bootmgr is missing when i try to install xp

November 15, 2010 at 17:56:17
Specs: Windows XP pro, pentium 4 1.0
i have a bootmgr missing error message that wont let me install xp on my dell optiplex gx280 desktop computer

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November 15, 2010 at 19:11:43
You have to boot off the CD. If you're seeing the "bootmgr is missing" message, it means the system is attempting to boot off the hard drive. Either the boot order is incorrect or you're not "pressing any key" when prompted.

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November 15, 2010 at 20:47:55
"You have to boot off the CD."

The CD must be in the optical drive before you boot.
When you boot, you should see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar, then you press any key or the specified key.

The CD must be bootable.
If you made a burned copy of a bootable CD, you must use "disk at once" in the burning software, or similar, otherwise the CD copy is not bootable.
If you made a "slipstreamed" CD - many people do that when they want to make a Windows CD with the SP3 updates integrated into it - you must use specific burning software and specific settings and a specific procedure to make it bootable. E.g. Nero Burning Rom, and you need to be aware that some versions of it have bugs and require you take an extra step, otherwise it won't be bootable.

If you don't see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar, you must either....

- on many brand name computers, you may see a prompt while booting "Press xxx (key) to select boot device" or similar - if you see that, you can press that key and select a CD drive or similar even if you don't know the password to get into the bios Setup.

- go into the bios Setup and change the Boot order or similar settings so CD drive or similar is before Hard drive or similar. CD drive or similar does not have to be first, but it has to be before any hard drive or similar, and usually most people have Network boot or similar listed after Hard drive or similar because they are not booting from a network.

If you STILL don't see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar, try cleaning the drive's laser lens - it may be "dirty".
On a laptop, or on a netbook that has a built in optical drive, eject the drive's tray, and with no disk on the tray, clean off the obvious laser lens with a tissue or soft cloth.

For a drive on a desktop computer, or any optical drive, use a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive - if you don't have one, most places that sell CDs or DVDs have them, and even some "dollar" stores have then for a buck or two.

You probably can't install XP from an external optical drive, unless the optical drive model is really old and was available when XP first came out, circa 2001, because the disk contents cannot recognize an external optical drive unless it recognizes the model (the CD will be detected as bootable by the bios, but then you can't do anything).

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November 16, 2010 at 03:48:14
i tryed using a vista disc and that worked but it freezed after about a minute and never installed but it booted to it when i try to put xp disc it does nothing

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Related Solutions

November 16, 2010 at 08:01:22
The XP CD must be bootable.

If it's an original CD it should be detected as bootable by the bios, and it will load files, IF you have in it in a built in optical drive.
It will probably NOT load files from the XP CD if it's in an external optical drive. See the last paragraph in response 5 for why that is.
(The Vista and Windows 7 DVDs should load fine from an external optical drive.)

If it's a burned XP CD, it may NOT be bootable if it wasn't made right - in that case it won't be detected as bootable when it's in ANY optical drive on ANY computer.

"i tryed using a vista disc and that worked but it freezed after about a minute..."

The most common reasons for that are

- the disk or the laser lens in the drive is "dirty" .
Make sure the disk is clean.
Clean the laser lens, as I told you above.

(Less common - If the drive has been used a lot, combo DVD / CD burner drives have at least two lasers and associated circuits - sometimes one of those malfunctions - in that case, either no CD, or no DVD, will read properly. )

- you have a ram problem - the ram is experiencing errors.

If you HAVE NOT changed which ram you have installed since the computer last worked properly.....

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

If you HAVE changed which ram you have installed since the computer last worked properly.....

Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.

If you still have the ram that was installed when the system worked fine, try installing just that ram.

See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibility, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
Correction to that:

If your ram passes a ram test, it's working fine, even if you can't determine whether it's listed for your mboard or system model anywhere

If you do a ram test, do that AFTER having tried cleaning the contacts and making sure the ram is seated properly - otherwise any errors found may be FALSE.
If the ram is incompatible with the chipset, or on more recent computers, incompatible with the memory controller built into the cpu, it will likely FAIL a ram test - that is NOT a true indication of the ram being faulty - there is probably nothing wrong with it, and it will pass the test if installed in a mboard it is compatible with.

If you want to try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

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