The following is a dump of a Vista (or Windows™ 7) Administrator console (Command Prompt window) after entering "help bcdedit" ("bcdedit /?" will do the same; as can be seen in the dump itself below):
BCDEDIT - Boot Configuration Data Store Editor The Bcdedit.exe command-line tool modifies the boot configuration data store. The boot configuration data store contains boot configuration parameters and controls how the operating system is booted. These parameters were previously in the Boot.ini file (in BIOS-based operating systems) or in the nonvolatile RAM entries (in Extensible Firmware Interface-based operating systems). You can use Bcdedit.exe to add, delete, edit, and append entries in the boot configuration data store. For detailed command and option information, type bcdedit.exe /? <command>. For example, to display detailed information about the /createstore command, type: bcdedit.exe /? /createstore For an alphabetical list of topics in this help file, run "bcdedit /? TOPICS". Commands that operate on a store ================================ /createstore Creates a new and empty boot configuration data store. /export Exports the contents of the system store to a file. This file can be used later to restore the state of the system store. /import Restores the state of the system store using a backup file created with the /export command. Commands that operate on entries in a store =========================================== /copy Makes copies of entries in the store. /create Creates new entries in the store. /delete Deletes entries from the store. Run bcdedit /? ID for information about identifiers used by these commands. Commands that operate on entry options ====================================== /deletevalue Deletes entry options from the store. /set Sets entry option values in the store. Run bcdedit /? TYPES for a list of datatypes used by these commands. Run bcdedit /? FORMATS for a list of valid data formats. Commands that control output ============================ /enum Lists entries in the store. /v Command-line option that displays entry identifiers in full, rather than using names for well-known identifiers. Use /v by itself as a command to display entry identifiers in full for the ACTIVE type. Running "bcdedit" by itself is equivalent to running "bcdedit /enum ACTIVE". Commands that control the boot manager ====================================== /bootsequence Sets the one-time boot sequence for the boot manager. /default Sets the default entry that the boot manager will use. /displayorder Sets the order in which the boot manager displays the multiboot menu. /timeout Sets the boot manager time-out value. /toolsdisplayorder Sets the order in which the boot manager displays the tools menu. Commands that control Emergency Management Services for a boot application ========================================================================== /bootems Enables or disables Emergency Management Services for a boot application. /ems Enables or disables Emergency Management Services for an operating system entry. /emssettings Sets the global Emergency Management Services parameters. Command that control debugging ============================== /bootdebug Enables or disables boot debugging for a boot application. /dbgsettings Sets the global debugger parameters. /debug Enables or disables kernel debugging for an operating system entry.
Note: What you see above is exactly what we did in the Vista/Win7 display; yes, the word "Command" in the last heading was spelled wrong by Microsoft, it should be plural ('Commands') just as the others are. (Note: This was still true for a Windows 7 SP1 install we examined.)
C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /? export bcdedit /export <filename> This command exports the contents of the system store into a file. This file can be used later to restore the state of the system store. This command is only valid for the system store. <filename> The filename to be used as the destination for the export. If the filename contains spaces, it must be enclosed in quotation marks (""). Example: The following command exports the system store to the specified file: bcdedit /export "C:\Data\BCD Backup"
So we tried it and saw:
C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /export "C:\bcdtemp" The operation completed successfully.
After examining this temporary file, our first reaction was:
"Man, this thing is full of all kinds of needless 'gunk'!" It even saved the path and filename to this file,
inside of the file!
Have fun experimenting with your own backup copy.