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I set my laptop to dual boot Vista and discovered a some interesting things when I was done:

  • The new operating systems was the default, when I wanted the original operating systems to be the default
  • I had 2 operating systems with the exact same description (Microsoft Windows Vista)
  • The selection timeout was 30 seconds
  • My old friends boot.ini and bootcfg are history!

In Vista, BCDEdit replaces bootcfg.  I can list my operating systems simply by running BCDEdit in the shell:

C:\Users\Dave>bcdedit Windows Boot Manager -------------------- identifier {bootmgr} device partition=C: description Windows Boot Manager locale en-US inherit {globalsettings} default {default} resumeobject {7caf94b7-f303-11db-8342-fd19a316638c} displayorder {default} {current} toolsdisplayorder {memdiag} timeout 30 Windows Boot Loader ------------------- identifier {default} device partition=G: path \Windows\system32\winload.exe description Microsoft Windows Vista locale en-US inherit {bootloadersettings} osdevice partition=G: systemroot \Windows resumeobject {94cd4dd2-a14c-11dc-b2fb-d72bdf6fa59c} nx OptIn 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-aae0-0007e994107d} recoveryenabled Yes osdevice partition=C: systemroot \Windows resumeobject {7caf94b7-f303-11db-8342-fd19a316638c} nx OptIn

Because I booted the non default operating system, each operating system could be assigned a logical identifier (default, current).  Had I booted the default operating system, then the one know as current above would have a GUID as an identifier.

To change the boot order:

bcdedit /default {current}

This doesn't change the order the operating systems are listed in, it simply sets the default operating system to boot.

To change the description of an operating system:

bcdedit /set {94cd4dd1-a14c-11dc-b2fb-d72bdf6fa59c} description "Vista with Virtual Server"

Finally, to bring the timeout down something acceptable for Type A people:

bcdedit /timeout 5

The TechNet page referenced above isn't much more than the basic help you get with "bcdedit /?".  See the MSDN documentation at Boot Options for Driver Testing and Debugging for a tutorial.

This just in!  I stumbled across a really detailed BCDEdit Reference document from Microsoft.

Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2007 9:34 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Dual Booting Vista

# re: Dual Booting Vista
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Good to know. I know I would have been confused and looking for the .ini files. Saved. Thank you
Left by Nikita Polyakov on Dec 09, 2007 11:06 PM

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