changing from MBR to GPT

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changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Hello - I have recently upgraded my chip and mobo and am attempting to use the same hard drives I had previously which is a 128gb ssd and a 3tb game drive
now my old mobo did not support over 2.2 tb but I got the 3 thinking for the future
the problem now is I kind of wanted to save my data on the 3tb drive but it doesn't look like I can and I just want to be sure that deleting the volume and making a new volume in the windows computer management as GPT (rather than what I assume is MBR now) is the correct course of action
basically just don't want to have to download 1tb of steam games until I'm sure that it will convert and this is my only way to go
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:51 pm

Yeah. You have to delete all the partitions off the 3TB drive, convert the drive to GPT, and then create whatever partition structure you want.

This assumes it is a secondary disk. If you want that 3TB drive to be the boot drive. Things get more complex.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:15 pm

I'm interested in doing the opposite, changing a new 2TB from GPT (aka Advanced Format, 512e) to MBR - especially since the drive does not need AF at this size.

I'm running Windows XP Home w/SP3 and am aware that my 2TB drive is the max size a 32 bit MS OS can handle. I bought a Toshiba last week, quick formatted it - did not pay attention to the allocation unit size and left it at default. This apparently caused me some problems with certain programs reporting errors accessing certain files. I bought a new drive - same make and model - and this time, used 512 instead of Default which was 4096?. The problems I had with the first drive do not present with the new drive. Both drives are connected via different adapter/enclosures, so that may be part of the problem, but I have read that the AF system can cause problems with older systems/programs and want to format the newest drive so I can copy all the others contents to it and then do a 512 allocation size format on the first one.

Toshiba has a dl'd of Paragon Acronis that is supposed to be able to align the sectors? properly. Since it won't work with the drive connected to an enclosure and I don't want to shut the system down now, is changing manually the size of the Allocation Units within windows when I format the same or do I need to bite the bullet and connect the drive directly instead? It's going to take some time to transfer the files, so I really want to get this right.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:34 pm

Advanced Format should not have anything to do with GPT vs MBR. You can have a non-AF drive converted to using GPT scheme if you like. AF is at the HDD level. GPT vs MBR is just a partition scheme, one level up in the layers of abstraction. And what you described about alignment and partition scheme has nothing to do with allocation size. That is a file system concept. 32-bit vs 64-bit certainly has nothing to do with the file system. Your terminologies are all mixed up.

The bottom line for you: time to move away from XP.

---

What's the model of your new drives? It may be helpful to know since a lot of these new drives do 512e emulation out of the box, so your pre-Vista era OS should read/write them without issues, albeit with some performance hit.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:29 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Advanced Format should not have anything to do with GPT vs MBR. You can have a non-AF drive converted to using GPT scheme if you like. AF is at the HDD level. GPT vs MBR is just a partition scheme, one level up in the layers of abstraction. And what you described about alignment and partition scheme has nothing to do with allocation size. That is a file system concept. 32-bit vs 64-bit certainly has nothing to do with the file system. Your terminologies are all mixed up.

The bottom line for you: time to move away from XP.

---

What's the model of your new drives? It may be helpful to know since a lot of these new drives do 512e emulation out of the box, so your pre-Vista era OS should read/write them without issues, albeit with some performance hit.


You mean the bottom line isn't "move away from the computer"? Damn, it took me so long to switch from 98 - only did it due to hardware upgrade - and I still struggle with XP Home. I'd need a Valium IV drip to even begin to jump to 7 - and a hardware upgrade...

Yes, my terminologies are mixed up. It comes from struggling to understand new things - to me - and not doing a smash up job doing it. I thought about writing a signature stating that nothing misstated is done intentionally or with malice, but was already embarrassed enough by what I had demonstrated that I thought that might be overkill.

TOSHIBA DT01ACA200 is thedrive model. Sorry for not listing it in the first message. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... llFullInfo

I think one thing that is apparent now is that I was conflating HDD formatting with software formatting. Part of this problem came about by getting a much different reading of free space on the first 2TB once I disconnected it from the Vantec USB adapter and connected it to the mobo. It could have been real or I might have read things wrong, but it freaked me out and since I kept coming up against the suggestion on another site that my problem may be due to... an alignment issue due to the 512e?...so after buying a new identical drive yesterday, I decided to dl'd and run the Paragon software and it reports the issues are resolved with it. Now, I'm just going to copy all the files over to it and then run the alignment app on the first drive and hopefully go a while without a problem.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:19 pm

WinXP does not support booting off GTP, you need win7-8 or linux with correct mobo support.

For anything over 2 TB you need GTP to boot, though from what I've heard, you can use a separate boot drive and have the 3tb drive accessed by the OS even if the mobo does not support GTP booting (ie most BIOS/non-UEFI boards), though the 3tb drive would still need to have GTP as the partition format.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:53 pm

ShadowEyez wrote:WinXP does not support booting off GTP, you need win7-8 or linux with correct mobo support.

For anything over 2 TB you need GTP to boot, though from what I've heard, you can use a separate boot drive and have the 3tb drive accessed by the OS even if the mobo does not support GTP booting (ie most BIOS/non-UEFI boards), though the 3tb drive would still need to have GTP as the partition format.


At the risk of being labeled as a caller on the "Mr. Obvious" show, when you say, "WinXP does not support booting off GTP" you mean as a boot drive and not just in the chain of drives connected to the mobo, correct?" Okay, I'm going to embarass myself further:

My Gigabyte mobo has something like 8 SATA ports and 10 USB ports (plus a couple more). I think I've read that XP can handle as many drives as you throw at it - although it does have a 2.2TB partition limit - but, that doesn't mean that I could have 18 drives connected and running - overlooking the IDE support and DVD drive - If I wanted to, does it? I'm thinking no because of...IRQ limitations (although, don't expect me to explain this.) I think I'm really asking if the USB ports and the SATA ports have enough resources to support that number without any data corruption? I'm not asking because I've run out of room, or for suggestions on add-in cards, but to make sure that I'm not just around the corner/a reboot for data loss because I've foolishly assumed that because there were that many ports, it automatically meant I could have that many drives. Or that it doesn't matter which SATA/USB port is used as there is no correlation between them?
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:19 pm

Dai wrote:At the risk of being labeled as a caller on the "Mr. Obvious" show, when you say, "WinXP does not support booting off GTP" you mean as a boot drive and not just in the chain of drives connected to the mobo, correct?"


Actually, Windows XP doesn't support GPT at all. Neither booting from it or reading and writing to it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPT_Disk#W ... t_versions
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library ... 4111922342

There is some confusion here in terminology. An aligned disk to support an Advanced Format (which is a hardware change on the disk) is being mixed up with GPT, which is used to allow an operating system to see a disk larger than 2.2 TB (there are other advantages for smaller drives).

Windows XP disk tools don't support the alignment of partitions to best support the 512e Advanced Format. Windows Vista, 7, and 8 disk tools support alignment of the partitions to support the 512e Advanced Format. 512e is a backwards compatibility concession, so long as the partitioning software aligns the partition correctly the OS is left ignorant to the reality of the Advanced Format hardware beneath. Windows 8 is the only edition of Windows that understand the 4Kn Advanced Format that disk storage will one day adopt.

In short: all you need to do is use a partitioning utility that understands how to properly align a partition. Sounds like you've found a solution to that end.

Dai wrote:My Gigabyte mobo has something like 8 SATA ports and 10 USB ports (plus a couple more). I think I've read that XP can handle as many drives as you throw at it - although it does have a 2.2TB partition limit - but, that doesn't mean that I could have 18 drives connected and running - overlooking the IDE support and DVD drive - If I wanted to, does it? I'm thinking no because of...IRQ limitations (although, don't expect me to explain this.)


You could have eighteen drives, yes. Technically more than that if you leveraged USB hubs. IRQs are no longer a relevant concern in modern computing. Each SATA controller leverages a single IRQ across the array of ports. USB shares a similar design in that the controller has a single IRQ across the array of ports.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:21 pm

Power drain on the power supply (especially on startup when every one of them want to draw a big current to spin up, assuming staggered spin-up not supported in consumer grade controllers) may be a bigger problem. In theory you can throw a lot of drives into the system without problems.

Your problem is something else, I'm afraid I have to call you out on this to go back to your own thread and discuss any further theories about what you have been seeing. You are being really off topic. GPT vs MBR should have nothing to do with your problems.
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Re: changing from MBR to GPT

Postposted on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:57 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Your problem is something else, I'm afraid I have to call you out on this to go back to your own thread and discuss any further theories about what you have been seeing. You are being really off topic. GPT vs MBR should have nothing to do with your problems.


Actually, I think my problem got fixed here. I'm running realignment software from Toshiba and the problem of the other thread no longer exists. I'm posting here for closure. If by some chance the original problem occurs, I will go back to that topic. Thanks for the help and patience, guys.
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