NTLDR in case of BIOS MBR is called boot loader. can we called it as boot manager? are these two things same?

I never seen anything like BootManager while doing R&D on BIOS MBR but it came up in EFI Boot Process.

  • Boot manager manages the available bootable OS's, boot loader is what actually starts the boot process of the chosen OS......quora.com/…
    – Moab
    Oct 15, 2019 at 15:18
  • Windows BCD is a boot manager, but it only manages multiple Windows installs. Grub is both a boot loader and a boot manager and can have most other systems in its menu. Some systems it can directly boot, others it chainloads or configfiles to other installs boot loader.
    – oldfred
    Oct 15, 2019 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


A first stage boot loader runs early in the boot process.

GRUB is an example of a well known second stage boot loader that some may refer to as a boot manager. That lets you boot multiple OSs.


A boot loader or bootstrap loader is the (relatively) small software that reads the operating system kernel into memory and then passes control to it.

A boot manager is used for cases where there are multiple operating systems installed on the one computer. Its function is to ask the user to choose one of them or to take a default. Once the choice is made, the boot manager loads and executes the boot loader of that operating system.

NTLDR (abbreviation of NT loader) is the name for the Windows boot loader, launched from the volume boot record of system partition for BIOS systems. For UEFI systems it is launched by the computer's firmware from the EFI partition.

For more information see Wikipedia : Booting.

  • 1
    NTLDR is the Windows boot loader and a boot manager that can start various other boot loaders. (Later the two functions were split up into BOOTMGR and WINLOAD programs.) Oct 16, 2019 at 4:43
  • @grawity: Somewhat right for BIOS but not for UEFI.
    – harrymc
    Oct 16, 2019 at 5:20

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