Boot.ini Files in Windows® 7
In earlier versions of Windows operating system, boot.ini was used to deal with dual-booting and to display a menu of bootable choices. This information was provided on screen during the startup process when you turned on your system. It came in handy for Windows 7 dual-boot configurations or for those users who needed to customize how Windows started.
In this version of Windows operating system, the Windows 7 boot.ini file has been superseded with BCD i.e Boot Configuration Data. This file is capable of doing more things than boot.ini and it can also be applied to computer platforms.
If you want to change the BCD, for example deleting items inserted from the list of shown operating systems then you can use the command “Bcdedit”(without quotes). This is an highly developed tool specially made for administrators and IT professionals.
If your computer has two operating systems installed you can set a default operating system by which your computer starts. You can also set a time that how long to display the list of operating systems and this an be done by using the Control Panel.
How to set a default operating system out of two operating systems:
1. Click 'Start' and then open 'System'. Now right-click Computer and then click Properties.
2. Now click 'Advanced System Settings' which is in the left pane. If computer asks for the administrator password the type the password to confirm.
3. Now navigate to 'Advanced' tab and then click 'Settings' under 'Startup' and 'Recovery'.
4. Now select the default operating system under 'System startup'. You can also set the time to display the list of operating systems.
5. Click 'OK' and then click 'OK' again.
However, if you have one operating system on your system and you are planning dual-boot your computer with a new operating system then your must keep the following things in mind:
Backup data: You must take back-up of all the important data before installing a second operating system on your computer. You can take back-up of data on another hard drive, removable device or by burning it to DVD/CD.
If Windows 7 is installed on a partition of the hard drive then it is good idea to format that partition only.