GPT vs MBR: Drive Partitioning Tools

GPT vs MBR: Basic Information:


While installing a new disk on Windows 8.1 or windows 10, There will be a question whether you want to use the GPT vs MBR partition arrangements. Most people use disk partitions after purchasing the system. It is necessary for non-messy storage. It’s a simple task. Even if you mess up, there are tools to help you. You must know some things like the difference between MBR & GPT while partitioning a hard drive.
You may be not aware of GPT vs MBR. These are Partitioning Structures. Every Hard Drive partition we make will have a distinct structure. It describes various characters of the partition, like the arrangement of data, codes needed for booting.
GPT and MBR are the two main options we have. Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

MBR – Master Boot Record:

MBR is a particular type of boot sector at the very beginning of partitioned systems storage devices like fixed disks/removable disks designed for use with IBM PC-compatible systems.


Launched in 1983, MBR is broadly-used Partition structures. It truly holds the monopoly when it comes to Hard Disk partitions. It is used on various platforms like Windows, Mac & Linux.
Although it’s the manufacturers standard since the beginning, is not irreplaceable.
One of the main limitations of this style of partition is:

  • The maximum size with which it can work, 2 TB (although with the help of software it is possible to exceed it, although not advisable).
  • MBR can only work with four primary partitions, so to create more than four, we must resort to extended partitions.
  • Disks formatted with MBR, involve an inadequate number of bootable partitions and a single pointer to a boot manager.
  • In contrast, MBR Drives are not remarkably reliable. Due to corruption, MBR gets overwritten, causing some serious issues. It’s because of MBR-based drives stores data at one place.
  • As MBR designation only stores data at a single sector of the disk, which is known as the boot sector. While other disks have 4KiB sectors now, the MBR spec was devised when disk sectors were commonly 512 B, so there is no scope of modification.

These problems were quite compelling for developers to make a new partition structure. And we have GPT now. Let us check out the shiny side with GPT-based drives:

GPT ( GUID Partition Table) Based Drives:

GPT is a model for the design of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using GUID (globally unique identifiers). Although it forms a section of the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) standard, it is also practiced on some BIOS systems.

  • GPT is the new model that is replacing MBR and is linked with the new UEFI systems.
  • The name comes from the fact that each partition is connected with a single global identifier (GUID), a random identifier so far that each partition in the world could have its unique ID.
  • GPT has no limits beyond setting by the OS themselves, both in volume and number of partitions.
  • The reliability of GPT disks is much greater than that of MBR.
  • In the case of being in trouble, it is lost, corrupted or overwritten, GPT creates multiple redundant copies throughout the disk. So in the state of failure, problem or error, the partition table is automatically recovered from any of these copies.
  • The GPT designation allowed the disks of significantly greater size (up to Zettabytes) due to its larger bit share for partition addressing (64B in place of the 16B used by MBR).
  • GPT backs up to 128 Primary Partitions in windows. When matched to the 4 in MBR system, this is something immense.
  • As for OS, Windows can only boot from GPT disks if it is 64-bit versions from Vista onwards.
  • 32-bit versions, although they can not boot from these drives, read and write to them without any problem.
  • Newer versions of Linux are also compatible with these disks. Even Apple has commenced using GPT as the default partition table instead of its own APT (Apple Partition Table).

GPT is Compatible with???????

Offcourse!!!! You should not worry when you have chosen GPT as the partitioning structure. There are two reasons:

  1. Almost all the modern computing platforms have support for GPT. e.g. Windows, Mac & Linux. Point to remember, if you want to boot an Operating system from a GPT, your system should be running with UEFI.
  2. Every GPT drive has “Protective MBR.” It is in there to make the drives harmonious with MBR-only devices. So, if you attach the GPT drive to an MBR-only machine, the drive will have a single partition. This is helpful to prevent the overwriting of data by that device. I want to say that if a drive is found un-partitioned, it will be overwritten by a new MBR.

No matter what you connect, GPT Drives are compatible with everything. You need not worry about the loss of data. Isn’t that beautiful ;)))))?

How to Identify Partition Table of Disk:

There are numerous means to tell if a disk uses GPT vs MBR system. We can use the Windows disk manager for this purpose. Diskpart tool included in MS-DOS is also helpful.

diskpart tool command

Open CMD with administrator permissions, and type :

Execute ” list disk ” to see a list with all the disks connected to our PC. In the list, we can see a column called GPT. All disks with a “*” sign on them will be those that use this new partition table (GPT).

How to convert MBR – GPT – MBR:

Before proceeding, I must tell you that this method will clean all data from your hard disk, so you must make a copy of them if you want to move from one format to another.

convert mbr to gpt

  • By using “diskpart”, it is possible to convert a hard disk from MBR to GPT and vice versa. To do this, after running “list disk,” write down the number of the disk that you want to convert (Disk X) and type ” select disk X ” (where X is the disk number).
  • Type ” clean ” to erase all data from the disk partitions and leave it as new, fresh from the factory. Once the cleaning is finished, type:

Convert gpt (To convert an MBR disk to GPT)
Convert mbr (To convert a GPT disk to MBR)

Once the partition table conversion process is complete, the disk will be unformatted. Now use the tool “diskpart” or any other partition manager to create it again.y.

There are third-party tools to move from one type to another without losing the data, the least in theory. Despite this, and the risks involved, we recommend that you always make a backup of all the data on the drive so that it can follow.

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