HELP: Vista Bootloader Gone or Corrupted . . .


OK, I know, I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed.

My Acer computer came pre-loaded with Vista Ultimate. To make a long story short, after a couple of months of agonizing over this-and-that, I decided to install XP onto a separate partition. All went well, until I got to the product key entry screen. The actual, official product key off the legal Microsoft Windows XP CD would not work. And there is no Cancel button or any other graceful way to end the XP installation at that point.

Yes, I should have read up on making my computer dual-boot Vista and XP ahead of time, but as I said, it just didn't occur to me that different versions of Windows wouldn't get along nicely. Yes, I really am that naive.

At any rate, I just wanted my computer back. Rebooting did not help at all. Error messages (NTLDR, BOOT.INI, etc.) left and right. So I did what any sensible person would do at that point: I reformatted the partition which I had created just for XP.

And ever since, I keep getting the "BOOTMGR is missing" message.

Nothing is working. Worst of all, I didn't get a Windows Vista DVD with the computer. (However, I was able to go to another computer and download a Vista Repair DVD. Yes, I tried the recovery options -- both the startup repair and the command line stuff -- but none of that helped.)

If I absolutely have to reformat the drive, is there any way to safe some files from my Vista partition? (For example, my Users directory?)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I have already been here (and 100 other places) and tried the proposed solutions:

Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide | APC Magazine
Hi webgyver, welcome to NST.

Grab yourself a copy of the GParted Live CD, and boot from it.
Use it to delete the XP partition and set the Vista partition as active.
GParted -- LiveCD
Thank you!

Greatly appreciate the tip. I'm downloading GParted LiveCD at this moment.

I will do as you suggested tonight after work.

Thanks again!!!