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  1. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #1

    GPT vs MBR


    Ok folks, these two partition formats are confusing to me and looks like a lot of others too. I have seen what a hard drive looks like with GPT partitions, lots of partitions taking up a lot of hard drive space!!! I have seen MBR partitions, not needing a lot of hard drive space. System reserved, and your primary partition. Simple, and works.

    GPT seems to have 3 or 4 partitions, one even being a fat partition. Now I understand the fact that a GPT partition can have lots of partitions on just one drive, I get that. MBR has a limit of 4, I think. But what if the user has one SSD drive as the boot drive 250gb and a 1TB sata drive installed. Is their any reason this setup would have to have a GPT partition on any of these 2 drives??? If the computer is only 1 year old, does this mean the computer MUST use a GPT partition?? I have no need for any stupid recovery partition, sorry just MY feelings on recovery partitions. That is why I buy backup software. I make disk image backups, and put them on a separate drive.

    The reason I am asking these questions is because of a new computer I just bought, still in the mail, won't get it till next week. So I am trying to figure out why I would need or be forced too, use GPT partitions. Hopefully one of the answers will not be.......you have to use GPT partition because of the system motherboard or bios.

    Hope I explained my questions on this issue. I do not understand anyone's computer being forced to use GPT unless the computer for what ever reason can only use GPT.
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  2. Joined : Sep 2014
    Posts : 2,923
    Windows 10 Pro
       18 Sep 2015 #2

    The type of partition is dictated by the type of BIOS you have. If you have an EFI BIOS, then you need to use a GPT partition format, at least if you want all the benefits of EFI (near instant power-on/test speeds, large hard disk support, etc..)

    If you have a legacy bios, then you MUST use an MBR boot.

    You can boot from an EFI BIOS in legacy CSM mode, assuming its enabled, but then you lose the more advanced EFI features.

    Regardless, a GPT format does not use a lot of disk space. It uses 3 partitions, one which is about 100MB (megabytes, not gigabytes) and one that's 350 or 450MB. And then your regular OS drive. Regardless, this is not a large amount of space.
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  3. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,897
    Windows 10 Pro
       18 Sep 2015 #3

    I hear you, OldMike65! I love my laptop! 12 seconds from pressing power button to lock screen. 4 seconds to desktop after swiping my fingerprint to log in. Now, this laptop is older and has a partial UEFI bios - it will support booting from EFI files, but not GPT disks.

    GPT disks are great for those that want partitions over 4tb in size or want a separate partition for every function conceivable. But I'm like you. On my spare laptop that came with GPT partitioned disk and about 6 different partitions on it, I set the bios to legacy mode, wiped out the disk, and just two partitions on the hard drive.

    I'm old school - 12 seconds power button to lock screen and 4 seconds lock screen to desktop is plenty fast for me. I've got a NAS for my movies, music, programs I install and backups. If I get over 300gb junk on my hard drive, it's time to clean install. And if something goes wrong, it's a helluva lot easier to figure it out only having at most 4 partitions without having to pinpoint one partition out of 6, and 4 of those I can't even see any kind of file system on them.

    It's simply amazing to me the hours that people will invest to shave off a couple of seconds of boot time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails diskman.jpg  
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  4. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #4

    Mystere said: View Post
    The type of partition is dictated by the type of BIOS you have. If you have an EFI BIOS, then you need to use a GPT partition format, at least if you want all the benefits of EFI (near instant power-on/test speeds, large hard disk support, etc..)

    If you have a legacy bios, then you MUST use an MBR boot.

    You can boot from an EFI BIOS in legacy CSM mode, assuming its enabled, but then you lose the more advanced EFI features.



    Regardless, a GPT format does not use a lot of disk space. It uses 3 partitions, one which is about 100MB (megabytes, not gigabytes) and one that's 350 or 450MB. And then your regular OS drive. Regardless, this is not a large amount of space.
    Ok 1st off, thanks for the reply. That's what I was worried about, the EFI bios I would assume IS what this new computer has.
    Computer is a HP Envy Phoenix 810-160 with Intel i7 4770 3.4GHz processor.

    Your comment on the GPT using only 3 partitions is interesting, because from what I've seen on some of these forums, with people showing pic's of their partitions, which are GPT, they looked really messed up!!!! lot more than 3 partitions!! But lets say that's all that is needed 3 partitions, is one of these partitions a recovery partition??? Which I don't need or want. Because of the bios being EFI do I HAVE to have the recovery partition ??? Also on the pic's of seen on here, of the GPT partitions, one was a FAT partition!!! Why in the world would GPT need a fat partition??? Or was this just a screw up from the user??
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  5. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #5

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    I hear you, OldMike65! I love my laptop! 12 seconds from pressing power button to lock screen. 4 seconds to desktop after swiping my fingerprint to log in. Now, this laptop has is older and has a partial UEFI bios - it will support booting from EFI files, but not GPT disks.

    GPT disks are great for those that want partitions over 4tb in size or want a separate for every function conceivable. But I'm like you. On my spare laptop that came with GPT partitioned disk and about 6 different partitions on it, I set the bios to legacy mode, wiped out the disk, and just two partitions on the hard drive.

    I'm old school - 12 seconds power button to lock screen and 4 seconds lock screen to desktop is plenty fast for me. I've got a NAS for my movies, music, programs I install and backups. If I get over 300gb junk on my hard drive, it's time to clean install. And if something goes wrong, it's a helluva lot easier to figure it out only having at most 4 partitions without having to pinpoint one partition out of 6, and 4 of those I can't even see any kind of file system on them.
    Well we agree NavyLCDR But it sounds like I might be forced to use GPT if the Bios is EFI, not sure what the options are going to be in the Bios, as I am still waiting for this computer to arrive. Its only 1 year old, so it most likey has the new Bios.
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  6. Joined : Aug 2015
    Penn's Woods
    Posts : 1,176
    Windows 10 Home
       18 Sep 2015 #6

    There is a little more of basics available here: http://www.howtogeek.com/193669/what...oning-a-drive/

    There will also be a 4th "partition" called the Microsoft Reserved Partition (acronym is MSR for some reason) starting with 128 MB of unallocated space on a GPT/UEFI system disk. I put quotes around partition because it's actually just unallocated space available for OS changes. A little info on that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micros...rved_Partition . Mine is only 16MB at this point, so apparently the OS has needed to gobble up some of it for some reason.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #7

    What I am trying to do now, is figure out, before new computer gets here, (early next week) what my options will be. I would have no problem formatting the drives back to MBR IF the Bios would not get messed up.
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  8. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #8

    Word Man said: View Post
    There is a little more of basics available here: http://www.howtogeek.com/193669/what...oning-a-drive/

    There will also be a 4th "partition" called the Microsoft Reserved Partition (acronym is MSR for some reason) starting with 128 MB of unallocated space on a GPT/UEFI system disk. I put quotes around partition because it's actually just unallocated space available for OS changes. A little info on that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micros...rved_Partition . Mine is only 16MB at this point, so apparently the OS has needed to gobble up some of it for some reason.
    See this is just what I mean about GPT 30 mins ago I was told GPT needs only 3, now its 4 ........this is why I don't want to use GPT partitions!!!!
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  9. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,897
    Windows 10 Pro
       18 Sep 2015 #9

    OldMike65 said: View Post
    What I am trying to do now, is figure out, before new computer gets here, (early next week) what my options will be. I would have no problem formatting the drives back to MBR IF the Bios would not get messed up.
    The bios should have a setting for legacy boot mode or CSM (which is like legacy boot mode simulation). Once you set that in the bios, the computer likely will not boot from the installed hard drive until you use a program like MiniTool Partition Wizard (bootable CD which you can download and burn yourself) to convert the disk to MBR and wipe it clean. Then you can boot from the Windows 10 install media and install Windows on the unallocated space on the empty hard drive.

    Of course before you do anything, if the computer has an option to make a factory restore USB, I would do that, or make an image of the entire hard drive with Macrium Reflect. And make sure you have an activated Windows 10 either pre-installed or upgraded to so a clean Windows 10 will activate.

    Oh sure, you will lose things like "one click" or "push button" reset and 2 or 3 seconds longer boot time. But to me it's worth it to not be tempted to open disk management for no other reason than to cause myself heartburn looking at 6 partitions on the hard drive.

    And when Windows 10 makes the recovery partition after the system partition...yeah, you can delete that and expand the system partition into the free space. I've got my Windows 10 ISOs stored on a NAS and the NAS will even internally mount them so they appear like DVDs. I've also got my 4 in 1 Windows 10 USB (Home, Pro, 32/64bit). I have no use for the recovery partition.
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  10. Joined : Aug 2015
    Maine
    Posts : 21,028
    Windows10Pro 64Bit on 2 DeskTop Computers
       18 Sep 2015 #10

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    The bios should have a setting for legacy boot mode or CSM (which is like legacy boot mode simulation). Once you set that in the bios, the computer likely will not boot from the installed hard drive until you use a program like MiniTool Partition Wizard (bootable CD which you can download and burn yourself) to convert the disk to MBR and wipe it clean. Then you can boot from the Windows 10 install media and install Windows on the unallocated space on the empty hard drive.

    Of course before you do anything, if the computer has an option to make a factory restore USB, I would do that, or make an image of the entire hard drive with Macrium Reflect. And make sure you have an activated Windows 10 either pre-installed or upgraded to so a clean Windows 10 will activate.
    Yes on some of this. I already have my MiniTool DVD and already have used it few weeks back to fix a windows 10 install mess up of my MBR partitions. I don't make USB backups, I do make complete image backups using my Acronis True image software. Which works great for me. As far as windows 10 being activated, it already is on this computer, but its the home version not Pro version, which I want to change to Pro. We already talked about this few days ago.....if you remember. Grin. I was asking you what were my options on changing home to Pro. Still not sure how I will, or which method I will use. So far, looks like backup everything, format drive to MBR, after making changes in Bios, then grabbing my Windows 10 Pro 64 bit dvd, and install windows 10 Pro, fresh install, and I already have a retail key to enter, just bought it. Trying to get everything I need to do to this new computer ahead of time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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