Gonzo TechNet
Vista & Server 2008 tips and tricks
Vista or Server 2008 failes to boot with error: BOOTMGR IS MISSING

Okay, so I got a copy of Server 2008 as a trial and installed it on my server at home (I later got a real/licensed copy).

At the time of the initial install, the system had two hard drives (80gb & 150gb). All was well for months. Then, this week I got a 250gb for $20 (no, I canít get more...) So I take out the old "second" drive, put the new one in, and all of a sudden the system wonít boot...(typical MS/Windows...)

After about an hour of searching for the answer, I finally found a couple of articles that confirmed that Microsoft, in its finite wisdom, had set the second drive as the boot drive (um...F^#@ing WHY????) and also installed its "Multi-Boot Manger" on the second drive. Even though the OS was on the C:/first drive, the boot loader was on the second drive. So, as soon as I changed out the second drive, it no longer knew how to boot up. (Gee thanks Mr. Gates!)

So, I followed the steps in the articles below, to the letter, multiple times, to rebuild the booting information.

After doing so, in typical MS fashion, I now get a DIFFERENT error!


Donít ya just love it! So, I re-read the articles, re-execute all the commands, and still nothing. WHAT THE &(@#*?!?!?! I then find more information which includes some steps left out. See: How to Fix Windows Server 2008 Boot Loader

  1. After booting up with the original Windows installation disk, open the repair console.
  2. You will now be on the DVD disc which is probably the X: drive
    copy x:\Boot c:\Boot
  4. This is CRITICAL!!!! Copy C:\Boot\BOOTMGR to the ROOT directory \BOOTMGR
  5. C:
    CD \
    copy C:\Boot\BOOTMGR \BOOTMGR
    ren C:\Boot\BOOTMGR bootmgr.old

    What no one tells you (including MS) is that even though BOOTMGR is in the \Boot directory, and, even though the bcedit.exe utility will find it in the \Boot directory, the system will NOT boot unless BOOTMGR is in the ROOT director of the boot drive (C:\BOOTMGR)

  6. Once you have BOOTMGR the file in C:\ directory, rename the old one so it canít be found by Windows or its other utilities
    ren C:\Boot\bootmgr bootmgr.old
  7. Now, follow the directions in the articles above and all will be well (or at least "better" until you get the next MS error...)
Hopefully, this will save you from a couple hours of frustration and immediate hair loss. It only took me about four hours to get the system working again.
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