Boot Configuration Data

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In the Windows operating system, Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is a set of information which is used to initialize all systems later than Windows XP.


A computer's Boot Configuration Data indicates to the BIOS where the operating system(s) are located, what they are named, and how to initialize them. Unlike the older system which used a boot.ini file, the Boot Configuration Data does not rely on the computer's firmware, thus making this newer system more versatile. It is essentially nothing more than a binary file in the registry hive format[1]


The BCD system is used by all major systems beginning with Windows Vista, including Windows Vista (of course), Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016.


  • Msconfig.exe (A program with a GUI which allows some simple BCD editing)[2]
  • Bootcfg.exe (A command-line utility included with some earlier versions of Windows)[2]
  • BCDEdit.exe (A command-line utility included with Windows versions Vista and above)[2]
  • EasyBCD.exe (Third-party shareware/paid program by NeoSmart Technologies which enables both advanced and easy, simple BCD editing)


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