Windows Vista introduces boot configuration data (BCD). This new data store serves essentially the same purpose as boot.ini. However, BCD abstracts the underlying firmware and provides a common programming interface to manipulate the boot environment for all Windows-supported computer platforms. BCD currently supports PC/AT BIOS and EFI systems. However, its programming interface is extensible and portable and has the ability to support other types of firmware.

Windows Vista introduces several new boot applications:

Bootmgr: A system-wide application that controls boot flow. With a multiboot system, the boot manager displays an operating system selection menu.

Winload.exe: The Windows Vista operating system loader. Each version of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows Server Code Name "Longhorn" that is installed on a computer has its own instance of winload.exe. The operating system loader creates the execution environment for the operating system and also loads the Windows Vista kernel, hardware abstraction layer (HAL), and boot drivers into memory.

Winresume.exe: The Windows Vista resume loader. Each version of Windows Vista and Windows Server Longhorn that is installed on a computer has its own instance of winresume.exe. The resume loader restores Windows to its running state when a computer resumes from hibernation.

NTLDR can still be used on PC/AT BIOS systems to dual boot a Windows version earlier than Windows Vista. These boot applications also works in Windows Seven.


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