Vista: Use BCDEDIT to change boot up options (dual boot w/XP Prof)

   Posted January 20, 2007 by Jimmy Selix in Microsoft Vista

This is a quickie recipe on how to change the boot options in Vista. If your running XP and Vista (dual booting), you can use bcdedit from the command line to change the default booting OS, name, etc. Lets take a look!

If you are dual booting XP Prof and Vista, you most likely have the annoying “Earlier Version of Windows” in the boot list and have Vista booting as the default. Lets change that!

In Vista, you do not have the Boot.ini like in XP where these type of settings were changed. We will need to use command line and the bcdedit command.

1. Open up the command line as an administrator or user w/admin rights (right click on the Shorcut > Run As and lets you run as an admin if your on a non-admin account)

2. type this command to see the current state of affairs.

you prob will see something like this (my original boot option)

D:\Users\seamonkey> bcdedit

Windows Boot Manager
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
displayorder {ntldr}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Windows Legacy OS Loader
identifier {ntldr}
device partition=C:
path \ntldr
description Earlier Version of Windows

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {current}
device partition=D:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Microsoft Windows Vista
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
osdevice partition=D:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {1ecfd635-a8ea-11db-bb9b-ddf07c6aaff1}
nx OptIn

3. to change a value, you need to use this type of command:
bcdedit /set {identifiers name} nameofparamater “value to replace with”
for example, to change my XP os name from “Earlier Version….” to “XP Pro”, i would use this command:
bcdedit /set {ntldr} description “XP Pro”

to change the default boot os to xp, i would use this command:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} default “{ntldr}”

then type:

and you should see the changes you made.

The main thing is to remember to run the command line with an admin account or as the administrator.

Also, you can type: bcdedit /help to get a list of all of the parameters/flags you can use.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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