How does Windows Setup locate Windows installations?

For Windows 2003 and earlier, this was done using boot.ini. How is this done on newer Windows OSes that don't use boot.ini?


The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store contains boot configuration parameters and controls how the operating system is started in Microsoft® Windows Vista® and Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 operating systems. These parameters were previously in the Boot.ini file (in BIOS-based operating systems) or in the nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) entries (in Extensible Firmware Interface–based operating systems). You can use the Bcdedit.exe command-line tool to affect the Windows® code which runs in the pre-operating system environment by adding, deleting, editing, and appending entries in the BCD store. Bcdedit.exe is located in the \Windows\System32 directory of the Windows Vista partition.

  • since I get "access denied" errors on a running system. I assume bcdedit.exe /enum is what I am looking for? I wish to read the values in the boot store. Not manipulate them.
    – unixman83
    Apr 17 '11 at 2:22
  • I believe that's what you want. Go to Start Menu-All Programs-Accessories,then right-click Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator,because Administrative privileges are required to use BCDEdit to modify BCD. Apr 17 '11 at 2:30

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