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Partition layout: MBR or GPT?


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#1 florin91

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:04 AM

So, what partitioning layout do you use? 

 

MBR is older and has it's limitation, while GPT is newer and solves some problems.

 

It is safe to convert an existing mbr to gpt or to format it and partition from the begining with GPT?

 

Thanks!   



#2 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

I always find GPT to be a "real pain in ...". Never I have been able to successfully dual boot Windows 8.x with Ubuntu under GPT/UEFI configuration. Newer versions of Ubuntu (12.04 rev 2 onwards, if I can remember correctly) are said to support SecureBoot. But, with both SecureBoot turned ON/OFF, dual boot doesn't work. Mostly laptops ships with UEFI/GPT and Windows 8.x installed. If you install Ubuntu under this configuration, it'll install successfully. But, the post-installation reboot will straight boot the laptop into Windows 8. Ubuntu's built-in partition manager does not allow to revert the layout back to MBR. I used GParted Live image to wipe out GPT, initialize an MBR table and re-partitioned it with Legacy/BIOS mode turned on. I am keen to listen to a success story of dual booting Windows 8.x with Ubuntu under GPT/UEFI configuration.



#3 florin91

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 10:07 AM

Just to state that I don't have UEFI compatible on the laptop I want to install, BUT I strongly want to use GPT instead of MBR for some benefits. 

 

Here is what I found: http://www.sevenforu...-mbrs-duet.html



#4 cdob

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:51 AM

Which OS do you like to use?

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:43 PM

Just to state that I don't have UEFI compatible on the laptop I want to install, BUT I strongly want to use GPT instead of MBR for some benefits. 

 

Here is what I found: http://www.sevenforu...-mbrs-duet.html

Well, that is not anything different from the good ol' NT boot disk concept, later ported to "Vista boot floppy": http://www.multiboot....uk/floppy.html )

 

But of course you need a second boot device, this way.

 

What you could try doing could be to use a ""Hah!IdontNeedEFI" or "BIOS boot partition" (please read as GRUB2):

http://en.wikipedia...._Boot_partition

http://wiki.gentoo.o...R_or_BIOS.2FGPT

with the same files (besides -if needed - GRUB2)

 

though I believe that the way it will work (or fail to work :ph34r:) will depend also on the BIOS you have. :unsure:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 Blackcrack

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:43 PM

mbr for small disk's under 2 TB, GPT for Big Disk's over 2 TB..

why: i whant diffrent Partitions on my Harddisk and want work with different Systems

on one Disk and want store per 4 Primary Partitions different things..

 

4 primary partitions be more able recover as enhanced Partitions.

 

i use GPT only if i use an full Partition on one Harddisk by servers or Raid Systems

 

if MBR 255 Terrabyte or Petabyte or more modern supports, can i dispense gladly with GPT,

because only one Partition.. and it is a must have different Hard disks .. noo, not really,

I need only one or at most two disks for my computer but multiple partitions in order to remain flexible ..

 

best regards

Blacky



#7 florin91

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:47 PM

Which OS do you like to use?

I would like to dual boot Microsoft Windows, possibly 7 or 8 and linux, possibly Arch Linux

 

The problem is that it requires multiple partitions:  System, Recovery, Windows, Files (Windows), /home, /, /boot (Linux) and I thought it should be simpler with GPT. It remains to see.



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:19 PM

The problem is that it requires multiple partitions:  System, Recovery, Windows, Files (Windows), /home, /, /boot (Linux) and I thought it should be simpler with GPT. 

The problem has been resolved in a SIMPLE way SINCE NT 3.1 :w00t: by using Logical Volumes inside Extended.

 

Strangely enough both NT based systems and Linux ones have been designed to reside on Logical Volumes inside Extended Partition, and you need a primary partition only for the boot volume (what the good MS guys call "system" ;))

 

As a matter of fact if you use as main bootmanager either grub/grub4dos or GRUB2 (or other bootmanager that installs in MBR+hidden sectors) you would probably need not even a single primary partition.

 

The exception may be the "Recovery" partition. :dubbio:

 

In any case the problem is not really a "problem" and has a "simple" solution in a conventional MBR disk (unless you are going to use a "huge" disk).

 

If the idea is to solve the problem through an overcomplex solution, or to boldly boot what no man has booted before, it is on the other hand a good exercise :thumbsup:.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#9 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

I would like to dual boot Microsoft Windows, possibly 7 or 8 and linux, possibly Arch Linux

 

The problem is that it requires multiple partitions:  System, Recovery, Windows, Files (Windows), /home, /, /boot (Linux) and I thought it should be simpler with GPT. It remains to see.

 

I have a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04. For Linux, you don't need separate partition for all. Unlike Windows, Linux file system transparently spans across volumes, but giving an illusion of unified file system rooted at / (ROOT DIR). Even if you don't allocate separate logical volumes a.k.a. partitions for /home, /boot, root directory (/), they all will happily reside under the same partition, co-existing as directories. Only partition you may prefer to allocate separately is swap/virtual memory secondary storage which is as much like Windows pagefile.



#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:01 PM

Unlike Windows, ....

To be fair, quite  a few tricks can be played with mountpoints in Windows too.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#11 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:05 PM

To be fair, quite  a few tricks can be played with mountpoints in Windows too.

 

Like this, or this or even this.



#12 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:24 PM

Not exactly-exactly.

The equivalent of "mount points" in Linux:

http://en.wikipedia....int#MOUNT-POINT

http://www.linuxnix....-linuxunix.html

 are - strangely enough :whistling: - called "mount points" in Windows:

http://en.wikipedia....me_mount_points

http://en.wikipedia....ume_mount_point

(they are Symbolic Links AND NOT hardlinks)

 

:duff:

Wonko



#13 cdob

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:16 PM

I would like to dual boot Microsoft Windows, possibly 7 or 8 and linux, possibly Arch Linux
 
The problem is that it requires multiple partitions:  System, Recovery, Windows, Files (Windows), /home, /, /boot (Linux) and I thought it should be simpler with GPT. It remains to see.


If need be, you may install Windows 8 to one partition:

Boot a Win 8.1 DVD, Shift F10:
diskpart.exe
DISKPART> sel disk 0
DISKPART> clean
DISKPART> create partition prim size=32000
DISKPART> active
DISKPART> format fs ntfs quick label=Win8
DISKPART> assign letter=C

DISM.exe /Apply-Image /ImageFile:f:\sources\install.wim /Index:2 /ApplyDir:C:\

bcdboot.exe c:\windows /s c:
Reboot to continue installation.

C:\boot\bcd contains a recovery entry 'device=[C:]\Recovery\WindowsRE\Winre.wim' by default.
It's possible to boot to recovery environment.

There are three MBR entries free still: /, /home and swap
And as indicated already, there are logical partitions.


If you like to continue GPT:

There is a Technet article using gptgen to convert to a GPT partition.
http://social.techne...on-to-uefi.aspx

Install Arch Linux with grub2 boot manager next.


Random idea:
MBR: a 100 MB partition and rest of hdd as GPT protected partition.
GPT: several partitions
What happens at Windows boot? What happens at Linux boot?
http://www.rodsbooks...isk/hybrid.html

When confronted with a hybrid MBR, Windows tries to treat the disk as an MBR disk, ignoring the GPT partitions completely. This limitation means that in a dual-boot environment, you must hybridize all of your Windows partitions, and none of those partitions should span the 2 TiB mark on the disk, if the disk is larger than that.

Did anybody verify Windows 8 behaviour?




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