GPT vs MBR - the popular partition tables

GTP vs MBR

When you set up a new disk on any OS, the question arises that whether you want to use MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table). Because you have to partition a disk drive before you can use it. Sometimes it’s a little bit confusing that which one is right to choose. Today, we’re going to find out and help you to understand what they are and what are the difference between GPT and MBR. It might help you to choose the right one when you are going to format your disk.

So, what is Master Boot Record?

MBR is the most important data structure on the disk and it is created when the disk is partitioned. Sometimes MBR is also called as "partition sector" or the "master partition table" because it includes a table that located in each partition of the hard disk at the time of format. It is an older process to the disk drive and it was developed for IBM PCs. It includes a program that reads the boot sector record of the partition containing the operating system to be booted into RAM. It only works with drives up to 2TB in size and can be break into four primary partitions which is always set to 0x55AA. It scans the partition table for the active partition then find the starting sector and loads a copy of the boot sector into memory. After that, it transfers controls to the executable code in the boot sector.

Now, what is GUID Partition Table?

GUID Partition Table is short GPT is used to define the hard disk partitions in computers with UEFI startup firmware. Intel developed this new partition-table format in the late 1990s. It is the modernizing firmware solution to the old alternative. It also used on some BIOS systems. GPT represents every partition on your drive a Globally Unique Identifier in short GUID which is a 128-bit number that only refer hard disk partition. It has to support vast size in drive partition like drives can have up to 128 different partitions without using an extended partition.

GPT vs. MBR

  • The major difference is the GPT replaces the previous MBR method.

  • MBR is still the most compatible and is still necessary in some cases but GPT brings with it many advantages.

  • A GPT disk can support larger than 2TB volumes where MBR cannot. All versions of OS can read GPT drives and utilize them.

  • MBR had no way of knowing if its data was corrupted - you’d only see there was a problem when the boot process failed or your drive’s partitions vanished. But GPT can notice the problem and attempt to recover the damaged data from another location on the disk.

  • GPT disks also support up to 128 partitions rather than the 4 primary partitions limited to MBR.

  • GPT also keeps a backup of the partition table at the end of the disk but MBR does not support backup.

Conversion of MBR to GPT

GPT is the more modern partition table type and it offering better recovery and more versatility. we suggest a method for converting from an MBR drive to a GPT drive. Also remember, there is a small chance to wipe out your drive. So, careful or go through the expertise.

  • In your Windows PC, press Win + R to open Run dialog then type cmd and hit Enter to bring up Command Prompt;

  • In the cmd type diskpart.exe and press Enter to open DiskPart window

  • Now you need to check your current drive list by list disk  command

  • Then select disk d (Replace d with the drive letter or your disk that you want to change it to MBR or GPT)

  • Finally, type convert gpt and hit Enter. It will take a while based on your drive size.

  • After completing the process type exit to close the command prompt.

 

Hope from this article you will an overall idea about this two popular partition table. Thank you!

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