My Windows 8.1 Pro Repair/Reinstall rewrote my EFI partition with the Windows 8 bootmgr. Windows 8 Bootmgr boots part way into Windows 8 before one is presented with a boot menu (if at all—booting Windows 8 only won't normally give you a boot menu). For dual booting, this is a bit of a pain, because the PC has to completely reboot if you don't want to boot into Windows 8, but your other OS instead. The Windows 7 Bootmgr doesn't get that far into the boot process, allowing one to continue to boot into the selected OS—there's no reboot necessary.

This video shows the Windows 8 Bootmgr in action, and the reboot necessary to boot into Windows 7 instead.

Windows 8 Bootmgr

I knew that Windows 8 was going to overhaul my EFI partition, so I saved it in a partition image. Once I had finished the Repair/Reinstall and checked things over, I ran an extended Disk Cleanup, then a defrag, and finally I restored my EFI partition to get my Windows 7 Bootmgr back. The next video is booting into TeraByte's TBWinRE with Image for Windows on a USB thumb drive. The EFI partition is considered by Windows to be "in use", and can only be restored from outside the Windows environment.


The last video is the Windows 7 Bootmgr in action. For anyone who boots only Windows 8, this makes no difference. But for those of us who dual boot, it feels better, even though the time saved is less than a minute.

Windows 7 Bootmgr