There are two types of hard disk: MBR and GPT. In most cases, we do not need to know which partition scheme (MBR or GPT) our disk uses. However, some professional tools sometimes need to specify the partitioning scheme that they require. In this case, we need to check which partition system our disk is using. So, in this guide, you will learn 2 different ways to Check MBR or GPT disk partition style in Windows 10.
Meanwhile, these are only various ways for the partition table to be stored on a drive. GPT is more modern and is required to boot Windows systems in UEFI mode. MBR is required to boot older Windows systems in BIOS mode, although the 64-bit version of Windows 7 can also be started in UEFI mode.
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What is MBR?
MBR is also called Master Boot Record, Master boot sector, and sector 0. The MBR is the first computer hard disc sector that tells the computer how to load the device and partition the hard drive. The executable code for MBR requires a small amount called the master boot code, the disk signature, and the disc component table. The MBR includes the key sections entered in its partition table when a storage device is divided with the MBR partitioning method.
The MBR disks support only the storage device not bigger than 2 TB so that for disks larger than 2 TB, it is not advisable to use the MBR partition system. Also, up to four principal partitions can be supported with MBR disc. You must create three main partitions plus an expanding partition if you want further partitions, and then create logical partitions within the extended partition.
What is GPT?
GPT was developed as part of a Unified Extensible Firmware (UEFI) initiative and is short for GUID Partition Table. GPT offers a more versatile partitioning mechanism than the popular PCs for the older Master Boot Record (MBR). For example, the storage device using the GPT partition scheme will accommodate a hard drive larger than 2 TB (MBR only supports a hard drive within 2 TB) and GPT does not restrict the amount of the partition. Furthermore, GPT drive boots from UEFI based device while the legacy BIOS drive boots.
How to Check MBR or GPT?
Note: the below steps also apply to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
Method 1. Check MBR or GPT Partition Style using Disk Management
Step 1. Right-click on the Start menu button and select Disk Management.
Step 2. Locate the disk you want to determine MBR or GPT. Right-click on it and select Properties.
Step 3. Now, click the Volumes tab and next to Partition style, you will see either “Master Boot Record (MBR)” or “GUID Partition Table (GPT),” depending on which the disk is using.
Method 2. Check MBR or GPT Partition Style using Command Prompt
Step 1. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
Step 2. Type Diskpart and press enter.
Step 3. Now, type List Disk and press enter.
Step 4. If the drive is using GPT, then you’ll see an asterisk character (*) under the “Gpt” column. If you don’t see the asterisk character (*), then the drive is using the MBR scheme.
In my case, there’s no asterisk under the gpt, which means my disk partition style is MBR.
That’s it. These were the two methods to check and determine whether your disk partition style is MBR or GPT in Windows 10. You can understand the partitioning style the hard drive uses on Windows 10 once the steps are completed. To convert MBR to GPT click here.