What is the difference between the GPT and the BIOS disc partitioning systems?


  • boot drive is below 2TB
  • on a BIOS system or UEFI boot disabled

grub on BIOS system with GPT partitioned needs an extra 1MB partition, I think this is somewhat messy.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Braiam, G-Man, cuonglm, Anthon, Ramesh Jun 20 '15 at 21:23

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You have four primary partitions and want to add a fifth... and you can't just redeclare them extended/logical because those need an extra sector for each partition.

Also GPT has a backup at the end of the disk so if you ever lost a partition table to MSDOS and had to resort to TestDisk, with GPT you might be able to do without.

grub on BIOS system with GPT partitioned needs an extra 1MB partition

It's closer to 64KB actually, at least it was around that when I last checked what was actually written to that partition. And with msdos partitions as well, grub has to put its core somewhere. The only difference is that with GPT the grub developers thought it'd be nice to make it official-like by having a dedicated partition type for it.

  • Could you mention some more problems with MBR ? – Arnab Jun 20 '15 at 17:31
  • @Arnab beside the small number or entries, there's no backup table in case of MBR, so if the MBR was accidentally overwritten then you lose your partitions – phuclv Jun 13 '18 at 1:29

There is no advantage for this type of a system.

The only advantage of GPT that is applicable to a small HDD is the ability to crуate many primary partitions. But this is still not really important.

There are more disadvantages, like that extra bios partition that you mentioned.

So it makes sense to use MBR in such a case.

  • GPT, being newer, does have advantages. It has better fault tolerance even on smaller drives because there are checksums and a backup of the partition table – phuclv Jun 13 '18 at 1:27

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