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Here we will introduce the differences between MBR and GPT partition table. Besides, related knowledge of BIOS and UEFI will also be introduced as well.

As we all know, before using a new hard drive, we need to choose how to partition the disk. A disk partition table defines how information structured on the partition. The partition tables that Windows accepted are MBR and GPT. But do you know the different between them?

MBR’s Limitation

MBR (Master Boot Record) was introduced with IBM in 1983. It is called Master Boot Recorder because the MBR is a special boot sector located at the beginning of a drive. MBR contains a boot loader for the installed operating system and information about the drive’s logical partitions. When we boot the computer, boot code inside MBR will be required. So, if parts of MBR information is overwritten or damaged, Windows will not boot.
Hard disk using MBR partition table will first load the BIOS which will load into MBR. Then Windows will boot from MBR.
MBR does have its limitations. Here will will explain it in a simple way. All we need to know is that MBR only works with disk in 2TB, which means it can not handle disk space over 2TB. Besides, MBR only supports up to 4 primary partitions. If you want more partitions, you need to make one of your primary partitions as an “Extended partition” and create logical partitions inside. It is obviously not enough for nowadays computer users.
Hard disk with MBR partition table only supports 4 primary partitions
mbr partition table
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GPT’s Advantages

GPT is a newer standard that’s gradually replacing MBR with modern technologies. GPT is also called  GUID partition table because every partition on your drive has a “globally unique identifier”.
Since MBR partition table can not fulfill the development of disk capacity and partition requirement, GPT has made great improvement:

  • The biggest advantage is that it break the limitation of disk in 2.2TB. GPT supports disk supports up to 18EB (1EB=1024TB=1048576GB) in capacity.
  • Users are allowed to create nearly unlimited partitions.
    The limitation will be your system – Windows allows up to 128 partitions on GPT drive. But 128 partitions can fulfill the needs of most computer users.
On an MBR disk, the partitioning and boot data will save in a same place. If these data is overwritten or damaged, the computer can not boot normally. However, GPT will save copies of these information in different places, which helps to recover the damaged information. So using GPT partition table could be safer than MBR.
Disk with GPT partition table supports unlimited amount of partitions.
gpt partition table
It is recommended to choose GPT partition table if you are using a disk over 2TB or installing Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10. Besides, computer using Windows 8、8.1、10 can get a faster system loading time after choosing GPT partition table.

Will Different Partition Table Influence System Migration?

Now, we may get the conclusion that GPT is a modern standard and replacing MBR gradually. But being the early standard partition table in Windows, MBR is still with a good capability which is not replaceable in some situations.
As for system migration, different partition table will not have direct influence technically. But no matter the partition table you choose is MBR or GPT, they will boot the system with their own ways: MBR uses BIOS while GPT use UEFI.


BIOS settings
BIOS is short for Basic Input-Output System. It is a low-level software that resides in a chip on PC. When computer boots, BIOS will be responsible for waking up the hardware in PC and ensure they will work properly. However, BIOS does not make great improvement since released in the 1980s. The most serious limitation of BIOS is that it can only boot from drive of 2.1 TB or less. And it only has 1MB of space to execute in, which slows the boot process of all the hardware interfaces and devices on a modern PC.


UEFI settings
UEFI, a new firmware, can be regard as the successor of BIOS. UEFI is shorts for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. Different from the boot mode of traditional BIOS, UEFI can make system load into the pre-boot environment, which can improve the system loading time.

Comparing with BIOS, UEFI is safer, more flexible in boot configurations and can boot from drives of 2.2 TB or larger.  Besides, the biggest changes that UEFI brings to users is the setup screens, including graphics and mouse cursor support. Although it is not so convenience, it helps users to check settings in a better way.

For Windows 8 and later may only support UEFI and can not boot from traditional MBR disk. Because Microsoft enforces computers certified to run its Windows 8 or later operating system had to ship with secure boot. After secure boot is enabled, CSM firmware which is compatible with MBR will be deactivated, which will lead to MBR failed to boot  and then MBR devices will not work without UEFI. Once we meet such situation, we need to activate related options of CSM in UEFI.
Although parts of disk clone software can copy system files completely, but some can not make any changes on boot information. In other words, these software can not create perfect system migration or disk clone. Users still have to reinstall Windows system.

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System disk in disk A is 250GB and it has used 80GB. Users can migrate system to any disk/parition (capacity is over or equal to 80GB). Besides, Renee Becca will aligned the disk automatically when migrating system.

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