How to Clone MBR to GPT Disk

Many times, it becomes an essential task to clone mbr to gpt. However, the main question could come; is it ever possible to do so? Of course, yes! You can do it by following the solution given in this post.

May 18,2020 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

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Q: How to clone MBR to GPT disk?

"Recently, I bought a new 6 TB hard disk. Now, I want to upgrade to it from my 2 TB hard disk. However, the current drive is formatted in MBR, and I want the 6 TB in GPT. So, is there any solution to clone MBR to GPT disk?"

Most of us who use Windows are familiar with the GPT and MBR, which are two methods of partitioning in the OS. Likewise, we also know that MBR comes with some limitations. Thus, we often prefer the GPT method to use our disk space to its full capacity.

For example, when you feel that your current hard drive is getting full or dying, then perhaps you prefer to either replace it with a new one or upgrade it to a larger one. Nowadays, hard drives have a large capacity. However, the MBR disk will support only 2 TB. Therefore, to ensure you make the full use of the available disk space, you can prefer to initialize larger disks to GPT. In some particular cases, the user's new hard disk has the GPT partition style, while the old hard drive might be a system disk with MBR.

As a result, many users solve this issue by cloning MBR to GPT. So, in this informative article, we will explain the concepts of GPT and MBR, and also demonstrate the best method to clone MBR to GPT disk.

Part 1: Understanding the MBR Disk and GPT Disk

In Windows, when you try to set up a new disk, you often get a question asking you whether you wish to go with a GPT or MBR. What are these partitions all about in Windows?

Well, a partition arrangement is something that describes the structure of information on the partition. It will tell you where do the partitions start and end. In the case of bootable partition, it also provides you with the code applied in the beginning. In short, if you have ever handled the formatting or partitioning of a disk, then you most likely know the GPT and MBR. If you don't, then let's find out more about them.

1. Knowing the MBR Disk

Let's start with the full form of MBR. Well, it is a Master Boot Record that implies an old model to maintain the hard disk partitions. It uses a standard BIOS and supports the disk size of around 2 TB. In other words, it cannot support the disk space of more than 2 TB. Thus, if the size of your hard disk is more than 2 TB, then the additional space beyond 2 TB will not be utilized.

Moreover, it can support only four primary partitions, making it quite inconvenient if you want to create more partitions for storing data. Lastly, the MBR disk can work with both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

2. Knowing the GPT Disk

GPT is another type of disk that stands for the GUID Partition Table. It is the newest model for the arrangement of the hard disk's partition table. Moreover, it uses GUID, i.e., globally unique identifiers that help define the partition. Being part of the UEFI standard, you can use GPT to replace the MBR. Besides, GPT can use the primary as well as backup partition structures that you can respectively find at the start and end of the disk.

3. MBR VS. GPT

Before you decide to clone MBR disk to GPT, you must have the basic knowledge of the differences between both of them.

MBR and GPT both are two separate styles of partition. The hard drives that use GPT and MBR partitions are known as GPT disks and MBR disks, respectively. However, GPT is much more advantageous than that of MBR. Besides, there are a few more differences that we will discuss in the next part.

  1. Both MBR and GPT Were Originated in Different Time
  2. IBM PC DOS 2.0 introduced the MBR partition style in March 1983. However, it is still in use. Likewise, the GPT partition style started in the late 1990s. If we compare the popularity, then there is no doubt that GPT is more popular than MBR.

  3. MBR and GPT Have Separate Structures
  4. Firstly, MBR contains three parts, which include the master boot code, disk signature, and the disk's partition table. Here, the partition table supports a maximum of four entries for the primary partitions.

    Similarly, GPT consists of a protective MBR. It restricts MBR-based disk utilities from possible misrecognition and overwriting of GPT disks. Moreover, it can support up to 128 partition entries.

  5. Both Support Disk Capacity and Partition Amounts Differently
  6. As we know, the MBR partition table can support only four primary partition entries. So, on your MBR disk, you can only create four primary partitions. In case if you want to have more than four partitions, then you will need to make an extended partition.

    Conversely, if you consider a theoretical explanation, then GPT disk allows you to create an extensive number of partitions. However, the implementation of Windows limits it to 128 partitions.

  7. Difference in Compatibility
  8. Almost all modern operating systems in Windows use GPT disks for storing data. However, GPT disk is only available in 64-bit versions. Likewise, Windows XP of 32-bit supports protective MBR.

  9. Both Have Different Boot Mode
  10. If you want to boot your Windows with MBR disk, then the motherboard must support Legacy boot only. Besides, if you want to use GPT disk for installing Windows in Legacy mode, then you might receive an error. Also, in many cases, Windows refuse to start if the user has used Legacy boot mode to install it on GPT disk.

    But, if the motherboard only supports UEFI boot mode, then you can start Windows with the GPT disk.


Part 2: What Is the Need of Cloning MBR to GPT Disk?

Both GPT and MBR are widely accepted partitions disks. However, many users still prefer to use GPT over MBR. They do it because of the following obvious reasons.

  1. GPT Is Great for Creating More Than 4 Partitions
  2. You already know that an MBR disk can support only four primary partitions whereas a GPT disk allows up to 128 primary partitions. So, GPT seems to be an excellent option if you don't want to face any limitations on creating partitions.

  3. GPT Is More Suitable if Your Hard Disk Size Is More Than 2 TB
  4. If you initialize your 512B sector hard disk to MBR, then you can only utilize 2 TB space. Therefore, it would be an excellent option for you to format that disk to GPT.

  5. GPT Offers More Security
  6. Well, for redundancy, GPT disks make use of primary and backup partition tables. Likewise, it uses CRC32 fields to offer you the best partition data structure integrity. Thus, if you seek data security, then you must go with a GPT partitioning scheme.

  7. GPT is the best option if your computer supports UEFI boot
  8. If you compare the booting from MBR with that of GPT, then you will notice that GPT is considerably faster and steady to boot Windows. It also improves the performance of your computer.


Part 3: How to Quickly Clone a Hard Drive from MBR to GPT Disk?

Now that you are familiar with the concept of GPT disk and MBR disk let's check out the best method for cloning your hard drive from MBR disk to GPT disk.

You can use AOMEI Backupper, which offers the best disk cloning program for Windows. With this software, you can clone the hard drive from the MBR to GPT disk. Moreover, you don't need to convert the target disk. Below are the steps to clone your hard drive from MBR to GPT disk with the help of AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1: Download the Software

First of all, download AOMEI Backupper and install it on your computer. Now, connect the target GPT disk with the computer.

Step 2: Go to Disk Cloning Option

Go to the "Clone" tab located on the left side. Select the "Disk Clone" option.

choose-disk-clone-column

Step 3: Select the Source Disk

On the source disk screen, choose the first option i.e., MBR disk. After that, click "Next" to proceed to the next step.

select-source-disk

Step 4: Choose the Destination Disk

Now, it's time to select your destination disk. On your screen, select the second option i.e., GPT disk, and hit the "Next" button.

select-destination-disk

Note: Remember, the cloning process deletes all data available on the destination disk. Therefore, if you have essential files stored in the GPT disk, then make sure to take a backup.

Step 5: Initiate the Cloning

Lastly, hit the "Start Clone" button to start the cloning process.

start-cloning-disk

The best part is that this cloning process runs in the background. So, it doesn't affect or interrupt your current work on the computer.


Conclusion

You may want to clone your mbr to gpt disk for a variety of reasons. If you are looking to create more than four partitions, then the option of GPT disk is indispensable. Besides, there are lots of benefits of using GPT. Remember, cloning MBR to GPT disk is more comfortable and straightforward. All you need is a safe, reliable, and robust disk cloning tool to do the task.

In this case, AOMEI Backuppper Professional seems to be an excellent choice. It can do a lot of more extra tasks than just cloning your disks. Whether you want to clone your partition or system, the software helps you do that with a few clicks.

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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