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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:27 pm 
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After another clean install I ran into an issue when I tried to start the install of Windows 7... the reason for the re-install isn't relevant to this thread other than I wasn't entirely happy with the last install and a backup wouldn't have helped other than to potentially re-introduce unforeseen issues.

I was informed that Windows 7 couldn't be installed because my drives had MBR partitions and my BIOS/motherboard only supported GPT partitions.

This amazed me because none of my hardware has changed since my last install... I eventually worked out that despite having a "Dual BIOS" capable motherboard with the following setting:
OS System Type > Boot Mode Selection > UEFI & Legacy Mode

It meant nothing unless I <enter what it's supposed to mean, I don't know?>, anyway I changed it to Legacy only and I could proceed.

So, my question, is there any performance to be gained if the file structure is GPT or MBR?


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:55 pm 
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GPT is more secure as it makes a second copy of its version of the MBR. It the main fails it automatically goes to the backup

The GPT drives also seem to be seen as USB devices and are hot swappable.

GPT can also handle partition sizes greater than 2 TB which is the limit for MBR.

If there is any speed advantage I am not aware.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:52 am 
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Hi Jay

Unless it's been changed in Win 10, Windows has always made a copy of the 1st two records of the drive at the end of the drive. Only trick is knowing the record numbers and how to pick them up. That's how partition recovery software does it.


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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:00 pm 
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That may be true but GPT does it on the fly.

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Thanks for the info :)

For the time being I think i'll just stick with MBR... to a degree I know how it works, e.g. I know how to rebuild a corrupt MBR etc.

The hot swapping ability I don't trust, though I'm sure it's perfectly safe, despite never having lost any data ever on a USB device I still worry every time I unplug one so I'm not about to be doing that with a HDD any time soon! lol

The 2TB MBR limit is interesting, i know i said in the first post that i hadn't changed any hardware but this reminds me that i did...

I replaced two of my older HDD's a month or so ago (500MB & 1TB) with a 2TB HDD because they may have been the cause of an earlier issue (?? don't know if they were but they were very old and probably long overdue failing.)
Ref: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1507

... I considered buying a 3 or 4TB HDD but decided that that amount of extra storage space was probably overkill for my needs so chose a less expensive 2TB HDD... i also couldn't make up my mind if i wanted to go down the SSHD route to compliment my SSD drive or not.

Anyways, would i be correct in my thoughts that when it comes to storage space only, it doesn't really matter if a HDD is formatted in GPT or MBR... but it likely will, or at least might, if the HDD is bootable?

Edited to add... on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.


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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:14 pm 
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As long as the drive is not over 2 TB it does not matter which way it is formatted. Even if the drive is over 2 TB it is still workable in MBR as long as it is partitioned to where no partition is over 2 TB. Also many motherboards will come with a patch that will allow (I think) 3 TB in MBR. My media drive is 4 TB split in half. Windows 10 did not have an issue with the drive not partitioned but 7 did. This was regardless of if the drive was GPT or MBR so it may be that there would be an issue with a larger drive in Win 7 in any case.

I don't do the hot swapping either. ;)

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:22 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Even if the drive is over 2 TB it is still workable in MBR as long as it is partitioned to where no partition is over 2 TB.

In hindsight I may not have been clear, but that was exactly the situation I was thinking about, thanks.


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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Just keep in mind that you would possibly need to do the partitioning on another system running Windows 10. I just can't remember if EaseUS Partition Master was able to do it in Windows 7.

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