BCD: Boot Configuration Database Notes

by [Published on 29 April 2009 / Last Updated on 31 Dec. 2008]

This article explains the new feature added to the Windows Boot process in Windows Server 2008.

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 use new boot mechanism called: Windows Boot Manager to load the Operating System stack. Windows Boot Manager utilizes the BCD Stores to load the Operating System data for Windows Server 2008/Windows Vista and Legacy Operating Systems. The BCD store is created when you install the Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. The below list shows the features of BCD:

  • BCD is replacement for BOOT.INI found in previous versions of Windows
  • There are three components of BCD: Stores, Objects, and Elements. Store is collected of Objects, and Objects are collection of Elements.
  • Windows Boot Manager controls the BCD Stores
  • BCD System Store, which is created by default when you install the Operating System (Vista/Windows Server 2008, is located at C:\BOOT\BCD.
  • BCD Store also creates a registry hive and is located at HKLM\BCD000000
  • Well Known-GUIDs are created for System Objects. These GUIDs are used by the Windows Boot Manager to identify the new and legacy Operating Systems.
  • BCD can be managed using the following tools:
  1. Setup BootStrap (At the time of booting) 
  2. System Applet
  3. MSCONFIG.exe
  4. BCDEdit.exe
  5. WMI Scripts
  6. Registry Editor (Regedit.exe)


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The Author — Nirmal Sharma

Nirmal Sharma avatar

Nirmal Sharma is a MCSEx3, MCITP and was awarded the Microsoft MVP award in Directory Services and Windows Networking. He specializes in Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Directory Services, Failover Clusters, Hyper-V, PowerShell Scripting and System Center products. Nirmal has been involved with Microsoft Technologies since 1994. In his spare time, he likes to help others and share some of his knowledge by writing tips and articles on various sites and contributing to PowerShell-based Dynamic Packs for www.ITDynamicPacks.Net solutions.

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