7 Ways Fix Bootmgr Is Missing in Windows 10 after Cloning

Read this detailed post to learn a step-by-step tutorial to know how to fix BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10 after cloning. This article gives you methods to fix this problem. You can find more reliable cloning software to help you clone drives without boot problems.


by Yuka Updated on June 4, 2024

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User Case: Bootmgr Is Missing in Windows 10


HDD Cloning Problems: Bootmgr Is Missing

“My Parent's PC is an HP Touchsmart AIO from like 2010(?) with a 6000 series A8 APU in it. Now, it seems to me that the 1TiB 7200RPM hard drive that came with the PC is showing its death, the PC is slow, it gets stuck constantly, etc. So I backed up everything, emptied out the PC and now it has roughly 20GiB left on the machine, which makes the process of cloning the HDD much easier to do and transfer the OS to the SSD. I've tried Macrium Reflect which is currently giving me this issue every time I try booting from the SSD after the cloning process has been completed. BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10, which is impossible because I've cloned the HDD ENTIRELY to the SSD. Thoughts? Anything to do?”

- Question from LEVEL1TECHS

Bootmgr is short for Windows Boot Manager which refers to a small piece of software that is loaded from the volume boot code. It enables you to boot Windows 11/10/8/7 or Windows Vista operating system. Usually, the BOOTMGR file is read-only and is located in the boot directory of the partition which is set as "active".

BOOTMGR is Missing Windows 10

What Causes of Bootmgr Missing in Windows 10/11/8/7

There are several errors of the "BOOTMGR is missing" can appear on your computer Windows 11/10/8/7, with the following being the most common:

  • BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart
  • BOOTMGR is missing Press any key to restart
  • Couldn't find BOOTMGR

Bootmgr Is Missing Windows 10

Additionally, you might encounter similar error messages such as "Couldn't find BOOTMGR" or "BOOTMGR is missing, press any key to restart." These boot errors can occur due to various reasons. Here are some common causes of BOOTMGR errors:

📌Corrupted or Missing Files: System files required for booting might be corrupted or deleted.
📌Incorrect Boot Order: BIOS may be set to boot from a non-bootable device.
📌Faulty Hard Drive: Issues with the hard drive can prevent it from accessing the BOOTMGR file.
📌Installation Errors: Problems during the Windows installation process can lead to missing BOOTMGR.
📌Outdated BIOS: An outdated BIOS may fail to detect the boot loader correctly.
📌File System Errors: Errors in the file system can disrupt the loading of the BOOTMGR.

How to Fix Windows 10 Bootmgr Is Missing After Cloning?

“Boot Manager is missing” in Windows 10/11/8/7 issue usually appears shortly after the computer is turned on, immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST for short) is complete. This is a very common problem and affects both SSDs and hard drives equally the same whenever one drive is copied to another. Now that you've seen what might be causing this issue, let's discuss practical solutions to fix this error.

Method 1: Restart the Computer

If you encounter BOOTMGR missing in Windows 10/11/8/7 after cloning, you can try restarting your computer first. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del or any key as prompted by the error message. Then, check if this error is resolved by this method. If not, try the methods below.

Method 2: Remove All Removable Media

Check your optical drive, USB port, and floppy drive for media. Typically, a "BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10/11/8/7" error occurs when your PC tries to boot from a non-bootable disk, external drive, or floppy disk. If this is the problem, remove all removable devices and make sure your BIOS doesn't load from either. Then restart your computer to see if the problem is resolved.

Method 3: Check the Boot Sequence in BIOS

If the “Windows Boot Manager missing from BIOS” still occurs, you should consider checking the boot sequence in BIOS. Assuming you have multiple drives, you may be booting from the wrong hard drive. To do this, follow the steps below:

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

Change Boot Order

Method 4: Update the Motherboard BIOS

If the BIOS on your motherboard is outdated, you might encounter a "BOOTMGR is missing" error on Windows 10/11/8/7. To resolve this issue, make sure your BIOS is updated to the latest version. If it isn't, updating it should be your first step, as a functioning BIOS is crucial for your computer. If you're unsure how to update it, refer to the article on mastering BIOS updates for detailed instructions.

Method 5: Perform A Startup Repair of Windows

There is a general solution to the BOOTMGR Missing problem. You can perform a Startup Repair in Windows 10, which can help you replace any missing or corrupt files, including BOOTMGR. You'll need to insert your Windows DVD or USB installation media and launch the Repair utility.

  1. Insert a Windows installation disc or bootable drive into your computer. If you don't have Windows install media, you can create a bootable USB.

Note✍: You may need to go into your computer's BIOS to change the boot order so that your DVD or USB drive will boot before the cloned hard drive, otherwise you won't be able to boot from the Windows installation media to fix the "BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10" error.

  1. Boot the computer from the disc or drive and click "Repair your computer" to enter the Windows Recovery Environment. Then select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Repair.

Startup Repair

  1. Windows will scan your cloned hard drive automatically detect damaged or missing boot sectors and apply the appropriate fixes.

Method 6: Rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD)

If you see BOOTMGR is Missing in Windows 10 or a similar message early in the boot process, you may have a BCD issue. A corrupted or incorrectly configured BCD could cause BOOTMGR error messages. Fortunately, this Boot Configuration Data (BCD) can be reconstructed with a few commands and the Windows installation drive.

  1. Insert the Windows installation disk or the bootable media to your PC restart the PC from it, and click Repair your computer. Then select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Prompt.

    Command Prompt

  2. In the Command Prompt, type in the following commands one after the other and press Enter after each command:
  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd

Bootrec Command

  1. After the process is complete, exit and restart your computer. See if the “BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10 after cloning” issue is resolved.

Method 7: Perform A Clean Installation of Windows

If none of the above solutions work when trying to fix the Windows Bootmgr missing issue after cloning, performing a clean installation of Windows to fix this error is a good way to go. A fresh install returns your computer to almost the same state it was on the first day you turned it on.

Note: It will completely remove Windows from your PC. All data will be deleted, so you'd better back up important files before reinstalling the operating system.

  1. Boot your computer from the Windows 10 installation disc. In the Windows Setup window, enter your language and other preferences and click Next. Then, click Install now.

Choose Preferences

  1. Then enter the product key (you can also skip it directly) and select the version of Windows 10 you want to install. Next, select the Windows installation type.

    Custom Install

  1. Select the drive where you want to install Windows 10 and click Next. Wait for the installation process to be done.

Best Free Disk Cloning Software – No Boot Issue or Data Loss

As we all know, Windows does not come with cloning software. If we want to migrate the system to another hard drive, we can only resort to third-party cloning software. According to some users, when cloning a disk with tools such as Acronis True Image, Macrium Reflect, etc., they will encounter the problem of BOOTMGR being missing in Windows 10 after cloning.

In this case, I recommend you use a more reliable hard drive cloning software – AOMEI Backupper. It has all the features a normal user needs and is very simple to use. When cloning the disk on which the operating system is installed, the boot partition including boot.ini, NTLDR, BCD, winload.exe, and MBR is also cloned. It’s free for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP. You will never worry that Bootmgr is missing Windows 10.

✡ Intelligent Clone: It allows you to clone only used sectors from one hard drive to another while skipping bad sectors, so you can easily clone a disk to a smaller SSD or clone a disk with bad sectors without any obstacles. Bad sectors of the hard drive will lead to Windows Boot Manager missing from BIOS.
✡ All Kinds of HDDs and SSDs: It applies to clone all kinds of HDDs and SSDs, regardless of disk size, disk interface, and brands, such as clone large HDD to smaller SSD, clone HDD to Samsung SSD, clone M.2 SSD, clone NVMe SSD, etc.
✡ SSD Alignment: This feature makes full use of 4k technology that can help you improve the performance of the SSD disk.
 Sector by sector clone: This feature requires that the destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk, and it will need more cloning time and disk space.

Detailed Steps to Clone Hard Drive

Here we will use AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition as an example to show you how to perform disk clone step by step. Before we start, you need to download, install, and open this software on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. Select Clone from the left-hand side menu and then select Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

✩ Tip: If you only want to clone the OS, you can upgrade to the professional edition and enjoy the System Clone feature. It will automatically select the System drive and related drives by default.

  1. Select the source disk containing Windows 10 and click Next.

Disk Clone Source

  1. Select the destination disk to which the source disk will be cloned and click Next. It will prompt you that the target disk will be formatted and any existing data will be overwritten! You can back up important files beforehand.

Disk Clone Destination

  1. Preview the information of your source and destination disk. In the bottom left corner, set the advanced settings you want. It is best to clone by sector, otherwise, the system files and the system partition may not be on the same disk or lost. Finally, click Start Clone. Wait for the process to complete and then click Finish.

Disk Clone Start Clone

 ✸ Edit Partitions: You can adjust the size of the partitions on the destination disk if it's larger. It supports 3 options and only the first one is free. The other two options are available on the professional version or advanced.

Edit Partition

FAQs about Bootmgr is missing on Windows 10/11/8/7

1. Where is BOOTMGR located in Windows 10?

The BOOTMGR file is typically found on the System Reserved partition. If your system doesn’t have a System Reserved partition, the BOOTMGR file will be located on your system partition, usually the C drive. Note that the BOOTMGR file is read-only and cannot be modified.

2. Can a damaged hard drive cause the "BOOTMGR is missing" error?

Yes, a damaged or failing hard drive can lead to the "BOOTMGR is missing" error. Issues like physical damage, bad sectors, or file system corruption can prevent the Boot Manager from being accessed. Running disk diagnostics or using a replacement hard drive can help identify if the drive is the problem.

3. Can you force a computer to factory reset to fix BOOTMGR missing?

Yes, you can try resetting your computer to factory settings to fix the "BOOTMGR is missing" error on Windows 10. To do this, hold the Shift key, click the Power icon, and select Restart. On the “Choose an option” screen, click Troubleshoot, then select Reset this PC. Choose either Remove everything or Keep my files, depending on your situation.

To Sum Up

Hope you can solve the "BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10 after cloning" problem with the methods provided in this article. For long-term consideration, so that you are no longer troubled by these system problems, it is recommended that you use AOMEI Backupper to protect your computer and system.

It embeds the latest cloning technology to clone a hard drive to another drive in a fast, safe, and easy way. You can successfully boot from the cloned disk without any boot problems. You can also use it to create a system backup when your computer is running fine. If you are unfortunate enough to experience the BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 10 after cloning or other system problems such as “Protection definition update failed on Windows 10”, you can use this backup to restore your computer to a previously working state.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.