Difference Between MBR and GPT While Partitioning a Disk

You already know that before using the hard drive you must need to split the hard drive into multiple partitions. Whenever you partition the hard drive it has following advantages like formatting convenience, increased security and improved performance. The hard drive partition contains information about the hard drive partition structure. But, where this information gets stored? The information gets stored inside the MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) of the hard drive.

MBR and GPT stores the information regarding the start and end range of the hard drive partition and it also contains the information about the active hard drive partition that comes into play during the booting process.


MBR stands for Master Boot Record that is most widely used partition table format since 1980. MBR supports maximum of four primary partitions and the size limit up to 2 TB. But, in the fast growing world where data is the most important resource for all big enterprises cannot work with this limitation. Therefore, an advanced version of partition table is required.

The GPT stands for GUID Partition Table is the newest technology of the hard drive partition system that supports maximum size limit up to 9.4 zettabytes. But, all the older Windows operating system like Windows XP doesn’t support GPT partition format. Only all the latest Windows operating systems like Windows 7, Windows 8 supports this version because GPT partition table requires UEFI technology on the mother board. Except Windows, some other operating systems like Linux and Mac operating system such as Yosemite and Mac OS X also supports GPT partition table. GPT also provides more protection against the data loss compared to MBR because GPT contains two partition headers that store the start and end address of the data stored inside the hard drive, but MBR saves only a single partition table. Apart from these features, GPT has some more advanced features and if you want to get information about those features continue reading.

GPT partitioning advantages over MBR:

  • By using GPT partition table, you can improve the performance of the system because it decreases the boot up time of the system.
  • GPT provides more security over data corruption because it contains two partition tables, namely backup header and partition table but MBR contains only one partition table.
  • GPT partition table can be implemented only on UEFI technology based systems which enables the Secure Boot feature of the Windows 8 operating system.
  • Using MBR maximum partition limit up to 4 without creating the extended partition which allows creating more sub partitions in same partition but, GPT allows creating maximum up to 128 partitions.
  • MBR have the maximum permissible partition size up to 2TB but GPT supports maximum permissible size limit up to 10 ZB.