Convert MBR to GPT without Losing Data during Windows 10 Installation?
During Windows 10 installation on your computer, you will see an error called “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks”. Or you will see a message “Windows cannot be installed on drive 0 partitions 2. Because of this problem, you can’t move on and complete the Windows 10 installation. Don’t worry, in this article, I will guide you on how to convert MBR to GPT without losing data during Windows 10 installation.
There are several ways to fix this error during installation. As you can use the command prompt or BIOS system to convert the MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR. But, using this method you might lose your all data because on CMD you need to format your hard drive and this is impossible for you. Besides that, there is a third-party tool that you can convert MBR to GPT without losing data and you will find it in this article.
Before moving on, let me tell you more about this problem. On the computer, we have two Hard drive partition system like the Legacy system and EFI system. And we have two partition styles like MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table). So, the Legacy system supports MBR, and EFI supports GPT style. This was the computer partition method. Besides that, we have a file partition system like we make a Pendrive bootable. However, we have two file systems NTFS and FAT32. So, we can say (Legacy system = MBR + NTFS) and (EFI system = GPT + FAT32).
Hands down, all the problem is with your bootable USB drive because the partition is not matching with the hard drive partition system. Therefore, go and check in which file system you have formatted your Pendrive NTFS or FAT32. If the bootable USB is formatted in NTFS. Then you cannot install Windows 10 because the Pendrive should be formatted in FAT32 which is equal to GPT.
To convert MBR to GPT, you can use the command prompt built-in tool or BIOS system. Even you can use third-party software. But, I recommend you to not do any of the options. Simply, format your USB drive in FAT32 and install Windows from the beginning. Afterward, you will not face any kind of problem.
When do you need to convert MBR to GPT?
The main reason to convert MBR to GPT is when you attempt to create more than 4 primary partitions on your disk. Sometimes, users convert MBR to GPT because they want to make full use of a disk with more than 2TB of space. The third reason is when you want to install Windows on an EFI/UEFI boot disk. The final and the well-known message error that you see while installing Windows 10 “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On the EFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks”.
So, this was the reason why you need to convert MBR to GPT. In order to convert it, follow the below methods.
MBR vs GPT
This is the comparison of MBR and GPT partition style and you will know which one is better to use.
|Comparison||MBR (Master Boot Record)||GPT (GUID Partition Table)|
|Supported Partition Numbers||Maximum 4 partitions.||Maximum 128 partitions.|
|Supported Disk Capacity||2TB (for 512B sector), 16TB (for 4Kn sector)||No disk capacity limit (2^64 logical blocks for 512B or 4Kn sector)|
|Supported Boot Mode||BIOS||UEFI|
Advantages of GPT disk over MBR disk
- Faster Boot Speed: GPT UEFI will load the software quicker than the ancient MBR BIOS boot mode.
- Better software Compatibility: GPT has higher OS compatibility than MBR because it supports most operational systems, as well as Windows Server and macOS.
- Advanced knowledge Protection: GPT contains the backup of the first GPT header and partition entries that protects data on the disk better.
Methods to Convert MBR to GPT Disk
Below are the handy methods that can help you to convert MBR to GPT without losing data during the Windows 10 installation. So, follow one by one.
1 Method: Convert MBR to GPT using Command Prompt
You have a bootable USB and trying to install Windows 10/8/7 on your computer. But, on the partition window, you face a problem and get a message written: “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks”. To fix this message, restart your computer ad follow the below steps.
- Once your computer restarted, press F12 to bring the boot menu.
- Here, select the bootable USB and move on.
- Now, continue installing Windows 10, and click on Install Windows.
- On the activation key window, press Shift + F10 to open the command prompt. Or click on Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Command Prompt.
- On CMD, type Diskpart and press enter.
- Type list disk and press enter.
- Here, you will see the total list disk of your computer. So, select the disk you want to convert to GPT. Therefore, type select disk (disk No) and press enter.
- Type clean and press enter.
- Finally, type convert gpt. This command line will convert the MBR to GPT.
- Now, type Exit and press enter.
This method should convert the MBR to GPT and you should not see that message again. I hope this method helped you and fixed the problem.
2 Method: Convert MBR to GPT via MBR2GPT
The best and handy Windows 10 built-in utility called MBR2GPT that located in Win\System 32 directory. This MBR2GPT.exe allows you to convert the MBR system disk to the GPT system disk without losing any data. To do that follow the below steps.
Before applying the below steps, make sure your device supports EFI/UEFI boot mode.
- So, press the Windows + R key to open the run dialog box and type CMD, and press OK.
- On command prompt, type “mbr2gpt /convert /disk 0 /allowfullos” and press enter.
With help of this method, you can easily convert MBR to GPT.
3 Method: Convert MBR to GPT using Disk Management
Using the Diskpart or disk management both require to delete all the data stored on the converted disk drive. So, before applying this method, make sure to have a backup of your all data. You can use free backup software EaseUS Todo that will help you to make a backup of your all files.
So, back up the files that are stored on the MBR disk that you want to convert it to GPT. After that, delete all the partitions or volumes if the disk has. Then, right-click the MBR disk that you are going to convert to a GPT disk and click on Convert to a GPT disk.
After all, close the disk management when the process is done. Now, you can create new partitions or install a new operating system on the disk.
4 Method: Convert MBR to GPT during Windows 10 Installation
While during the Windows 10 installation after you created a partition. Then, you will see a message such as “Windows cannot be installed to this disk…..”. So, this is a highly recommended message that you should convert MBR to GPT. Otherwise, you can’t complete the Windows 10 installation. So, during the installation, you can make a bootable drive using AOMEI partition Assitant. Therefore, follow the below steps.
Steps 1: Connect the USB or CD/DVD to another working computer and run the AOMEI partition assistant. After that, click make bootable media in the sidebar.
Step 2: Here, select the USB boot device the way you want to make a bootable USB. Then, click on the Process.
Step 3: Once it is done then click on the Finish button.
Step 4: Again connect the bootable USB to the computer you are installing the Windows on. So, start your computer and go to the boot menu. Here, boot from the bootable USB and install Windows 10 on your computer.
As I said in the beginning, this problem is because your Pendrive is not formatted as FAT32. So, I recommend you to format your USB and select FAT32 during the process. After that, restart your computer and continue installing Windows 10. In this case, you will not face those problems again.
Finally, there were the best methods to convert MBR to GPT without losing data during the Windows 10 installation. So, I hope this article helped you a lot.