Howto - which one to choose MBR or GPT Disk

MBR or GPT Which One Is Better?

As we purchase a new hard disk to plunge it in the computer, the windows system always guides us to format the HD and gives us two options to choose: MBR and GPT, which always make us awkward. Because some of us even have no any idea about these two options, how could we choose?
So, in this text, we would learn some knowledge about these two format modes together.

Which one is better for you?

If the capacity of your HD is less than 2 TB, MBR is much wise choice for you.
If the capacity of your HD is far more than 2TB, GPT is much wise choice for you.

Why we need to format or initialize our new hard disk?

When we have already installed a new hard disk in our computer, it should be formatted or initialized to place our data efficiently.
In order to let you understand, we could compare the HD as a new house, and the data as the new furniture. After we buy a new house, we need clean it and divides it into several parts such as the dining room, the bedroom and the studying room, etc. As long as we have finished this dividing plan, we finally could buy our furniture to match with different rooms and styles. Therefore, the process of format is exactly like the process of cleaning the room and dividing the room to put our data.
So in order to use our HD effectively and efficiently, we need to format it.

What are MBR and GPT?

MBR and GPT are two different modes of dividing your HD. Namely, they are two kinds of disk partition modes.  


MBR is fully called “Master Boot Record”. It had been developed many years, and is still widely used now in our computers.
It could divide your HD into 4 primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partitions at most, this extended partition could contain many logical partitions. 
Its max capacity of every partition is limited to be 2TB. If your partition is smaller than 2TB, it could be no any affection for you to use. But if yours is larger, it could only use the former 2TB, which could cause a great waste of your computer resources. So this point has become its well-known shortcoming.


Due to MBR’s shortcoming, people are appealing to develop a new mode that could process much more data, at least more than 2TB. So Microsoft and Intel cooperated to propose a new mode in 2001: GPT.
GPT is fully called “GUID Partition Table”. It is a part of EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) specifications.
Differently from MBR, GPT uses “volume” (like a partition) to divide your HD. Its max volume can reach up to 18 EB(Exabytes), and there is no limit to the number of your volumes in every HD. But because of the limit of the windows system, a HD usually could contain 128 volumes or partitions at most.

Difference between MBR and GPT

  1. MBR has been used for a long time, but its shortcomings also daily become visible. GPT has been developed only a decade, but its high capacity also attracts increasing users.
  2. MBR has a limitation to the number of primary partition while GPT could have countless partitions in theory.
  3. Every partition of MBR format mode only could manage the storage less than 2TB while GPT can manage any size.
  4. MBR contains three kinds of partitions: primary partitions, extended partition and logical partitions while GPT has no such divisions.
  5. MBR can be used in all Windows system while GPT can only used in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

1. Not all people could choose one of them simply according to the capacity of HDs.
Your windows system of your computer should be Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
The main board of your computer should have the EFI connector.
If your computer cannot meet these two conditions, you have to choose MBR.
2. If your USB is not a new one, you may have some important data in there before your format.
You’d better back up your data before your format.
You could also choose data recovery software to help you, such as iCare Data Recovery Free. It is really free and efficient. It is also easy to grasp. You could download it for free. 

The conclusion

Nowadays, because of the limitation of our conditions, we cannot choose them freely, but as the fast development of IT skills, I believe we could use these two modes as we wish.


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