Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

One of our SQL server VMs (running in ESX) became completely unresponsive so it was Powered Off. I know, not exactly the best thing to do, but it's been done and since the VM was Powered On, we're getting an error

BOOTMGR is missing in Windows Server 2008 Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart

I've done some searching and found a bunch of suggestions to boot from the 2008 image (which I've done). I was able to open a command prompt, however the C:\ isn't available to select, and diskpart / list volume doesn't show C: as a volume, so I'm pretty sure it's not being detected, which means that I'm unable to use bootmgr or fixmbr / bootrec / etc to restore the OS. I'm not sure why this is, I was thinking that it might have been because we are using the Paravirtual SCSI Controller Type, but that's just a guess.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to resolve this issue? I think it's a two-tier issue, detect the C:, then fix the bootmgr issue.

share|improve this question
What version of ESX/ESXi are you running? – cole Oct 8 '13 at 15:32
@Cole - We are running ESX 4.1.0 381591 – Newbie_Hewie Oct 8 '13 at 22:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Speaking with a System Administrator friend, we were able to work out that we needed the Paravirtual SCSI driver (/vmimages/floppies/pvscsi-Windows2008.flp) so that we could detect the drives when booting from the command prompt (I had a feeling that we needed to do something like this, but had no idea where the driver was located). We were able to mount this file to the floppy drive by editing the settings of the VM, and then load the driver when asked during the Windows 2008 setup / repair.

We were then able to run the steps in this page How to fix Windows 2008 R2 BOOTMGR is missing, allowing us to boot the server. Some of the databases had issues which the DBA was able to fix (luckily!), so we're back up and running.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.