Difference Between MBR and GPT Partition

On Windows-based PCs, MBR and GPT are two prevalent partitioning techniques. They are layout specifications for storage devices such as an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive). The partition style instructs Windows on accessing the data on the present drive and is selected during disc startup. As a result, having a partition style for each disc in use is required. The partition styles MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) are used to start a hard disc. MBR is the most common format and is compatible with BIOS systems.

GPT is a newer type that works with UEFI systems. MBR maps out the partitions of a hard disc using a table. It may accommodate up to four primary or three primary partitions plus one extended partition. GPT, like MBR, employs a table to map out the partitions on a hard disc, but it does not have the same restrictions. It can accommodate an infinite number of partitions. GPT is also more resistant to corruption and can be retrieved more simply from backups.

GPT (GUID Partition Table) is a partitioning system that stores partition information on a hard disc or another storage device. It is a partitioning strategy alternative to the previous MBR (Master Boot Record) partitioning scheme. To alter a hard drive's partition style, you must use a partitioning program that supports GPT and MBR. Consider whether your system is BIOS or UEFI when determining which partition style to employ. If it is BIOS, you must use MBR. You can use either MBR or GPT if it's UEFI.

Read this article to find out more about MBR and GPT Partition and how they are different from each other

What is an MBR partition?

Because of their history, MBR discs function with most Windows editions, particularly earlier ones. Given that, deciding whether GPT or MBR is superior should be based on your needs and the hardware you have. For example, if you desire a faster boot time, use a GPT disc as the system disc; if your computer is BIOS-based, use MBR for the system disc instead; and if you use a disc under 2TB for data storage, both GPT and MBR are acceptable.

MBR, or Master Boot Record, is an older disc format that debuted with IBM PC DOS 2.0 in 1983. It is named after the MBR boot sector, positioned at the beginning of a disc (the first sector). A simplified construction of an MBR disc is shown below.

To use a disc for data storage, divide it into parts known as partitions. On an MBR disc, partitions are divided into two types: main and extended. Primary partitions are those on which you may install the operating system and activate it to boot the machine. Excluding primary partitions, the remaining space on a disc is referred to as an extended partition.

Unlike a primary partition, an extended partition is a storage unit that can only be used to build several logical drives or partitions, and it lacks a drive letter and a file system. It functions more like a container for one or more logical partitions with driver letters and file systems.

Because the disc partition table is 64 bytes and each partition's information is 16, you can only construct four primary partitions. If you want more than four partitions on the drive, make one of the primary partitions an extended partition to generate logical partitions. The most obvious drawback of an MBR disc is that it only supports a maximum disc capacity of 2TiB (2.2TB). If you have a disc larger than 2TiB and use the MBR partition format, you can only use 2TiB of it.

What is GPT Partition?

GPT, or GUID Partition Table, is a newer standard that replaced MBR, initially presented as part of the UEFI program. Compared to the MBR partitioning system, it is more versatile and compatible with contemporary hardware.

The primary GUID partition table header is stored in the second sector of a GPT disc. It specifies the location and size of the partition entries that comprise the partition table and the cyclic redundancy check (CRC32) checksum required to validate the GPT header's integrity. When CRC detects data corruption, it will attempt to restore the data by utilizing backups saved at the disk's end.

GPT discs are more secure and trustworthy than MBR discs. These backups will be useful in restoring data if the GPT header or partition table is damaged. The limitations of MBR do not constrain GPT. GPT-based drives can be substantially bigger, with size restrictions imposed by the operating system and file systems. GPT also supports a practically infinite number of partitions.

Differences between MBR and GPT Partition

The following table highlights the major differences between MBR and GPT Partition −





MBR (Master Boot Record) is a type of partition used to set up a hard disc.

GPT is crucial to comprehend whether to construct a new division or convert an old one.


MBR is the most common format and is compatible with BIOS systems.

GPT is a newer type that works with UEFI systems.


MBR may accommodate up to four primary or three primary partitions plus one extended partition.

GPT can accommodate an infinite number of partitions.

System types

If the system is BIOS, we can use Master Board Record.

If the system is UEFI, we can use either MBR or GPT.


MBR is less complex than GPT

GPT is also more complex than MBR and works with all operating systems.


When establishing a new partition or converting an existing one, it is critical to grasp the distinctions between MBR and GPT partitions. MBR will be the best option for the majority of users. GPT is the superior option if you have many drives or intend to use UEFI with your system. Whatever sort of partition you select, keep a backup of your data before making any changes.