What is Bootcfg?

A. Bootcfg is a new addition to the Windows XP recovery console. You use this command to modify the boot.ini file, which contains the choices at system startup (in a multiboot environment, boot.ini contains the list of all the OSs and lets you choose one).

The Bootcfg command recognizes Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT. It doesn't recognize Windows 9x. Bootcfg has the following options:

  • /default—Sets the default OS (modifies the default= line in boot.ini).
  • /add—Scans the computer for OSs and lets you add located installations. You can also specify optional boot switches.
  • /rebuild—Same as /add except /rebuild automatically recreates boot.ini with all found installations if the user confirms.
  • /scan—Identifies current installations but doesn't modify boot.ini.
  • /list—Scans the boot.ini files and displays each entry.
  • /redirect—Enables redirection of the boot loaded to a specific port and baud rate (this option is useful for the Headless Administration options).
  • /disableredirect—Disables the redirection configured with /redirect.

Bootcfg is simply an extra tool. You can still modify boot.ini directly with Notepad (after removing read-only, system, and hidden attributes—attrib c:\boot.ini -r -s -h). Or you can use the System Control Panel applet or Msconfig (see How do I use Msconfig to modify boot.ini?).

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