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Knowledge Base > Products > Free Utilities > BootNow > General Instructions for Using BootNow to Boot Into an Alternate OS

General Instructions for Using BootNow to Boot Into an Alternate OS

This article makes reference to Windows XP for illustrative purposes. However, the information is highly applicable to other environments.

  1. In BootIt BM, create the boot menu items you want. This is the crucial first step. If you want to use BootNow to boot into a different OS, you need to create boot menu items on BootIt BM's standard boot menu (not the direct boot menu) before you can do anything else.

    When you create the boot menu items, remember exactly what you name them, down to the letter (e.g. "Windows XP"), and the order in which they appear. Let's assume you have the following for your standard BootIt BM menu:

    Windows XP
    Windows XP (Safe Mode)
    Windows 7
    Windows 8.1


    We'll refer to the above boot menu in a later step.

  2. In BootIt BM, make sure the BootNow Support option is enabled.

  3. Extract the BootNow files to any directory you want (i.e. C:\BootNow, "C:\Program Files\BootNow", etc.). Note: More information on BootNow, as well as downloads for other operating systems, can be found on the BootIt BM download page.

  4. Create a shortcut that points to BOOTNOW.EXE. The easiest way to do this is to right-click BOOTNOW.EXE, drag it to your Desktop, then select the Create shortcuts here menu option.

  5. Right-click the shortcut you just created and select Properties. You want to be on the Shortcut tab, which is the default.

  6. Now you have to edit the Target box. After the path to BOOTNOW.EXE, enter the appropriate parameters. For example, using the hypothetical BootIt BM boot menu shown above, to boot into Windows 7, use this target (which assumes that BOOTNOW.EXE is in a directory named C:\BootNow):

    "C:\BootNow\BOOTNOW.EXE" Windows 7

    Or, since Windows 7 is the third boot menu item (after Windows XP and Windows XP (Safe Mode)), you could use this command line to achieve the exact same thing:

    "C:\BootNow\BOOTNOW.EXE" 3

    You may prefer to use the menu item name (rather than number). This can help prevent surprises if you reorder your boot menu (because if you do reorder it, the number method will give unexpected results, while the name method won't be affected).

  7. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7/8.x/10 and have the UAC enabled (the default), you will need to setup the shortcut to run as an administrator. To do this, click on the Compatibility tab and check the Run this program as an administrator option in the Privilege Level section.

  8. Click the OK button to close the shortcut's Properties window.

  9. Try it out by double-clicking the shortcut you just created. Note: If you have any open/running programs, you may want to close them first.

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