UEFI booting systems with GPT style disks
Introduced with Windows 8.0 and a few Windows 7 systems, GPT disks are the replacement for the legacy MBR disk format. GPT disks can have up to 128 partitions and have a maximum size of 9.4 ZB (9.4 × 1021 bytes)
|Windows Recovery||de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac||There may be more than one Recovery Partitions: |
Windows RE Tools - Provides the 'Startup Repair' options for Windows recovery.
Recovery Image - There may also be an additional manufacturer system recovery partition.
EFI System partition (ESP)
|c12a7328-f81f-11d2-ba4b-00a0c93ec93b||Always formatted FAT32 and between 200 and 300 MB in size, this partition contains the boot loader that runs when the system starts. The critical files in here are the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) and the EFI micro-code.|
|Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR)||e3c9e316-0b5c-4db8-817d-f92df00215ae||Usually 128 MB in size, this unformatted partition is reserved for MS data structures including the Logical Disk Manager (LDM) for dynamic disks. Every GPT disk initialized by Windows includes this partition.|
|Operating System (Windows C:)||ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7||Always formatted using NTFS, this partition contains the full Windows Operating System and is loaded using the BCD in the ESP,|
Surface Pro 3 running Windows 10
Legacy MBR booting systems
MBR systems support a maximum disk size of 2TB and up to four primary partitions. In modern PC's this format has been superseded by the more flexible GPT disk format.
|Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR)|
For MBR disks, Windows 7 onwards, this is the 'Active' partition and contains the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). This partition provides the second stage for the MBR boot process after the MBR boot code.
Windows XP and Vista do not use this partition.
|Operating System (Windows C:)||This partition contains the full Windows Operating System. |
For Windows XP & Vista this is the 'Active' partition and is the only partition required to boot and start Windows.
|WinRE Tools Partition||Windows 10 includes this small partition, usually located immediately after the Windows partition, to provides the 'Startup Repair' options for Windows recovery and to store the WinRE image file.|
Windows 7 MBR System
Windows 10 MBR System