Description of the BOOTCFG Command and Its Uses

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Article ID: 317521 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q317521
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 291980.
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SUMMARY

This article discusses the bootcfg command and its uses.

MORE INFORMATION

The bootcfg command is a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 utility that modifies the Boot.ini file. This command has a function that can scan your computer's hard disks for Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 installations, and then add them to an existing Boot.ini file or rebuild a new Boot.ini file if one does not exist. You can use the bootcfg command to add additional Boot.ini file parameters to existing or new entries.

The bootcfg command is available in the Windows Server 2003 operating system and in the Recovery Console. This article describes only the options that are available to bootcfg while in the Recovery Console. Not all the options that are available in bootcfg in the Recovery Console are in the version of Bootcfg.exe that ships with Windows Server 2003. Bootcfg.exe has a different set of commands available. You can start the Recovery Console by using one of the following methods:
  • Start your computer with the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM, and then press R to select Recovery Console.
  • Install the Recovery Console locally by using the Winnt32.exe /cmdcons command. Restart the server, and then select Microsoft Windows Recovery Console on the Startup menu.

The Bootcfg Command and Its Uses

  • For a list of the available bootcfg commands, type bootcfg at the Recovery Console command prompt, and then press ENTER.
  • The bootcfg /default command sets the default operating system option on the Startup menu (this command selects the operating system entry automatically).
  • The bootcfg /add command scans the computer for Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 installations, and then displays the results. From this screen, you can add an installation to the Startup menu.

    When you enter this command, you receive a message similar to the following:
    Scanning all disks for Windows Installations.

    Please wait, since this may take a while...

    The Windows installation scan was successful.

    Note: These results are stored statically for this session.
    If the disk configuration changes during this session,
    in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot
    the machine and then rescan the disks.

    Total identified Windows installs: 2

    [1]: C:\WINNT
    [2]: F:\WINDOWS

    Select an installation to add:
    When you type the number of the installation that you want, a new entry is added to the Startup menu as the default operating system to start.
  • The bootcfg /rebuild command scans your computer for Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 installations, and then displays the results. From this screen, you can add the detected Windows installations to the Startup menu.

    When you enter this command, you receive a message similar to the following:
    The Windows installation scan was successful.

    Note: These results are stored statically for this session.
    If the disk configuration changes during this session,
    in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot
    the machine and then rescan the disks.

    Total identified Windows installs: 2

    [1]: C:\WINNT
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
    When you type y, and then press ENTER, you receive the following message:
    Enter Load Identifier:
    Type the description of the installation that you want displayed on the Startup menu. For example, type Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and then press ENTER.

    You receive the following message:
    Enter OS Load Options:
    Type the operating system load options that you want. For example, type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.
  • The bootcfg /scan command scans your computer for Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 installations, and then displays the results.

    When you enter this command, you receive a message similar to the following:
    The Windows installation scan was successful.

    Note: These results are stored statically for this session.
    If the disk configuration changes during this session,
    in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot
    the machine and then rescan the disks.

    Total identified Windows installs: 2

    [1]: C:\WINNT
    [2]: F:\WINDOWS
  • The bootcfg /list command reads the Boot.ini file, and then displays the operating system identifier, the operating system load options, and the operating system location (path). When you enter this command, you receive a message similar to the following:
    Total entries in boot list: 2

    [1]: "Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition"
    OS Load Options: /fastdetect
    OS Location: F:\WINDOWS

    [2]: "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server"
    OS Load Options: /fastdetect
    OS Location: C:\WINNT
  • The bootcfg /ems command permits redirection in the boot loader, with the configuration specified as port and baud rate. This command is used to start the Headless Administration feature.

    NOTE: Headless Administration is the administration of a computer that does not have a physical monitor, keyboard, mouse, or switch box attached.

    The following is an example of how you can use this command:
    bootcfg /ems /port com1 /baud 115200
    NOTE The bootcfg /disableems command turns off the redirection functionality in the boot loader, with the configuration specified as port and baud rate. This command is used to turn off the Headless Administration feature.
You can also modify the Boot.ini file in the Windows Server 2003 graphical user interface (GUI). To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Modify Boot.ini in the Startup and Recovery Dialog Box

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery, and then click Edit.

    The Boot.ini file is opened in Notepad.
  4. When you finish editing the Boot.ini file, click Save on the File menu, and then quit Notepad.
  5. In the Startup and Recovery dialog box, click OK twice.

Method 2: Modify Boot.ini by using the System Configuration Utility

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type msconfig, and then click OK.
  3. In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click the BOOT.INI tab.

Properties

Article ID: 317521 - Last Review: December 3, 2007 - Revision: 10.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Datacenter Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
Keywords: 
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