Here is my question: How can the Windows 7, 8, etc. boot process work?
The first piece of code loaded from the volume boot sector of the OS is bootmgr.exe. But here's why this doesn't make sense:
An "exe" is a portable executable file, which is composed of metadata that the OS (Windows) parses. There's no way the boot manager can be a PE file when mostly the entire OS needs to be loaded to parse PEs, namely the loader, memory management services, system threads for VM, device drivers, etc.
So how can the first program be a PE? My assumption is that it can't, or else it wouldn't make sense (the CPU does not "parse" PEs unless Windows' loader software tells it to).
So basically, on the lowest-level, the Windows boot process is false/misdealing info?