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I know this question has been asked before but I've tried all the usual fixes and nothing works.

Basically the hard drive had two partitions with Vista and Windows 7. I've deleted the Vista partition to make more room and expanded the Windows 7 partition to fill the drive (using GParted).

I've tried:

  1. Running Startup Repair - it doesn't find any problems.
  2. Setting partition to Active - worked.
  3. bootsect /nt60 c: - worked.
  4. BootRec /FixMbr - worked.
  5. BootRec /FixBoot - worked.
  6. BootRec /ScanOs - I get the message "Total identified Windows installations: 0"
  7. BootRec /RebuildBcd - I get the message "Total identified Windows installations: 0"

BcdEdit shows a Windows Boot Manager and a Windows Boot Loader, both on C: partition.

[Update]

  1. Rename BCD and rerun BootRec /RebuildBcd - worked.
  2. Copy bootmgr from DVD - blocked because the file's already there.

[Update 2]

I found an article here that mentioned some other commands.

  1. C:\chkdsk /f /r - worked.
  2. sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows - worked (see here).

What else can I try?

share|improve this question
    
Are you sure you are using a repair console for the exact same version of Windows you are trying to repair? –  David Schwartz Nov 17 '11 at 20:35
    
Yes, I created the repair DVD yesterday before I started. –  parsley72 Nov 17 '11 at 22:12
    
possible duplicate of Bootmanager is missing –  JdeBP Nov 18 '11 at 0:11
1  
I've already tried everything in the top answers there. I'll try the rest tonight. –  parsley72 Nov 18 '11 at 0:45
    
Next time, use diskpart from Windows instead of GParted. –  ZippyV Nov 23 '11 at 20:46

6 Answers 6

I guess that you had Vista on the disk as partition 1 and then Windows 7 as partition 2, then deleted Vista, meaning that Windows 7 is now on partition 1.

Unfortunately, Windows identifies its partitions by their numbers, so that all partition references in the Windows 7 registry are now incorrect and unusable.

I believe that you will have to reinstall Windows 7. A simple Repair Installation should be enough, and will only refresh Windows and not disturb the installed applications.

Or, for the sneaky solution, you could create some small empty space on the disk before the Windows 7 partition and format it as NTFS, in effect recreating a surrogate dummy partition 1 that will restore the Windows 7 partition to its number 2 position on the disk. You might still need to do again Startup Repair.

[EDIT]

You could force Windows to recreate the BCD store partition by booting from the DVD into the Command Prompt option of Repair and entering :

bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
bootrec /rebuildbcd

In case of a permissions problem, use the command attrib bcd -s -h -r before the rename. Reboot, and if it doesn't work then do Startup Repair again.

Another desperate solution is to assume that bootmgr got corrupted and boot as above and do :

ren c:\bootmgr deletemelatter
bootrec /rebuildbcd
bootrec /fixboot

If nothing works, just reformat the entire disk and install from scratch. Not every problem can be analyzed or has a solution.

share|improve this answer
    
Can you fix the link? I think I've already tried this but I want to check what you're suggesting. –  parsley72 Nov 20 '11 at 22:24
    
Done - link repaired. –  harrymc Nov 21 '11 at 6:44
    
I tried this the other day but I selected the option to install a new version of Windows 7 and it told me I didn't have enough room. I understand what you're saying about partition references, but why is the Windows 7 registry required to load BootMgr? Surely BootMgr is required to boot Windows 7 so the registry can be loaded, not the other way round? –  parsley72 Nov 21 '11 at 6:58
    
Values from the registry are read by BootMgr during the boot, so the registry is essential for launching Windows. I rather wonder why you didn't have enough space. Repair Installation might not give you the same error, but remark that running Windows without enough free space on the system disk is dangerous. If a new Windows installation is a possibility, then you might just as well format the disk and reinstall. –  harrymc Nov 21 '11 at 8:16
1  
"all partition references in the Windows 7 registry are now incorrect and unusable"... which references are you referring to, exactly? There's only one place in the registry I know of that keeps partition references (HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices), and that's fixable by hand -- and I'm pretty sure it keeps track of partitions by starting sector, not by number... –  Mehrdad Oct 29 '12 at 15:40
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I fixed it by:

  1. Back up the partition to an external drive (using GParted).
  2. Delete the partition.
  3. Reinstall Windows 7 on the (now empty) drive.
  4. Copy the contents of the partition over the fresh install of Windows (using System Rescue CD).

Windows now boots correctly and looks exactly the same as before.

share|improve this answer
1  
Interesting. This seems to indicate that faced with an empty disk, Windows installation does extra initializations that are not done for repair. My advice of clearing out the BCD store might have had the same effect or might not, maybe not. It is because of such unknowns that if the usual solutions don't work, one should reformat the disk and start afresh (as I also advised). You were real lucky to have been able to keep your Windows partition, which probably worked only because you have already done Startup Repair on it, which has fixed up the registry but not all of the boot-sector(s) files. –  harrymc Nov 23 '11 at 9:44
    
As mentioned above, I tried the bcdedit export, rename and rebuild and it didn't work. –  parsley72 Nov 23 '11 at 18:45
    
Can you be more specific about the steps you took to fix this? I am in the same situation with Windows 7, and I can't figure out what you mean by "Copy the contents of the partition over the fresh install of Windows (using System Rescue CD). Thanks! –  Martin Del Vecchio Nov 29 '12 at 3:43
    
Pretty simple - just copy the backup of the partition on top of the new partition. There was nothing wrong with the partition itself but the bootloader wasn't finding it, so this forces the bootloader to look in the right place. –  parsley72 Nov 30 '12 at 2:31
1  
Well, sadly another reinstall-from-scratch fix...:( I guess a repair install is enough. –  phoeagon Apr 22 '13 at 2:24

Please make sure that the Windows 7 Recovery partition is set as the active!!

I was having trouble because the active partition was set to C:\

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I wish I could give you a million up votes. Your answer rescued my PhD. I was already thinking of formatting. God bless you. I tried everything on Bing, Google and nearly all search sites. This really saved me. Thank you so so much. –  afaolek Jun 21 at 18:44

Windows boot loader identifies partitions by offset in sectors + 4-byte disk signature in MBR. So when you moved your system partition with GParted, two odd things happened:

1) Disk offset of Win7 system partition changed, all references stored in BCD and SYSTEM registry hives are now broken.

2) Win7 system partition now has the same ID as WinVista system partition used to have, so two references now collide: bootloader with old settings tries to boot Win7 as Vista, but fails.

Basically you need to remove BCD registry hive and rebuild it from scratch, and also fix reference to disk C: in Win7's MountedDevices in SYSTEM registry hive.

Using Emergency Boot CD you can delete BCD in the "File Manager", then recreate BCD from scratch and fix MountedDevices in "Mount & Boot Center".

share|improve this answer

Try the fixes listed here: bootmgr is missing fixes

There are a whole number of various fixes. Solution #2 worked for me. Hope this helps others.

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I want to improve the solution parsley72 gave:

Instead of copying the partition, install windows, then copy back:

You can boot to CD (either System Rescue Disk or windows set up disk) - I use the SRD to fix mine - then, select the Fix your windows option. It does the magic!

I think the reason is that you already have everything on C: (the restored OS, the MBR, etc.), the only thing left is for Windows to find the boot information (something only Windows software can do).

Logical huh?

share|improve this answer
    
So that would be the first on the list of things I tried that didn't help? –  parsley72 Aug 24 '13 at 4:58

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