By Michael / Last Updated October 20, 2022

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Scenario

Should I choose MBR or GPT for new SSD initialization?

I got a new SSD to replace my old hard drive disk, and I want to boot from the SSD and run a few games on it. What partition style should I initialize for it?            

- Question from www. reddit.com

Lots of people would like to replace HDD with SSD for a better experience. SSDs provide stable running performance, which is important for running a game, a bunch of programs, and commands. But many users ask if should they initialize an SSD as MBR or GPT on many forums.

Thus, we'll use this article to give you a brief explanation of MBR and GPT partition styles, and how to initialize a disk as MBR or GPT in Windows. Also, you'll learn how to convert between MBR and GPT.

Samsung Ssd

Basic information about MBR and GPT

The MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) are 2 types of partition tables that are commonly used in Windows systems. And a partition table is a table that is used to describe the partition on an HDD or SSD and help the disk 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 or GPT for an SSD in Windows?

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 allows for only 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition, while a GPT disk supports creating much more partitions with larger capacity without practical limits.

MBR VS GPT

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

Which partition table is better for your SSD?

Although the GPT partition scheme has many advantages, it doesn't mean the GPT is better for all SSDs. If you want your PC to 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) first. Fortunately, today's PCs usually 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 any 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 do you initialize SSD as an MBR or GPT in Windows 11,10, 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 on how to set SSD as MBR or GPT partition style.

Method 1. Set partition styles with Disk Management

Disk Management is a Windows built-in utility similar to DiskPart. This utility helps users manage both hard disks and partitions easily and with it, you can delete partitions, extend partitions, format partitions, and of course, initialize new hard drives.

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. Or turn to the second method.

Method 2. 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 the 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.

Download DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, right-click on the SSD, and hit "Initialize Disk" on the main interface.

Initialize Disk

Step 2. Choose MBR or GPT in the pop-up window for the selected drive, and click "OK".

Select Disk Style

Step 3. At last, click "Apply" on the top corner of the main interface, and click "Proceed" to commit the operation.

Apply Proceed

How to convert the 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:
1. You set a 4TB drive as MBR partition table, you find 4TB only shows 2TB.
2. When you install Windows operating system on your computer and you may run into the error “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”.

Here we provide 2 ways to make the MBR-GPT conversion.

Method 1. Convert Partition table via Diskpart

Windows built-in tool Diskpart can help you to change the partition table, but it requires deleting all data on the disk, or 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

Method 2. Convert between MBR and GPT with Disk Management

Besides DiskPart, Disk Management is also a feasible tool for conversion between the 2 partition tables.

1. Right-click on “This PC” on the desktop and select “Manage”.

2. Select “Disk Management” under the “Storage” tab.

3. Right-click on the hard disk you want to convert and select “Convert to GPT”. If there’re partitions on the hard disk, the option “Convert to GPT” will be greyed out. Thus, the same as what you do with DiskPart, you have to delete all partitions beforehand.

disk management convert

Method 3. Change partition type without data loss

As you can see above, both DiskPart and Disk Management ask to require partition deletion once you try converting between MBR and GPT. In this case, you have to back up everything important in advance. Besides, the Diskpart can't be revoked. There could be severe system crashes on your PC if you make a wrong step.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is also able to convert system and non-system disks from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR for SSD in Windows without deleting existing partitions. And with its user-friendly interface, all the processes 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".

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.

Conclusion

Now, I believe you have a basic understanding of partition tables and know whether you should 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 features. For example, it allows you to split partitions, 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 which is designed for Windows Server users. And there is an Unlimited version for enterprises, which allows unlimited usage within one company, which can save lots of money.