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Change from MBR to GPT


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#1 yu gnomi

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 08:46 PM

When I installed Win 8.1 on my computer, I chose MBR install because I didn't know what GPT was. I have since learned that a GPT partition structure is necessary for Secure Boot and, for all I know, other things too.

 

I am contemplating re-installing win 8.1 with UEFI / GPT, which I realize means formatting the drive, and then restoring the programs I will have backed up. I am in no real hurry to do this, and I might wait until Windows 10 is released (the official version, not a preview version).

 

So I have the following questions for anyone knowledgeable:

 

Are there any features, other than secure boot, that need GPT?

 

I am thinking that for back-up, and restoring, I should just make a backup of my registry and move the directories I want to save off of my boot drive before re-installing.

 

After re-installing windows I could move the relevant folders back to the boot drive, merge my registry backup and everything should work again, right?


Edited by yu gnomi, 03 February 2015 - 08:50 PM.


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#2 Aura

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:09 PM

Hi yu gnomi :)

SevenForums have an interesting guide on MBR/GPT table partitionning, as well as converting a hard drive from MBR to GPT, you can read more about it here:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26203-convert-gpt-disk-mbr-disk.html

Not only using a GPT hard drive allows you to use secure boot, it also allows you to create bigger partitions (the limit is 1.5-2TB per partition under MBR) and it also allows you to create way more than the standard 4 primary partitions on a hard disk. There's only advantages to use a GPT hard drive compared to a MBR one and I strongly suggest you to do it :)

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#3 yu gnomi

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:23 PM

I think I will eventually, but since everything is working right now I am just not in a hurry to fix what ain't broke.

 

Also, read your post in other thread and I was specifically worried about registry issues, and thought I might end up with a bunch of stuff that Windows wouldn't recognize as being installed. I will just re-install the stuff I need afterwards.


Edited by yu gnomi, 03 February 2015 - 09:26 PM.


#4 Aura

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:25 PM

That's a good thinking :) It's really up to you to be honest. If you don't need any of the pros given by using a GPT partitionned drive, you don't need to format it, convert it and reinstall Windows 8.1. As long as you're happy with your current setup, there's nothing to worry about.

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#5 Bailifei

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:14 PM

I personally really love GPT disk , especially when you're dealing with a large amount of data. Break the limits of MBR disk.

But backup, formatting, reinstalling system, and restoring the programs are too troublesome and risky.

I have usded a free partition manager to change from MBR to GPT. No need to reinstall the system. It just did it directly.

And of course, try to backup everything important before you do anything big to the hard disk.


Edited by Bailifei, 27 April 2015 - 09:17 PM.


#6 leafwarbler

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 04:38 AM

First, you have to notice your computer motherboard type. If it is UEFI, you can convert to GPT; otherwise, if it is not, you can not do that. 

As for your question about the goodness of GPT, there are many things can tell you. Except for secure boot,  GPT allows up to 128 partitions in Windows OS, can support 18EB in disk partition style, fast load speed and so on. MBR can support 4 partitions and 2tb capacity. 

 

Seriously, before your operation, you need backup all data that is important for you. 

Next, you can clean the drive, recreate a new drive and convert to GPT, and then copy the original data back to the new drive.

Also, Windows Command prompt: cmd> diskpart > list disk> select disk 1> clean > convert gpt 

And the 3rd-party tool is convenient for this problem. MiniTool Partition Wizard is a good choice. CONVERT MBR TO GPT function is convenient and easy to operate. In the whole process, you do not need to worry about data loss.

 



#7 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:26 AM

leafwarbler, I replied to that user months ago and he haven't replied since then, which means that his question was most likely answered. Therefore there's no need to post anything else in this thread :)

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