[SOLVED] Do new HDD/SSDs come as MBR or GPT?

smmm

Great
Aug 14, 2019
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Hello,

The hard drive on my friend's PC got corrupted and was having problems so we reformatted the hard drive with another PC using the command prompt on a different computer. At first it didn't work, as it is an Alienware UEFI system and apparently the drive was formatted as MBR, which the windows 10 installation was incompatible with. We reformatted the drive and made a primary partition but this time changing it to GPT with the command prompt. This time around on the windows installation, two partitions showed up, the main and the small recovery(?) one. Selecting the main partition resulted in an error message that no partition could be found and no new partition could be created. I think this drive is still saveable but my friend wanted to take the opportunity to upgrade to an SSD anyway, so I think we'll just end up getting a new SSD and replacing the HDD.

That brings me to my main question: Are SSDs and HDDs configured as MBR or GPT from factory, and would a brand-new SSD/HDD work out of the box with either a UEFI system and older BIOS system?

I have previously installed a brand-new SSD in a old BIOS system with no problem, but do they require any configuring to work with a UEFI system? I'm pretty sure it would work with either going off of the multitudes of PC build videos with modern UEFI motherboards, but would like to know.

By the way I have no understanding of MBR or GPT, but from my research it looks like you need a GPT drive to boot on a UEFI system.

Thanks!
 

boju

Polypheme
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It is possible to install Win10 on legacy motherboards using MBR format but for newer motherboards, GPT is used for UEFI. Other advantages GPT has is being able to use larger drives where MBR's limit was 2TB and also being limited to certain amount of partitions.


New drives bought are blank, it's up to the OS to configure the format. In case with Windows 10, during the setup, delete all partitions if an exisiting OS is on it and click next, or if a new drive, just click next. Windows 10 will then create partitions and format as GPT automatically behind the scenes and then progress to installing Windows. The style of format will automatically apply based on what the Bios is set to, UEFI or Legacy.
 
Last edited:

boju

Polypheme
Ambassador
It is possible to install Win10 on legacy motherboards using MBR format but for newer motherboards, GPT is used for UEFI. Other advantages GPT has is being able to use larger drives where MBR's limit was 2TB and also being limited to certain amount of partitions.


New drives bought are blank, it's up to the OS to configure the format. In case with Windows 10, during the setup, delete all partitions if an exisiting OS is on it and click next, or if a new drive, just click next. Windows 10 will then create partitions and format as GPT automatically behind the scenes and then progress to installing Windows. The style of format will automatically apply based on what the Bios is set to, UEFI or Legacy.
 
Last edited:

smmm

Great
Aug 14, 2019
152
6
95
1
It is possible to install Win10 on legacy motherboards using MBR formats but for newer motherboard's GPT is used for UEFI. Other advantages GPT has is being able to use larger drivers where MBR's limit was 2TB and also being limited to certain amount of partitions.


New drives bought are blank, it's up to the OS to configure the format. In case with Windows 10, during the setup, delete all partitions if an exisiting OS is on it and click next, or if a new drive, just click next. Windows 10 will then create partitions and format as GPT automatically behind the scenes and then progress to installing Windows. The style of format will automatically apply based on what the Bios is set to, UEFI or Legacy.
Ok thanks for the helpful information! In my case there was no existing OS on the old drive, but Windows didn't want to install on the partition I had created with the command prompt. It just had the general partition and something like a 15 MB recovery partition, and it said it couldn't create a new partition. Weird.
 

boju

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No need to use command prompt, Win10 will do it all itself. Delete the recovery partition and it should come up with an unallocated partition. Click on that and click next.

From about 4:00, regarding an existing install or new drive.
 
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smmm

Great
Aug 14, 2019
152
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No need to use command prompt, Win10 will do it all itself. Delete the recovery partition and it should come up with an unallocated partition. Click on that and click next.

From about 4:00, regarding an existing install or new drive.
Oh ok that makes sense. Thank you for your help!
 

smmm

Great
Aug 14, 2019
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You're welcome. Can you get Windows to install now?
Well they've decided to upgrade to a SSD so we'll do the installation on that when it arrives in the mail, and the old hard drive will probably be used as extra storage. This is definitely super helpful information though for future PC projects. (y)
 

boju

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No problem. Also forgot to add when installing Windows 10 have only the destination drive connected. Leave secondary drives disconnected until after Windows is installed. Win10 has a habit of locating boot loader file elsewhere and if it does this and not aware and one of the secondary drives is removed for whatever reason can lead to the OS unable to boot.
 
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smmm

Great
Aug 14, 2019
152
6
95
1
No problem. Also forgot to add when installing Windows 10 have only the destination drive connected. Leave secondary drives disconnected until after Windows is installed. Win10 has a habit of locating boot loader file elsewhere and if it does this and not aware and one of the secondary drives is removed for whatever reason can lead to the OS unable to boot.
Ok good to know thanks!
 
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