Convert MBR Partitions to GPT

David Christensen dpchrist at
Mon Sep 2 08:45:07 UTC 2019

On 9/1/19 7:47 PM, Thomas D. Dean wrote:
> I have 5 disk drives, with two (same) OS's.  Actually, two drives have 
> Windows 7 and its secondary plex.  From an earlier post:
> sata6g_1  HD0 SSD    ubuntu 18.04
> sata6g_2  HD1 WD5000 Ubuntu 18.04
> sata3g_3  HD2 WD5000 windows 7 - not used
> sata3g_4  HD3 WD5000 backup
> sata3g_5  HD4 WD5000 windows 7 secondary plex- not used
> sata3g_6  DVD DRW-24B3LT
> sata6g_E1 (empty)
> sata6g_E2 (empty)
> I plan to keep the SSD Ubuntu install until I can get FreeBSD up and 
> running the way I want.
> So, for now, I want to install FreeBSD on sata3g_5 HD4.
> My motherboard, ASUS P9X79 PRO has support for UEFI boot.
> Is it worth the effort to change everything to GPT, or, should I just 
> use GPT on the FreeBSD disk?  I am leaning toward the later, but, ...
> I think the future has a SSD for FreeBSD.

I have a SOHO LAN with several phones/ laptops/ pads/ pods, a few 
workstations, a file/ version control server, and a maintenance/ backup/ 
archive/ image server, running Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 10, macOS, iOS, 
FreeBSD, and Debian GNU/ Linux.

I use MBR partitioning and one drive for each Windows, BSD, and GNU/ 
Linux operating system image, and install a hard drive mobile dock in 
each workstation and server.  My typical BSD and Linux system images are 
1 GB boot, 1 GB swap, and 10 GB root, and fit on 16+ GB devices (HDD, 
SSD, USB flash drives).  My Windows images are on 180 GB SSD's.  A key 
benefit of this approach is that I avoid issues related to motherboard 
firmware (BIOS/ EFI/ UEFI), drive partitioning (MBR/ GPT), and 
bootloaders/ multi-boot (Windows, BSD, GRUB).  The only time I need to 
run CMOS setup is to change the hardware clock.  When I want to install 
an OS, I wipe the system drive/ insert a wiped drive and run the 
installer in the most straight-forward fashion.  (I use complete 
installer images on USB flash drives.)  When I want to change OS's, I 
power down, remove the system drive, install another system drive, and 
power up.

I use GPT partitioning only for 2+ TB drives -- e.g. data drives and 
backup/ archive/ image drives.

If you are trying to do everything with one computer, do yourself a 
favor and get another computer (preferably workstation/ server class 
with ECC memory).  Also, get several large internal HDD's and matching 
mobile dock bays and trays for backups, archives, and images; and rotate 
them -- live, near-site, off-site.  Learn a scripting language and 
automate administrative chores.  Finally, the BSD books by Michael W. 
Lucas are very practical and TDAIOTFOS2 by McKusick, et al, is definitive.


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