In our previous articles on the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) (see https://journal.hovatek.com/the-blue-screen-of-death-bsod/ ) and How to fix Windows stuck at Preparing Automatic Repair (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-windows-stuck-at-preparing-automatic-repair/ ) , we touched some common causes of screens of death (and ‘suicide notes’ ) on Windows PCs. In this guide, we’ll be looking at one form in which the Black Screen of Death could manifest on a Windows PC (caused by a missing or corrupted Boot mgr image) .
What is Bootmgr image and what does it do?
Boot mgr is a replacement for the Windows NTLDR, bootmgr is the Windows boot sequence manager first introduced in Microsoft Vista that reads the boot configuration data and displays the operating systems selection menu. Windows Boot Manager (BOOTMGR) is a small piece of software, called a boot manager, that’s loaded from the volume boot code, part of the volume boot record. BOOTMGR helps your Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista operating system start. BOOTMGR eventually executes winload.exe, the system loader used to continue the Windows boot process.
Where is Windows Boot Manager (BOOTMGR) Located?
Configuration data required for BOOTMGR can be found in the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store, a registry-like database that replaced the boot.ini file used in older versions of Windows like Windows XP. The BOOTMGR file itself is both read-only, hidden and is located in the root directory of the partition marked as Active in Disk Management. On most Windows computers, this partition is labeled as System Reserved and does not have a drive letter. If you don’t have a System Reserved partition, BOOTMGR is probably located on your primary drive, usually C: .
What causes Bootmgr to get missing or corrupted?
The error could appear as BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart , BOOTMGR is missing Press any key to restart or Couldn’t find BOOTMGR . The most common causes of this error are:
- Corrupted Hard Disk Drive Partition / Sector
- Damaged or improperly seated Hard Disk
- Improperly shutdown PC
- Corrupted OS files
- PC trying to boot from a non-bootable drive
- Virus/ Malware
- Overheating Hard Disk (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-resolve-the-problem-of-an-overheating-laptop-pc/ )
How do I fix the ‘Bootmgr Image is corrupt or missing’ error in Windows?
When faced with such an issue, consider the following fixes:
- Restart the PC: This helps clear temporary OS errors
- Disconnect external storage devices: Remove any CD/DVD in the Disk drive and any external hard disk or flash drive connected to the PC
- Adjust boot order: Boot into BIOS or use the designated F key to select the boot order so Windows boots from Hard Disk first
- Use the Windows repair tool: Use the ‘Repair Your Computer’ and ‘Startup Repair’ options provided by a Bootable Windows CD, DVD or Flash drive
- Use bootrec.exe to rebuild the BCD: Bootrec.exe is a tool built in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) that you can use to troubleshoot and repair the error. bootrec.exe can repair boot configuration data and master boot records. BCD, which stands for Boot Configuration Data, contains boot configurations options and controls how Windows is started. To apply this fix; Insert your Windows 7 or Vista install disc > Restart your computer and boot from the CD > Press any key at the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” message > Choose Repair your computer after you select the language, time and keyboard method > Select your Windows installation drive (usually C:\); click Next > Select Command Prompt in the System Recovery Options box > Type bootrec /rebuildbcd then press Enter
- Force-kill stubborn processes: Remove the battery and disconnect the power pack then hold down the Power button for 30 seconds. Re-insert the battery then boot the PC again
- Run a Hard Disk test: Boot into BIOS and run a Hard Disk test to know if the Hard Disk is in good condition or not (see https://forum.hovatek.com/thread-546.html )
- System Restore: Boot into Safe Mode (keep tapping F8 upon boot) and run the chkdsk command then do a system restore (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-do-a-system-restore-on-a-pc/ )
- Re-seat / replace the Hard Disk: Remove the Hard Disk and re-seat it to ensure it didn’t get un-seated and the hard disk or cables aren’t damaged
- BIOS Update: Visit your laptop manufacturer’s website and search for a BIOS update for your exact model
- Re-install Windows: See https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-install-windows-8-with-and-without-the-operating-system-cd-dvd/ or https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-install-windows-7-with-and-without-the-operating-system-cd-dvd/
- Ensure you install a good and regularly updated Antivirus once the error becomes frequent
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