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Windows 7: hard drives, ntfs, mbr and gpt

30 Jun 2016   #1
diamndd

win 7 pro 64
 
 
hard drives, ntfs, mbr and gpt

Hi not sure this question should post here or elsewhere.. Trying to wrap my head around the mbr vs gpt formats. if you have an older drive that is formatted ntfs in a mbr system. can it be read in a new system that is ntfs on a eufi motherboard with new drives using gpt? can i clone a drive that was mbr to a drive that gpt? i have got a lot of older data drives that i need to access from time to time and i may just consolidate the older drives to newer larger drives.
thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jun 2016   #2
spunk

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1, XP Pro SP3, OSX
 
 

I will try and answer your questions:
Most new computers have the new UEFI Bios and uses Secure Boot under the Security tab in the Bios. This keeps the computer from booting from any new hardware. If you are installing a fresh install of Windows, you need to Disable Secure Boot or change it to Setup Mode.
Next under the Boot tab it may be listed as UEFI Bios, if you want to boot from a USB or CD/DVD you must change this to Legacy Bios. Then you can select a non UEFI Bios device to boot off of.
That being said, if a HDD is larger the 2.2TB it must be Initialized as GPT. Drives under 2TB can be initialized MBR. The Bios must be a UEFI Bios to boot Windows from a drive that is initialized GPT. If a drive is just a storage drive and does not boot Windows, then the drive can be initialized GPT and it will work with the MBR initialized drive that boots Windows in a non UEFI Bios computer.
If you have an MBR Initialized HDD and you want to Clone it to a GPT drive, it will clone just the MBR partition, leaving the rest of the drive Unallocated Space and removing the GPT Initialization, making it an MBR disc and reducing the capacity.
If you copy files from an MBR Initialized drive to a GPT Initialized drive, they will copy perfectly and it will not touch the capacity of the drive or it's GPT initialization.
If you have a large capacity GPT initialized HDD, you can copy all of your older MBR drives files to the one big GPT HDD, to save desk space. Be sure to keep all of your old drives in a safe place as backup if the new drive goes belly up someday.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2016   #3
TrustMe

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spunk View Post
I will try and answer your questions:
Most new computers have the new UEFI Bios and uses Secure Boot under the Security tab in the Bios. This keeps the computer from booting from any new hardware. If you are installing a fresh install of Windows, you need to Disable Secure Boot or change it to Setup Mode.
Next under the Boot tab it may be listed as UEFI Bios, if you want to boot from a USB or CD/DVD you must change this to Legacy Bios. Then you can select a non UEFI Bios device to boot off of.
That being said, if a HDD is larger the 2.2TB it must be Initialized as GPT. Drives under 2TB can be initialized MBR. The Bios must be a UEFI Bios to boot Windows from a drive that is initialized GPT. If a drive is just a storage drive and does not boot Windows, then the drive can be initialized GPT and it will work with the MBR initialized drive that boots Windows in a non UEFI Bios computer.
If you have an MBR Initialized HDD and you want to Clone it to a GPT drive, it will clone just the MBR partition, leaving the rest of the drive Unallocated Space and removing the GPT Initialization, making it an MBR disc and reducing the capacity.
If you copy files from an MBR Initialized drive to a GPT Initialized drive, they will copy perfectly and it will not touch the capacity of the drive or it's GPT initialization.
If you have a large capacity GPT initialized HDD, you can copy all of your older MBR drives files to the one big GPT HDD, to save desk space. Be sure to keep all of your old drives in a safe place as backup if the new drive goes belly up someday.
Thanks spunk, you cleared that up for me.
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30 Jun 2016   #4
diamndd

win 7 pro 64
 
 

Thanks as well Spunk, I believe i have a rudimentary grasp of the concept. I looked at my motherboard and it is only legacy bios. it does have a utility to work with drives over 2.2tb but My external Nas handles larger drives and all my internal are 2tb and under. But i wonder if a GPT initialized drive can work as a secondary drive, could I use a 3,4, or larger TB capacity drive as a data/document drive and have windows use that drive for all documents.(point the documents, music,photos folders etc to this drive) so i would have OS and programs on SSD and all data files stored on this larger drive, or maybe two in raid 1.
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