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Windows 7: MBR vs. GPT HDD partition choice

1 Week Ago   #1
HenriK37

Win7 Home Premium x86/Win7 Pro x64
 
 
MBR vs. GPT HDD partition choice

My 85 year-old next-door neighbor has a 64 bit Win7-Pro PC and has run out of space on his single HDD. He bought a 2 tB HHD and has it successfully installed in his system as a 2nd HDD. He also has obtained MiniTool's disc partitioning s/w. MiniTool's wizard presented him with several options for partitioning this new HDD - particularly whether or not it should be partitioned with the GPT system. After reading through several partitioning tutorials and prior discussions, I have discovered that I don't know enough to give him any decent advice.

This user is going to use only Win7-Pro as his OS. Under this circumstance, I had thought one simply created a large extended HDD partition and then created logical drives within the extended partition. Given the more modern nature of Win7 and the larger sizes of HDDs now available, combined with what I read about GPT partitioning, I end up rather confused.

The existing HDD 0 has the usual Win7 partitions plus an extended partition with two logical drives in it. Can, or should, this extended partition in HDD 0 be set up to include the newly installed drive (HDD1) and thus allow the creation of more logical drives as desired? If so, how does one do it?

If not, how should I help the user proceed? I also have the essentially same query about one of my own PCs so sorting this out will aid both of us. Thanks, in advance for guidance, etc.


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1 Week Ago   #2
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

His best option is to clone the old hard drive and use that as drive c it's a bad idea to have logical partitions as if one goes they all go you can have 4 primary ones
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1 Week Ago   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You do not say if he wants to puts his OS on it or just use it for storage, if he wants to use it for storage then just initialize it GPT so his OS can see the entire drive, even though it`s only a 2 TB drive.

He can then move his data over to it to make room on his OS drive.

Let us know exactly what he wants to do.

There is no real need to even partition the drive, just create storage folders in one partition, but that`s totally up to the user.

And just make them Primary partitions, no more then 4.
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1 Week Ago   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

While there are valid reasons to partition a drive (such as a one drive computer, such as a laptop, to separate the system files—OS and programs—from data files), doing so for data organization is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Using folders instead of partitions is far more efficient and flexible.

If a drive isn't going to be used as a boot drive, there is no reason to not use GPT formatting.
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1 Week Ago   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HenriK37 View Post

If not, how should I help the user proceed? I also have the essentially same query about one of my own PCs so sorting this out will aid both of us. Thanks, in advance for guidance, etc.
Not enough info provided.

Windows and GPT FAQ - Windows 10 hardware dev

If the new drive will be the boot drive and you decide to use GPT, then you must use UEFI rather than BIOS----regardless of the size of the new drive. A system with BIOS cannot boot a GPT disk.

If the new drive will be data only, you could use either GPT or MBR for it. You can have both GPT and MBR discs on the same machine.

If the new drive was larger than 2.2 TB, you would have to use GPT for it IF, I say IF, you wanted to access the entire drive. Windows would not even acknowledge the space above 2.2 TB. But it is not larger than 2.2 TB.

For most people, there is no over-riding reason to use extended and logical partitions.
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1 Week Ago   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

GPT specs was written under UEFI specifications.

Although it can be used on a Legacy BIOS, I don't recommend.

If he has a UEFI BIOS and storage devices are set to UEFI, go with GPT.

If he has Legacy BIOS and made it GPT, he wont be able to install win7, even if he has Win 7 64.

So if he has a Legacy BIOS, make the disk Legacy - MBR

If he wants a good and fast computer:

-Buy a 128G SSD - PNY CS1311 2.5" 120GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSD7CS1311-120-RB-Newegg.com
-Detach ALL other HDD and do a Win 7 clean install on the SSD
-During installation, launch sysprep and move \Users folder to the 2T HDD (Kari tutorial)
-Attach the old HDD and move the files to the 2T HDD.
-Format the old HDD and use it for critical data backup.
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1 Week Ago   #7
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Multiple partitions are a pain = they are never large enough and often some are too large
Use a folder structure on a single 2nd partition life will be much easier to deal with
I've never used more than the c partition personally
If i use another drive it contains system images and safely disconnected after finished creating one.
And no I do not use windows system imaging only third party free macrium reflect
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1 Week Ago   #8
HenriK37

Win7 Home Premium x86/Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks to everyone for a range of ideas. I have learned something as well.

The user's idea was to essentially replicate what he had on his XP machine; i.e. the OS in the C:\ partition (drive 0) (plus those bits of applications that have to be co-located with the OS); have applications and files located in one or more partitions in his new drive (drive 1); and use the remaining space available on the new drive to store an image of what is on drive 0 as a backup source. He is comfortable with that kind of an arrangement based on past PC use and recovery from the results of a lightning strike to his house (which, in addition to damaging his chimney, destroyed the OS in the C:\ partition but left everything else intact - personally, I suspect some malware caused the C:\ partition to fail, but who knows).

While the guy is 85 and still reasonably with it except for failing vision, he has a NYU Ph.D. in Physics and doesn't easily let go of what he thinks is a good idea. For that reason, I have not suggested that we simply move everything to the new drive and deal with the problem that way.

If I understand the guidance provided, the new drive could be partitioned either MBR or GPT (leaving the OS on the existing MBR drive 0) and put applications and files on the the new drive and things would operate correctly. Remember, this issue came up only because MiniTool provided an option that neither of us understood.
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1 Week Ago   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HenriK37 View Post
Thanks to everyone for a range of ideas. I have learned something as well.

The user's idea was to essentially replicate what he had on his XP machine; i.e. the OS in the C:\ partition (drive 0) (plus those bits of applications that have to be co-located with the OS); have applications and files located in one or more partitions in his new drive (drive 1); and use the remaining space available on the new drive to store an image of what is on drive 0 as a backup source.

What's wrong with his current Windows 7 setup OTHER THAN the lack of space on the one and only drive? Is it a "standard" installation with Windows and apps on the same partition?



While the guy is 85 and still reasonably with it except for failing vision, he has a NYU Ph.D. in Physics and doesn't easily let go of what he thinks is a good idea. For that reason, I have not suggested that we simply move everything to the new drive and deal with the problem that way.

Suppose we stipulate that he can eventually get his idea to work. Is he the type that would reject any much simpler idea unless HE PERSONALLY came up with that simpler idea?



If I understand the guidance provided, the new drive could be partitioned either MBR or GPT (leaving the OS on the existing MBR drive 0) and put applications and files on the the new drive and things would operate correctly.


I frankly don't know what kind of problems you would be asking for if you had Windows on an MBR drive and apps on a GPT drive. Maybe none, but there's nothing wrong with using MBR on both drives.


Remember, this issue came up only because MiniTool provided an option that neither of us understood.

What exactly has you confused about MiniTool? As far as I know, you would in no case be forced to use GPT at all.

Can I assume he has no interest in simply replicating what is now on the too small drive onto a larger drive? What is painful about the current setup OTHER THAN too little space?


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1 Week Ago   #10
Lia

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

er... Your issue can be simple in this way.

If your original disk 0 is MBR disk then the HDD 1 should also be set as MBR disk(since the boot mode of MBR disk and GPT disk is different. ) Then you can adopt the "copy disk" feature in MiniTool partition wizard to copy the old disk data as well as partition layout to the new one . As for the question to get more partitions: yes, you can also create logical partition with the help of MiniTool.

One more mention, it is the case that your disk is 2Tb then the miniTool will inform you to set it as GPT disk(the MBR disk do has the limitation of 2 TB disk size. ) I don't think it is confused.

Surely, if you want to fix the user's case with ease, you'd better send us a picture in Windows disk management tool.
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 MBR vs. GPT HDD partition choice




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