What's the difference between MBR and GPT?

Can someone explain or direct me to a site that describes MBR (Master Boot Record)? I'm initializing a new HDD and I'm asked to choose a partition style - MBR or GPT. I always choose MBR, but I'm just want a little more information.

Windows Vista Premium 32bit
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.70GHz
BFG GeForce 8800 GTX OC
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2X1GB DDR2-800
Western Digital 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS
Western Digital Raptor - Data
Seagate Cheetah 18GB 15k - Swap
IBM Ultrastar 40GB 15k - Backup
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series
Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T
Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR
Zalman CNPS9700 NT CPU cooler
Silverstone Temjim TJ07
Pioneer DVR-212D DVD/CD Writer
APC Back-UPS XS 1000
Coolit Beverage Chiller (pride of the system)
Various trick lighting and LEDs
22 answers Last reply
More about what difference
  1. MBR is the standard partitioning scheme that's been used on hard disks since the PC first came out. It supports 4 primary partitions per hard drive, and a maximum partition size of 2TB.

    GPT disks are new, and are readable only by Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Vista (all versions), and Windows XP x64 Edition. The GPT disk itself can support a volume up to 2^64 blocks in length. (For 512-byte blocks, this is 9.44 ZB - zettabytes. 1 ZB is 1 billion terabytes). It can also support theoretically unlimited partitions.

    Windows restricts these limits further to 256 TB for a single partition (NTFS limit), and 128 partitions.

    Only Itanium systems running Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista systems with an EFI BIOS can boot from a GPT disk. The other operating systems mentioned earlier can use GPT disks as data disks but not boot disks.

    For more information on GPT, see Problems with larger than 2TB arrays in the General Storage forum, and see Windows and GPT FAQ for additional information.
  2. That's a delighful explanation, thanks!

    Windows Vista Premium 32bit
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.70GHz
    BFG GeForce 8800 GTX OC
    Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2X1GB DDR2-800
    Western Digital 150GB Raptor x2 RAID 0 - OS
    Western Digital 150GB Raptor - Data
    Seagate Cheetah 18GB 15k - Swap
    IBM Ultrastar 40GB 15k - Backup
    Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro Series
    Dell E207WFP & Samsung SyncMaster 213T
    Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard
    PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR
    Zalman
    CNPS9700 NT CPU cooler
    Silverstone Temjim TJ07
    Pioneer DVR-212D DVD/CD Writer
    APC Back-UPS XS 1000
    Coolit Beverage Chiller (pride of the system)
    Various mods & trick lighting
  3. Quote:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.70GHz ..... Various mods & trick lighting


    Wow! 19 lines of signature for a 1 line post.. And with useless information on it.. (see "Various mods & trick lighting.. coolit beverage chiller... ). Hopefully you dont mention all of your cables you are using..
    Now i know that on such forums its good to post our configuration.. but i guess that only the "suspect" parts are needed to be listed.. or maybe you post your config on a single post when you mention your problem.
    I have seen that on many forums and think that is really disturbing.. from a reader perspective, plus its huge bandwidth (and storage) eater.
    Imagine if all people put their specs in their sig..
    Now imagine the number of posts per people (hundreds of ppl) per topic (thousand topics) per forum (million forums....) That all makes a bunch of useless terabytes of data flowing around the net..

    cheers
  4. lol... and 14 lines moaning about it ... idiot!
  5. Quote:
    lol... and 14 lines moaning about it ... idiot!


    On a thread that's over three years old...
  6. I just had a gpt disk fail. i wont be using this again, my 2TB HDD is going back to mbr
  7. Quote:
    lol... and 14 lines moaning about it ... idiot!


    Not an idiot. Man has a point. It's waste of time and storage and should be pointed out.
  8. Since this is the storage forum, he's not wasting huge amounts of storage. His sig is 651bytes, he would have to make 1,500 posts to consume 1MB of storage assuming he had no sig as opposed to a shorter one.
  9. tokencode said:
    Since this is the storage forum, he's not wasting huge amounts of storage. His sig is 651bytes, he would have to make 1,500 posts to consume 1MB of storage assuming he had no sig as opposed to a shorter one.


    I do agree that it isn't a waste of 'storage', and that those who complain about it as such are half-witted anyways.
    I would express, though, that a 19-line signature for a 1-line post is an awful ratio, and it's just arbitrary text that no one cares about. It's just a nuisance to filter through so much that is not a part of whatever the topic is.

    I do have to say, though, that your argument "Since this is a storage forum, he's not wasting huge amounts of storage" is not really that bright, either. First of all, what is a storage forum? Second, any forum probably uses a database of some sort. This certainly cuts down on how much 'storage' is actually being used. Scripts just simply call up a signature that has been placed within a database. There is just one entry of data, with several instances in which it is called depending on how it is accessed.

    The only 'storage' that's REALLY being wasted is just the memory used to store the webpage on the host computer from which you, the user, has accessed that information.

    It sends me into a downward spiral of anguish looking through tech forums because of the answers /most/ of the people give.

    So shove it.
  10. General speaking the difference between MBR and GPT could be divided into three parts.
    Storage Size: MBR disk support 2TB at most. GPT disk support larger than 2TB disk.
    BOOT Support: system on MBR disk could only boot from bios motherboard. System on GPT disk could only boot from EFI or UEFI motherboard.
    Partition Configuration: MBR disk could contain at most four primary partitions or three primary partitions with one extended partition. GPT disk has no such kind of limitation.
    This is all what I know, hope this could help you.
  11. quesionboy said:
    General speaking the difference between MBR and GPT could be divided into three parts.
    Storage Size: MBR disk support 2TB at most. GPT disk support larger than 2TB disk.
    BOOT Support: system on MBR disk could only boot from bios motherboard. System on GPT disk could only boot from EFI or UEFI motherboard.
    Partition Configuration: MBR disk could contain at most four primary partitions or three primary partitions with one extended partition. GPT disk has no such kind of limitation.
    This is all what I know, hope this could help you.



    See this for best answer : http://www.petri.co.il/gpt-vs-mbr-based-disks.htm
  12. orotoi said:
    Quote:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.70GHz ..... Various mods & trick lighting


    Wow! 19 lines of signature for a 1 line post.. And with useless information on it.. (see "Various mods & trick lighting.. coolit beverage chiller... ). Hopefully you dont mention all of your cables you are using..
    Now i know that on such forums its good to post our configuration.. but i guess that only the "suspect" parts are needed to be listed.. or maybe you post your config on a single post when you mention your problem.
    I have seen that on many forums and think that is really disturbing.. from a reader perspective, plus its huge bandwidth (and storage) eater.
    Imagine if all people put their specs in their sig..
    Now imagine the number of posts per people (hundreds of ppl) per topic (thousand topics) per forum (million forums....) That all makes a bunch of useless terabytes of data flowing around the net..

    cheers


    If you are looking for an example of "useless terabytes of data flowing around the net", I would refer you to your post moron!
  13. Wow. The guy who wrote the diatribe about the 19 lines and using up storage is a complete dumb A. Talk about a self absorbed, narcissistic, blabbering of unwarranted self importance...

    Wow! 19 lines of signature for a 1 line post.. And with useless information on it.. (see "Various mods & trick lighting.. coolit beverage chiller... ). Hopefully you dont mention all of your cables you are using..
    Now i know that on such forums its good to post our configuration.. but i guess that only the "suspect" parts are needed to be listed.. or maybe you post your config on a single post when you mention your problem.
    I have seen that on many forums and think that is really disturbing.. from a reader perspective, plus its huge bandwidth (and storage) eater.
    Imagine if all people put their specs in their sig..
    Now imagine the number of posts per people (hundreds of ppl) per topic (thousand topics) per forum (million forums....) That all makes a bunch of useless terabytes of data flowing around the net..

    cheers
  14. In general this thread has helped me and I thank you for that. I will note that during all of these ("My PC Is Better Than Yours") exchanges not one of them includes what GPT stands for. I get MBR - Master Boot Record but I know techies and engineers. GPT stands for something.

    That's my question. What does GPT stand for?

    Thanks again.
    ddx
  15. At the risk of capsizing the fine energy this thread once had, GPT stands for GUID partition table.
  16. will there be snacks with the 'chilled beverages'...
    He does seem rather proud. Maybe some of the freon from his "refrigerator" can be piped to the dinky cpu.


    REMEMBER,
    "if you don't play well with others,
    you could end up playing with yourself"
  17. mchldpy said:
    you could end up playing with yourself"


    Actually, it would be "playing by yourself." Good attempt, though.

    Can anyone expand on what the direction the computer industry is taking now, if at all, in terms of using MBR or GPT? Is anyone or any sub-industry pushing for more GPT use? Has Microsoft said anything about it in regards to Windows 10?

    I'm asking because I'm curious and don't know much about this type of thing.

    Edit: Thinking about it just now...I'm not sure why I even asked. The trend seems to be that a post here will get a reply two years later, negating the usefulness of it.
  18. Louis At Skowhegan said:

    Has Microsoft said anything about it in regards to Windows 10?

    I'm asking because I'm curious and don't know much about this type of thing.


    I tried installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a separate partition of my hard drive, but I soon found out that Samsung shipped my computer with a GPT style SSD. Windows 10 would not install no matter what! I tried toggling Secure Boot, Fast Bios, changing the OS from UEFI TO CSM, booting from a USB flash drive, booting from an SD card, formatting the partition, and nothing worked. I didn't try a clean install, maybe that would work, but I don't want to risk losing Win8.1 if I click the "Next" button and accidentally install Windows 10 completely. So as of now, I couldn't get the Win10 TP to install on a new GPT partition. Maybe the official CD or USB version available in retail stores will allow a GPT style install.

    So I would guess Microsoft isn't encouraging people to install Windows 10 on GPT style hard drives, since I can't get it to work.
  19. You have to do the install from a booted GPT system, meaning either the Win 10 install ISO DVD must boot as GPT (for clean install), or you are upgrading from Win7/8 GPT to Win10 and booted from your Win7/8 GPT system, then putting the Win 10 ISO DVD in player. Of course you have to set the UEFI BIOS settings correctly too . . . .
  20. @ Louis At Skowhegan,
    You are incorrect, it is not "by" but is in fact "with" yourself. The former is an old "good advice" saying, the latter is a phrase with a sexual innuendo undertone that it seems you may have missed.
    Good attempt though.

    (the following is a greatly simplified explanation)

    In response to your Globally Unique Identifiers Partition Table (a subset of UEFI) question, yes the whole industry is gravitating towards the (4K) 4,096 byte sectors format (GPT) vs the 512 byte-sectors format (MBR) Some of it's more noted attributes are, support for partitions larger than 2TBs, the ability to have 128 primary partitions (IIRC) and because of the 4,096 byte-sectors format it has much better error correction capability than the 512 byte-sectors format.

    I hope I disproved your "2 years to answer" theory, my auto-notification does not always work like it should, that or I missed the email which could be considered "Operator Error"

    "Thank you for your continued support,
    Please pull up to the second window"
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