How to use BCDEDIT to add menu items to the selection screen in Windows Server and Win7

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How to use BCDEDIT to add menu items to the selection screen in Windows Server and Win7

1 4 Rick Trader
Added by April 4, 2012

This question was asked in class the other day. BCDEDIT.exe will be used to add, delete or modify the boot configuration data store. To get the syntax on how to use the BCDEDIT.EXE command, type bcdedit /? at the command prompt.

Note: In Windows Vista and Windows 7 in order to modify the boot configuration data (BCD) store you must launch the command prompt with administrative privileges.

For detailed command and options information, type bcdedit /?

For example, to display detailed information about the /delete command, type:

Bcdedit /delete /?

Below is a screen shot of bcdedit /?

BCDEDIT exe

 

To view the current boot configuration data store, type: Bcdedit

BCDEDIT current boot config datastore

 

In the above data store there is currently one operating system available. Some of the above options are:

{id} – The GUID that is associated with the boot entry.

Default – If more than one operating system is available, this entry will identify the operating system that will be the default operating system.

Timeout – Count down timer used to allow for operating system selection if more than one operating system is available.

Device and OSDevice – Defines the partition to load the selected operating system.

Path – Path to the operating system loader file

NX – The NX option enables and configures Data Execution Prevention (DEP), a set of hardware and software technologies designed to prevent harmful code from running in protected memory locations.

Using BCDEDIT to add a boot selection

Prior to making any changes to the BCD store a backup of the stores should be created by typing the following command:

Bcdedit /export “c:\datastore”

Note: This command will back up the data base to a file called datastore on the root of the “C” drive. If the database needs to be restored the /import switch could be used.

BCDEDIT /Copy

Use the BCDEDIT /copy command to copy an existing boot entry to be used by the new entry.

BCDEDIT copy command

{current} – Identifies the GUID of the entry you desire to copy

/d – Adds a menu display name, the display name must be enclosed by “ “.

{ac83ccb9-7210-11e1-a958-b74f4c243eb2} – Is the newly generated QUID for the new operating system menu entry.

Note: Use the command prompt Mark and Paste functions to copy and paste the above GUID including braces for use in the following commands.

BCDEDIT /Set

Use the BCDEdit /set command to configure specific boot entry elements.

BCDEDIT set command

Device and osdevice – identifies the partition to load the Windows Server 2008 R2 from.

BCDEDIT /Default

Use BCDEDIT /default to configure the default operating system during computer start up.

BCDEDIT default command

The above command designates the newly created boot entry to be the default operating system selected after the operating system selection countdown time completes.

Note: If you do not use the BCDEDIT /default command the current operating system will remain the default operating system.

BCDEDIT /v

Use BCDEDIT /v to view the new boot configuration data store.

BCDEDIT V configuration store

 

In my next post we will explore Native Booting from VHD in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Enjoy!

Rick Trader
Windows Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ
For more information, see the following posts in this series of posts on manipulating the Windows 7 Boot Configuration Database (BCD).

Part 1: How to install Windows 7 or Server 2008R2 from a Virtual Hard Disk
Part 2: How to install Windows 7 or Server 2008R2 from a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD)
Part 3: What happened to my BOOT.INI file?
Part 4: How to use BCDEDIT to add menu items to the selection screen in Win Server & Win7
Part 5: How to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows XP using BCD

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