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On my Windows 7-64 laptop, bootmgr is missing. I have no compatible Windows 7 DVD. I want to restore my system from the System Reserved partition. How can I access advanced boot options? Or: how can I restore the bootmgr?

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migrated from Sep 20 '11 at 16:55

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Your System Reserved partition is where Microsoft's Boot Manager lives in the first place, and it's necessary to have MS Boot Manager there in order to invoke the Windows Recovery Environment that is also on the System Reserved partition. It's MS Boot Manager that presents the option of running the WinRE.

If you are seeing the message

BOOTMGR is missing
then the partition that your firmware is bootstrapping doesn't contain Microsoft Boot Manager. If that's your System Reserved partition, then obviously you won't be able to bring up the Windows Recovery Environment.

But I suspect, from experience, that you've not deleted MS Boot Manager, or even damaged your bootstrap programs. I suspect that you've gone and adjusted your partition table and changed the "startable" (a.k.a. "active") partition from the System Reserved partition to your boot partition. That was the wrong thing to do. Microsoft's Boot Manager does not live in a boot partition; and the "startable" partition is supposed to be your system partition — or, as in your case, a Poor Man's equivalent thereto. Make your system partition the "startable" one once more.

Microsoft tells you the same thing as I do, by the way.

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Using Windows 7 System Restore via Installation or Restore Disk

Not sure if the following will fix the issue but it's worth a try. It's also easy and quick. If you are missing your Windows Vista/7 installation or recovery DVD, create a recovery disk using these instructions using another computer. Follow the steps below once you created the disk.

  1. Boot with Installation DVD in your computer
  2. Select boot from disk
  3. Select the Repair your computer
  4. Click Next
  5. Choose System Restore
  6. Click Next
  7. Select the Windows/Vista drive
  8. Click Finish

Download Legit Windows 7 Installation Disk

If the above doesn't work, you can download the official Win 7 installation ISO from here. The links are to Microsoft's official online retail store. Download the correct version type (e.g. Home Premium). Create a bootable disk using the downloaded ISO. Use it to do reinstall Windows 7. You may need to call MS Activation Support to activate Windows again but that is quite easy.

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Use F8 at the bios splash screen to get the Windows Advanced screen, then choose "Repair your computer"

. enter image description here


If you get Windows repaired and booting again, go to the All Programs menu and then the Maintenance folder, then select "create a system repair disc" Now you will have a bootable repair disc in case the F8 menu becomes unusable.

You can also make this disc on another Windows 7 64bit PC if the F8 does not work for you this time.

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You know that that won't work, right? "Repair Your Computer" is a Microsoft Boot Manager entry in its BCD database. If BOOTMGR is missing, there's no Boot Manager in the first place, and none of what you describe will work. Of course, there probably is a Boot Manager, as I explained. But in that scenario none of what you describe is then necessary. ☺ – JdeBP Sep 20 '11 at 22:11
That is why I said to make the repair disc on another W7 pc if F8 did not work, so some of what I describe will work...there are several reasons for that error, its not always that the boot manager is actually missing. Yes I do know quite a bit, thanks for your advice. – Moab Sep 20 '11 at 23:50

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