set to boot first, and i DONT have my windows 7 dvd in, it comes up with BOOTMGR IS MISSING...

When i turn my computer on with hard drive 2 set to boot first, and i DO have my windows 7 disc in, it works perfect.
Is there a way to not have to put the disc in to boot all the time?
And its also strange that i dont have an option to select which operating system to boot from... its either one or the other
I have tried unplugging seperate hard drives and nothing changes, and i have tried start up repair from the windows 7 disc - still nothing.

The second problem i have, is hard drive 3. it is recognised in vista, but whenever im using windows 7, it does not detect the drive. Any ideas why it appears in vista and not 7?
i tried unplugging and re-plugging when the computer is both on and off, and its ALWAYS detected in the bios, just not windows 7.

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2009   #2

Windows 7 Build 7600 Laptop and desktop. Also OSX 10.5.7 and 10.6 Snow on Laptop

Ok not sure I will get all this right but your boot drive problem may be solved by booting fron DVD and selecting repair, when it tells you it couldn't find any problems go to expert repair options (Or its called something like that), then select command prompt. At the prompt type: bootrec /fixmbr
If that does not work then goto recovery centre/command prompt again and type the following:
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
cd boot
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /RebuildBcd

If none of the above works then you are screwed for your main boot partition and the only way you can sort is to re-install windows on that partition, you donot need to install all versions on all partitions. You will have to boot your instalation DVD and at installation stage you need to delete the boot partition then create partition again. Select this partition for re-install. no need to format after deleting as install will do that.

Hope that helps and you don't have to go down the last options route.

Ok for the other problem of drive being seen in Vista but not windows 7 you need to have some hard drive partitioning software installed really to fix this (Good option is Paragon Partition Manager). All you do is run the software then click on drive that is the problem in the list of drives and see if in the info pain the item that says "Activity" is marked as "Yes" if not then you need to right click and select "Mark Partition as Active". This will sort that one out as for some reason vista will see a drive not marked as active but Windows 7 will not.

Hope the above might help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2009   #3


when you swap the HD to boot from #2 and not #1. That is where the BOOT info is stored on HDD #1.
you might try this:
While booted into 7:
Make sure your computer is set to see hidden and system files first.
Then copy bootmgr file from Vista partition root to 7 partiton root. Then copy the boot folder from Vista to 7,
telling it to skip copying bcd and bcd.log when it asks.
Then do this command from an elevated command prompt:
bcdedit /export C:\boot\bcd
Now set the 7 partition as active.
Now you can reboot and the 7 partition will be controlling that. Vista can now be formatted or deleted. Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jun 2009   #4

Windows 7 32 bit

OK update so far, for the second problem, i have managed to make my other hard drive active using paragon partition manager, and now i can see that particular hard drive on all operating systems...thanks for that :)

For the first problem, i have run bootrec /fixmbr and it has returned my Windows Boot Manager, however still has the BOOTMGR IS MISSING....bla bla when i dont have my windows disc in the drive. At least i can choose operating systems at startup now with the Windows Boot Manager.
I am now going to try to the bcdedit command and see if that works. Let you know in soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2009   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
3/4 Resolved

So far i have successfully marked my other hard drives active using paragon partition manager.... (handy program ta) and now all my hard drives are visible on all operating systems. thats the second problem fixed. thanks for that.

the first problem however, i tried doing everything stated above, still nothing. Although the WINDOWS BOOT MANAGER appears now, and i can now select which operating system to boot from (couldnt do that before). But in order to get to that screen i need the windows disc in the drive to aviod the BOOTMGR MISSING error. I really dont want to reformat windows 7 on that partition again. I have two dvd drives, so i will leave one with the windows 7 disc in to boot up with. Dodgy solution i know, but it will do me until the final windows 7 is released. Unless there are any other ideas?

Thanks for all your help, saved me heaps of trouble.
Cheers, Ben.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2009   #6

XP, Seven, 2008R2

You can probably solve this by tweaking the boot manager on the active partition of the first boot device. Try tools like EasyBCD and VistaBootPro. I use VistaBootPro all the time to quickly fix problems like this.

EasyBCD is free and VistaBootPro used to be. Look for the free versions somewhere on the net.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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