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Windows boot configuration data

The Windows Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is stored in the BCD Windows NT Registry file on the active (boot) partitions in '\Boot' or '\EFI\Microsoft\Boot'.

On a running Windows system the contents of this Registry file can be accessed via keys and values under 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000000'.

'bcdedit.exe' can be used to modify the Windows Boot Configuration Settings on a running Windows system.

The mappings of Registrys key to associated bcdedit commands are as follows:

'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\BCD00000000\Objects\*\Elements\%MAPPING%', where '%MAPPING%' consists of

  • 16000009: 'bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled \<yes|no>', where '00' gets stored for 'no', '01' gets stored for 'yes'
  • 250000e0: 'bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures', where '01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00' gets stored. Otherwise, the key is not present

The wildcard component of the Windows Registry key is the identifier associated with the Windows Boot Loader instance on a given machine. This identifier can be determined by running 'bcdedit.exe /v' and looking at the 'identifier' under the Windows Boot Loader section.


Malware, like Cerber (ransomware), is known to change the Windows Boot Configuration Settings and disable recovery options like the ability to boot into safe mode.

Malware analysis