Hardware problems

Difference between GPT and MBR partition format style.

What is a hard disk partition format style?

A hard disk can be used in two ways:

  • It can be just a device for storing data, using the MBR partition format style.
  • Or it can be used as broad database for storing data in a systematic manner, using the GPT partition format style.

Most of us use hard disks as just a device for storing data, using the MBR partition style. We can divide the hard disk into as many partitions as possible or use it as a whole.

Just like a house. You can choose to use it as a hall, or you can choose to live in it as a divided house.

However, for MBR hard disk partition style you cannot divide a partition further, while for GPT you can even build partitions inside other partitions.

Using GPT partition style.

Converting a hard disk to the Dynamic (GPT) partition style is quite easy. All you have to do is either:

  • Write the code, “Convert DISK # GPT” (remember to replace # with the drive number) on your Command Prompt,
  • Or use the computer manager to convert it directly.

Effects of changing the partition format style to GPT partition style.

However, converting a hard disk partition style to dynamic is not always that beneficial.

Error installing windows.

Using a windows OS version on your computer? One day you will surely be required to either upgrade or re-install your windows version.

If you shall be using a GPT partition style then you shall not be able to complete the windows installation.

Windows does not support installation of OS on a hard drive in GPT partition style.

Therefore, changing hard disk partition style to GPT while using windows may not be a very good idea. I have encountered clients who have been forced to format their full hard drive in a computer crash, due to the fact that they cannot re-install their windows in this partition style.

Hard to revert to MBR partition style.

You will have go through a lot of trouble to get your computer back to the Simple partition style. Reverting GPT partition format to MBR partition format involves a lot. If your hard disk has a Windows OS installed you may be forced to clean it to be able to convert it as a whole. This may be risky and you may lose your data.

Therefore, if you need a partition converted to dynamic partition style, please make sure that the disk is only for storing data.

Advantages of using GPT partition style.

Creating partitions inside partitions

Instead of having to shrink a partition in order for you to create another, all you have to do is create another partition in the partition of the required size, just like shrinking and creating a partition at the same time.

Easy to manage

You can create partitions on a partition and manage them like managing a hard disk.

Easy to merge and shrink.

Instead of having to delete a partition in order for you to extend another, you can merge a partition with its parent moving all the data, to its parent.

Using the MBR partition style.

The MBR partition style is the default partition format for windows. If you format your hard disk using windows, by default it should format it to MBR partition format.

However, software use recommends the formatting of hard disk to GPT partition style.

Converting from MBR to GPT partition style.

Converting a disk to MBR is quite easy.

You do not have to do much, you can always change partition format to GPT while logged on.

Using the Command Prompt.

  • Open the command prompt.
  • Click on the windows button, and type CMD.

Remember to right click on the application and run the application as an administrator.

If you do not run the application as an administrator, you will not be able to run DISKPART

  • Open the Disk Partition Control Commands.

Type the command DISKPART. Remember it must be one word.

  • View the number assigned on the disk you want to convert partition style.

Type the command LIST DISK. This will list all the disks inserted in the hard disk, starting with the internal hard disk as the default disk 0.

  • Select the disk you want to convert partition style.

Type the command SELECT DISK #. Replace the # with the number of the disk you want to select. This will highlight the selected disk and any command will affect your disk.

Therefore, be careful.

  • Convert your disk

Type the command CONVERT GPT. This will now convert your disk to GPT partition style. That is it. You will be able to perform all the tasks you wanted to on your hard disk.

Using Ease-us partition master.

Download Ease us partition master.

Open the application and select the disk you want to convert.

Convert to GPT.

Convert from GPT to MBR.

To convert a hard disk partition from GPT to MBR is not easy at all.

You have to clean your data, this means that your hard disk has to be empty or virtually empty before you can therefore convert the disk.

Alternatively, you could download Linux or UBUNTU and create a run disk with which you could use to convert your hard disk partition format style to GPT.


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