As price of SSDs declines, lots of people would like to replace HDD with SSD for better experiment. SSDs provides stable running performance, which is important for running a game, a bunch of programs, commands. But I notice many users will ask should they initialize an SSD as MBR or GPT on many forums, like Reddit.
Next, this article will give you a brief explanation about MBR and GPT partition styles, and a guide on how to initialize it as MBR or GPT in Windows 10, 8, 7. Also it will give you a solution when you set an SSD incorrect partition style.
Basic information about MBR and GPT
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, and helping the drive to locate a file, so that 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?
Which partition table is better for your 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, while 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. If you want your PC boot from the SSD, the boot mode and operating system are important factors in the choice. MBR disk + Legacy BIOS or GPT disk +UEFI are compulsory for many systems. Only Windows 11 needs a UEFI + GPT environment. You might need to check the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) firstly. Fortunately, today's PCs usually supports 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.
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 initialize SSD partition style as an MBR or GPT in Windows 10, 8, 7?
Now, you have already known which partition table MBR or GPT is better for your SSD. In the following text, we will give you 2 methods of how to set SSD as MBR or GPT partition style.
Set partition styles with Disk Management
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”.
Step 3. In the window, choose MBR or GPT for SSD, and click “OK”.
✍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. Or turn to the second method.
Initialize SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant
Sometimes, Disk Management does not work. You can turn to its alternative tool-AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can effectively initialize a disk, SD card, SSD as MBR or GPT drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. Besides, it is also able to convert disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR in Windows in case you initialize it a wrong partition style.
Now download the Demo edition, and follow the quick guide below to have a try and see how to use this tool.
Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, right-click on the SSD, and hit "Initialize Disk" on the main interface.
Step 2. Choose MBR or GPT in the pop-up window for the selected drive, and click "OK".
Step 3. At last, click "Apply" on the top corner of the main interface, and click "Proceed" to commit the operation.
How to convert partition table between MBR and GPT?
As mentioned above, GPT and MBR differ in supporting 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, if you set a 4TB drive as MBR partition table, you will find 4TB only shows 2TB. And 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 “The selected disk is of the GPT partition table”, you will need to convert its partition style.
Here we provide 2 ways of performing it.
Method 1. Convert Partition table via Diskpart
Windows built-in tool Diskpart can help you to change partition table, but it requires 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.
Method 2. Change partition type without data loss
You can use Diskpart Command Line, but it 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.
AOMEI Partition Assistant is also able to converts system and non-system disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR for SSD in Windows without deleting existing partitions. And with its user-friendly interface, all the process will be easier than the first method.
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".
Step 2. Then click “OK”.
Step 3. Click the “Apply” in the top left corner to finish the process.
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.