Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Using BCDEDIT.EXE to Clean Up Windows Vista Boot Manager

In this blog post, I will describe how to clean up the Windows Vista Boot Manager using the command line tool calledBCDEDIT.EXE located at C:\Windows\System32 assuming Windows Vista is installed on Drive C.

You may have installed another operating system earlier on another drive and you now have formatted this drive. When you boot your computer, you are presented with a choice of what operating system to start with but one of the entries do not work because you have removed the operating system. BCDEDIT.EXE is a command line tool to manage the BCD store (Windows Vista Boot Manager). For a list of complete commands that BCDEDIT.EXE offers, open a Command Window and type bcdedit /?.

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Removing invalid entries in the Windows Vista Boot Manager
    1. Open an elevated Command Window, refer to my blog post "Opening an Elevated Command Prompt" for instructions.
    2. Type:
      bcdedit > c:\users\yourusername\desktop\bcd.txt
      NOTE: A file called "bcd.txt" should now be on the desktop.
    3. Open "bcd.txt" and note the "identifier" value for the invalid boot entries.
    4. Type:
      bcdedit /delete {identifier}
    5. To remove the timeout of the Windows Boot Manager, type:
      bcdedit /timeout 0

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