What Does Bootcfg Mean?

Bootcfg is a utility command used in the Recovery Console on Microsoft NT-based operating systems such as Windows NT, 2000, XP and Server 2003 installations. It is used to rebuild or add parameters to the existing Boot.ini file, which contains the OS choices during startup in the case of a multi-boot system environment where the user may choose which OS to boot every time the computer starts.


Techopedia Explains Bootcfg

The Bootcfg command is used in the Recovery Console or command prompt of a compatible Windows OS and is used to either create or edit the boot.ini file that is used for selecting which OS to boot into as well as various other functions. Bootcfg as a command in Recovery console has different functions from bootcfg.exe’s commands available when run on the command prompt. Bootcfg is simply another tool for editing boot.ini specifically, since boot.ini can still be edited using text editors like Notepad if the permissions of the file have been changed. It can also be edited using MSCONFIG. Bootcfg has been replaced by BCDEdit in Windows Vista and later versions.

Bootcfg options:

  • /default — Sets default boot OS in boot.ini
  • /rebuild — Automatically recreates boot.ini with all found installations
  • /add — Scans the computer for installed OSs and allows the user to add each one to boot.ini
  • /scan — Finds and identifies OS installations but does not modify boot.ini
  • /list — Checks the boot.ini file and then displays all the OS entries
  • /redirect — Redirects the boot loaded towards a specific port and baud rate
  • /disableredirect — Disables configuration done with /redirect

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.