If you’ve ever used a dual-boot system and then removed one of the operating systems, it can still show up in Windows 7’s boot menu. We’ll show you how to get rid of old entries and speed up the boot process.
Note: If you’re still rocking Windows XP, you can remove items from the boot menu there too.
To edit the boot menu, we will use a program called bcdedit that’s included with Windows 7. There are some third-party graphical applications that will edit the menu, but we prefer to use built-in applications when we can.
First, we need to open a command prompt with Administrator privileges.
Open the start menu and type cmd into the search box. Right click on the cmd program that shows up, and select Run as administrator.
Alternatively, if you’ve disabled the search box, you can find the command prompt in All Programs > Accessories.
In the command prompt, type in bcdedit and press enter. A list of the boot menu entries will appear.
Find the entry that you would like to delete – in our case, this is the last one, with the description of “Ubuntu”. What we need is the long sequence of characters marked as the identifier. Rather than type it out, we will copy it to be pasted later.
Right-click somewhere in the command prompt window and select Mark.
By clicking the left mouse button and dragging over the appropriate text, select the identifier for the entry you want to delete, including the left and right curly braces on either end.
Press the Enter button. This will copy the text to the clipboard.
In the command prompt, type in: (make sure to put a space at the end)
and then right-click somewhere in the command prompt window and select Paste.
Press Enter to input the now completed command. The boot menu entry will now be deleted.
Type in bcdedit again to confirm that the offending entry is now gone from the list.
If you reboot your machine now, you will notice that the boot menu does not even come up, because there is only one entry in the list (unless you had more than two entries to begin with).
You’ve shaved a few seconds off of the boot process! Not to mention the added effort of pressing the enter button.
There’s a lot more that you can do with bcdedit, like change the description of boot menu entries, create new entries, and much more. For a list of what you can do with bcdedit, type the following into the Command Window.
While there are third-party GUI solutions for accomplishing the same thing, using this method will save you time by not having to go through the extra steps of installing an extra program.
Trevor is our resident Linux geek, but always keeps his eyes open for neat Windows tricks too.
- Published 05/24/10