XP/Ubuntu cannot find bootmgr


Hi there

I followed your guide for installing the Vista bootloader in XP, then fired up EasyBCD and "fixed" my mbr etc, deleted the Vista reference and added XP and Ubuntu, but when I restarted it just told me it couldn't find the bootmgr. I've tried this a couple of times now (ie reinstalled XP, reinstalled the bootloader, played around with EasyBCD) with the same result each time. Do you have any advice for me? Neither XP nor Vista repairs have any impact once I get that "cannot find..." message. It's a real bummer as I don't like the hard work involved in Grubbing XP - I much prefer to interact with Windows by default and learn linux in my spare time, but so far I can't get this to work...

Many thanks

Hi AH, welcome to NST.
Do you own a copy of bootmgr ?
i.e. you have a licenced copy of Vista or Windows 7
You'll need to copy bootmgr from the root of your Vista/W7 system into the root of your XP partition.
When you rewrite the MBR to use the Vista/W7 boot instead of XP's, it will look for bootmgr in the boot sector instead of NTLDR.
You have to put a copy there for it to find.
Thanks for your speedy reply

Yes I own a licensed copy of Vista. I zipped up the "boot" folder and unzipped it in D:\Windows [XP partition; I deleted the Vista partition] as described in the guide. If that implies copying bootmgr into the XP partition root, then yes I did that; if not, further instructions would be appreciated! (forgive me if I'm slow - this is all v confusing for me!)
The bootmgr file is not inside the boot folder, but it is in the partition root alongside it.
I'll see about getting the wiki updated if that's not included, and is the cause of your problem.
I'm assuming it's so from the error message you're getting, but I've never actually done what you're doing personally, so I have no actual experience of following those instructions, which pre-date my arrival here.
Okay, so I'm going to hazard that steps 4-6 in the wiki <http://neosmart.net/blog/2007/how-to-install-the-vista-bootloader-on-a-windows-xp-machine/> are what writes bootmgr to the partition root?

If I remember rightly when I opened up EasyBCD the first time, it told me no valid entries found (rather than giving me the option to repair anything). I then had to go into the diagnostics and select "Recreate deleted/missing boot files" and hit "rescue my system!". Are there additional steps I needed to perform?

I should point out that these instructions worked for me on an XP-only machine where there is only one partition. The laptop on which this is failing for me has XP Pro and Ubuntu on an extended partition.

Thanks again

Can you just port a copy of bootmgr over from Vista into the XP root and see whether that fixes the problem.
Uh theoretically, yes, but since I can't currently get into Ubuntu or XP (and I already deleted the Vista partition) I don't know how to get the file off my USB stick onto the root directory - is there a way I can do it from recovery / dos?

But surely if I copy bootmgr from another partition / computer it's going to point to the wrong places?


Bootmgr doesn't point anywhere. It's a static program. It reads the BCD which does the pointing, and you've already created the BCD.
You can boot your Ubuntu from the distro CD and run it live to move stuff between partitions.
Okay it looks like I pointed EBCD to the wrong partition when it asked for my boot drive letter (duh); I copied bootmgr from d:\ to c:\ (I'm not sure right now what else is on c, but I think it's actually HP Tools or the recovery partition!) and when I restarted I got a different error message about the windows boot config file missing information. I made a quick attempt at repairing the bcd through the Vista recovery environment, but without success. I figure my best bet is to reinstall XP and start again. If that's not sensible, then please let me know!

Thanks again for all your help

The BCD and the bootmgr should both be in whichever partition is flagged as "system" by Windows, (If you're looking from Linux partition manager, it'll be the one with the "boot" flag)
Confusingly Windows "boot" means "the system running at the moment", not "where the boot files are".