EasyBCD While I was configuring Windows 7 to boot from VHD using BCDedit, I was wondering why Microsoft still doesn't offer a GUI tool to configure the bootloader. BCDedit is certainly a powerful command line tool that goes far beyond Windows XP's boot.ini capabilities. However, these new features also make it more difficult to configure the bootloader. You don't have to be an Einstein to add a boot entry with BCDedit. On the other hand, how often do you have to change the boot settings? Every time I need the tool, I have to consult the manual again about its syntax.

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EasyBCD supports the most important BCDedit options. Its only disadvantage is that you have to install it first. Thus, any time you want to configure the bootloader on a new machine, you have to download the tool. However, I think that this is still faster than figuring out BCDedit's syntax.

EasyBCD-settingsEasyBCD enables you to view the detailed boot configuration; you can change common settings such as the bootloader timeout or the default OS. You can use it to add boot entries for Windows, Windows PE, Linux, and Mac. The advanced settings allow you to permit unsigned driver installation for Vista x64 and enable PAE (Physical Address Extension) and other boot configurations.

Before you change the boot settings, you should always back up the bootloader settings. Just in case you mess up your boot configuration, you can always restore your previous settings. EasyBCD is also able to re-create missing boot files. However, usually you won't have the chance to launch the tool if those files are missing, because you can't boot up Windows without them.

EasyBCD 1.7.2 runs on Windows 7, but it doesn't support its new bootloader features. Hence, you can't use EasyBCD to configure the bootloader to boot from VHD. I hope the next version will add these new Windows 7 features.

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A comparable tool is VistaBootPro. It seems to have better Windows 7 support. Unfortunately, the tool is not free anymore. $9.95 seems to be too much to pay, considering that EasyBCD is free.


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