by March 10, 2007 0 comments

Fire up the Notepad, locate and open ‘boot.ini’ from your C:\ drive and
modify the parameters to boot up Windows 2000, XP and 2003 with ease. But when
you install Vista on a system with other versions of Windows (like XP), the
first consternation you face is that it groups others as ‘Earlier version of
Windows.’ One then has to select that to enter a second boot menu and then
select boot options from there. Second problem is that there is no longer a
‘boot.ini’ file. Instead, Vista uses something called EFI (Extensible Firmware
Interface) that is the new standard for booting OSes. There is a built-in tool
named ‘bcdedit’ which lets you make changes to the boot menu, order, time out
and add or remove entries from the list. But, this is command-line based and one
needs to know a lot (like what a ‘configuration store’ is and so on) before you
can go ahead and use the tool.

Direct Hit!
Applies To:
IT managers
Price: Free
USP: Modify bootup settings after installing Vista, including
changing displayed entries, time outs and setting kernel options
Primary Link:

Google Keywords: vista bcd edit
On PCQEssential CD: EasyBCD 1.52.exe (1.78 MB)

Vista’s MSCONFIG has a tab that lets you configure already existing entries
to some extent, but won’t let you add or remove entries. Third party developers
have come up with GUI tools to let anyone customize the Vista boot menu. One
such tool is EasyBCD. Install the program on the system where you want to make
changes. In case it has more OSes apart from Vista, you can install the tool on
the other OS too.

At present, the tool will work on Vista and XP/2003. Run EasyBCD by clicking
the shortcut on the desktop. If you’re on Vista, you’ll need to do this in
Administrator mode. The first summary screen tells you what setup exists in the
Vista boot loader configuration. Click on the ‘Configure Boot’ button on the
left-hand side of the screen. Here select the default OS to bootup, the time out
before the loader will boot to the default OS and change the name and location
of each OS listed in menu. You need to click the ‘Save Settings’ button in each
section to save that section’s settings. You can add other OSes (like PCQLinux
2007) to the boot menu using the screen you get, when you click the ‘Add/Remove
Entries’ button. Select the tab that matches your distro of Linux the closest
and specify the path to the bootloader. You can also re-order boot menu options
using this screen.

Select the default OS and
change names of the OSes for the Vista boot menu using this simple GUI

Advanced Options
For Vista and Longhorn OSes, EasyBCD allows more options to be added from the
‘Advanced Options’ screen if you have EasyBCD on another OS in the same system.
Strangely, this tool does not allow you to add parameters using its UI to pass
to Win XP or 2003-but you can get around that by editing the boot.ini file
through the Tools menu of EasyBCD. If something goes wrong, you can remove or
reinstall the Vista bootloader using the ‘Manage Bootloader’ screen. You can
also backup or restore the boot configuration data from a text file. But this
backup does not safeguard your non-Vista OS settings and those must be backed up

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