Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive


Have you ever bought with Hard Drive partitions in Microsoft Windows? The most generous people use disk partitions just as they were while purchasing the computer. That is having said, and it’s kind of necessary to create different disk partitions for more accessible storage. This is an easy task, unlike most people think. Even though if you mess up, there are a few tools to help you. So, You should know some things like the difference between GPT and MBR while partitioning a drive.

Most utmost of you may not know about GPT and MBR. Essentially, they are Partition Structures. This is, every Hard Drive partition you create will have a particular structure. This defines multiple aspects of the partition, like the organization of data, codes required for booting, and partition borders. Also, MBR or not, you have either of the two choices. We would never recommend a random selection between them because each choice has its advantages & disadvantages.


What are GPT and MBR?

Thus, in this article, we will have a detailed MBR vs. GPT insight. Well, We hope you need an introduction to both.

1. MBR – Master Boot Record

It Introduced in 1983, MBR is one of the widely-used Partition structures. This holds the monopoly when it comes to Hard Drive partitions. MBR stands for Master Boot Record, and it’s used on multiple platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. There is a reason why MBR is called Master Boot Record. It’sIt’s because there will be a particular boot sector at the beginning of every MBR-based drive.

That sector is used to store different types of information. You can find the bootloader there. It also contains details about the different logical partitions on the hard drive. For instance, if the drive has four partitions, each partition’s details will be found in MBR. Although it’s the industry standard since it was launched, MBR is now being replaced.

2. GPT – GUID Partition Table

Intel developed GPT in the late 1990s. The primary reason was the many limitations faced in MBR. It’sIt’s closely related to what is now known as UEFI. Well, GPT Partition Structure is considered to be a specification for UEFI Systems. GPT has lots of more differences when compared to MBR. So, Before we move on to this detailed comparison, you should know some more things about GPT.

Now, GPT stands for GUID Partition Table. Here, GUI means Globally Unique Identifier. This means that GPT-based Hard Drives will have its string. Not two GPT partitions in the world would have the same string. Therefore, this has some benefits in the total OS functioning, along with other advantages.

However, that you have an idea about both GPT and MBR, we will discuss the advantages & disadvantages.

3. The Disadvantages of MBR

First, we told you that MBR Partition Structure is quite old. This also means that you can still find a big bunch of devices that are based on MBR. As well, the noticeable issues with MBR Partition Structure are as follows.

  1. Well, there is a limit to the size of Hard Drives in the MBR partition structure. So, You cannot use it in devices that have a bigger size than 2TB. This is, if you have a 4TB Hard Drive for your system, you cannot set that up using Master Boot Record.
  2. Now, You can create only 4 Primary Partitions using MBR. Well, there are times when you need a higher number of primary partitions in the device.
  3. Here, In comparison, MBR Drives aren’t reliable. Now, Due to corruption and other issues, MBR might get overwritten, causing some other issues as well. So, It’s because MBR-based drives are storing all data in a single location.

These issues were compelling enough for Intel to create a new partition structure – and we have GPT. Now here, we will check out the bright side with GPT-based drives.

4. The Advantages of GPT

Here are amazing of the reasons why you have to create the next partition in GPT.

  1. Here, there is no appropriate limit to the size of Hard Drives you can set up with GPT Partition Structure. Therefore, It’s good enough if you have a bigger size HDD on the computer. For instance, Suppose you set up a rig for gaming, you would surely need something more than 2TB.
  2. So, GPT supports up to 128 Primary Partitions. If compared to the 4 in MBR, this is something huge.
  3. As well, When compared to MBR, GPT has better reliability and protection. There are some reasons for this. Firstly, boot data and partition data are stored in multiple GPT Partition structures. Even though if something happens to one, there are recovery methods.
  4. Now, GPT-based Drives will perform Cyclic Redundancy Checks for the booting and partition data stored. Suppose the primary data is being corrupted, the drive will recover by copying data from other locations. However, in MBR, you have to do that manually.

Making the story short, GPT will offer the benefits of better size support, some partitions, and the lack of data corruption. Well, In other words, GPT has fixed everything that was wrong with MBR. Although, shouldn’t we take a look at the aspect of compatibility?

Is GPT Fully Compatible?


You don’t have to worry now about compatibility when you have chosen GPT as the partitioning structure. Thus, there are two reasons. Firstly, almost all popular computing platforms support GPT – such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. Well, By the way, if you want to boot an OS from a GPT-based drive, your PC should be powered by UEFI.

This second reason is more remarkable. All GPT-based drive has something called Protective MBR. So, It’s used to make the drives compatible with MBR-only devices out there. Then, if you connect the GPT drive to an MBR-only device, the drive will seem to have a single partition. This is utilized to prevent the overwriting of data by the device. This is, if a driver is found un-partitioned, it will be overwritten by a new MBR.

Shortly, no matter what you connect it to, GPT Drives are super-compatible. Now, You don’t have to worry about the loss or corruption of data. Isn’t this awesome?

Final Words :

We hope we have explained well the variations between master boot record vs. GPT. This choice is simple: go with GPT. You know better reliability, support, and no need to worry about compatibility, either. All of those sound awesome for us; something do you think?

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