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English

GPT VS MBR: Which Drive Partition is for you?

Puzzled between GPT and MBR partitioning styles?

It is not really a tough call when it comes to choosing between these two partitions. Read on to know why.

In order to load the OS, your system needs a record of all the available partitions. In earlier systems, the MBR partitioning scheme was used to track all the information related to partitions. Before partitioning the disk, you need to initialize the new hard drive for data storage and in the meantime, you will be asked to choose between MBR and GPT partitioning style.

Now, coming back to the question; What exactly the question is though ‽

"Is it Which partitioning style among  the two is the best and why?"

OR

"Which partitioning style is best and convenient for YOU and why?"

Well, there is absolutely nothing to fuss about. Both of these queries shall be answered.

If we are to pitch MBR and GPT against each other, GPT wins hands-down. Here's why;

  1. As we all know, GPT stands for GUID partition table; what we don't know is that the term GUID signifies "Globally Unique Identifier".  Each Partition has an random string which is unique because it is different from any other partition.
  2. The GPT keeps several copies of the data required for booting and partitioning. If for any reason, the data gets lost or corrupted, it can be recovered easily. Here is how you can recover lost data from GPT partition. Such is not the case with the MBR disk. The data is stored at one particular place and cannot be recovered if some new data is overwritten on it.
  3. The GPT implies a methodology called "Cyclic Redundancy check" to check whether its data is safe and sound. If the data gets corrupted, it takes measures to recover the corrupted data from some other location on the disk. When speaking of MBR, their is no such way to check whether the data stored in it intact or not. If the data gets corrupted, the user will know only if he/she faces difficulty during the booting process.
  4. Now, this one is a Masterstroke! The most prominent reason as to why the GPT has an upper hand over MBR is the size limitation. The partition table in the MBR is limited to just 4 primary partitions , out of which one is an extended partition. While, the mighty GPT partition table can have upto 128 primary partitions. It has the ability to support up to 2^64 blocks. MBR is compatible with disks up to 2 TB and encounters difficulty if disk space is more than 2 TB. But, GPT can handle disk spaces way beyond 2 TB.

Moving on to the other question......

  1. Booting from a GPT drive is possible only if the user is using a UEFI based system which is running on a 64 bit version of OS. Such is not the case with MBR.
  2. The outdated versions of Windows support the MBR partitioning style, whereas the latest versions i.e. Windows 8,8.1, 10 etc supports GPT.
  3. Operating systems other than Windows favors GPT. Linux has a built-in support feature for GPT. The GPT schemes are also used by Apple's Intel Macs.

Final Conclusion: After contemplating on both sides, it is safe to say GPT is more rewarding compared to MBR. It is not only more advanced but also resilient and above all supported by all the latest Operating Systems. But, only MBR has the ability to boot Windows off on a system with traditional BIOS.

Also note....

Many of you may want to convert MBR partition to GPT. People often lose important data during conversion. Hence, it is advisable to back-up your data beforehand. If by any chance, you forgot to take a back-up or lost data after disk conversion, here's how you can retrieve data lost after disk conversion.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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