Windows 10 Not Booting – Error Message BOOTMGR is Missing

If you have a problem with Windows 10 not booting you may see at some stage the following error messages:

“BOOTMGR is missing – Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart”

“BOOTMGR is missing – Press any key to restart”

“Couldn’t find BOOTMGR”

What this means is the special partition Microsoft sets up on your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) when Windows 10 is first installed has been corrupted. Hence the error message saying that the special file “BOOTMGR” is missing or corrupted.

Causes of Windows 10 Not Booting BOOTMGR Message

The causes for this can be varied but include and are not limited to the following:

  1. Windows 10 update
  2. Hard Disk Drive problems (it might mean the HDD is dying)
  3. Corrupted HDD sectors (where data is stored on the HDD)
  4. Damaged or loose HDD connectors
  5. The first boot drive (usually the HDD) is now configured to something else such as the DVD or a USB flash drive (stick)

The one I have come across the most often for Windows 10 not booting with the error message BOOTMGR is missing is the first causes listed – a Windows 10 update.

How to Fix Windows 10 Not Booting

Potential solutions to Windows 10 not booting with error message BOOTMGR is missing are provided below.

  1. Try rebooting the computer. Turn it off and wait 30 seconds then turn it on again with fingers crossed. If that doesn’t work the go to listed number 2.
  2. Check the BIOS settings. Every computer is different. A lot of tower PCs try hitting the Del key when it boots to get into the BIOS. Notebooks/laptops try F2 when it boots. Often on the screen when the computer first turns on it will say hit this key for CMOS or BIOS or Setup or words to that effect. If nothing works then use another device to Google your computer and how to get into the BIOS or CMOS setup. So for example: “Dell Inspiron 15 BIOS key” without the quotes and using your make and model of computer.
  3. Once into the BIOS look for a tab that says BOOT or something like that (again there is a multitude of options here), if in doubt try each tab along the top. A word of warning here, whatever you do do not change anything here, you are just looking. Worse case scenario hit the esc key and exit out without saving. If in any doubt stop right there and take your computer to a Computer Repair centre.  If you live in Brisbane, naturally we recommend you bring your computer to us at Affordable Computer Repairs
  4. What you are looking for is the Boot Order which should say Hard Disk Drive is first or Windows Boot Manager. Usually the latter these days. That means that Windows 10 is trying to boot from the HDD as the first and default drive.
  5. If that all looks okay then, with the power off and the power cable unplugged from the computer, try checking cables etc to the HDD. Generally speaking you can only do that with a PC Tower and it means opening up the computer. Again, if you have not done this before or you are concerned about attempting this then stop and take the computer to a Computer Repair centre. Electrocuting yourself is not worth it!
  6. At this stage the only repair option is to boot from a USB stick/flash drive or CD/DVD with a Windows 10 DVD/flash drive and repair the BOOT partition. This should then replace any missing or corrupt files (there are several) including BOOTMGR.
  7. To achieve booting from the CD/DVD or flash drive it is back into the BIOS/CMOS again and change the boot order. This was very easy to do before Microsoft with Windows 8 changed how this could be achieved using a thing called “UEFI secure boot”. Now this is hidden away forcing Windows Boot Manager as the only boot device.
  8. It is not in the scope of this article to explain every different computer manufacturer’s way of changing this in BIOS.  In fact each model of computer from the same manufacturer seems to be different every time. Bizarre but true.
  9. It is at this point where Mr. Google needs to be consulted about your computer make and model and how to achieve the boot from a CD/DVD or USB flash drive. As a general comment you need to enable legacy boot rather than UEFI secure boot as well as making the CD/DVD or USB as the first boot device.
  10. Again, if this all seems like too much rocket science for the day, then please take your computer to a Computer Repair Centre such as ours.
  11. If you can get the computer to boot from a CD/DVD or flash drive then you will need a current Windows 10 boot DVD. Boot from the DVD or flash drive and then proceed to “Repair” the computer (usually in blue and in small writing towards the bottom of the screen). Do not “Install Windows” as this will over-write your Windows on the HDD and you will lose all your files and programs.
  12. Again, if in doubt don’t fix anything that you don’t understand or if there is any doubt about losing data.
  13. Running the “Repair” as above generally “fixes” (over writes) the corrupted file or files and your computer will boot again as if nothing happened.
  14. On a reboot after repairing the BOOT area remove the DVD and flash drive so that the computer will boot on the HDD and hopefully your Windows partition. Everything should be as it was as the repair was on a different partition to your Windows 10 files are as well as your personal files.

Help with Windows 10 Not Booting

Throughout this article it has been stressed that unless you are very confident and have experience in repairing computers it is highly recommended that you take your computer to a computer repair centre if you have the problem of Windows 10 not booting with the error message BOOTMGR is missing.  The information above is as accurate and correct as possible but with the different variances between computers we do not recommend you follow the step by step advice as said, if you are not experienced in computer repair.  If you would like any further help with Windows not booting with the error message BOOTMGR please give us a call on 3397 1215 in Brisbane.

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