All you need to know about GPT and MBR disk management systems

When installing Windows on your computer for the first time, you will need to format the hard disk first. In this step, you may be asked to choose between one of the MBR or GPT disk management systems. In fact, Windows does not provide much information about management systems during disk formatting, which leaves many confused, which one to choose, MBR or GPT? Don’t worry, in this article we try to simplify things even more and bring the basic concepts closer so you have enough information the next time you format your hard drive.

What are GPT and MBR disk management systems?

First, let’s see what each word means:

 GPT stands for GUID Partition Table, which is more like a system or standard for storing partition information on a hard disk “Partitions”, using unique identifiers (GUIDs).

MBR, short for “Master boot record,” is the basic standard in hard disk partitioning, containing the most important information about how disk partitions are organized.

When installing the Windows operating system in all its modern versions, depending on the type of hard disk on your computer, the disk will be determined to work with either the MBR or GPT system, and in some cases you can convert from MBR to GPT if the hard disk supports it.

hard disk partitions:

In short, we can say that MBR is an old partition technology, while GPT is the new technology. But we have to be aware that new is not always better. MBR is still used by many computer vendors because it is still the most popular. One of the advantages of GPT technology over other MBR technology is that it deals with large-capacity hard disks as well as supporting a larger number of partitions “…Partitions: C, D”, while it is difficult for an MBR system to manage disks that are larger than 4 TB or more than Four sections. If the computer is using UEFI – low-level software like BIOS but up-to-date, which appears when the computer boots up, i.e. before the operating system boots up – it will only support GPT.

Compared with MBR technology, modern GPT technology is distinguished in the following aspects:

GPT supports disks larger than 2TB, unlike MBR.

GPT disk management supports volumes up to 18 exabytes and up to 128 partitions per disk, while MBR supports volumes up to 2 TB and up to 4 primary partitions only.

The GPT system has greater reliability and accuracy due to the CRC “cyclic redundancy check” feature to ensure the correctness and completeness of programs or data.

The GPT disk contains a “backup partition” to preserve the integrity of the partition data.

As mentioned earlier, we always find this binary (MBR + BIOS) and (GPT + UEFI) side by side. It is mandatory with some operating systems such as Windows, while optional for others such as Linux.

Which one is better for me?

Let’s get acquainted together with the rule for choosing between the two criteria:


If the “firmware” of your computer’s motherboard is BIOS (or UEFI with BIOS), MBR is the best option.


On the other hand if your motherboard is using UEFI as firmware, it is better to use GPT partition system.

MBR or GPT disk management systems

It is best to follow this rule especially if you are not an expert in the field of computers, your computer will perform at its best performance and at the highest levels:

The performance of programs on your computer will be much better and faster.

The right choice avoids many potential problems that may occur when installing or running Windows.

It will be easy for a computer expert to fix any problem quite easily.

Little tip:

If your motherboard is UEFI, we recommend that you do not use Legacy BIOS because you will lose more performance and speed, unless the capacity of the hard disk is very small.

Does my computer hard drive work with MBR or GPT?

It is easy to find out which partition standard works with your hard disk, all you have to do is follow these steps:

In the search box for Windows, type “partitions”

Search for: partitions

Then we choose Create and format hard disk partitions.

The Disk Management window appears, inside which we find the disk partitions.

Disk management systems – Disk management window

Right-click on the Disk box and select Properties.


Then click on Volumes tab, from Partition style you can see what type of disk management system it is, in my case it is MBR.

Disk management systems – find out what type of system is in use

Converting from MBR to GPT, is it possible?

Let us first agree that the issue of converting from MBR to GPT or vice versa is completely related to the type of hard disk, some of them support conversion and some do not. You will most likely be able to perform this operation if the computer you are using is new or the disk you are using is new.

To find out if it is possible to convert between the two standards, all you have to do is to click on the Disk box with the right mouse button. If you have the option “Convert to GPT Disk”, this means that you can convert from MBR to GPT (if the hard drive works with GPT, the Convert option will appear for you to MBR Disk), if this option does not appear, it means that your hard disk does not support conversion.

The option is not enabled for me, it is not possible to make a transfer on the main computer disk on which Windows is located

The option is not enabled for me, it is not possible to make a transfer on the main computer disk on which Windows is located

Note: This process is sensitive and you will need to format it during this process, so please be careful and take a backup copy of your files to avoid losing them.

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