Differences between MBR and GPT

Basically, MBR and GPT are two styles of disk partitions, where a disk partition is the name given to each partition present on a single physical data storage unit such as a hard drive. Thus, when making a disk partition, you can choose between MBR and GPT, both of which are two different ways of creating and managing the partition tables of a hard disk and that offer different functionalities, which will be described in this article for readers’ consideration.

📌What is MBR?

To begin with, MBR stands for -master boot record-, which translates into Spanish as -master boot record- and is a disk partition standard that began operating in 1983 and is still fully functional today. It is also the best known style of partition tables, so it is also compatible with most operating systems.

This format is used for several functions, among which we can mention the booting of the operating system with bootstrap, to store a partition table and sometimes to identify an individual disk device. It is worth noting that the MBR of a hard drive contains the information about the partitions on that drive.

Despite this, the MBR format has some limitations, among which stand out that it is only capable of handling disks of up to 2TB and supports only 4 primary partitions, so if more than 4 partitions are required, partitions must be used. extended.

📌What is GPT?

Briefly, GPT stands for GUID Partition Table and is a style for partition table placement on a physical hard drive. We must emphasize that GPT is part of the standard -Extensible Firmware Interface- (EFI) proposed by Intel to replace the BIOS system, therefore, it replaces the Master Boot Record (MBR) used with the BIOS.

Also, the GPT system uses Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs) to address partitions, and contains a protective MBR to address older computers in terms of partition handling.

However, despite the fact that the GPT format is newer, it has some disadvantages, among which we can mention that it only works on 64-bit operating systems but is compensated by its ability to handle disks of up to 256 TB and that it supports up to 128 primary partitions.

📌Differences between MBR and GPT

According to the above, the most important differences between MBR and GPT are the following:

  • MBR is supported on most operating systems while GPT only works on 64-bit operating systems.
  • MBR is only capable of handling disks up to 2TB while GPT handles disks up to 256TB in capacity.
  • MBR only supports 4 primary partitions, so if more than 4 partitions are required, extended partitions should be used, while GPT is capable of supporting up to 128 primary partitions.

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