I have a system with 2 HDDs. The older one (drive 1) had a copy of Vista with plenty of files. I got a second, larger one (drive 2) later and installed a new copy of Vista on it. I copied my other files from the old HDD (drive 1) to the new one (drive 2). I didn’t reformat the old one (drive 1) because I didn’t want to risk losing a file I’d forgotten to transfer.
Whenever I started the PC I was given an option of which install to boot from. So far so good.
That was about 3 yrs ago. Now my new HDD (drive 2) is full, and I want to use the old one (drive 1) for additional storage. I decided that any file I hadn’t accessed for three years wasn’t necessary and reformatted my old HDD (drive 1). The next time I started vista, I got the following message: Windows Boot Manager Corrupt or Missing. I tried repairing it with the windows install disk and it wasn’t able to repair the installation. So, I reinstalled vista on the old drive (drive 1). Then I tried repairing the installation again with the windows install disk and it worked. When I boot up, the option of which install to use was displayed again, and the (drive 2) install was marked “Repaired.”
Since it was working now, I breathed a sigh of relief and reformatted the old drive (drive 1) again. Same problem and same solution. What do I do about this? It seems the boot manager is not on the new HDD (drive 2) only on the old drive (drive 1)? Can this be correct, or is there something I’m missing? I don’t want to waste disk space with an extra copy of vista just to boot up from a different drive.
Using the repair installation is the correct solution; I'm surprised that it did not work. Please try this if you have not yet: Unplug drive 1 from the motherboard (shutdown first). Boot to BIOS and ensure that drive 2 is selected as boot device, even if it won't work. Do the repair again. With only one drive, it has no choice as to where to put the boot manager. If it boots after than, you can re-attache drive 1.
If'n this doesn't work, or you already tried it, I give up.
What it was doing originally was booting off drive 1 and then passing the process off to drive 2, which was not actually bootable.