Windows 7 Boot Editor

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  • Prior to Windows Vista, BIOS-based computers running Windows store boot options in a Boot.ini text file. You can edit Boot.ini using Bootcfg (bootcfg.exe), a tool included in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, or using a text editor such as Notepad. Bootcfg is documented in Windows Help and Support.
  • Editing Boot Options in EFI.; 2 minutes to read; D; n; In this article. To edit boot options on computers with EFI NVRAM that are running Windows Server 2003 or earlier versions of NT-based Windows, use Bootcfg (bootcfg.exe), a tool that runs on Windows, or Nvrboot (nvrboot.efi), a tool that runs in the EFI environment.

Determine your computer's BIOS key. The key that you press to access the BIOS varies depending on your computer manufacturer and model. You can look up your computer's BIOS key by typing your computer's manufacturer and model name, along with 'bios key', into a search engine and reviewing the results, or you can consult your computer's manual if you still have it.

The first step in customizing boot options in operating systems is to add a new boot entry for an operating system. A boot entry is a set of options that define a load configuration for an operating system or bootable program.

You can have multiple boot entries for an operating system, each with a different set of boot parameters. Windows Installer creates a standard boot entry when you install an operating system, and you can create additional, customized boot entries for an operating system by editing the boot options.

You can add, delete, and change the options in the boot entry that Windows Installer created. However, it is prudent to keep the standard entry and, instead, add a separate entry that you customize.

To add a boot entry, copy an existing boot entry, and then modify the copy.

This topic applies to Windows Vista and later, Windows Server 2008 and later, and Windows Recovery Environment.

Adding a new boot entry

In Windows, you use BCDEdit to modify your boot options. To add a new boot entry, open a Command Prompt window with elevated privileges (select and hold (or right-click) Command Prompt and select Run as administrator from the shortcut menu).

Note Before setting BCDEdit options you might need to disable or suspend BitLocker and Secure Boot on the computer.

The easiest way to create a new boot entry is to copy an existing entry and then modify it as you need. To do this, use BCDEdit with the /copy option. For example, in the following command, BCDEdit copies the Microsoft Windows boot entry that was last used to boot Windows, identified as {current}, and creates a new boot entry. The /d description option specifies DebugEntry as the name of the new boot entry.

If the command succeeds, BCDEdit displays a message similar to the following:

When you copy a boot loader entry that appears on the boot menu, the copy is automatically added as the last item on the boot menu.

The GUID in the preceding message (which appears between braces ({})) is the identifier of the new boot entry. The /copy option creates a new GUID for the boot entry. You use the identifier to represent the entry in all subsequent BCDEdit commands.

If the command fails, be sure that you are running in a Command Prompt window with administrator privileges and that all of the command parameters are spelled correctly, including the braces around {current}.

You can also add a boot entry using the /create option. This method is more difficult because you need to provide additional information about the boot entry type. You also need to specify the /application, /inherit, or /device options. For example, the following creates a new operating system boot entry called 'My Windows Vista':

When you use the /create option, the new boot loader entries are not added to the boot menu automatically. The /create option creates a new GUID for the boot entry. You must add the new boot entry to the boot menu by using the /displayorder option. You can place the boot loader entries in any order.

For information about the /create command parameters, type bcdedit /? /create in a Command Prompt window.

Editing the boot menu

In Windows, new boot loader entries are not added to the boot menu automatically. You can place the boot loader entries in any order.

You can use the /displayorder option to set the order in which the boot manager displays the boot entries on a multi-boot menu. The command has the following syntax:

The ID is the GUID of the boot entry or a reserved identifier, such as {current}). Separate each identifier with a space. Be sure to include the braces ({}).

For example, to add the DebugEntry boot entry to the boot menu after the {current} entry, use the following command (remember to use '{guid}' in Windows PowerShell):

You can also use the options /addlast, /addfirst, and /remove to order and remove items from the menu. For example, the following command adds the DebugEntry boot entry as the last item on the menu:

Removing and deleting a boot entry

The following command removes the {49916baf-0e08-11db-9af4-000bdbd316a0} boot entry item from the boot menu.

When you remove the specified boot entry using the /displayorder and /remove options, the boot entry is removed from the boot menu, but it is still in the BCD store. To completely remove a boot loader entry from the boot menu and from the store, use the /delete option.

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To verify that the display order is correct, use the following command:

When you type bcdedit without additional parameters, BCDEdit displays the boot manager entry and the boot loader entries in the order that they will appear in the menu.

The Windows Boot Manager entry also includes the boot menu display order, as the following example shows.

Windows 7 / Getting Started

The BCD store contains information required by your computer to locate and load the operating system. There is a single entry for the Windows Boot Manager andone Windows Boot Loader entry for each instance of Windows 7, Windows Vista, or a later version of Windows installed on the computer. On a computer with otheroperating systems, such as Windows XP, you'll also see a legacy operating system entry.

Windows Boot Manager is itself a boot loader application. There are other boot loader applications as well, including:

  • Bootsector The Windows Boot Sector Application
  • Fwbootmgr The Firmware Boot Manager
  • Ntldr The boot loader for legacy operating systems
  • Osloader The boot loader for Windows Vista or later operating systems
  • Resume The Windows Resume Loader

You access and manage the BCD store by using the BCD Editor (Bcdedit.exe). The BCD Editor is a command-line utility that requires elevated administratorprivileges to perform management tasks. You can use the BCD Editor to view the entries in the BCD store by following these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Accessories.
  2. Right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run As Administrator.
  3. To view the entries in the BCD store, type bcdedit at the command prompt.
  4. To view the available commands, type bcdedit /? at the command prompt.

The BCD Editor is an advanced command-line tool for IT professionals. If you make a mistake with the BCD Editor, your computer could end up in anonbootable state, and you would need to initiate recovery. Because of this, only make changes when you are absolutely certain they will work.

Whenever you work with the BCD Editor, you work with the system BCD store, which contains the operating system boot entries and related boot settings.References in the BCD store can be specified by globally unique identifiers (GUIDs), such as {1cafd2de-e035-11dd-bbf6-bdebeb67615f}, as well as by well-knownidentifiers, such as {bootloadersettings}.

Table-1 shows well-known identifiers and their usage. Both well-known identifiers and GUIDs are enclosed in curly braces. GUIDs have dashes as well.

Table-1 Well-Known Identifiers
IdentifierUsage
{badmemory}Contains the global RAM defect list that can be inherited by any boot application entry.
{bootloadersettings}Contains the collection of global settings that should be inherited by all Windows Boot Loader application entries.
{bootmgr}Indicates the Windows Boot Manager entry.
{current}Represents a virtual identifier that corresponds to the operating system boot entry for the operating system that is currently running.
{dbgsettings}Contains the global debugger settings that can be inherited by any boot application entry.
{default}Represents a virtual identifier that corresponds to the boot manager default application entry.
{emssettings}Contains the global Emergency Management Services settings that can be inherited by any boot application entry.
{fwbootmgr}Indicates the firmware boot manager entry. This entry is used on EFI systems.
{globalsettings}Contains the collection of global settings that should be inherited by all boot application entries.
{hypervisorsettings}Contains the hypervisor settings that can be inherited by any operating system loader entry.
{legacy}Indicates the Windows Legacy OS Loader (Ntldr) that can be used to start Windows operating systems earlier than Windows Vista.
{memdiag}Indicates the memory diagnostic application entry.
{ntldr}Indicates the Windows Legacy OS Loader (Ntldr) that can be used to start operating systems earlier than Windows Vista.
{ramdiskoptions}Contains the additional options required by the boot manager for RAM disk devices.
{resumeloadersettings}Contains the collection of global settings that should be inherited by all Windows resume-from-hibernation application entries.

The BCD Editor provides separate commands for creating, copying, and deletingentries in the BCD store. You can use the /create command to create identifier,application, and inherit entries in the BCD store. The syntax is:

bcdedit /create Identifier /d 'Description'

where Identifier is a well-known identifier for the entry you want to create, such as:

bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d 'Pre-Windows Vista OS Loader'

You can create entries for specific boot loader applications as well, including:

  • Bootsector Sets the boot sector for a real-mode application
  • OSLoader Loads Windows Vista or later
  • Resume Resumes the operating system from hibernation
  • Startup Identifies a real-mode application

Win 7 Modify Boot Menu

The syntax for creating entries for boot load applications is:

bcdedit /create /application AppType /d 'Description'

where AppType is one of the previously listed application types, such as:

bcdedit /create /application osloader /d 'Windows Vista'

You delete entries in the system store by using the /delete command and the following syntax:

bcdedit /delete IdentifierEditor

If you are trying to delete a well-known identifier, you must use the /f command to force deletion, such as:

bcdedit /delete {ntldr} /f

The /cleanup option is implied by default whenever you delete BCD entries.This option cleans up any other references to the entry being deleted to ensure thatthe data store doesn't have invalid references to the removed identifier. Entries areremoved from the display order as well, and this could result in a different defaultoperating system being set. To delete the entry and clean up all other referencesexcept the display order entry, you can use the /nocleanup command.

Other BCD Editor commands you can use include:

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  • /set Used to set additional options and values for entries
  • /deletevalue Used to delete additional options and values for entries
  • /displayorder Used to change the display order of boot managers associated with a particular Windows Vista or later installation
  • /default Used to change the default operating system entry
  • /timeout Used to change the timeout value associated with the default operating system
  • /bootsequence Used to boot to a particular operating system one time and then revert to the default boot order afterward

Windows 7 Boot Editor Software

To learn more about subcommands and how they are used, type bcedit, type the subcommand name, and then type /?. For example, to learn how to use the/set subcommand, type bcdedit /set /?.

Windows 7 Boot Editor Free

In this tutorial: