By Dylan / Last Updated August 11, 2020

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Basic information about MBR and GPT

Due to the great performance of SSDs on games and software, lots of people replace HDD with SSD. When you install a new SSD on a computer, you may be confused to choose MBR or GPT as the partition table.

The MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) are two types of partition tables that commonly used in Windows systems. And a partition table is a table that is used for describing the partition on a hard drive or SSD, so the operating system can read data on the drive. So what is the difference between them? How to choose MBR to GPT for an SSD in Windows 10, 8, 7?

Choose MBR or GPT for SSD

In general, GPT is newer than MBR partition table and has more advantages than MBR drive. MBR only supports up to 2TB partition size and create only four primary partitions. Like lots of people reported their large MBR disk shows only shows 2TB (like 4TB only shows 2TB). And a GPT disk can support creating much more partitions with larger capacity without practical limit.

Moreover, GPT disks are more resilient to errors and have higher security. GPT disks store boot information on the beginning and the end of headers of a disk. The disk can be easier to recover boot data if they get lost in some unexpected situations.

But it doesn't mean the GPT is better for all SSDs. Boot mode and operating system are important factors in the choice. MBR disk + Legacy BIOS or GPT disk +UEFI are compulsory for most systems. You can check the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) firstly. And some PCs support changing BIOS to UEFI or UEFI to BIOS if you need.

And like we said, GPT is new, so it doesn't support some old operating systems, especially for OSes that older than Windows 7. Here is a table for differences between MBR and GPT. Refer to the table below you can choose MBR or GPT for SSD according to your demands and situation.

Comparison MBR And GPT

From this table, we can know that although GPT has many advantages, it is not always applied to every condition. MBR is still extensively used in the world. Besides, we can know that MBR supports BIOS and old systems while GPT supports UEFI and new systems. The 2 factors are very important.

How to set SSD partition style in Windows 10, 8, 7?

Now, you have already known whether MBR or GPT is suitable for your SSD. In the following text, we will teach you how to set SSD partition style.

How to initialize SSD to MBR or GPT?

If you just have a new SSD, insert it into your computer, and you will find an unknown disk on your computer. It needs to be initialized to MBR or GPT.

Step 1. Right-click the “This PC” icon on the desktop, and choose “Manage”. In the Manage window, click “Disk Management” under the storage.

Step 2. Right-click the unknown disk which is your SSD, and select “Initialize Disk”.

Initialize Disk

Step 3. In the window, choose MBR or GPT for SSD, and click “OK”.

Initialize Mbr Or Gpt

✍Note: If you can't initialize hard drive because of an I/O device error, try another cable to connect the SSD or insert it into another computer.

How to convert partition table between MBR and GPT?

As mentioned above, GPT and MBR differ in supported disk size, partition number and boot mode. If there’s an SSD on your computer, you might need to make a conversion between MBR and GPT in some situations.

For example, when you install Windows operating system on your computer and run into “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. "The selected disk has an MBR partition table” or “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition table”, Here we provide 2 methods of converting MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR.

Convert Partition table via Diskpart

Windows built-in tool Diskpart can help you to change partition assistant, but it needs to delete all data on the disk, and it can't convert the system disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, so if there are some important data on your disk, backup your disk beforehand and follow the below steps.

Step 1. Press "WIN+R", type "cmd" and press Enter to open the command prompt. Then, input "diskpart" and hit Enter.

Step 2. Type "list disk", and press Enter, it will show you all the disks on your computer. take notice of your SSD number.

Step 3. Type "select disk X" (X is the number of your SSD), and hit Enter, then you will be told the SSD will be selected.

Step 4. Type "clean” and press Enter to entirely clean the SSD.

Step 5. Type "convert gpt" or "convert mbr", press Enter. After a while, the SSD will be converted to GPT.

Convert Gpt Cmd Windows 10

Change partition type without data loss

You can use Diskpart Command Line, but that will erase all partitions and data on the disk. You have to backup everything important in advance. Besides, the Diskpart can't be revoked. The thing would be complicated if users make mistakes when they operate Diskpart.

Actually, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which is able to converts system and non-system disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR in Windows 10, 8, 7 without deleting existing partitions, i.e. without losing any data.

You can download the Demo edition, and follow the quick guide below on how to convert MBR to GPT without data loss using the software.

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right-click the disk you want to change, and choose “Convert to GPT Disk” or "Convert to MBR Disk".

Convert 3TB MBR Disk To GPT

Step 2. Then click “OK”.

Ok 3TB

Step 3. Click the “Apply” in the top left corner to finish the process.

Apply To MBR Data Disk

Then just wait for the conversion to complete and close the program.


Now I believe you have a basic understanding of partition tables and know how to choose MBR or GPT for SSD. And if you find the partition table does not work well for your PC, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant to convert it. In addition, it also offers other advanced functions. For example, it allows you to split partition, allocate free space from one partition to another, migrate OS from MBR disk to GPT SSD or HDD, erase SSD drive, etc.

And AOMEI Partition Assistant supports Windows systems, if you are using Windows systems, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition that is designed for Windows Server users. And there is Unlimited version for enterprises, it allows unlimited usage within one company, which can save lots of money.