You cannot install or start Windows Vista when the volume of the system partition is larger than 2 terabytes (TB).

# You configure the master boot record (MBR) disk as the boot partition.

When the MBR disk is used as the boot partition or as the data partition, 2 TB is set as the size limit for the MBR disk. For more information about the size limit for the MBR disk, visit the following Microsoft Web site:http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/LUN_SP1.mspx

# You configure the GUID partition table (GPT) disk as the boot partition.

When you start an operating system from a GPT disk, the Extended Firmware Interface (EFI)-based BIOS is required. However, the EFI-based BIOS is not supported in Windows Vista 32-bit editions. Additionally, it is not supported in Windows Vista 64-bit editions unless you install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Note There is no 2-TB limit if the GPT disk is used in a data partition.

Why do we need GPT?
GPT disks can grow to a very large size. The number of partitions on a GPT disk is not constrained by temporary schemes such as container partitions as defined by the MBR Extended Boot Record (EBR).

The GPT disk partition format is well defined and fully self-identifying. Data critical to platform operation is located in partitions and not in unpartitioned or "hidden" sectors. GPT disks use primary and backup partition tables for redundancy and CRC32 fields for improved partition data structure integrity. The GPT partition format uses version number and size fields for future expansion.

Each GPT partition has a unique identification GUID and a partition content type, so no coordination is necessary to prevent partition identifier collision. Each GPT partition has a 36-character Unicode name, which means that any software can present a human-readable name for the partition without any additional understanding of the partition.

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