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Difference between MBR and Partition Table

Difference between MBR and Partition Table

In computing, a partition table is a data structure that defines the layout of sectors on a storage device. Each sector corresponds to a defined area on the disk and is used to track which areas are in use and which are free. The layout is organized into partitions, which separate one section of the disk from another. This division allows different operating systems (OS) to run on separate partitions and also facilitates efficient storage usage. There are two main types of partition tables: Master Boot Record (MBR) and GUID Partition Table (GPT). MBR is the older standard, while GPT is newer and offers more benefits. In this article, we will explore the differences between MBR and GPT partition tables.

What is MBR Table?

MBR stands for Master Boot Record, and it is a table that is used to store information about the partitions on a hard disk. The MBR table is located at the very beginning of the disk, and it contains four 16-byte entries. Each entry contains information about a particular partition, such as its starting location and size. In addition, the MBR table also contains a 4-byte checksum that is used to verify the integrity of the table. When a computer boots up, it reads the MBR table in order to determine which partitions are available and where they are located. As a result, the MBR table plays an essential role in the boot process.

What is Partition Table?

Partition tables are data structures used to store information about the logical partitions of a computer’s storage devices, most commonly its hard disk drives. The partition table can be used to create, delete, and resize partitions.

  • Partitions are generally created to better organize the files on a storage device or to allow multiple operating systems to be installed on a single device. Partition tables are stored in a reserved area of a storage device known as the Master Boot Record (MBR) or the Extended Boot Record (EBR).
  • Partition table entries each specify the starting and ending locations of a partition, as well as other information such as the partition’s type and size. Partition tables often also include a checksum to ensure that the information stored in the table is valid.
  • Partition tables can be edited manually, but most users rely on software tools to perform these operations. Partitioning tools typically provide a graphical user interface that allows users to visually see the existing partitions on a storage device and easily create, delete, or resize them.

Difference between MBR and Partition Table

MBR and Partition Table are two types of storage used for different purposes. MBR is used to store the operating system and its settings, while the Partition Table is used to store application data. MBR is faster and more reliable than the Partition Table, but it is also more expensive. Partition Table is less expensive and slower, but it is more flexible. MBR is better suited for storing operating systems, while Partition Table is better suited for storing application data.


MBR and partition tables are two different methods of organizing data on a hard drive. They both have their pros and cons, but the best one for you depends on your needs. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the difference between MBR and partition tables and give you some ideas about which one is right for you.

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