Jump to content


A Review of GPT Versus MBR Partitioning


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 04:52 PM

Lately there has been much discussion about GPT and MBR when partitioning a hard drive. Here is a little review of the two, and the difference. Hope this helps and is informative. The following was taken from Linked-in.
Mel

GPT brings with it many advantages, but MBR is still the most compatible and is still necessary in some cases. This isn’t a Windows-only standard — Mac OS X, Linux, and other operating systems can also use GPT.

What Do GPT and MBR Do?

MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) are two different ways of storing the partitioning information on a drive. This information includes where partitions start and begin, so your operating system knows which sectors belong to each partition and which partition is bootable. This is why you have to choose MBR or GPT before creating partitions on a drive.

MBR’s Limitations

MBR standards for Master Boot Record. It was introduced with IBM PC DOS 2.0 in 1983.

It’s called Master Boot Record because the MBR is a special boot sector located at the beginning of a drive. This sector contains a boot loader for the installed operating system and information about the drive’s logical partitions. The boot loader is a small bit of code that generally loads the larger boot loader from another partition on a drive. If you have Windows installed, the initial bits of UEFI replaces the clunky old BIOS with something more modern, and GPT replaces the clunky old MBR partitioning system with something more modern. It’s called GUID Partition Table because every partition on your drive has a “globally unique identifier,” or GUID — a random string so long that every GPT partition on earth likely has its own unique identifier.

This system doesn’t have MBR’s limits. Drives can be much, much larger and size limits will depend on the operating system and its file systems. GPT allows for a nearly unlimited amount of partitions, and the limit here will be your operating system — Windows allows up to 128 partitions on a GPT drive, and you don’t have to create an extended partition.

On an MBR disk, the partitioning and boot data is stored in one place. If this data is overwritten or corrupted, you’re in trouble. In contrast, GPT stores multiple copies of this data across the disk, so it’s much more robust and can recover if the data is correupted. GPT also stores cyclic redundancy check (CRC) values to check that its data is intact — if the data is corrupted, GPT can notice the problem and attempt to recover the damaged data from another location on the disk. MBR had no way of knowing if its data was corrupted — you’d only see there was a problem when the boot process failed or your drive’s partitions vanished.






Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

V.T. Eric Layton

    Nocturnal Slacker

  • Forum Admins
  • 21,506 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 06:37 PM

Veddy eeenteresting!

Posted Image

I'll stick with MBR for now, though. I'm lazy and old and I don't like new stuff. ;)

#3 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 06:45 PM

Nah your just a young Kid compared to me. Old Dogs can learn new tricks. :clap:
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

securitybreach

    CLI Phreak

  • Forum Admins
  • 23,889 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:00 PM

UEFI is great. I have been using it for years.
Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image
CNI Radio/G+ Profile/Configs/PGP Key/comhack π

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

V.T. Eric Layton

    Nocturnal Slacker

  • Forum Admins
  • 21,506 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:30 PM

ARF! ARF!

#6 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:55 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 13 July 2018 - 07:30 PM, said:

ARF! ARF!
ARF! ARF! ARF! got you beat by 23 years. :harhar:
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#7 OFFLINE   saturnian

saturnian

    Multithreader

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,159 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM

Thanks for the write-up! My two newer notebooks have GPT partitioning; MBR on the others. So I don't have a lot of experience with GPT but I did manage to install Debian on both of those newer ones, first repartitioning with GParted Live. I haven't done dual- or multi-boot setups on those two notebooks (in my case, it would be all-Linux); not sure if that would be any different with GPT than with MBR, other than there not being any extended partitons, I guess. Maybe I'll get around to adding another distro on one of them someday, I don't know. Anyway, those were the first two times I've done any partitioning on a computer using GPT partitioning.

I'm so silly -- whenever a computer comes my way anymore, I boot into Windows and look around for a few minutes, then shut it down, get into the BIOS and change the boot order, fire up GParted, and repartition. Bye-bye Windows, end of story.

#8 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,626 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:38 AM

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:



I'm so silly -- whenever a computer comes my way anymore, I boot into Windows and look around for a few minutes, then shut it down, get into the BIOS and change the boot order, fire up GParted, and repartition. Bye-bye Windows, end of story.

An that is silly ..................................why ? Sounds like a darn good move to me :breakfast:  Mind you you do waste a few precious moments, so I guess that is pretty silly, especially at your time of life :Laughing:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#9 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:59 AM

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:

Thanks for the write-up! My two newer notebooks have GPT partitioning; MBR on the others. So I don't have a lot of experience with GPT but I did manage to install Debian on both of those newer ones, first repartitioning with GParted Live. I haven't done dual- or multi-boot setups on those two notebooks (in my case, it would be all-Linux); not sure if that would be any different with GPT than with MBR, other than there not being any extended partitons, I guess. Maybe I'll get around to adding another distro on one of them someday, I don't know. Anyway, those were the first two times I've done any partitioning on a computer using GPT partitioning.
The Link Below shows my Linux Multi Boot with GPT partitioning and UEFI Firmware.
Mel
Click Here
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#10 OFFLINE   saturnian

saturnian

    Multithreader

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,159 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:46 AM

Cool! What's your fdisk -l look like? I've been going with only one shared swap partition. I used to multi-boot with various distros but maybe Arch kinda changed my mindset; going forward, I'm thinking Debian Stable plus Arch and that's it. Anyway, looks almost like the same sort of thing, multi-booting with GPT or MBR.

#11 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:57 AM

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 11:46 AM, said:

Cool! What's your fdisk -l look like? I've been going with only one shared swap partition. I used to multi-boot with various distros but maybe Arch kinda changed my mindset; going forward, I'm thinking Debian Stable plus Arch and that's it. Anyway, looks almost like the same sort of thing, multi-booting with GPT or MBR.
Here is my Fdisk for the 1st and 2nd disks. disk 1 is all linux, and disk2 is all Windows 10 Note the difference and the EFI partitions.
Device         Start       End  Sectors  Size Type
/dev/sda1       2048    999423   997376  487M EFI System
/dev/sda2     999424  49827548 48828125 23.3G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda3   49827840  51828735  2000896  977M Linux swap
/dev/sda4   51828736 149485567 97656832 46.6G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda5  149485568 200685567 51200000 24.4G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda6  200685568 202782719  2097152    1G Linux swap
/dev/sda7  202782720 264222719 61440000 29.3G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda8  264222720 315422719 51200000 24.4G Linux filesystem
/dev/sda9  315422720 317519871  2097152    1G Linux swap
/dev/sda10 317519872 358479871 40960000 19.5G Linux filesystem


Disk /dev/sdb: 232.9 GiB, 250059350016 bytes, 488397168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 0014599B-C267-4BFA-A3F3-BC460795857D

Device         Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdb1       2048    923647    921600   450M Windows recovery environment
/dev/sdb2     923648   1128447    204800   100M EFI System
/dev/sdb3    1128448   1161215     32768    16M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdb4    1161216 289605631 288444416 137.6G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sdb5  289605632 484165631 194560000  92.8G Microsoft basic data
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#12 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

V.T. Eric Layton

    Nocturnal Slacker

  • Forum Admins
  • 21,506 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 01:17 PM

View Postmhbell, on 13 July 2018 - 10:55 PM, said:

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 13 July 2018 - 07:30 PM, said:

ARF! ARF!
ARF! ARF! ARF! got you beat by 23 years. :harhar:

My... you are an old fart. ;)

#13 OFFLINE   ebrke

ebrke

    Board Bigwig

  • Forum MVP
  • 2,818 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 01:33 PM

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:

I'm so silly -- whenever a computer comes my way anymore, I boot into Windows and look around for a few minutes, then shut it down, get into the BIOS and change the boot order, fire up GParted, and repartition. Bye-bye Windows, end of story.
Maybe a little off topic, but something I've been wondering about in all this discussion, if you repartition and just get rid of windows, do any windows entries linger in EFI partition even though windows itself is gone?
Posted Image

#14 OFFLINE   saturnian

saturnian

    Multithreader

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,159 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 03:15 PM

View Postebrke, on 14 July 2018 - 01:33 PM, said:

Maybe a little off topic, but something I've been wondering about in all this discussion, if you repartition and just get rid of windows, do any windows entries linger in EFI partition even though windows itself is gone?

Hm. Well, I deleted all of the original partitions including the EFI partition, then created a new FAT32 partition for EFI when I repartitioned. So I don't know. Then when I installed Debian, well, here's what I put in my installation notes regarding that partition:

Quote

Partitioning method: Manual. Selected sda1, use as EFI System Partition, Bootable flag on.


#15 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,626 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 05:15 PM

View Postebrke, on 14 July 2018 - 01:33 PM, said:

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:

I'm so silly -- whenever a computer comes my way anymore, I boot into Windows and look around for a few minutes, then shut it down, get into the BIOS and change the boot order, fire up GParted, and repartition. Bye-bye Windows, end of story.
Maybe a little off topic, but something I've been wondering about in all this discussion, if you repartition and just get rid of windows, do any windows entries linger in EFI partition even though windows itself is gone?

If any Windows stuff was left in the EFI partition it you could just delete the files and folders with no ill effects. Best move would be to wipe everything and create new partitions, it is pretty easy with gparted run from a live distro.

:breakfast:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#16 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 05:30 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 14 July 2018 - 01:17 PM, said:

View Postmhbell, on 13 July 2018 - 10:55 PM, said:

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 13 July 2018 - 07:30 PM, said:

ARF! ARF!
ARF! ARF! ARF! got you beat by 23 years. :harhar:

My... you are an old fart. ;)
Of Course, age has it's privileges. o:)
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#17 OFFLINE   mhbell

mhbell

    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,212 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:35 PM

View Postebrke, on 14 July 2018 - 01:33 PM, said:

View Postsaturnian, on 14 July 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:

I'm so silly -- whenever a computer comes my way anymore, I boot into Windows and look around for a few minutes, then shut it down, get into the BIOS and change the boot order, fire up GParted, and repartition. Bye-bye Windows, end of story.
Maybe a little off topic, but something I've been wondering about in all this discussion, if you repartition and just get rid of windows, do any windows entries linger in EFI partition even though windows itself is gone?
Ebrke What is it you are trying to do? Here is an example of what windows installs when it is using the whole hard drive by itself.
Device         Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdb1       2048    923647    921600   450M Windows recovery environment
/dev/sdb2     923648   1128447    204800   100M EFI System
/dev/sdb3    1128448   1161215     32768    16M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdb4    1161216 289605631 288444416 137.6G Microsoft basic data

as you can see windows makes some special partitions When you have UEFI Firmware.

1. recovery environment partition

2. EFI System partition

3. Microsoft Reserved partition

4. Windows Partition (where Windows is installed)

If you are dual booting with Linux on the same hard drive or ssd, windows does not recognize the Linux partitions. Most modern Linux Distros will recognize the EFI partition and will install grub there and let you boot windows with grub. so if you are deleting just the windows partitions and leaving the linux partitions then you would have to Leave the EFI partition in order to boot linux. If on the other hand You want to install just Linux, then you can install and tell linux to use the whole hard drive or ssd. If you don't want Linux to take the whole hard drive, then you will have to make a partition of 512 MB Fat 32 and set the flags to EFI and ESP. Then you can format the rest of the drive for whatever distro you want to install. for example
1. Fat 32 512 MB EFI partition with flags set for EFI and ESP

2. Linux ext4 root partition

3. Linux Swap partition

4. Linux Home partition (if you use one)

The above is a over simplification, but should give you a good idea. If you need or want more information let me know and explain what you want to do.
Mel
Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's
https://pctechman.wordpress.com/

#18 OFFLINE   securitybreach

securitybreach

    CLI Phreak

  • Forum Admins
  • 23,889 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:55 PM

Well, windows will create the reserved partition and you will probably have the recovery one as well (it comes preinstalled on most computers nowadays) on any setup, MBR or UEFI.

The boot partition is on the only thing that really changes. You go from MBR (Master boot record.. first sector of harddrive) to a boot partition (EFI)..
Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image
CNI Radio/G+ Profile/Configs/PGP Key/comhack π

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#19 OFFLINE   sunrat

sunrat

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum Moderators
  • 5,679 posts

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:37 PM

Windows 10 made a 100MB ESP during install by default. My UEFI/GPT system uses less than half of that with about 5 Linux distros multi-booted.
With most Linux installs now, you would barely notice any difference in procedure between UEFI and MBR.
registered Linux user number 324659  ||    The importance of Reading The *Fine* Manual! :D
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

#20 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,626 posts

Posted 15 July 2018 - 04:41 AM

My ESP is 100 MB as it was auto installed with Windows 7. I dual Boot with Arch and have used 79.3 MB which leaves me 29.7 MB free. For my set up that is more than enough free space. If I were to install again from scratch I would make my ESP 150 MB just to give me some wriggle room in case I needed to triple boot.
When I made my install a couple of years ago there was no mention of size for the ESP mentioned in the Arch WIKI now I see that they advise a size of 512 MB. Why on earth someone has altered the wiki with what seems to me to be a ridiculous large size for a ESP baffles me.

My Arch files are,
initramfs-linux.img
initramfs-linux-fallback.img
intel-ucode.img
vmlinuz-linux
58.2Mib
Windows
5.7 Mib
rEFind
2.4Mib

As you can see not a vast amount of files and folders.

This is what my ESP looks like inside,

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I find rEFind to be very easy and low maintenance as a boot loader. Truthfully I like the way it looks and picks up USB distros I try out. :breakfast:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#21 OFFLINE   Dr. J

Dr. J

    Message Mogul

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts

Posted 15 July 2018 - 09:26 AM

Interesting... I've never really been pushed to pick one over the other. Most of my computers have a traditional BIOS with an MBR setup which works fine, only my new laptop shipped with a GPT/UEFI setup out of the box... which also works fine. B)
/usr/bin/drinking
~/hungover

#22 OFFLINE   securitybreach

securitybreach

    CLI Phreak

  • Forum Admins
  • 23,889 posts

Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:39 AM

View Postabarbarian, on 15 July 2018 - 04:41 AM, said:


Posted Image

Why do you have so many languages?
Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image
CNI Radio/G+ Profile/Configs/PGP Key/comhack π

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#23 OFFLINE   ebrke

ebrke

    Board Bigwig

  • Forum MVP
  • 2,818 posts

Posted 15 July 2018 - 01:45 PM

View Postmhbell, on 14 July 2018 - 06:35 PM, said:

Ebrke What is it you are trying to do?
Nothing at this point. Just trying to find my way with UEFI, which is new to me. :'(
Posted Image

#24 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,626 posts

Posted 16 July 2018 - 05:19 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 15 July 2018 - 10:39 AM, said:


Why do you have so many languages?

Beats me , that was what Windows installed. You would have thought that an install that had chosen UK English would just have that language installed but no you get all those shown. I do not know what half of the languages are. It is probably some Microsoft magic that makes the os run perfectly and beyond the ken of mere mortals. :228823:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users