How to Use the Windows 7 Boot Manager

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If you like to use multiple operating systems on your computer, and one of them is Windows 7, you need to understand how the boot manager is used.

Perhaps, the best Windows operating system version launched so far, Windows 7 has many new features. If you are planning to dual boot this operating system, with another pre-installed Windows XP or Windows Vista installation from separate drives, you need to know about the boot manager. This is a new feature, specifically designed for multiboot systems.

About Boot Managers

With an intention of making it simpler for users to dual boot with other versions like Windows XP or Vista, the boot manager for the latest version was created. There are many XP or Vista loyalists, who would still like to keep these operating systems installed on a separate drive volume and yet take advantage of the newer version.

You don’t need to install this boot manager separately. It comes in as part of the operating system. If you have an existing XP or Vista operating system installed, simply install Windows 7 on another partition.

We assume you know how to install Windows. Once you have installed Windows 7 and restarted the computer, the boot manager will automatically go into action and show you a list of existing booting options, which will include XP and Windows 7. The manager enables you to choose between the two installed systems and loads the chosen one.

How to Remove an Entry From the Boot Manager?

It may happen that you get used to Windows 7 and decide to do away with the other installed OS versions. In that case, you would want to format the drive with the other OS and delete the entry from the boot manager record. To do that, type ‘msconfig‘ in the search box of your Windows 7 installed version.

Click on the search result showing ‘msconfig’ executable file and in the window that opens, choose the ‘Boot’ tab. There, you will find a listing of the bootable OS versions. Select the previous version which you wish to delete from the boot order and hit the delete button.

Save the changes and close the window. You will no longer be given a dual boot option and Windows 7 will boot in, by default. If you find that somehow your boot manager file is being reported as missing and you are facing boot up problems, you will have to install it back again.

To do that, you will need your Windows 7 installation disc. Insert the installation or recovery disk and restart the computer. Select the ‘repair’ option. The files that have been corrupted, including manager software, will be restored and on a restart, you will find that it’s working again.

There is no inbuilt functionality to ‘turn off’ this boot manager. If you are planning to go for a dual boot system with Windows and a Linux distribution installed, you may use ‘Grub Bootloader’ instead, to get the job done, which comes as a part of any Linux distribution.

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