Fix “BOOTMGR Is Missing” in Windows 2008 R2 with USB or DVD

In this post, we will explain what can cause the "BOOTMGR is missing" in Windows 2008 R2, as well as teach you how to repair this “BOOTMGR is missing” error in Windows Server 2008 R2 via different methods.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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The error: BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 2008 R2

Many users report that they get “BOOTMGR is missing” in Windows 2008 R2, usually after rebooting. The complete error message is “BOOTMGR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart” as shown in the following screenshot. The error also occurs in Windows Server 2008 R2 VMware.

BOOTMGR is missing Windows 2008 R2

BOOTMGR, also known as Boot Manager, is an important part of operating system booting. It executes the winload.exe file after reading the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). If the Boot Manager is missing, there is no possibility to start operating system normally.

However, the BOOTMGR file locates in System Reserved Partition (or C drive in some cases) and set as read-only and hidden. As a result, it is not easy to delete or modify the file accidentally. Then, where did the BOOTMGR image go?

The causes for Boot Manager is missing in Server 2008 R2

In general, the problem could be the BOOTMGR itself or the related booting part. To be specific, there are several causes as described below for boot failed Windows Boot Manager in Server 2008.

▪ The BOOTMGR image is corrupted in Windows Server 2008 due to virus infection, hacker attacking, or improper operation behaviors.
▪ The boot sector, MBR, or BCD file of your Server 2008 R2 is damaged.
▪ The partition that contains BOOTMGR file is not set as Active.
▪ Boot Windows 2008 R2 from the wrong disk.
▪ Affected by connected physical disks or virtual disks.

BOOTMGR missing error could be caused by any of said factors. But what counts next is to figure out how to solve the error effectively with USB or DVD. 

How to: repair Windows Server 2008 R2 with USB or DVD

To get Server 2008 R2 fixed and successfully boot, you can use third-party software to create a bootable USB or turn to a Windows installation DVD/CD. But in the first place, please try these measurements: reboot Server, check boot order and reconnect all physical disks or virtual disks. If none of those works, let’s get to know the solutions specifically.

Fix Windows Server 2008 R2 BOOTMGR is missing with USB drive

If your Windows installation disc is not in handy and you have a USB drive, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server to fix  Windows Server 2008 R2 easily and quickly.

Download Server DemoWindows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008(R2)
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1. Since the Server 2008 R2 cannot boot, you need to create a bootable device first. Prepare a USB drive. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server on a work machine. Click "Tools" on the top side and select Make Bootable Media from the menu and complete the wizard on that machine.

Make Bootable Media

2. Boot Server 2008 R2 from the bootable USB drive. Find the disk that has corrupted MBR, right-click it, and select Rebuild MBR. Choose the right MBR type in the next window, and then click Apply to execute.

Rebuild Mbr For Server

Fix Windows Server 2008 R2 BOOTMGR is missing from Command Prompt

When you can find Windows installation CD/DVD, you can fix BOOTMGR is missing for Windows 2008 R2 from Command Prompt. 

Step 1. Access Command Prompt window

1. Boot from your Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 DVD. You may need to change boot order in advance. To fix BOOTMGR is missing in Windows 2008 r2 of VMware, please connect the OS installation disc (.iso) to the CDROM.

2. Click Next in the first OS setup window. Then, click on Repair your computer.

3. In the System Recovery Options window choose your operating system. If the operating system is not listed, choose “Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier” even if you don’t have a system image, and click Next.

4. Select Command Prompt in this window.

Command Prompt

Step 2. When it is the problem of boot sector, MBR or BCD file

2.1 In the Command Prompt type rename c:\boot\BCD bcd.old (to backup your BCD file just in case) and press Enter.

2.2 Execute these command successively and press Enter after each input:

▪ bootrec /fixmbr
▪ bootrec /fixboot
▪ bootrec /scanos
▪ bootrec /rebuildbcd
▪ cd x:\sources\recovery
▪ startrep.exe

2.3 Reboot your Windows 2008 R2.

Tips: if the Server has the Hyper-v role installed be sure to run “bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto” and then reboot.Ab

Step 3. When the partition where BOOTMGR locates is not set as Active

3.1 In the Command Prompt type rename c:\boot\BCD bcd.old and press Enter.

3.2 Type diskpart and press Enter. And then, run the following commands.

▪ list disk
▪ select disk 0
▪ list partition
▪ select partition 1 (the 100MB partition)
▪ active

▪ exit

3.3 Reboot your Server 2008 R2 and remove the installation DVD.

NOTE: You may get “Operating system: Unknown or (Unknown) Local Disk” return message when you repair with Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 DVD. In that case, you can try typing “BCDBoot C:\Windows” to fix.If that does not work, turn to a Windows 7 x64 DVD and try again.

Repair Windows 2008 R2 with Windows 7 x64 DVD

The Windows 2008 R2 problem somehow can be fixed by Windows 7 installation disc, which is tested by its users. But the first three steps need to be finished with Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 DVD.

1. Access a Command Prompt in Windows 2008 R2 DVD as guided before.

2. In the Command Prompt type rename c:\boot\BCD bcd.old and press Enter.

3. Type delete c:\boot\bcd and press Enter.

4. Restart your machine.

5. Remove the Windows Server 2008 R2 (WS2008R2) DVD and install the Windows 7 (W7X64) DVD.

6. Boot your Server from the Windows 7 DVD and do a repair.

7. Reboot from the DVD again and do a repair. Keep doing this process until there is nothing wrong.

8. Finally, reboot your Server.


The “BOOTMGR is missing” of Windows 2008 R2 can be caused by many elements. Just choose the most suitable solution accordingly. All steps above apply to BOOTMGR is missing in Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016 as well. It is suggested to backup Windows Server 2008 after all problems are settled. You can easily restore your Server to a normal state with a system backup image once a disaster happens.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.