Thursday, 1 September, 2011

Fix compressed BOOTMGR in Windows 7

Few days back I have installed Windows 7 on my XP system, it’s a dual boot. System worked normally for few days. But one day I see this text instead of appearing boot menu. “BOOTMGR is compressed. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart”, I restarted and same screen appeared.

What is BOOTMGR?

BOOTMGR is advanced/next version of BOOT.INI file (generally found in Windows XP) where boot information data is stored. This advanced boot file (BOOTMGR) was used in Windows Vista.
The reason why BOOTMGR file is compressed is Compress this Drive feature is enabled for master hard drive. When this file gets compressed BIOS cannot read the boot information, so you see this text on your screen “BOOTMGR is compressed. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart”.  NTFS file system offers this feature of compression which is not found in FAT file system.
Compress feature in NTFS file system
Usually we choose this option to compress all the data on our hard drives especially in Windows Vista and 7 without knowing. But once we face this issue we will not forget this the next time when you choose to compress data on your hard drives. You will find this feature in Properties of your hard drives.


1. Insert Windows 7 DVD in CD tray. Restart your system, open BIOS (press F2 or DEL in some systems).
2. Go to Boot tab, set CD/DVD as first boot priority, save changes  and exit. Now boot from Windows 7 DVD. Windows 7 will ask you for language and keyboard layout information, after which you will be asked if you want to re-install Windows 7 or repair your existing installation.
3. Select Repair. Windows 7 System Recovery Tool will start.
4. From the list of options select Command Prompt and go to your master drive partition. To make sure you are on the right drive type DIR/P and check for BOOTMGR file. Now type the following to uncompress BOOTMGR file.


After booting into Windows make sure to uncheck Compress option for BOOTMGR file. You can do this by right clicking on BOOTMGR file, choose Properties, click on Advanced, uncheck Compress contents to save disk space.


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