What Is GPT Disk and How to Manage GPT Disk

Tracy King updated on Sep 10, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

PAGE CONTENT - How to Partition GPT Disk

  1. What Is GPT Disk
  2. Features of GPT
  3. GPT vs. MBR, Which Is Better
  4. How to Convert MBR Disk to GPT
  5. How to Partition GPT Drive
  6. FAQs about GPT Disk

If you know nothing about GPT disk, stay here. On this page, you'll learn what is GPT disk, main features of GPT, and details about GPT vs. MBR. If you are looking for an easy way to convert or partition GPT disk, follow on and find your best solutions here.

What Is GPT disk?

GPT is the abbreviation of the GUID Partition Table. According to Wikipedia,  GPT is a standard layout of partition tables of a physical computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive. Forming a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard, it is also used for some BIOS systems because of the limitations of master boot record (MBR) partition tables. 

Here is a traditional GUID Partition table scheme. You may figure out that a GPT disk contains a primary GPT partition table, normal partitions, and a secondary GPT partition table. 

GPT scheme

However, it seems to be complex for some ordinary users to understand. Don't worry. We added a GPT disk layout image for you to better understand the GPT disk:

the layout of a gpt disk.

From the disk layout, you can see that a GPT disk contains 3 parts:

  • Primary Partition Table: It contains the protective MBR, GPT header, partition table that system needs to load information and access existing partition data.
  • Normal Data Partitions: It's the physical location where your data and personal files are saved.
  • Backup Partition Table: It is an area for GPT disk to keep backup information for GPT header and partition table in case of loss or damage to the Primary Partition Table.

Advanced Features of GPT Disk

Some of you may still don't know what exactly can a GPT disk do for you, right? Compared to MBR, GPT provides a more flexible disk partitioning mechanism. Check the feature list below, you will learn what makes GPT disk outstanding:

  • 1. GPT with UEFI replaces the clunky old BIOS with MBR partitioning system. 

Every GPT partition has its own unique identifier.

  • 2. GPT breaks the limits of MBR.

GPT disk is much larger in storage capacity than MBR disk, allowing users to create an unlimited number of partitions. Note that if it's a GPT system disk, you are allowed to create up to 128 partitions.

  • 3. It's easier to recover data from a GPT disk.

MBR disk stores its partitioning and boot data in one place, however, GPT stores multiple copies of this data across the disk, which makes it much easier to recover once the data is corrupted on GPT.

  • 4. GPT can check if its data is intact.

GPT disk stores the CRC (cyclic redundancy check) values to check if its data is intact. Once the data gets corrupted, GPT can notice the problem and attempt to recover the damaged data from another location on the disk for you.

According to the above features, you can see that a GPT disk is indeed great in data protection and exceeds MBR disk in partition management. If you want to know which is better between GPT and MBR, check the comparison in the next part to learn the details.

GPT vs. MBR, Which Is Better?

From the following comparison table, you can clearly see the differences between GPT and MBR disk. The advantages of GPT disks are apparent.

Comparison MBR GPT

Disk storage space

Maximum of 2 TB

Greater than 2 TB

Number of partitions

4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions +1 extended partition (logical partition is not limited)

128 primary partitions

Firmware interface 

BIOS UEFI

Operating systems 

Windows 7 and older versions 

Windows 10 32-bit, Windows 8/8.1/10 64-bit

Security details

Once a partition table in MBR is corrupted, nothing can be done to retrieve your data.

GPT provides greater reliability due to replication and cyclical redundancy check (CRC) protection of the partition table and data. 

Through the above comparison, you may find that it is a better choice to convert a disk to GPT so to make full use of a big disk, taking advantage of the GPT partition style. 

Besides, the GPT disk can be either basic or dynamic. And the file system of GPT partition can be FAT and NTFS (see how to convert FAT to NTFS). 

How to Convert MBR Disk to GPT?

After learning the differences between MBR and GPT disks, some of you may want to switch your current MBR disks to GPT. And here, professional GPT partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master is recommended to help you manage GPT drive with ease.  

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 Windows 10 is supported

You can follow the tutorial video here or refer to the link here to learn how to convert MBR to GPT without losing data:

How to Partition GPT Disk?

You can do a lot of things on a GPT disk, like creating, resizing, merging, and format partitions. With the help of reliable EaseUS Partition Master, you can even do more advanced operations on the disk, such as migrate OS from HDD to SSD, convert basic to dynamic, convert primary and logical partition, and more.

Video Tutorial on How to Partition a GPT Hard Drive:

You can also apply EaseUS Partition Master to complete safely complete all these disk management jobs on your GPT disk with the following steps: 

 

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your GPT hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

Step 2: Adjust the new partition size, file system, label, etc.

Set the size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new GPT partition and click "OK" to continue.

Set up new partition

Step 3: Confirm to create a new GPT partition

Click on the "Execute Operation" button and confirm to create a new partition on the GPT disk by clicking "Apply".

Confirm and keep all changes

If you have more questions about managing GPT disk, check listed questions and answers in the next part.  

FAQs about GPT Disk

Apart from provided information and solutions on managing GPT disk, we also find that many people have doubts about how to check their disk partition style, which is the best for SSD, etc. 

If you are having a similar question, check the questions and hope our answers can help you out. 

1. How do I check my disk is GPT or MBR?

An easy way that applies to all Windows users for checking the disk partition style is to use Disk Management: Open Disk Management > Locate and right-click on the target disk > Select Properties > Check Disk Information under Volumes > Check your partition style - GPT or MBR.

2. Should I use MBR or GPT for SSD? 

Many new SSD users may have the same question. Which partition style should I use it for the new SSD, MBR or GPT? Check the suggestion below, you will know what to do:

  • If you plan to use the SSD disk as a system drive, planning to move your operating system to the drive, it should be the same as your current system disk - GPT to GPT or MBR to MBR.
  • If you plan to use the SSD disk as a game drive, GPT partition style is more preferable. 
  • If you plan to use the SSD disk as a data disk, creating many partitions on it, GPT is also recommended.

3. Is a GPT partition bootable? 

As the article stated, a GPT disk contains a primary partition table which includes MBR, GPT header, partition tables for loading basic information of existing partitions and entries of these partitions. As long as the primary partition table is intact, the GPT partition is bootable.

If the primary partition table damages, GPT disk will reload the partition information and entries from its secondary partition table - the backup partition table which can be regarded as a backup of the primary partition table. Therefore, even if the primary partition table gets damaged, GPT disk can also load all your partition and displaying your data.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7