Single 240gb SSD Drive - Best Partitioning MBR or UEFI/GPT?

  1. Posts : 360
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Single 240gb SSD Drive - Best Partitioning MBR or UEFI/GPT?

    I have a Dell Inspiron 17r 5737 laptop made in 2013. The cpu is an Intel i5 4200u with 8gb DDR3 ram.

    It currently has a 1-TB WD spinning hard disk, partitioned with UEFI/GPT, that I am replacing with a 240gb SSD drive. I'm only using about 120gb of the 1-TB. The current drive is dual boot, Windows 10 (upgraded from Windows 8.1) and some Linux distros. It has about 2/3 of the space allocated to Windows 10 and 1/3 to Linux. The 1-TB drive will become an external USB 3.0 offline backup drive. Most of the time it will be off and not connected.

    I will only be using the single 240gb SSD drive in the laptop. It will be dual boot with Windows 10 and some Linux distros. I will probably allocate 2/3 of the ssd drive for Windows 10 and 1/3 for Linux. I will not be installing the ssd drive with any other drive.

    What is the best and fastest partitioning format for a single 240gb SSD hard drive? MBR or UEFI/GPT? The laptop is capable of handling either partitioning scheme. I just want to use the one that is the fastest and best.

    This is not for gaming, just for web surfing and general home office use.
    Last edited by Antilope; 27 Dec 2015 at 09:50.
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  2. Posts : 5,478

    Use GPT. It isn't faster (or slower) but doesn't have the limit on partitions (4) that MBR has.
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  3. Posts : 360
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Yes. Number of partitions is a consideration. I've had 6 or 10 Linux disros on a hard disk (both MBR and UEFI/GPT). On the MBR you can have 3 primary partitions and an extended partition. Then within the extended partition you can add logical partitions. I've had 15 partitions on an MBR partitioned drive as an experiment. But going with UEFI/GPT for this is easier.
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  4. Posts : 5,478

    I changed from mbr to gpt a few month ago as I'd read it may make boot faster. It didn't make the slightest difference but partitions are a bit easier to manage (I dual boot quite a lot also and kept running out.)

    With UEFI you could use secure boot if you wanted, I can't think of any other advantage (or disadvantage). rEFInd is a nice EFI bootloader if you go the GPT route and want to boot other OS.
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  5. Posts : 360
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I will go with UEFI/GPT. When doing a Windows 10 clean install, it uses 3 or 4 partitions alone. If there is no difference in speed between MBR or UEFI, and that's why you install an SSD, then I will go with UEFI/GPT.
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  6. Posts : 13,676

    UEFI pcs also allow you to install hard disks larger than 2TB as a single partition.
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  7. Posts : 360
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Everyone thanks for all of your tips and suggestions about setting up the SSD drive. It will be a real help when I set it up when it arrives next week. I will report back how it goes. Have a Happy New Year everyone!
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  8. Posts : 360
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I received the 240gb drive. Installed it in the laptop and made sure the bios was set to UEFI/GPT and AHCI was enabled for SATA.

    I had previously made a bootable Windows 10 x64 Home USB stick from a Windows 10 x64 ISO using Rufus.

    Started the computer, pressed F12 for Boot Options, chose the USB stick and the Windows 10 install started.

    Chose the option to install Windows 10 and erase everything. Let Windows 10 create all of the necessary partitions automatically.

    Using the USB stick in combination with the SSD drive, Windows 10 was literally installed in about 5-minutes. Windows 10 also installed all of the necessary drivers in for my Dell Inspiron 17r 5737 laptop. Didn't need to install any drivers separately.

    My laptop came with Windows 8.1 installed and I had upgraded it to Windows 10. During this clean install, I was never asked for an install key. I believe the bios of my computer, having come with Windows 8.1 has all that info embedded in it.

    My laptop now boots to the Windows 10 logon screen in about 5 to 10 seconds. Wow I'm one happy camper. The SSD was well worth it.
    Last edited by Antilope; 30 Dec 2015 at 14:01.
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  9. Posts : 11,203
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there
    For BOOT drive GPT is fine provided you aren't going to clone the HDD / SSD to use on an older computer that isn't UEFI enabled at boot.

    On other drives IMO it's always better these days to go for GPT formatting. My one exception is that if making an external bootable HDD (Linux or Windows to Go for example) then making it MBR allows the external boot HDD to boot from either a modern computer or an older machine that doesn't have UEFI boot.

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