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How to recover from setting wrong partition active on Windows 2008 Server

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I just made a huge mistake.  I  added a new partition to a Windows 2008 server. When i was setting it up i made it active in disk manager.  I realized my mistake but I could not remove the active from the disk and since the C: drive was marked as Boot, Primary and Active I did not think it would make any difference.   I wanted to take a backup of the server tonight and I was getting an error from the agent so I rebooted the server.

Now I am getting

 BOOTMGR is missing
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL

How do I recover the server.  I just finished running a week long migration to this server and now I can not access it.  Is there anyway to get it back.    

I am running ESXi 4.1 and it is a virtual machine on the server.
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Question by:qvfps
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by:sharkbot221984
ID: 34985235
Do you have your Server 2008 disc?  Have you tried booting to the Windows Recovery Environment and doing a system repair?  If you have and/or that fails you can boot into the Windows Recovery Environment and go to cmd prompt and type:

Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:qvfps
ID: 34985270
I have booted it using the windows recovery disk but on the System Recovery Options window I select Use Recovery TOols that can help fix problems windows 2008 is not listed in the operationg system window and if I click load drivers it prompts me for a location.  

This is virtual mnachine on ESXi 4.1.  Any idea where I can load the drivers to access the c drive?
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sharkbot221984 earned 500 total points
ID: 34985304
Ah I think I remember this, the system repair option was removed from System Recovery Options window in S2k8.  Did you try choosing cmd prompt and running the Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd?

You can also choose cmd prompt and run: x:\sources\recovery\StartRep.exe to start the Recovery tool.
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Author Comment

by:qvfps
ID: 34985433
I booted from the CD and selected recovery.  Clicked next on the System Recovery Options window even though the window was empty and selected command prompt.  I ran Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd  and it found the C drive and asked if I wanted to make it the boot drive.  I selected yes and rebooted.  

I received the same error but when I got to the System Recovery Options window Windows 2008 was listed in the window.   I clicked next and selected Command prompt and entered the following commands

rename c:\boot\BCD bcd.old
Bootrec /RebuildBcd
dispart
select disk 0
select partition 1
active
exit

The next time I rebooted it started up.  

Thanks for the replies.  I seriously panicked when I tried to boot the server the first time from the installation DVD and received the BOOTMGR error there as well.   I just to change the settings for the VM to take me to the bios for the server and change boot order.   Anyways having someone help calmed me down enough to get past that.  You have no idea how much grief this saved me.
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by:sharkbot221984
ID: 34985528
Glad it worked out for you!
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