Those who run more than one operating system on a computer must learn to deal with multi-boot scenarios. Things are already interesting when multiple OSes come from a single maker (such as multiple Windows versions). They become even more so when Windows, Linux and perhaps even hackintosh join the mix. I believe in using good tools to save time and energy whenever possible. That’s why I skip the built-in bcdedit command and use a NeoSmart Technologies tool instead. My post today, in fact, is in praise of EasyBCD 2.3 (the current commercial version).
Meet the BCD in EasyBCD 2.3
For those not already in the know, BCD stands for Boot Configuration Data. BCD files create a specialized data store to describe boot applications and related settings. Objects and elements in the BCD data store do for modern Windows versions what boot.ini did for older ones. But working with bcdedit can be tedious and time-consuming, because I don’t use it regularly. Thus, I need to keep re-reading the documentation and relearning proper syntax and usage.
A simple and straightforward GUI in EasyBCD delivers all of bcdedit‘s capabilities, and then some. In my situation I changed boot order so that the default selection is the Insider Preview Windows 10. As it turns out, I upgraded the other image on that system from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Version 1511 recently. Shortly thereafter, the runtime promoted 1511 to default status entirely on its own. Because that’s not what I wanted, I switched things around:
Before I ran the program “Windows 10” was on top and default; now “Windows 10 TP” occupies that place and role.
The adjective in the EasyBCD 2.3 product name is both apt and well-deserved. The program makes editing and manageing the boot menu easy, with easy access to the UEFI command shell at boot-up. In fact, it works like a charm. Install it on a USB Flash Drive for portable use and you can run it on any Windows machine. It may seem a bit pricey at $30 or so, but once you start using it you’ll never regret the outlay. If you spend some time investigating the program, you’ll also learn to like its tools. These include BCD Backup and Repair, the ability to reset a BCD configuration or recreate boot files, and change the boot drive altogether. Lots of good stuff here!