How to Convert MBR to GPT During Windows 10/11 Installation?

Let's discuss what is Different between MBR and GPT Partition table, And how to Convert MBR to GPT During Windows 10 Installation to bypass error Windows cannot be installed to this disk error.

When attempting to install Windows 11 on a new or existing disk, you might encounter the error message “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The Selected disk has an MBR Partition table.” This issue arises because the disk is configured with a Master Boot Record (MBR) partition table, which is incompatible with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) required for Windows installations on modern systems. To resolve this problem, you need to convert the disk from MBR to GUID Partition Table (GPT) format. This article explores steps on how to convert MBR to GPT to facilitate a successful Windows installation.

Differences between MBR and GPT Partition table

Before diving into the conversion process, it’s essential to understand the differences between MBR and GPT. The Master Boot Record (MBR) is an older partition structure that was first introduced in 1983 and developed for IBM PCs. This was the default partition table format before hard drives were larger than 2 TB. However, it has limitations, such as supporting a maximum of four primary partitions and a maximum disk size of 2TB.

The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a newer partitioning scheme that overcomes these limitations. GPT supports up to 128 partitions per disk, allows for larger disk sizes (up to 9.4 zettabytes), and provides improved data reliability through features like CRC32 checksums.

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When attempting to install Windows on a disk with an incompatible partition style, such as trying to install a UEFI-based version of Windows on an MBR-partitioned disk, you may encounter the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” error.

Convert from MBR to GPT

Before converting MBR to GPT, It’s important to mention that this will erase all data on the disk! Before proceeding with the conversion, it’s crucial to back up your data to prevent any potential loss during the process. You can use various backup methods, such as copying important files to an external drive, using a backup software tool, or creating a system image using built-in Windows utilities.

Convert MBR to GPT During Windows 10 Installation

Converting MBR to GPT during Windows installation can be performed by using a few commands.

  • When the Windows installer interface loads (or when the error mentioned above appears), press Shift + F10 to run the command prompt console;
  • In the newly appeared window type in and run the command diskpart;
  • Now you need to run the command List disk to display all of the connected drives. Find the disk on which you want to install the operating system;
  • Type and run the command select disk X (X – a number of the disk that you want to use). For example, the command should look like this: select disk 0;
  • The next command will clean the MBR table: type in and run clean;
  • Now you need to convert the clean disk to GPT. To do this type in and run the command convert gpt
  • Now wait until you see a message noticing you that the procedure is completed successfully. After that type in and run exit to quit the console. Now you need to continue Windows installation in the usual way.

Convert MBR to GPT using Diskpart command

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Value Description
list disk Displays a list of disks and information about them, such as their size, the amount of available free space, whether the disk is a basic or dynamic disk, and whether the disk uses the Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style. The disk marked with an asterisk (*) has focus.
select disk disknumber Selects the specified disk, where disknumber is the disk number, and gives it focus.
clean Removes all partitions or volumes from the disk with focus.
convert gpt Converts an empty basic disk with the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition style into a basic disk with the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style.

 

Using Disk Management Tool

If you are on normal window, and looking to convert an external or secondary drive from MBR to GPT you can do this using Using Disk Management Tool.

  • Press Win + X and select “Disk Management” from the menu
  • Locate the disk you want to convert. Right-click on it and select “Properties.”
  • Go to the “Volumes” tab and check the partition style. If it says “Master Boot Record (MBR),” you’ll need to convert it to GPT.

Check disk partition style

To do this open the command prompt as administrator, run diskpart then list disk command and note the disk number.

Next type command mbr2gpt /convert /disk:<disknumber>

Replace <disknumber> with the disk number of the disk you want to convert.

Once the conversion is complete, restart your computer to apply the changes.

command to convert MBR to GPT

That’s all you have successfully Convert MBR to GPT and bypass error. During the installation process, select the converted disk as the installation destination, and Windows should install without any issues.

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