Not what you want to see when trying to boot Windows Vista Server…oops, sorry, I mean Windows Server 2008.  🙂

Unfortunately, this is what I encountered recently after a Windows Server 2008 virtual machine rebooted following some routine Windows Updates.  After some time spent troubleshooting, it did not appear that any of the updates themselves had caused the problem.  The type of backup system in use for this server allows me to boot virtual copies of the backups from any 15 minute interval in the previous 2 days.  I was able to boot a virtual copy of this server from the backups before the updates were installed.  It had the same “bootmgr is missing” error.  And the server had rebooted successfully 5 days ago, so something in the past 5 days after that last reboot caused this problem.

Research (googling) on the ‘bootmgr is missing’ error led me to this Microsoft KB article pretty quickly:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391

Here is the content of that article:

Cause:

This error occurs when either of the following conditions is true:

  • The Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr) entry is not present in the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store.
  • The Boot\BCD file on the active partition is damaged or missing.

Resolution:

Method 1: Repair the BCD store by using the Startup Repair option

You can use the Startup Repair option in the Windows Recovery Environment to repair the BCD store. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press a key when you are prompted.
  3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Startup Repair.
  7. Restart the computer.

Method 2: Rebuild the BCD store by using the Bootrec.exe tool

If the previous method does not resolve the problem, you can rebuild the BCD store by using the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press a key when you are prompted.
  3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
  7. Type Bootrec /RebuildBcd, and then press ENTER.
    • If the Bootrec.exe tool runs successfully, it presents you with an installation path of a Windows directory. To add the entry to the BCD store, type Yes. A confirmation message appears that indicates the entry was added successfully.
    • If the Bootrec.exe tool cannot locate any missing Windows installations, you must remove the BCD store, and then you must re-create it. To do this, type the following commands in the order in which they are presented. Press ENTER after each command.
      Bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
      ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
      Bootrec /rebuildbcd
  8. Restart the computer.

Method 3: Rebuild the BCD store manually by using the Bcdedit.exe tool

If the previous method does not resolve the problem, you can rebuild the BCD store manually by using the Bcdedit.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
  2. Press a key when you are prompted.
  3. Select a language, a time, a currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
  7. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    cd /d Partition:\Windows\System32

    Note Partition represents the letter of the partition on which Windows Vista is installed. Typically, this is partition C.

  8. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit /enum all

    In the Windows Boot Loader section of the output from this command, note the GUID that is listed for resumeobject. You will use this GUID later.

  9. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit -create {bootmgr} -d “Description

    Note Description represents the description for the new entry.

  10. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit -set {bootmgr} device partition=Partition:

    Note Partition represents the letter of the partition. Typically, the letter is C.

  11. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit /displayorder {GUID}

    Note GUID represents the GUID that you obtained in step 8.

  12. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit /default {GUID}

    Note GUID represents the GUID that you obtained in step 8.

  13. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    bcdedit /timeout Value

    Note Value represents the time in seconds before the Windows Boot Manager selects the default entry that you created in step 12.

  14. Restart the computer.

If you are booting from a Server 2008 install disk, when you use the “Repair your computer” option, the available options look like this:

You can access the repair option on a Server 2008 disk by choosing “command prompt”, then running  “x:\sources\recovery\StartRep.exe”.

I did this and it worked like a champ!  It found an error, corrected it, and the server was back up and running 10 minutes later.

I have also done this on Server 2008 using a Windows Vista install disk.  Slightly risky, but the server was down anyway, and I was in a pinch.  That also worked.  Along the same lines, I would guess that a Windows 7 install disk would work for Server 2008 R2 if you had no other option.  But don’t hold me to that!

30 Replies to “Windows Server 2008 “BOOTMGR is missing” Error”

  1. Although the Startup Repair option does not appear in the dialog box for Windows Server 2008, you can access it using the command prompt:

    x:\sources\recovery\StartRep.exe

  2. Pazmanpro, Aaron, you guys rock.

    I’ve got a Windows 2008 Enterprise Server whose sole responsibility is to run SEP 11. It originally contained three RAID containers, a 16GB, a 170GB, and a 560GB. The 16GB was the original boot volume, but it was decided that it was too small and 2008 was loaded onto the 170GB volume. Not two weeks later a drive dies in the 16GB volume. It was thought not to be an issue, but the boot loader was on that volume. I tried a combination of command line fixes that got me to the BOOTMGR is missing point. After that I was stumped until I stumbled onto Pazmanpro’s fix. Worked like a charm… Thanks guys.

  3. I had the same problem. My configuration: Two physical disks in RAID 1 (Intel Matrix Storage). Two logical drives on that: C: and D: drive (NTFS both). D: drive uses bitlocker. C-drive contains Windows 2008 Server R2 which I use to run virtual machines with Hyper-V.

    I believe I ran into the problem after installing some Windows updates (possibly including hardware driver updates), but not 100% sure that it caused the problem. Anyways, I guess RAID might have something to do with the problem.

    Here’s what I did for troubleshooting, hope this might help you others too troubled by this infernal problem:

    1. Started System Recovery Options from setup dvd (as described above)
    2. Started command prompt
    3. My C: and D: drive had switched for some reason! So I used diskpart to fix the letters and also set C: dirve’s partition to active
    4. Ran command: chkdsk C: /f
    (errors were found and fixed!)
    4. Did methods 1 and 2 as mentioned above
    5. Ran command: C:\windows\system32\bcdboot C:\windows /s C:
    6. Restart
    (after steps 5 and 6 the windows start menu shows up, but even safe mode crashes and causes auto-restart. fail safe indicates it stops in storport.sys)
    6. started recovery again from setup dvd and ran in command prompt: x:\sources\recovery\startrep
    7. restart
    (after steps 6 and 7 I got error “0xc000014c”, so that didn’t help me)
    8. Tried to run command: sfc /scannow
    but got “There is a system repair pending…” error message
    9. Tried to run SFC /SCANNOW but then I got error “System repair pending”
    9. tried to repeat above steps many times with different combinations

    No use! After using at least 8 hours to solve the problem I decided to do a clean re-install of Windows. Since RAID is not a necessity for me in this machine, I decided to get rid of it too. Clean installation is now done, works like a charm

  4. Hey Master,

    x:\sources\recovery\StartRep.exe was the best tipp for me (win2k8r2 EE) server, backuped with symantec system recovery…. after restore this bullshit BOOTMBR missing error was there… I really paid for both, for windows EE and for System recovery, but only you got the answer for my problem; Have a great day and thanks a lot for this post.

    Many Greetz from Germany
    Dirk

  5. Thank you SO much for posting this VERY valuable
    information in ONE place (unlike MS forums…although I appreciate
    those as well) Thanks for taking time to share with the rest of us!
    The StartRep.exe trick was the best!! That fixed my issue when it
    seemed like nothing else would! Thank you!

  6. Dear Pazmanpro and everyone else,

    I too had boot problems after trying to add freebsd in a dualboot arrangement with Windows Server 2008R2. Everything I tried failed and I was just about to reinstall Windows when I found your post. That suggestion about startrep.exe fixed all the booting problems in just a few seconds. It was a fantastic help.

    Best wishes…..
    Colin

  7. i m using window server 2008 installed in hp proliant ml350 G6 server it has six harddisk slots previously only two slots was occupied with 500 GB each , recently i fill up the remaning slots with 1Terabyte each but it didnt detect the harddisk , so i tried different method and swap the harddisk that didnt help too, then i insert all the harddisk in their original slots where it was before and reboot and i got errot Bootmgr missing press ctrl+alt+del to restart is this hardware problem or Operating system problem,pliz help me i m needing the solution very urgently
    thanks in advance

  8. This is fantastic. My problem was, that the server always bootet in the Windows Recovery Environment. Automatic fix gives no solution, but with

    Bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
    ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
    Bootrec /rebuildbcd

    Windows stops booting the WRE and gives me the true reason. Someone has tried installing an old acronis version. I managed booting the server with renaming the driver file snapman.sys

    Thanks again, now I can carless go to the new year party.

    Lars

  9. Thank you for sharing this! Worked like a charm for me. I got “BOOTMGR is missing” when rebooting after adding disk space to the system drive, by extending the system drive using Disk Management, on a virtual server running Windows Server 2008 R2.

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