GUID Partition Table

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The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a partitioning scheme widely adopted in contemporary computers to organize and manage data on storage devices. Originally developed by Intel for the Itanium platform "IA64", GPT was designed to overcome limitations of the traditional Master Boot Record (MBR) scheme and offers improved flexibility and scalability in handling storage on modern computing systems. The system firmware UEFI demands GPT partitioning on bootable media.

Unlike the MBR, GPT employs a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for each partition, allowing for a more extensive range of partitions and larger storage capacities. This modern approach is essential for accommodating the demands of today's data-intensive applications.

Structure and Features

Each partition is assigned a unique GUID, ensuring a globally distinct identifier across all systems. This design eliminates the limitations imposed by the MBR's maximum partition size and number of partitions, providing a solution for modern storage needs.

One notable feature of GPT is its inclusion of a Protective MBR. This ensures compatibility with legacy systems that may not fully support GPT, preventing accidental data loss or corruption when accessed by older software.

Compatibility and Adoption

GPT is the standard for disk partitioning on modern computers, being compatible with both BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) systems; the transition to GPT has been gradual but is now nearly ubiquitous.

Implementation in Operating Systems

Major operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows, include robust GPT support.

See also

  • Partition — a means of splitting a block device up to sub-regions.