Should You Initialize Your Disk to MBR or GPT and Why?

Many people post a thread like the following on the computer forums:

“I just bought a new hard disk and plugged it in computer, when I go into disk management it says that it needs to initialize the disk before Windows can recognize it and asked if I want to use either MBR (master boot record) or GPT (GUID partition table) as the partition style.”

Error

To select a partition style, you should know something first. What is the volume of your hard disk? If it was smaller than 2TB, you can only initialize to MBR. Because a MBR disk supports up to 2TB per partition. If it was bigger than 2TB, you can initialize to GPT to verify all of the disk space to be usable, but not always can do it. You must make sure your motherboard with UEFI and your operating system support GPT. What is your disk use for? For storage or system? Specific situation you can consult the chart below:

Operating System
Data Access
System Boot
Windows XP 32-bit
Not Support GPT
Not Support GPT
Windows XP 64-bit
Support GPT
Not Support GPT
Windows Vista 32-bit
Support GPT
Not Support GPT
Windows Vista 64-bit
Support GPT
Support GPT(Need UEFI)
Windows 7 32-bit
Support GPT
Not Support GPT
Windows 7 64-bit
Support GPT
Support GPT(Need UEFI)
Windows 8 32-bit
Support GPT
Not Support GPT
Windows 8 64-bit
Support GPT
Support GPT(Need UEFI)

What’s more, MBR disk supports four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition. By contrast, GPT disk supports theoretically unlimited partitions.

To sum up the above explanation, you can decide to initialize your disk to MBR or GPT.

However, when you want to change your disk style but not want to reinstall OS or delete all existing partitions. Is there a safe and simple way to do this? Yes! AOMEI Partition Assistant is a piece of professional partition management software and is able to convert between MBR and GPT without data loss.

Convert to GPT

When you use AOMEI Partition Assistant to convert GPT to MBR or convert MBR to GPT, it provides preview during the whole process. Once you want to stop the conversion, you can click “Undo” on the toolbar to cancel it. Thus decrease accidental operations to the minimum degree. You can also backup your disk in advance just in case.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a professional and easy to use partition tool. Besides converting between MBR and GPT. You can also use it to extend your system partition, rebuild MBR, split partition and check errors. More functions you can find from here.