Mac, Bootcamp, and the missing BOOTMGR

Okay, lesson learned: Better not have two Bootcamp installation on one Mac system. Yes, it works when they’re on different (physical) drives. But then I decided to make two of the four drives a RAID, so I had to kill the old Win XP Bootcamp volume and the old Leopard volume (each on their own physical HD), because the Snow Leopard and Win 7 installations (both on the same HD) were working fine. And that’s when the soft brown substance hit the fan. Exactly.

Apparently, the Bootcamp EFI record only exists on one volume at a time, which in my case was one of the two that were merged to the RAID. On the next bootup, the Win 7 volume was not available. So what to do now?

Here’s a solution that worked for me:

  1. Get rEFIt and burn the image to a CD.
  2. Re-boot an launch the CD by holding down [option] or [c].
  3. Choose the Partition Tool (second to the left in the lower row).
  4. If it detects inconsistencies between the EFI and the MBR, have them be repaired.
  5. On the next boot, your Windows (Bootcamp) volume should show up. Try booting from it.
  6. If you’re getting the [BOOTMGR missing] error, continue reading. No errors: Congrats. Other errors: Good luck.
  7. Re-boot from your Win 7 installation DVD and navigate to the repair section.
  8. Choose “Start command prompt” (last item of the five).
  9. Enter bootrec /fixboot , hit Enter and wait for success.
  10. Enter bootrec /fixmbr , hit Enter and wait for success again.
  11. Reboot, start from the Win 7 partition and hope the error is gone. Yes? Congrats. No? Don’t worry, there’s one bullet left (as far as my experience goes).
  12. Re-boot again from the Win 7 installer DVD, go to Repair options and choose ”Auto-repair” (first menu item).
  13. That’s when I had it fixed. If you haven’t, I’m sorry I can currently do no more to help you. In some forums people have said that running the auto-repair routine multiple times eventually solved the issue, yet I can neither confirm nor deny it.

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