In this guide, we take a close look at some of the advantages of GPT Over MBR. GPT stands for GUID Partition Table and MBR stands for Master Boot Record.
With GUID standing for Globally Unique Identification.
What is GPT and MBR?
GPT and MBR are sectors (schemes) for partitioning – boot sectors provided at the beginning for partitioning mass storage devices like SSDs, HDDS or removable drives.
For any new hard-drive with built-in disk manager that is to be partitioned, there exists a pop up window which asks the user to choose between GPT or MBR.
Let us start from the basics, both GPT and MBR are concerned with partition tables.
A partition table forms the low-level structure that must be present before any mass storage device can be formatted and data copied on it. GPT and MBR are the partition schemes which provide these partition tables (There exists only these two schemes that provide partition tables)
It should be noted that for different Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS), the choice of partition table to use is made by the developers (But this can be changed as we shall see earlier)
For any hard disk which has space, before filling it with all your files and other content, you must partition it and this is why MBR and GPT are important. Note that any created partition can be formatted by your Operating System.
You may be wondering; which is better, MBR or GPT?
Let us discover together, shall we?
MBR Vs GPT (Advantages Of GPT Over MBR)
1. GPT Vs. MBR Partition Size
The GPT supports partitioning hard-disk space of up to 18 Exabyte. Just imagine skipping from Gigabyte, to Terabyte, to Petabyte and finally Exabyte.
While many PC users are still using Terabytes, GPT is prepared for the future which is Exabytes and even more.
The MBR on the other hand supports partitioning hard-disks of space which is up to ONLY 2 Terabytes (TB)
If you use a hard-drive greater than 2TB in installation and partitioning, you can be successful BUT the space beyond 2TB will be lost. For example, if you have 2.5 TB, the 0.5 TB will be lost.
2. GPT Vs. MBR Number of partitions
The MBR allows hard-disks to be divided into 4 partitions. One of these 4 partitions can be extended, which extended partition contains 23 other partitions. This makes a total of 26 partitions allowed for MBR.
The GPT allows hard-disks to be divided 128 times, those are 128 partitions.
There is NO NEED to change an existing partition into an extended partition as it is for MBR.
3. GPT Vs. MBR Security
The GPT partition table enables replication and CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) protection of the partition tables, which provides increased reliability.
For the MBR partition table, these features are not available.
4. GPT Vs. MBR Compatibility
MBR is older and more like the standard of partition, it comes from way back as old as PC’s manufactured in the 1980’s.
MBR being older, it supports all the computers from way back up to now BUT maybe limited to certain specifications and hardware that shall be stated below.
GPT is the newer standard of partitioning BUT it requires certain hardware and specifications to work.
- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
- 64-bit hardware and 64-bit supported Operating System
- Windows XP Professional/Server 20003 or greater
- For Linux, 32-bit and 64-bit systems are both supported
- Changing from MBR to GBT
Did you know that it is possible to change from MBR to GBT both in windows and linux.
You can actually do this without losing any of your data.
Check out these sites for this information
Windows users: HOW TO CONVERT MBR TO GBT WITHOUT LOSING ANY DATA IN WINDOWS
For others who don’t want to go through the hustle of converting MBR to GBT manually, there exists 3rd party tools available on the market to do this for you. The Mini Tool Partition wizard has a free trial, check it out.
Deal breaker: If you have a hard-drive with less than 2TB, MBR shall fulfill all your needs.
GBT is the future of partitioning, and users should adopt it.