MBR or GPT Partition

Hi All,

I am required to build server server 2008 r2 virtual servers.

For hard disks should i use MBR or GPT?

Does someone know of a link that gives a good explanation of MBR and GPT, I have searched online but it's quite difficult to understand.

Thank you in advance,

Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAsked:
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Read this article.


I'd use GPT if you can especially if you are using SSDs.


One limitation of MBR is that it cannot handle disks larger than 2TB.

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It's not GPT or MBR partitions, but rather GPT or MBR disks.

There is no good reason to install the OS to a GPT disk. The OS fits fine onto a small disk of around 100GB or so, and for that you don't need GPT. The OS should always be separate from the data, so there is no reason to install it to anything even close to 2TB (or even more). You should rather just setup your RAID array to give you 2 volumes, one a small one for the MBR disk for the OS, and the other a large one for the data which can be a GPT disk. RAID controllers usually allow you to split an array into several volumes.

GPT disks with Windows on them just complicate things. For example you need an UEFI BIOS, and not all servers, even modern ones, have an UEFI BIOS.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Actually if the drives are not larger than 2048GB and you do not plan to create more than 4 primary partition on the drive - then MBR is completely ok.
GPT drive format is good if you need to support 2048GB+ drives and want to have over 4 primary partitions.
From the point of easyness I prefer MBR because its troubleshooting is simpler than troubleshooting GPT problems. Plus for backup and restore MBR makes less nerves.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
To boot off GPT disks, you must be using UEFI instead of BIOS - Hyper-V Gen2 VMs (in 2012 and later) are UEFI, but other Hyper-V systems are not.  (I don't know what kind of emulated BIOS is provided on ESXi or other platforms).

As noted, MBR drives are limited to 4 partitions and 2 TB in size.  If you install on a UEFI system, the disk is automatically GPT, else it's automatically MBR.  Subsequent disks added to a system can set to either and if you need a data disk larger than 2TB (DISK, not just partitions - you won't be able to create partitions past 2TB on an MBR disk) - remember the restriction is that Windows cannot BOOT off GPT disks if the system uses BIOS instead of UEFI - but they can use them for data just fine.
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Windows Server 2008

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