Greater than 2 TB HDD... MBR or GPT?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by goodflood, Apr 17, 2019.

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  1. goodflood

    goodflood MDL Junior Member

    Feb 16, 2011
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    Hello!

    My laptop current has an SSD with Win 10 OS and a 2 TB HDD for data. Everything is using MBR. I want to upgrade to a 4 TB HDD. Do, I need to change MBR to GPT?

    Thanks.
     
  2. efes34

    efes34 MDL Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2009
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    #2 efes34, Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Yo can use AOMEI Partition Assistant 8.1.0: Without losing data.
     
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  3. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
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    When you initially put the drive in and you go to disk management, it should ask you how to initialize it, afaik, when you select GUI Parted, it should be automatically set to GPT and able to format is as one big >2TB disk.

    If not, use a partition manager that can.

    Or partition it as 2 x 2 TB in MBR.
     
  4. °ツ

    °ツ MDL Addicted

    Jun 8, 2014
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    If you want to create a boot partition that is larger then 2 TB or if you want to have more then 4 partitions on the drive then you need to convert it to GPT, else you can keep MBR.
     
  5. goodflood

    goodflood MDL Junior Member

    Feb 16, 2011
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    I am not doing the "if" part of this:

    If you want to create a boot partition that is larger then 2 TB or if you want to have more then 4 partitions on the drive
    then
    you need to convert it to GPT,
    else
    you can keep MBR.

    So, I am sticking to using MBR... by keeping the OS on the SSD and just using a 4 TB HDD for data.

    Thank you all~!
     
  6. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    So, you are going to partition it into 2 x 2TB MBR?
     
  7. MrG

    MrG MDL Addicted

    May 31, 2010
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    I used DISKPART to format & convert my 3TB & 4TB HDDs & 250GB SSD from MBR to GPT for new Server 2016 machine setup.
     
  8. Jhonn

    Jhonn MDL Novice

    Jul 19, 2011
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    Honestly, with all computers nowadays coming with UEFI enabled by default (and which supports GPT only) and considering all limitations of MBR (which is ancient in 2019), you should switch to GPT ASAP, another incentive is that you're going to have a >2TB disk now...
     
  9. goodflood

    goodflood MDL Junior Member

    Feb 16, 2011
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    #9 goodflood, Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    (OP)
    @Enthousiast

    Yes,... I will leave the OS (Win 10 LTSB 2016) on the SSD... and the 2 TB HDD in. Insert the 4 TB HDD (yet to get) through a CD ROM interface using a caddy... then, transfer data and use it as a primary HDD. I think the 4 TB HDD formatted in MBR with partitions no greater than 2 TB works, right?

    EDIT:

    "So, you are going to partition it into 2 x 2TB MBR?" -- YES
     
  10. quadra

    quadra MDL Novice

    Jul 30, 2009
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    If you initialize the new drive in Windows disk management as MBR, you can only assign the first 2 TB to partitions. The rest will be unusable. With some 3rd party tools you can create a "2TB + 2TB" setup, but I strongly recommend against it if there is no pressing need for it. This is non standard and may cause "wrap around" issues in sone situations, which may lead to total data loss on the first partition.

    Since your boot drive and data drive are fully independent of each other, initialize the new drive as GPT, create the partitions you want and copy your data to the new drive. If you installed programs onto the HDD, you need to give the new drive the letter from the old drive afterwards or some things might not work.

    IMPORTANT:
    Before you do anything, unplug your old HDD from the system once and try to boot your PC. Sometimes something goes wrong during the Windows install (like wrong HDD order set in BIOS) and your PC is actually set to boot from the HDD. Then your system is installed on the SSD, but the important (and mostly invisible) boot files are on the HDD. In that case, your system will not boot without the HDD and things will get a bit more complicated.
     
  11. goodflood

    goodflood MDL Junior Member

    Feb 16, 2011
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    @quadra

    Sounds complicated... sure. I am sticking with MBR for now, unless I plan to reinstall Windows later, I will consider GPT.
     
  12. TigTex

    TigTex MDL Member

    Oct 5, 2009
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    #12 TigTex, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    You can keep your windows install on a mbr disk and create a GPT style partition for the 4tb hdd. if you already have data on that disk, there are tools to convert it and then extend the partitions. mbr2gpt comes with windows 10 1703 or newer. You can mix mbr and gpt disks without any issue on UEFI or legacy BIOS systems.

    also, UEFI works with mbr disks. all you need is a small fat32 partition with the EFI boot files (by default, windows creates a ntfs boot partition, that doesn't work)
     
  13. yuer1598

    yuer1598 MDL Novice

    Apr 20, 2019
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    Yes, you need to change MBR to GPT since MBR can only support disks which is not larger than 2TB. Surpass this maximum size, you will need GPT instead of MBR. To do such conversion, you can use Disk Management or Diskpart, but both of which requires you to first delete all existing partitions on the disk, then you can make conversion. If you want to convert MBR to GPT without losing data (deleting partitions), you need a third-party conversion tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard,which worked well.