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Firmware and Boot Environment

For Plug and Play and power management support under Microsoft Windows operating systems, the system and its firmware must comply with Advanced Configuration and Power Interface Specification (ACPI).

ACPI firmware entries are the same for supporting all versions of Windows for x86 and x64 architectures. EFI firmware is required for 64-bit Windows on Intel Itanium-based systems.

In this section

Topic Description

BCDEdit Commands for Boot Environment

On Microsoft Windows Vista and later versions, the boot configuration data (BCD) store, contains the boot configuration parameters and controls the computer's boot environment. BCDEdit is a command-line tool that can be used to add, delete, edit, and modify data in a BCD store. The paper is a reference for BCDEdit commands, data types, and well-known identifiers.

Boot Configuration Data in Windows Vista

Information about the Windows Vista boot environment and the boot configuration data (BCD) store.

Firmware Enhancements for PCs Running Windows 7

Proof of concept, methods, and data for enabling “fast and pretty” firmware on PCs running Windows 7.

Microsoft Software Licensing Tables (SLIC and MSDM)

This specification defines the format of the software licensing (SLIC) table and the Microsoft Data Management (MSDM) table, used in platform firmware to enable Windows software licensing.


Topic Description
Microsoft PE and COFF Specification This specification describes the structure of executable (image) files and object files under the Windows family of operating systems. These files are referred to as Portable Executable (PE) and Common Object File Format (COFF) files, respectively. This specification includes ARM (64-bit) definitions for UEFI usage.
Microsoft Extensible Firmware Initiative (EFI) FAT32 File System Specification This specification describes the format of the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system.
Windows Authenticode Portable Executable Signature Format This white paper describes the signature format that is used to embed an Authenticode signature within a portable executable file.
iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT) This document describes the table fields for the iSCSI Boot Firmware (iBF) Table as defined in the ACPI 3.0b specification. The (iBFT) is a block of information containing parameters needed to boot Windows Server 2003 and later versions of Windows using the iSCSI protocol and the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator. Independent Hardware Vendors implementing iSCSI boot support in their firmware need to use the table headers defined in this specification to enable the passing of boot critical parameters to the Windows operating system.


See also

Early Launch AntiMalware

Secured Boot and Measured Boot: Hardening Early Boot Components Against Malware

BCDboot Command-Line Options

Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) Technical Reference

Windows Vista PreOS Environment: What happens before the OS loads

Boot Configuration Data WMI Provider

Windows Management Instrumentation

System Administration

Extensible Firmware Interface Specification

Implementing the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface with Intel's Framework

Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions

UEFI Firmware

UEFI Specifications [UEFI Forum]

Power Management and ACPI



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