Default Paths/Setup (BIOS)

This page contains the following sections -

Default System Setups

Windows will automatically partition a hard disk during the installation process if an unpartitioned hard disk is selected as the target drive for the operating system. The partition structure and location of the boot files will depend on the version of Windows that is being installed. To illustrate this, 32-bit versions of Windows Vista (SP1), Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1 were installed on a virtual machine with one unpartitioned disk. The following screenshots were captured from the respective operating system after the installation was complete -

BIOS Boot Process

The following is a simplified explanation of the Windows NT 6.* boot process on systems with BIOS firmware -

Locating the BCD Store

The first section in this page describes the default partition structure created during the Windows installation process when Windows is installed to an unpartitioned disk. It is also possible to install Windows to a prepared disk with an existing partition structure.