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Changing the dual boot order using the boot.ini or BCDEdit.exe


The primary tool to edit Windows Vista boot configuration is BCDEdit.exe, a tool which is included in Windows Vista distribution in the;

C:\windows\system32 folder 
(C: being the windows vista system drive). 

BCDEdit.exe allows you to change and configure boot application data (files) in the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) stores which replace the settings in the boot.ini file in earlier versions of Windows.

BCDEdit basically replaces the BootCfg.exe tool that was used with earlier versions of Windows. BCDEdit provides much better and wider command line options and can do much more tasks than BCDCfg.

Here’s how you can use BCDedit to change the boot sequence and display order in the boot menu.

1. Start > Cmd > Right Click cmd> Run as Administrator

2. At the command prompt :

a. C:\> cd windows/system32

b. C:\windows\system32> bcdedit /?

c. C:\windows\system32> bcdedit /enum all

d. The output displays the boot configuration data of all the operating systems on the computer:

Windows Boot Loader

identifier {current}

device partition=C:

path \Windows\system32\winload.exe

description Microsoft Windows Vista

locale en-US

inherit {bootloadersettings}

recoverysequence {572bcd56-ffa7-11d9-aae0-007e994107d}

recoveryenabled Yes

osdevice partition=C:

systemroot \Windows

resumeobject {89b97029-9609-11db-bbfe-cfc7153012f0}

nx OptIn

e. Note the 128-bit GUID of the Windows XP system. You will have a similar entry for that.

f. C:\Windows\system32> bcdedit /default

E.g bcdedit /default {cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71}

Where {cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71} is the GUID of the Windows XP system.

In case you wish to delete the Windows XP entry from the boot menu:

g. c:\windows\system32> bcdedit /delete

You can also change the description of an entry using the following command:

h. Bcdedit /set ID description "The new description"


For example:

bcdedit /set {802d5e32-0784-11da-bd33-000476eba25f} description "My Favorite OS"

You can change the display order of the boot options using the following command:

i. bcdedit /displayorder ID1 [ID2] [ID3] [...]

For example :

bcdedit /displayorder {802d5e32-0784-11da-bd33-000476eba25f}

{cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71}

This will change the diplay order of the entries the next time the system is turned on only.

In order to make permanant changes to the boot order you can use the following command:

j. bcdedit /bootsequence ID1 [ID2] [ID3] ...

For example:

bcdedit /bootsequence {802d5e32-0784-11da-bd33-000476eba25f}

{cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71}

The following command sets the boot manager’s timeout to 30 seconds:

k. Bcdedit /timeout 30