Boot Manager is Missing on Windows XP SP3

Asked By 360 points N/A Posted on -

Two days ago my Antivirus detected the presence of a boot sector virus. The computer started experiencing booting errors and I decided to load a new Windows XP Service Pack 3 OS. The installation process went through. But a problem came up when I pulled out the Windows Installation Disk out of the drive and carried out a reboot. Within a few seconds during the boot process a black screen came up with the message 'BOOTMGR is missing press ctrl+alt+del to restart'.

I tried a number of times to press Ctrl+Alt+Del hoping that it will boot but nothing was happening. I checked the BIOS and the windows installation drive was in the boot priority, which it was. I tried booting with F8 and tried to follow the instructions. I have also tried to carry out a recovery from a recovery DVD I made sometimes back and it all failed.

I doubted my drive and made a bootable flash disk from a friend’s computer. I carried out some tests and it went through in other computers but in my own computer, the BOOTMGR message kept on popping. I have some classified information on my drive C which I haven’t backed up and cannot risk losing them.

I have checked the Microsoft web and many other sites for solutions but I cannot find any. Maybe this can be just a small problem stressing me up. Any help will be appreciated.


Best Answer by Peter Morales
Best Answer
Best Answer
Answered By 5 points N/A #106443

Boot Manager is Missing on Windows XP SP3


Hello! Lewis,

There are a lot of dead ends on your issue on booting into Windows XP. I will try to expound on them the best way I can, hoping that you get a clearer view of the solution once I’m through explaining all the methods possible to get you back on track.

1. You mentioned that after you got the infection, you experienced the booting errors. What kind of booting errors were those? Did they totally prevent you from booting the operating system? Or was it the same “BOOTMGR is missing” error? Did you do a “repair install” or did you completely wipe out the whole partition? Try a “repair install” first to replace missing operating system files if they have been corrupted.

2. If a “repair install” does not work, let’s try to do a “clean” install of XP on the drive. Insert the install disc on the drive, set your BIOS to boot from the CD/DVD drive and follow the prompts. When you get to the part where it asks you what partition to install to, delete all partitions present and continue the setup on the “unpartitioned” space you just created. See if this method works for you.

3. Now if you still get that “BOOTMGR is missing” error despite a clean install, let’s try another way of resolving it. Insert the install disc and enter recovery mode by choosing “R” on the text based part of the setup. Key in your admin password or leave it blank if you did not enter any during your previous installation, press “1” and a command console should pop up. Type “fixboot” and “fixmbr” without the quotes, confirm with “Y” and reboot.

4. It may also be possible that hard drive corruption from the virus has prevented changes to be made to the boot sector. If that is the case, utilize any Linux Live CD, downloadable from any of the sites available (like,, or, and do the partition from a live CD setting. If you plan to do it via USB flash disc, don’t forget to set the options on your BIOS to enable booting via USB device. Reinstall Win XP after you’ve created the new partition.

5. Use HDD Regenerator  to restore hidden bad sectors that may have occurred as a result of the boot sector virus. Then create a new partition using any of the methods outlined previously.

6. Run the “chkdsk” utility by inserting the install CD, pressing “R” and entering the admin password, getting to a command prompt, and typing “chkdsk c: /r” without the quotes. Reboot to check if windows loads. If not, rerun “fixboot” and “fixmbr” before rebooting.

I truly hope one of the posted solutions work for you.

Answered By 590495 points N/A #106444

Boot Manager is Missing on Windows XP SP3


I think when your antivirus detected a boot sector virus on your computer you did not immediately made a backup of all the important files and documents you have on that computer. If your computer is having some booting problems, you can go and boot in safe mode and do the backup there. And I’ve noticed in your post that when your computer got booting problems, you immediately went on installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 over the current operating system. You did not even format the hard drive. It is possible that this step that you did made the BOOTMGR to have a conflict when a new copy of the BOOTMGR was about to be made because of the new installation of Windows XP that you did.

The BOOTMGR is automatically created every time you install a new copy of an operating system. If you will install a new operating system on a hard drive that is currently installed with another operating system without formatting it, you will surely encounter errors like this one for example.

The best thing that you can do now is to find a way on how to copy all of your important files to a safe container. After you do that you must format your hard drive normally and then install Windows again. The BOOTMGR will be restored if you install Windows properly.

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