bootmgr missing, automated repair doesn't work

#1
Because bootmgr was missing, I downloaded your Vista Recovery CD. I choose Automated Repair and get to see two hard drives (which is correct). With either one I can choose either System Restore or Automated Repair. I've tried both options with each drive, but unfortunately I keep getting the message: The selected partition does not contain a valid Windows installation. You've either selected a data drive, or the volume has been formatted and cannot be repaired.

Of course, one of the drives did contain a Windows installation. Can anyone tell me what this means for the options I have left with this pc? I've bought it only 3 years ago and have had three system crashes in the last year (including two new hard drives). As a laywoman I should think I should not throw anymore money (1000 euros already!!) in this bottomless pitt and buy a new one. Unfortunately, this means a whole lot of extra work installing every programm again (because this is a Vista, and a new one will be Windows 7), with all the needed settings, and for my work I cannot miss the pc, not even for a day. I am trying to find out what the quickest solution for me will be.

Can anybody tell me whether my pc has definitely died, or that there may be a little (simple? cheap?) thing that still could be fixed? Or is there no way to tell, and should I make an expert look at it? My regular guy isn't available until Tuesday, and if it's clear that the pc is dead, or can only be fixed at great expense, I can go buy a new one tomorrow.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
That message typically means that your partitions have been either wiped or corrupted due to disk corruption, user error, or a virus.

You can attempt to manually recover the partitions and their contents by using the command prompt tool and typing in "testdisk" without the quotes. Note that testdisk is a third party application that is not officially supported by NeoSmart Technologies or SystemDiscs.com, instructions on using it can be found at TestDisk - CGSecurity while support for testdisk is obtainable via the testdisk forums at cgsecurity.org Index page