Is there any boot manager editor that I can run in DOS (possibly) before the system will load and edit boot manager itself?

I would like to delete, edit VHD's and other files, copying them from the network, changing the names and adding to the manager)?

Are there any other boot managers that I can use to boot up Windows 7 and 2008 from VHD file? I would like to have flexibility similar to virtualization w/o performance hit and ability to use all 4 processors on the server (using Windows HPC Server).

  • You want to use something other than BCDedit or GRUB? – Ethabelle Feb 28 '12 at 19:39
  • I do not mind any, I would like to have an option to edit it before loading operating system, does GRUB allow that? – Tomek Feb 29 '12 at 2:02
  • GRUB does, sure, but it's linux cmd line. I think BCDedit allows for a GUI interface to do it in. – Ethabelle Feb 29 '12 at 14:22

Boot Configuration Data (BCD) for Vista and later is stored in a file "\boot\BCD".

This file is on active partition on MBR disks (on system partition on GPT disks).

You can use any registry editor to edit BCD but:

  • the device element for a VHD is of type LocateExDevice - a complex structure consisting of two parts:
    • a) disk id and partition offset
    • b) a path like "\my_vhds\Win7.vhd"
  • device elements are objects (binary data in registry) not strings or numbers !

The only secure and documented way of editing BCD on command line is by using bcdedit.exe utility.

bcdedit is available in Vista and later, in Windows PE (v2.0 and later) and WindowsRE.

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