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HOW-TO: Resolve "BOOTMGR is missing" Boot Error
Further experimentation(s) with BartPE and cloning sysprep-ed Windows 7 SP1 systems led me to further problems. My interest and expertise in these cloning mechanisms and hands-free installs are for Solaris and Linux, not Windows so I was scratching my head for a while trying to resolve the problem.
It is a bit difficult to find a working resolution on the internet so after a while I got tired of searching for a way to migitate the problem and resorted to trial and error. Below is the procedure that eventually worked for me.
The dreaded error:
BOOTMGR is missing.
Press ctrl+alt+del to restart
On the system that encountered this error insert the Windows 7 installation DVD. If you have a Windows 7 USB installer, that works just fine.
Either bootable media works. On the first screen that is presented, select the Language, Time and Currency and Keyboard input method. Then, click Next. You will be on a screen like the one below.
On the screen above, click on "Repair your computer". The built-in recovery software will try to detect the installed version(s) of Windows. Select the appropriate operating system from the list. Usually there is only one listed here just click on it to highlight the selection and click on Next.
Another window will open presenting system recovery options. Refer to the screenshot below.
Select command prompt (toward the bottom). And a command window will open.
Rebuild the bcd directory via "bootrec /rebuildbcd" on the command prompt. And restart your computer. This should resolve the "BOOTMGR is missing" boot error (The bootrec command is explained in greater detail on Microsoft: KB927392).
Executing the above procedure solved my problem. Discipline urged me to create a backup of my old boot configuration data (BCD), but I didn't do it anymore.
Just to be on the safe side, if you wish to save a backup of the BCD, you can execute "ren d:\boot\bcd d:\boot\bcd.old" prior to running "bootrec /rebuildbcd".