MBR vs GPT: Which One Is Better for You?

January 31, 2019

From this article, you can have a basic understanding about MBR VS GPT and realize how to convert MBR to GPT / GPT to MBR without data loss.

For most computer users, I think they will come across the terms “MBR” and “GPT” more or less. If a computer user have dabbled with his/her hard disk and often format or partition, I think he/she will know more about “MBR” and “GPT”.

GPT is the abbreviation of GUID Partition Table, which is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers(GUID). MBR is another kind of partition table formats. MBR stands for master boot record.

MBR is old, GPT is new. But the new is not always better than the old. There are still many vendors utilize the MBR technology since it is still predominantly used in the real world. GPT disks have advantages of partition size, number of partitions, and resilience. If a computer that uses UEFI, it will only support GPT. So when you upgrade your computer, it may be necessary to convert MBR to GPT at first.

A MBR disk can be basic or dynamic, just like an GPT disk can be basic or dynamic. Compared with MBR disk, a GPT disk performs better in the followinig aspects:

  • A GPT disk supports larger than 2 TB volumes while MBR cannot. 

  • The GPT disk partitioning style supports volumes up to 18 exabytes in size and up to 128 partitions per disk while the MBR disk partitioning style supports volumes up to 2 terabytes in size and up to 4 primary partitions per disk (or three primary partitions, one extended partition, and unlimited logical drives).  

  • GPT disk provides greater reliability due to replication and cyclical redundancy check (CRC) protection of the partition table. Unlike MBR partitioned disks, data critical to platform operation is located in partitions instead of unpartitioned or hidden sectors. 

  • PT partitioned disks have redundant primary and backup partition tables for improved partition data structure integrity.

For more information about the differences between GPT disk and MBR disk, please go to: The Differences betwwen MBR and GPT.

Usually, MBR and BIOS (MBR + BIOS), and GPT and UEFI (GPT + UEFI) go hand in hand. This is compulsory for some systems (eg. Windows), while optional for others (eg. Linux).If a Windows computer that uses UEFI, it will only support GPT. So when you upgrade your computer, it may be necessary to convert MBR to GPT at first.

Above tells you about MBR vs GPT. Now that GPT has so many advantages, why not convert MBR to GPT? Next I’d like to tell you a good way to convert MBR to GPT withotu data loss. That is with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Download AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition from its office website. Install and run. We can see the MBR disk from the home screen. Converting MBR disk to GPT disk won’t cause data loss, detailed steps are as follows:

Step 1. Right click the MBR disk that you want to convert to GPT and choose Convert to GPT Disk.

Convert System Disk to GPT

Step 2.You'll be asked that "are you sure to convert the selected disk from MBR to GPT disk?". Click OK.

OK to GPT System Disk

Step 3. To commit operation, please click Apply, and then click Proceed.

Apply to GPT System Disk

Notes: 

  • A removable is not allowed to converted into a GPT disk.

  • Windows XP 32bit is unable to support GPT disk and 64bit can only use GPT disk for data.

However, there are some situations need convert GPT to MBR. One is like the problem - “the Selected Disk is of the GPT Partition Style” when people install Windows system. People can also convert GPT to MBR disk by the aid of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition.

Convert System Disk to MBR

To avoid repetition, it’s not described in this article. Please visit: How to convert GPT to MBR?

Before know the result of MBR vs GPT, you may be fine with either MBR or GPT. Oh, another typical situation I’ve forgotten is that when you need to have a partition bigger than 2TB, you need to use GPT, or convert MBR to GPT.

In any event, with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant, anything will be easier. It can be a great partition converter, not only between MBR and GPT, but also FAT and NTFS, primary partition and logic partition. It can even rebuild MBR.