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Windows 7: Installing windows 7 on SSD - MBR or GPT?

10 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Installing windows 7 on SSD - MBR or GPT?

I recent bought an SSD and am looking to do a clean install of windows 7 on it. When initialising the disk it is asking me to chose between MBR or GPT. I looked around the internet but I can't seem to make up my mind. My motherboard is an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z and has UEFI bios so it can run either.

My original HDD is MBR and I've read MBR is simpler and more compatible.
But then I've read GPT is newer, it's supposed to be faster at booting and it's more reliable.

My SSD is a 250GB one. I'm not gonna be bothering with partitions on it and neither will I be sticking it in other PCs which it may not run on if I chose GPT, so MBR having less partitions or GPT being incompatible with other PCs isn't going to affect me.

So what should I go for? Simple and convenient or newer, faster? and more reliable??


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jul 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote:
When initialising the disk it is asking me to chose between MBR or GPT.
Do not initialize the disk.

Quote:
My motherboard is an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z and has UEFI bios so it can run either.
I would go with GPT.

As the new MOBO's now have a uEFI/BIOS firmware.
How to install Windows 64 bit on a uEFI/BIOS firmware:
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with
or
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with


For more info on UEFI:
Windows and GPT FAQ
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
UEFI and Windows
Technical Note: UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS, Advantech(EN) - YouTube
Sample: Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions by Using Windows PE and DiskPart
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks a lot for the reply.

I'm installing windows and when I create a new partition the partitions it created are:
Partition 1: MSR (Reserved)
Partition 2: System
Partition 3: Primary

That's a different order than what's in the tutorial. Is that going to affect anything?? Or have I screwed up somewhere?

EDIT: nvm, I cleaned the disk to uninitialise it and tried installing windows on the uninitialised disk and it created the partitions in the right order so finally things seem to be working right I suppose!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jul 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

When you initialize the disk to GPT in Disk Management, the MSR partition is also made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the help! Appreciate it much! windows seem to be running fine on the new SSD for the moment...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2013   #7

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there

GPT has been designed for larger HDD's -- the limitations of NTFS and the number of partitions allowed on a disk were becoming too restrictive for modern large size HDD's -- 3 and 4 TB disks are quite common and if you "Pool" these or even simply use the Dynamic Disk feature to Span volumes (combine a number of physical HDD's so Windows just sees it as ONE HDD) you could easily have aggregate HDD sizes of say 7 or 8 GB -- quite useful for things like Music DB's if the software usually restricts your music DB to a single volume or you have a huge video library).

So the GPT format allows for far more partitions and larger ones too -- the standard MBR allows for I think a max of 4 physical partitions per HDD. The MBR also specifies a maximum partition size too -- I think it's 2TB.

You CANNOT BOOT though from a GPT partition unless it's X-64 version of windows and your BIOS supports UEFI so unless you have UEFI support in your BIOS and you are running x-64 Windows 7 versions you should keep your boot disk as MBR.

GPT disks though even without UEFI can be used for the other non boot HDD's.

With an SSD I'd just keep it as MBR since the disk is only likely to be in typical systems 120 or 256 GB capacities.

For other HDD's if you span disks (or use pooling) so the total aggregate size of any individual partition is > 2TB then convert to GPT.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tracingspirals View Post
I've read MBR is simpler and more compatible.
But then I've read GPT is newer, it's supposed to be faster at booting and it's more reliable.
Faster booting is due to using full EFI booting, that is CSM (legacy services) is disabled. That means no legacy OROM's, use EFI drivers and having graphics supporting GOP. Also Windows 7 has some quirks when using full EFI but here are some results I posted on this forum using this test program to obtain a 9 second restart with Windows 7. Otherwise IMO not much difference in speed really. As for the reliability, well you could argue MBR uses only one sector with embedded boot code while EFI uses more plus a much bigger loader, more to go wrong. So swings and roundabouts there.

GPT is more to do with EFI than just large disk support. It is also possible to boot GPT from a legacy BIOS, but once again Windows has its quirks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installing windows 7 on SSD - MBR or GPT?




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