BOOT MGR is Missing ERROR MESSAGE on Dell Latitude D860

By jonlisatc ·
As my laptop is turned on, the first message that appears is "BOOT MGR is missing". I've replaced the hard drive with a new one from Dell and would like to pull off the files from the old one. With so many SATA adapters out there, I'm not sure if I would need software to look for the files on the old hard drive. If anyone out there could help me out with this... I would sure appreciate it. Thanks.

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If you're just trying to get the data...

by bart777 In reply to BOOT MGR is Missing ERROR ...

Run out and get one of these devices.

You can then take your drive and attach it to your laptop as a usb drive and recover whatever you need.

Best of luck.

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You need BOOST partition

by johnjacques In reply to BOOT MGR is Missing ERROR ...

Hello, on the Dell D860 partition #1 is for the hardware/vista SATA boost drive. Vista gets installed to partition #2, the 1st partition you are even allowed access to. I am guessing that if you disable the SATA boost and maybe the hardware security features (if enabled) then you should be able to use it like a normal computer.

i.e. you cannot install XP on this computer -out of the box because it will not find the HD. See if Vista install see's partition #1 during install, if it does try disabling the SATA/vista ready boost in the bios and see if it allows P1 to be used and bootable.

Also, you might try chaging SATA mode to standard mode instead of what it ships with. it does not ship with the factory default for Vista Business edition.

Hope this helps. I do not know how to creat the SATA boost partition, but it seems to be created from the Drivers Boot disk if needed.

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EFI firmware, boot, and system vista partitions

by johnjacques In reply to You need BOOST partition

I've done some more reasearch. The 1st partition is for bios firmware, about 89 MB. It is something for Vista and called EIF or EFI firmware. It takes partition #1 from you on this Dell laptop.

On a 2 partition drive, the boot partition (new for vista) becomes partition #2 (drive C).

If you have another partition (seems to be if it is over 36GB) then it becomes the System partition as Drive "D". It does not matter if it is the 4th partition, Vista seems to choose what it wishes.

The Dell Drivers disk supposedely has the boot capability to setup the firmware partition#1 for you. I found by experimenting that I can only have 1 partition when installing Vista to keep the System and Boot partitions on Drive "C" Partition#2, and to create any others after it is installed.

The error message you get, and if the DVD is in the drive you can boot, means the "System" partition is not there or not "active". The Boot partition (if seperated) does not get an 'active" status. Also, the System partition only needs a few files.

I am still experimenting and trying to get to the point that I like it. You can find more information on these 3 partition types in Google "Vista System and Boot partitions", it will also show the EFI? firmware partition too. MSDN has FAQ's on it as well. NOT THE SAME AS PREVIOUS WINDOWS OS

Hope this helps

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Format before install

by johnjacques In reply to EFI firmware, boot, and s ...

I've discovered that Vista will install to a partition that is not formatted. This gives the same effects as you describe for your problem. I've tried it a few times, and the only time Vista installs on this laptop is if partition #2 is not only created, but then formatted. I was not aware that Vista could use an unformatted partition.
Also, on the same note, Vista allows the expansion of partition sizes, and it does not perform any noticable format procedure when doing so.....


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