The Difference Between MBR and GPT and How to Find Your Windows 10 Product Key

If you're planning on formatting your hard drive or installing a new operating system, you'll need to know the difference between MBR and GPT. MBR, or Master Boot Record, is the standard partition style for BIOS or UEFI computers. GPT, or GUID Partition Table, is the standard for UEFI computers. In order to install Windows 10, you'll need to find your product key. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing both.

Windows 10 product keys are required to activate Windows 10 OS. They can be found in a few different ways. Sometimes, the product key will be printed on a sticker that is placed on your computer. Other times, it may be included in an email that you received from Microsoft after you purchased Windows 10. If you cannot find your product key, there are a few things that you can do. First, try searching your computer for "winproductkey.txt" or "product key." This file may contain your product key. If you still cannot find your product key, you can contact Microsoft's customer service department for assistance.


GUID Partition Table is abbreviated as GPT. GPT is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical storage device such as hard disk drive or solid-state drive, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). GPT is a component of the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) standard. GPT is gradually replacing the older and traditional Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme, which is today typically only used in environments where legacy support for BIOS systems or very old operating systems that do not support GPT are required. MBR uses a 32-bit logical block address (LBA) to refer to partitions and, due to this limitation, can address a maximum of 2 TiB (2 × 1024 GiB) of disk space using 512-byte sectors.

GPT stores critical data in a protected area at the end of each device, so that if a critical sector is corrupted, it can be repaired by reading the backup located at the end of the disk. GPT allows you to create partitions that are larger than 2 TiB and up to 256 TiB. In addition, GPT provides better fault tolerance and more robust error detection than MBR. GPT also eliminates the MBR's "base address limitation" of 2 TiB per partition table entry, which can cause problems when creating disks larger than 2 TB. Finally, GPT uses 64-bit LBA addresses, which means it can address up to 16 EiB (16 × 1024 ZiB) of disk space using 512-byte sectors.

How to Check if Your Computer Uses MBR or GPT

Before we show you how to find your Windows 10 product key, you'll need to determine whether your computer uses MBR or GPT. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open the Command Prompt. You can do this by pressing the Windows key + R, typing "cmd," and pressing Enter.
  • Type "diskpart" and press Enter.
  • Type "list disk" and press Enter. This will show you all of the disks attached to your computer.
  • Enter "select disc 0" into the search box. This option will select your primary hard drive.
  • Type "list partition" and press Enter. This will show you all of the partitions on your selected disk.
  • Type "exit" when you're done, and press Enter to close the Command Prompt window.
  • If you see an entry that says "GPT" under the "Type" column, then your computer uses GPT formatting. If you see any other entry (e.g., "FAT32"), then it uses MBR formatting.'

Where Can I Find My Windows 10 Product Key?

Once you've determined whether your computer uses MBR or GPT partitioning, you can go ahead and find your product key using one of the methods below:

If you have a physical copy of Windows 10: The product key should be on a label or card inside the box that Windows came in.'

If you bought a digital copy of Windows 10 from an authorized retailer: The product key should be in an email that Microsoft sent you after you made your purchase.'

If you have a subscription to Microsoft 365: You don't need a product key because your subscription doesn't require one.'


Formatting your hard drive or installing a new operating system can be a daunting task if you don't know what you're doing. But don't worry—we're here to help! In this post, we walk through the difference between MBR and GPT partitioning as well as how to find your Windows 10 product key. With this knowledge under your belt, you'll be ready to tackle anything thrown your way!

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