The dreaded

  tb64 00:30 18 Oct 2011

My Vista PC was running fine until it locked up, the screen went black with white writing and it said "Bootmgr is missing, press CTRL ALT DEL to restart" it then just comes back to this on reboot.

Looking on a few forums it says to use the Vista install DVD repair option but I don't have a disc as windows was on it from purchase and no disc was supplied.(OEM)

I managed to create a Vista Recovery CD but when I start the PC with it in the drive it just goes through the same routine.

The BIOS has always been set to boot from DVD drive first and even after checking it, it doesn't seem to "see" the disc. The DVD drive shows up in the BIOS as Primary Master with the C Drive as Primary Slave.

Any ideas how I can check the drive to see why it doesn't boot from the DVD drive?


  lotvic 01:27 18 Oct 2011

Why is the C: the slave? it should be the Primary Master.

The DVD drive should be on a separate cable and be the Secondary Master.

See this for how it should be. Note that the Master goes on the middle connector.

Don't forget to check the jumper on the back of the Harddrive there will be a diagram of which pins to put the jumper on. (diagram is on the label of the Harddrive)

  northumbria61 08:49 18 Oct 2011

Can you borrow a Vista Setup Disc? If so you this would be the easiest way to fix BOOTMGR.enter link description here

  tb64 09:48 18 Oct 2011

Thanks for the replies,

The odd thing is that I haven't altered anything at all inside and it was working fine until the weekend????

The DVD drive is on one end of the ribbon cable with the C drive in the middle of the same cable and plugged into the blue socket on the motherboard (if that make a difference). The D drive is a different hard drive and is on it's own cable.

I have made a "recovery" disc but the DVD drive doesn't seem to be accessed on boot up even though it is definitely set as first boot device?

This disc is seen by my laptop so I guess the disc is OK.

I also noticed that the C drive is not showing up in the BIOS as well so I put in another HDD in it's place and the BIOS does show this but the boot up still doesn't see the disc in the DVD drive.

I think the C drive has failed because it makes some weird noises when running, so another question is .... If I don't have a Vista install disc and I buy a new HDD do I also have to buy windows again? Is this the risk we take when saving a few quid on an OEM install of the OS?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:04 18 Oct 2011

If the DVD disc wasn't burnt as a bootable disk then the machine will not boot from it even if set to boot from DVD drive as first boot device.

I think the C drive has failed because it makes some weird noises when running

I also noticed that the C drive is not showing up in the BIOS as well so I put in another HDD in it's place and the BIOS does show this

Definitely sounds like a failed hard drive.

Borrow a Vista DVD and install on the new drive using the number on the sticker on your machine.

  tb64 10:28 18 Oct 2011

I burnt the Vista recovery disc after downloading from here

I would have thought that this disc would be bootable or is that something I have to set during the burning of the ISO?

I'm thinking that if the drive has died I might as well install Window 7 on the new drive as I can get it under the "software for students" scheme for about £40.

My main concern now is that if I buy a new drive and OS what happens if the DVD drive still doesn't see that on booting up either?

Forgot to mention, I burned an ISO of Unbuntu 11 and that boots up on my laptop but not on my desktop. Shouldn't that still work even if the HDD on the PC has stopped working?

  tb64 13:45 22 Oct 2011


I have now replaced the HDD and the BIOS now detects it. I have checked that the DVD drive is the first boot device but the boot up is still not accessing the disc in the drive. I have tried a Windows recovery disk and an Ubuntu disc which I know works as I've tried it in my laptop but this doesn't work either. The cables and settings are as they were before the HDD died.

Any ideas?

Could the DVD drive be faulty as well?????

The DVD drive power light comes on and "flickers" as if it's reading something.


  tb64 14:13 22 Oct 2011

To try and discount an issue with the DVD drive I have made a bootable USB drive with Ubuntu 11.10 on it. The PC tries to boot from the USB drive as some info comes up on the screen about the drive but just hangs after displaying

"SYSLINUX 3.86 2010-04-0=10 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al"

Pressing a key doesn't do anything to un-hang it and get it going !!!!


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:32 22 Oct 2011
  1. reconfigure the drive arrangement.

Swap DVD to secondary cable and make sure jumpers are set as master.

Put new HDD set as master on end of primary cable where DVD was.

Put D: HDD from secondary cable to middle of primary cable set as slave.

  1. Check BIOS finds all drives.

  2. set DVD as first bot device HDD1 (new) as second boot device, disable bot from USB at this time. Save and EXIT (F10)

  3. Boot from Windows 7 DVD and see if it will now boot from the DVD and check W7 finds all drives

When you burnt the iso of the recovery disk did you finalize the disk otherwise it will not boot?

  tb64 15:05 22 Oct 2011

Thanks for the help Fruit Bat,

I have set the drives up as suggested with the DVD as the first boot but it hangs for a while on "Boot from CD" and then says "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter"

I'm guessing it's trying to then boot from the new HDD but as it's blank it's not finding anything of course.

I am using an Ubuntu 11.10 disc which boots up on my laptop so the disc must be alright (?)

I have also tried a Windows 8 disc and a windows recovery disc and they are all doing the same thing.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:32 22 Oct 2011

I take it you do not get a message "Press any Key to boot from CD"?

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