The other day I was working on one of my computers that has Vista installed. As it turns out I accidentally deleted a pretty important system file, oops! When I rebooted the computer I was presented with a message that said "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart."

That’s when I began thinking "what the heck did I do?" I searched the Internet for a fix and came across an article by Lifehacker that talked about solving the problem. Their solution said to insert the original Vista installation DVD and boot it up (also works with a recovery disc). Normally you would do this to reinstall an operating system, but in this case I was going to use the DVD to repair the problem.

Here’s what I had to do after booting up the Vista DVD:

  1. Pick your language and continue onto the next screen.
  2. Choose the option in the bottom left corner entitled Repair Your Computer:
    BOOTMGR Repair
  3. Choose the Windows installation you want to repair.
  4. Choose the Startup Repair option:
    BOOTMGR Repair
  5. Kiss your "BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart." error goodbye!

You could have probably done a System Restore in step 3 instead of the Startup Repair, but the Startup Repair literally took seconds to complete and was successful. My computer rebooted, and I was back to Vista in no time at all.

To be honest, Microsoft has actually made a useful suite of recovery tools available in Vista, unlike XP. Anytime there was a bootup error in XP I was always had to resort to the command prompt to fix the issue, but now Vista did all of the dirty work for me.

Not only that, but in XP if you wanted to perform a System Restore you had to bootup into Windows first and run it from there. Now you can actually do it from the DVD, which is something I always longed for in XP.

I guess this is one of those overlooked Vista features, because I didn’t even know it existed until I needed it. The next time I have any problems I know the first place I’m going to turn now!

There Are 33 Comments

  1. :(this is exactly my problem but it doesn’t help me the reason because my Toshiba notebook doesn’t come with the Vista Installation disc.
    The system repair require the vista Installation disc

    • Thats Just Like My Toshiba Laptop! The SAME ting happend and nothings working!

    • see thats the exact thing toshibas dont come with and over a certen amout of time it will lock you out of going into ur bios witch i have had cuz of my brother so can anyone help me as soon as posible ?

    • That is because you need to BURN a Vista Recodery Disk from the internet. Vista computers no longer come with the disk. You should have been prompted to BURN the info to a blank DVD/CD when you first turned your system on.

  2. khanh wrote:
    :(this is exactly my problem but it doesn’t help me the reason because my Toshiba notebook doesn’t come with the Vista Installation disc.
    The system repair require the vista Installation disc

    Ouch, I didn’t think about that. You might be able to download a boot disc.

  3. @Anonymous:

    What happened?

    Regards,

    Omar.-

    • MINE DONT GET OUT OF THAT SCREEN:(

    • i reset my computer and when it reset a screen popped up saying bootmgr is missing. and i tried a repair disk but my computer wont get out of the screen so it can be fixed :( is there any other way to fix it?..

  4. I don’t have DVD of vista.so How can i do to fix it,plz help me……….

  5. BULL&*^^& That does not work I have done teh startup repair to no avail also ran the bootrec /fixboot command from the command prompt, I still recieve that error.

    I am about to scrap VISTA for XP 64

    VISTA SUX

  6. DJ wrote:
    BULL&*^^& That does not work I have done teh startup repair to no avail also ran the bootrec /fixboot command from the command prompt, I still recieve that error.

    It’s worked for me on two different computers, and I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work for you.

  7. I am having this exact problem. It may be that the bootmgr is corrupt or so badly damaged that the system repair is not working. I don’t know what to do now.

  8. ELM wrote:
    I am having this exact problem. It may be that the bootmgr is corrupt or so badly damaged that the system repair is not working. I don’t know what to do now.

    Sounds like you may have to reinstall the operating system.

  9. My Vista based laptop is only a few days from new and this has happened. Don’t know why, but removing external disks fixes the problem (at the moment!!). Oh, the wonders of Windoze. Boots OK wthout the external disk comnected and still OK when reconnected after bootup. Curious and may provide a clue to cause.

  10. Mark wrote:
    My Vista based laptop is only a few days from new and this has happened. Don’t know why, but removing external disks fixes the problem (at the moment!!). Oh, the wonders of Windoze. Boots OK wthout the external disk comnected and still OK when reconnected after bootup. Curious and may provide a clue to cause.

    Sounds like the operating system is trying to boot from the external drive when you connect it. An easy way to fix this is to go into your BIOS, and there should be a setting where you can disable trying to boot from an external drive/device.

  11. I don’t have DVD of vista.so How can i do to fix it,plz help me……….

  12. javier solis wrote:
    I don’t have DVD of vista.so How can i do to fix it,plz help me……….

    Check this out:
    [cybernetnews.com]

  13. aww… i tried this. but when i choose to first boot the dvd rom with the vista cd.. it appears the same problem.. help me..

  14. I DO ALL THIS THEN WHEN MY STARTUR REPAIR IS FINISHED SAY THat startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically…what i do now!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. javier solis, call pc mfg and purchase the os disc, shud be around $15.99

  16. Or download it off Torrent ;) …..

  17. I have a toshiba laptop running under win vista. It always freezes during startup after being shutdown for a significant period of time. I already did system restore, startup repair, and cleaning registry but nothing happened. Please help me fix it.

  18. AAAAAGGHH!!
    Same thing is happening to me on a Samsung R510.
    I have the boot disk, but because it’s a fresh install, when i get to
    “3. Choose the Windows installation you want to repair.”
    There is no Windows installation appearing, because it’s a new hard drive..

    This is Micro$oft at it’s worst.. Why can’t i just stick in the Damn CD and run it like i could in all other versions.. >:-(

  19. Good Afternoon,

    Sir,I am having problem in laptop i.e,at the time starting one message display bootmgrfile missing press ctrl+alt+delete and restart.Already i have installed windows vista and the error message is come at the time of start so i try to format it in xpII but the error message will be found please send me the brief details about removing the bootmgrfile missing error message.
    Thanks

  20. i tried it my way and i succeeded
    you dnt hav to even repair or do anything this bootmgr is missing happened wid ma new dell laptop,and it had original windows 7 installed
    so,since i didnt had the original windows 7 disc,i tried repairing ma system using a pirated one.what happened is,dat bootmgr is missing didnt appear,instead d nrmal “press any key if u want sleep wid ur windows 7 again” appeared (jst tryin to lightn up d mood,cos i kno dis prblm gave me big headache)..
    i pressed enter..nd here was the windows displaying “instal windows 7″
    i got happy and thanked to god…but den d unxpcted happnd
    dat srry kiddo,d specified image file[instal.wim]is missing,so u cant install w 7
    den i thot of repairing it,and so i clikd on repairing thing
    and den iclikd on load driver,,nw here is d thing
    i didnt clikd on load driver to actualy load driver,,cos i didnt knew,where d hell dey were….
    bt dis pirrated disc of mine had the bootmanager file
    so by cliking on load driver ,,i got the chance to copy paste files.
    i copyd d damn bootmgr file frm ma pirated disc and pasted it into mother drice,where windows is installed,i pasted it into evry fuking place i thot cud b related to booting
    and den i restrtd and my system strtd on its own,,,i kno its a long story..i hope dis helps
    nd if u r ngry dat y did i rote such a long story ,den go die,or eat a dik.

  21. I have a toshiba laptop. never had any problems, I had not used it in while and unfortunately was 3 weeks out of waranty. my problem is this and its driving me insane!!!
    I charged it up etc. then booted it up to a black screen with it saying BOOTMGR is missing press ctrl+alt+del to restart.
    I have both disc that go with the laptop as i paid extra to have them. however on trying to do the a c d option it wont work. so i inserted the disc thinking i could just reformatt.
    wont work, every time i boot up computer with disc in or disc out same message appears. I cant seem to go any were with this.
    and I am ready to just throw it in buckett heap of xxx!!!
    it wont even let me get in to bois f11 f12 f2 f6 wont let me do any of that help!!!!!!

  22. oh now it seem half the letters of keyboard aint working now either? whats wrong I do have some computer ability but this really has me stumped I checked for any unconnected stuff every thing is fine no dust or anything broken in there and of course Tosibha is worth nothing I will never buy a Tosibha or vista again.

  23. that happened to me yesterday but my disc installation is built in and laptop keeps clicking off any help would be appreciated using my bf laptop but hate it please help ty so much

  24. um my computer wont even fix through start up recovery

  25. I tried to do this, but the virus is too fast, before I even start the CD, it blocks my screen… what should I do now?

  26. i use amz notebook,my problem is i was to curious,wonder to know if i delete bootmgr bring my note to going better etc ;P..haha at last it was useless and i put it on garbage! Problem solved !

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