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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