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Backup and Restore Boot Configuration BCD Store in Windows 10

How to Backup and Restore Boot Configuration BCD Store in Windows 10

With Windows 8, Microsoft made changes to the boot experience. The simple text-based boot loader is now disabled by default and in its place, there is a touch-friendly graphical user interface with icons and text. Windows 10 has this as well. Users can manage the modern boot loader using the built-in console bcedit tool. The same tool can also be used to create a backup copy of the boot configuration, and later restore it.

In a dual boot configuration, the modern boot loader shows a list of all installed operating systems. After the specified timeout, if the user has not touched the keyboard, the default operating system will be started.

Windows re-arranges the boot entries, placing the last OS installed at the first place in the boot menu. You can change the boot loader entry order according to your preferences or delete some entries.

Boot Configuration Data is written to a data file of the Windows Registry hive format. It is mounted at registry key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000] (with restricted permissions). For UEFI boot, the file is located at /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/BCD on the EFI System Partition. For legacy BIOS boot, the file is at /boot/BCD on the active partition.

You may want to create a backup of the BCD Store before making a change to the BCD. It is a good idea, as you will be able to restore the original BCD if something goes wrong.

This post will show you how to backup and restore the Boot Configuration BCD Store to a file in Windows 10.

In fact, the procedure is identical for Windows 8 and Windows 7. You must be signed in with an administrative account to continue.

BCD Store listed by the bcdedit command

To Backup Boot Configuration BCD Store in Windows 10

  1. Open an elevated command prompt, or a command prompt at boot.
  2. Type the following command, and press Enter. bcdedit /export "<full path to your file>.bcd". For example, bcdedit /export "c:\data\winaero\my-bcd-11-25-2020.bcd".
  3. Correct the file path to match your system.
  4. You have created a backup copy of your BCD Store. Now you can close the command prompt

Now, let's see how to restore the above backup.

To Restore Boot Configuration BCD Store in Windows 10

  1. Open an elevated command prompt, or a command prompt at boot.
  2. Type the following command, and press Enter. bcdedit /import "<full path to your file>.bcd". For example, bcdedit /import "c:\data\winaero\my-bcd-11-25-2020.bcd".
  3. Change the file path to match your system.
  4. You are done.

As you can see, it is easy to create a copy of the boot loader configuration in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7. Use these simple steps before changing anything in the bootloader, and you will always be able to recover it.

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