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BOOTMGR missing Vista - no solution has worked so far, please help!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by jmd1983, Nov 2, 2011.

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  1. jmd1983

    jmd1983 Thread Starter

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    Dell Inspiron 1525 running Windows Vista Home Premium

    Hi everyone,

    A few days ago when booting my laptop I got the message NTLDR missing. I tried some fixes that I found online (boot from the Vista cd, go to command prompt, not sure which "fix" I tried then) but it did not solve the problem. Unlike before I now get the message 'BOOTMGR is missing, press any key to restart'.

    I have tried everything I have found online but to be honest that isn't a lot. Just a quick overview here of what I've tried so far:

    - Changing the BIOS/Setup settings to a different boot order. This did not do anything.
    - Booting from Vista cd, choosing Repair and then running Startup Repair. I get this message: 'Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically'.
    - Booting from Vista cd, choosing Repair and then choosing the Command Prompt: bootrec /rebuildbcd (No Windows installations found), bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup (completed successfully), ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old (A duplicate file name exists, or the file cannot be found), bootrec /rebuildbcd. This did not fix the problem, no changes.

    I am completely lost as to what to try now. I am happy to do a full new installation of Vista but I just want to access my computer once to get my personal files off. I have the most important stuff backed up but would like to just get the rest off as well.

    I have seen some information around about accessing your personal files even with this error message. No idea where to start though!

    Soooo, if anyone knows of another way to fix the BOOTMGR missing error that would be my preferred option obviously. Lacking that, if there is a way of accessing my files that would be a good alternative.

    Getting desperate so any ideas are welcome.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. lunarlander

    lunarlander

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    Go download a Linux Live CD like Ubuntu or Fedora. Burn the iso file to CD with Imgburn. Then boot with the created CD. It will be able to read your Windows hard drive, and you can copy files off to a USB memory stick.
     
  3. jmd1983

    jmd1983 Thread Starter

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    Hey, thanks for that. Could you give me a bit more info on how to do that exactly? I know my way around only a little bit and tend to just follow step by steps from websites :eek:

    Thanks again! Will definitely try it. As long as I can get my things off there I will be quite pleased. Just hoping I can get the laptop back up and running eventually with a new installation.
     
  4. lunarlander

    lunarlander

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    Go here to download Ubuntu 10.04 ( There is a newer version, but I am going by my existing setup, so follow along and choose 10.04 ) http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download Save the iso file.

    Then download ImgBurn from here: http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download

    Install ImgBurn and run it.

    Choose "Write Image to Disc"

    At the top of the Imgburn window, where it says "Source" click on the folder with maginfying glass icon; Then navigate to where you saved the ISO file.

    Then click on the bottom area of the window depicting hd write to CD.

    That should create the CD.

    Now you want to boot with the CD on your PC. Check your BIOS so that it chooses to boot using the CD first. You are looking for the Boot menu, boot priority, or something along that line.

    Once you boot into Ubuntu, pull down the Places pull down menu. Choose the ## GB Filesystem. That would be your hard drive. You will be able to see all folders in your drive. Now copy off the files you want to a USB memory stick.
     
  5. jmd1983

    jmd1983 Thread Starter

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :D

    That was very helpful. I managed to do it and get into my laptop but am struggling a bit with the completely different layout. Hard to find everything I want to save.

    Can I also try and fix the problem now that I have access to the laptop again?
     
  6. jmd1983

    jmd1983 Thread Starter

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    Hi again,

    I have done all the above and it has been very helpful. I have been able to get most of the important files off my laptop.

    However, somehow I can't access everything I had on here before the problems started.

    So I want to give it one last try and attempt to actually fix (even if only temporarily!) the problem. Now that I have access to my system, is there a way of resolving the BOOTMGR missing problem? I know there are some complicated ways of changing these things behind the scenes. No idea where to even start though!

    Worrying thing is that I regularly get a message from Ubuntu that says: 'Hard disk problems detected. A hard disk is reporting health problems.' My options are 'examine', 'cancel' and 'ok'. I usually click ok and continue working. When I choose examine I see the following:

    Under 250 GB hard disk it says: SMART status - DISK failure is imminent in bright red letters (which I assume to mean danger!).

    Can I still fix this or is this the end of the road for my much beloved laptop? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks again!
     
  7. lunarlander

    lunarlander

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    The SMART system predicts hard disk failures. And usually, it doesn't sound the alarm until it is Very late.

    Time to buy a new hard drive; and time to look for your Vista DVD. If your laptop doesnt come with a Vista DVD, you might be able to buy one from your laptop manufacturer at a low price.
     
  8. jmd1983

    jmd1983 Thread Starter

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    I do have a Vista DVD. You think a full/clean reinstall might work?

    I think a new laptop is in order. Lovely timing right before Christmas! Oh well...
     
  9. lunarlander

    lunarlander

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    A clean install will not help if the hard drive is about to fail. If the laptop is still fast enough for your needs, then just get a new hard drive.
     
  10. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The bootmgr is probably not even missing. Get your files as quickly as you can, as lunarlander has suggested because it may not be long before you can't get them at all. You'll almost certainly never boot Vista again on that drive. If the files are not seen in the distro you chose, they are gone. And even the ones you recover now may be corrupted and unusable.

    You should always have a full system backup.

     
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