By Yuka / Last update October 31, 2022

User Case

“BOOTMGR is missing”, how to fix it?

“Hey guys, so I just built a new pc but I am using my old HDD and SSD from my previous build. Everything works great but when I try to boot it says “BOOTMGR is missing”. I have windows 11 installed on my SSD and HDD. I do not have a Windows cd with me unfortunately otherwise I would be tempted to simply start again. When I’m in windows on the HDD, it is completely fine to access the files on the SSD. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this or how to fix it?”

- Question from Tom’s Hardware

BOOTMGR is Missing Windows 11

BOOTMGR, short for Windows Boot Manager, is a small piece of software that is loaded from the volume boot code. Usually, the BOOTMGR file is read-only and is located in the root directory of a partition marked Active.

On most PCs, the partition is labeled as system reserved without a drive letter. If there is no system reserved partition, BOOTMGR probably locates in your primary partition C. BOOTMGR can read boot configuration data and display the operating system selection menu.

What Are the Causes of “Windows BOOTMGR is missing” Problem?

When you turn on your computer, the POST (stands for Power On Self Test) process begins to run by BIOS before booting your Windows copy. The error appears right after the POST process is completed and Windows starts to load.

❀ Tip: The POST is a set of routines that run immediately when the PC is started. Such as checking if your RAM, peripheral devices and other hardware components of your PC are working correctly.

BOOTMGR Is Missing Error

The causes of Windows “BOOTMGR is missing” problem are as follows:

The BOOTMGR files are corrupted or misconfigured.
Windows boot sector is damaged or missing.
The PC is set to boot from a non-bootable device.
The hard drives have errors, damage, or bad sectors.

How to Fix Windows Boot Manager Missing Error

When the issue “BOOTMGR is missing” on Windows 11 occurs, you can try the following methods to solve it. These methods all apply to the problem “Windows 10 boot manager is missing”.

Method 1: Restart Your Computer

Once Windows prompts you "BOOTMGR is missing”, please try to restart your PC by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del or the Power button (you may need to hold it down for up to 30 seconds). Then, check to see if this error is resolved by this method. If not, try the following ways.

Method 2: Remove Non-Bootable Media

This error message appears may because your PC is trying to boot from a non-bootable device. By default, most computers are set to start from CD/DVD drives and USB drives before starting from the primary hard drive.

You should check if your PC is configured to boot from a USB flash drive, floppy disk, or other non-bootable disk. If this is the problem, go ahead to eject all the removable media such as a USB flash drive, a floppy disk, or other non-bootable disks.

Method 3: Change the Boot Order in BIOS

Does “BOOTMGR is missing” issue still occur? If you have more than one hard drive, you should consider changing the boot sequence in BIOS.

  1. Restart your computer. When the computer starts to boot up, press special key (usually F2, F8, F10, F12, Esc or Del, etc.) to enter BIOS Setup.
  2. Then under the Boot tab, modify the boot order to set the hard drive as the first boot device. Press F10 to save the settings and exit. Finally, restart your computer.

Change Boot Order

Method 4: Rebuild BCD from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

A “BOOTMGR is missing” error is also displayed when there’s a problem with the BCD (Boot Configuration Data). Luckily, this data can be rebuilt using a few commands and a Windows installation drive. If you don’t have a Windows installation drive, you can use a bootable media, such as a bootable USB.

Bootrec.exe is a tool built in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) that you can use to troubleshoot and repair boot configuration data. To rebuild BCD from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), follow these steps:

  1. Insert Windows installation disk or the bootable media to your PC and restart the PC from it, click "Repair your computer".

Repair Your Computer

  1. Then select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

  1. In the command prompt, type in the following commands one after the other and press Enter after each command.

▶ BOOTREC /FIXMBR
▶ BOOTREC /FIXBOOT
▶ BOOTREC /RebuildBcd

Bootrec Commands

When the process is complete, exit and restart your computer. It should be able to boot up and run properly again.

Method 5: Run Startup Repair from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

In addition, you can run Startup Repair from Windows Recovery Environment to fix this error. This way can replace any missing or corrupted files, including BOOTMGR. You need a Windows installation disc or a bootable drive to perform this operation.

  1. Insert a Windows installation disc or bootable drive into your computer.
  2. Boot the computer from the disc or drive and click "Repair your computer" to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. 
  3. Then select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Repair.

Startup Repair

  1. Then, you will be asked to select the operating system that you want to repair. After you select Windows 11, it should start fixing your computer.

Method 6: Run System Restore from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

System Restore helps bring your PC back to a working state. If System Restore is enabled on your computer, it is worth trying this method to see if the "BOOTMGR is missing" error can be fixed.

  1. Insert a Windows installation disc or bootable drive into your computer.
  2. Boot the computer from the disc or drive and click "Repair your computer" to enter the Windows Recovery Environment.
  3. Then select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore.

System Restore

  1. Follow the System Restore Wizard instructions and select the appropriate restore point. Click Finish to restore the system.

Method 7: Perform a clean Windows installation

If your PC continues to display “BOOTMGR is Missing” despite following the above methods, it’s a good idea to perform a clean Windows 11 installation. This helps fix any issues caused by existing corrupted or missing system files.

Note✍: When you reinstall Windows, everything stored on you will be deleted and a new version of the Windows will be installed. It is recommended to back up important files before reinstalling OS.

  1. Boot your computer from Windows 11 installation disc. Or you can download Windows 11 ISO file and then boot from the file.
  2. In Windows Setup window, enter your language and other preferences and click Next. Then, click Install now.

Choose Preferences

  1. Then, you’ll be asked to activate Windows. Enter your product key or click I don’t have a product key if you’re reinstalling Windows.
  2. Select the operating system you want to install and click Next.
  3. Then, you will be asked to choose the type of installation. Choose Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Custom Install

  1. Select the drive where you want to install Windows and click Next. Wait for the installation process to be done.

Create a Bootable USB If There Is No Installation CD

As you can see from the above methods, if you don’t have a Windows installation disc, it’s of importance to create a bootable media to help you solve Windows boot manager missing issue. If you have a bootable USB and a system backup in advance, you can easily get your computer back to earlier state while keeping all the data safe.

AOMEI Backupper Standard, as one of the best bootable media creator, allows you to create both Windows PE (WinPE) and Linux kernel based bootable media easily, to be used as rescue media for emergency usage. It supports all file system including FAT32/FAT16/NTFS/EXT2, etc. And Windows OS like Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. Meanwhile, the created media is compatible with both legacy/MBR and UEFI/GPT.

Next, I will show you how to create a bootable USB via AOMEI Backupper step by step.

Step 1. Download the freeware, install and launch it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. In the left panel of this program, click Tools -> Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

Step 3. Choose the type of emergency bootable disc that you are trying to create. It’s recommended to select Windows PE, which is suitable for everyone and offers you more operations than Linux.

Windows Bootable Disc

Step 4. Select USB Boot Device and then click Next to move on.

Select USB Device

Step 5. When the process is complete, click Finish.

Finish

✡ Tip: If you don't have any CD/DVD or USB drive, you can simply enable the AOMEI recovery environment to achieve the same effect as recovery disk.

Conclusion

That’s all for “BOOTMGR is Missing” on Windows 11, you can try the given methods to solve this error. If you don’t want to encounter such error again, you can use AOMEI Backupper to protect your system and data. Whether you want to backup or synchronize files, or migrate systems, you can use this software. It’s also a good tool to help you with “Windows cannot be installed on this disk MBR” on Windows 11.