If you have problems starting Windows, enable the boot record

A failure in the registry or in any of the Windows services, as well as any error in the PC hardware such as a damaged hard disk or memory, are some of the most common causes of this problem. In this case, Windows allows you to activate a boot record. This is responsible for saving in a text file all the relevant information about the system startup process. Thus, although it does not help us to repair it, we will be able to detect which elements have problems that prevent the system from starting correctly.

What is the boot record and what is it for?

It is likely that, if we have a Windows PC, we have sometimes noticed certain failures in our system, such as does not start correctly. These problems can be caused by various failures in Windows services, software or hardware errors, as well as memory or hard disk.

The boot record is responsible for grouping a record of everything that has happened while it was loaded from the storage system of our computer to memory during the startup process. It is available for various devices such as hardware, network, and operating system. In this way it helps us identify problems arising during the boot process and others related to troubleshooting.

When enabled, Windows boots normally, until the device or driver that is causing the problem crashes the system or startup completes, but generates an error message in the event log. During this boot, Windows create a log file A that lists each processed step that is attempted and completed.

Through the help of this useful function we will be able to find the drivers downloaded and loaded from the beginning of the system. The generated log file is named ntbtlog.txt, and it lists all successfully loaded processes, as well as a failed process during the boot process.

In both Windows 10 and Windows 11 it is possible to enable or disable this function both from the System Settings section and from the Command Prompt.

Enable from system settings

Having the boot record activated in the system will allow us to analyze the internal processes that occur during startup, both in Windows 10 and in Windows 11. We can activate it in a similar way in both operating systems using the system configuration. To do this we have to press the key combination “Windows + R” to launch the Run command. Here we must write msconfig and press Enter or the OK button.

This will automatically open the system configuration window, from where we can perform various types of tasks. Here, we must click on the “Startup” tab. Now we must check the box “Boot record” that we find in the “Boot Options” section at the bottom of the screen. Later we press Apply and OK to save the changes.

When making this change, the system will inform us that a restart is necessary. This means that the next time we start Windows all the information will be saved within a Boot Log file. All drivers that were loaded will be listed here, including those that were skipped.

To be able to access and view the file ntblog.text created just press the shortcut “Windows + R”. This opens the Run command again and here we write c: /Windows/ntbtlog.txt as seen in the image and press Enter or the OK button. We can also access it by navigating from the File Explorer to that same path.

Open ntbtlog file with Notepad

This text file contains the list of drivers loaded and downloaded during boot. We can use these to find the causes of a problem related to them. Every time we reboot the system, the log file is updated and eventually increases the entries in the list.

Once it is no longer necessary to carry out this operation we can deactivate it again. For this, it will only be necessary to perform the previous steps again, and this time, uncheck the Boot Record box.

Activate Boot Log from Command Prompt

Another way we have to activate it is by using the command bcdedit that we will use from the Command Prompt tool. This is a program that emulates the input field so that it appears as a text-based user interface screen with the Windows graphical user interface (GUI). For this we write cmd In the search box of the Start menu and once it appears, click on Run as administrator that will appear on the right side. Here we write the following command and press Enter:


This will show us information about the operating system that we have installed on our computer, as well as the boot records. Now we must look at the operating system identifier for which we are going to enable the boot record and then write the following command and press Enter.

Command Prompt identifier

bcdedit /set {ID} bootlog Yes

Here, we simply have to substitute the ID for the ID of our system. Once this is done, on the next boot a boot record will be saved in the Boot Log text file.

Command Prompt enable Boot Log

After the reboot is complete, we navigate to the address C: / Windows / ntbtlog.txt to access the boot log. When it is no longer necessary to have it activated, we can disable it again by typing the following command and pressing Enter.

bcdedit /set {ID} bootlog No

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