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Convert MBR to GPT/GPT to MBR Without Losing Data in Windows 10

Tracy King updated on Jan 25, 2021 Partition Manager | How-to Articles

How to Convert MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR Without Data Loss in Windows 10

"Hi there, do you know how can I change MBR to GPT without losing data in my Windows 10 computer? I got a second disk for extending storage capacity in my computer and I'm trying to convert it from MBR to GPT so that I can create more partitions for storing files and data. Here is the issue that I've already saved some files inside the drive and will I lose my data while converting MBR to GPT?"

Both MBR and GPT are partition styles for your storage devices and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Converting a disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa is needed when you want to utilize your disk in a more proper way based on the integrated features of the partitioning formats. Before introducing the ways to interconvert MBR, I'd like to share some features of these two partition styles with you.

MBR vs GPT

Comparison MBR GPT
Storage Space MBR supports maximum usable storage of 2TB GPT supports any storage that is available (be it smaller or larger than 2TB)
Number of partitions On an MBR disk, you can create a maximum of four primary partitions Theoretically, you can create unlimited partitions on a GPT disk.
Data Security MBR stores partitioning and boot data in one place. Once the data is corrupted, you have no chance to retrieve it GPT stores multiple copies of the partition information across the disk. If the data is corrupted, you still have the chance to get it back.
Supported Boot Mode The MBR disks use legacy BIOS boot mode GPT disks use UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) boot mode

According to the information above, you may want to convert an MBR disk to GPT or a GPT disk to MBR. Generally, there are three ways to do it.

4 Ways to Convert MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR

You can either use the Windows build-in tools or third-partition software to convert a disk between MBR and GPT. The difference is that:

If you change MBR to GPT or vice versa using Disk Management or DiskPart, you need to delete all the partitions on the disk in advance. If you use the third-party software, you can directly interconvert MBR to GPT without any data loss. Although MBRTOGPT.exe doesn't need you to delete your partition, these two methods are much more complicated.

Thus, if you are looking for an easy way to convert MBR to GPT (or vice versa) without data loss in Windows 10, you are recommended to use a reliable tool that helps to finish the conversion without deleting the partitions on your disk. As mentioned, there are four ways for you to convert a disk between MBR and GPT. Follow these methods to convert to GPT or MBR according to your needs.

Method 1. Convert MBR to GPT Without Data Loss in Windows 10 Using Third-Party Software

The partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master perfectly meets your demands of changing MBR to GPT without data loss. Whether you want to convert MBR to GPT or convert GPT to MBR, you can apply this software to get it done without deleting the volumes on your disk.

Your Reliable Choice - EaseUS Partition Master

  • Transfer free disk space from one drive to another directly.
  • Resize/move, merge, clone partition, and check file system error.
  • Clone disk, convert to MBR/GPT, convert to dynamic/basic, and even wipe data.
  • Migrate OS, increase partition space, and more

You can directly apply this tool to simply change MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR without losing any data in Windows 10/8/7 now:

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your Windows computer.

Step 2. Right-click the MBR disk that you want to convert and choose "Convert to GPT".

convert MBR to GPT - 1

Step 3. After that, find and click the "Execute 1 Operation" button on the toolbar and choose "Apply" to start the conversion. You need to restart your device to enable this change.

convert MBR to GPT - 2
Important
There is one thing you need to pay attention to. If the disk you want to convert is the system disk, make sure the motherboard of the computer supports the boot mode of the target partition style. Remember that MBR supports BIOS and GPT supports UEFI.

Method 2. Convert MBR to GPT Using DiskPart

If you want to convert MBR to GPT without data loss via CMD, you need to back up your files in advance and then perform data restoring after the conversion. If there are lots of files on your disk, you are recommended to back up your data effectively using the free backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup.

After backing up the files and delete all the partitions on the disk, you can now follow the steps below to convert your disk using CMD.

Step 1. Open Command Prompt and type in DiskPart and press "Enter".

Step 2. Then type in list disk (Note down the number of the disk you which you want to convert to GPT).

Step 3. Then type in select disk X (the number of the disk).

Step 4. Finally, type in convert gpt.

If you mistakenly cleaned a partition using DiskPart, you can undo DiskPart clean to retrieve your files.

Method 3. Convert MBR to GPT Disk with Disk Management

Similar to using CMD, you also need to delete all partitions on your disk using Disk Management. Before you convert the disk from MBR to GPT or from GPT to MBR, you should back up your disk. If you want to recover a deleted partition, you can use a partition recovery software tool to get your lost data and partition back.

Step 1. Right-click on "This PC", choose "Manage", then head to "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click the volumes on your target disk and choose "Delete Volume..."

Step 3. When your disk becomes empty (shows as unallocated space), right-click your disk and choose "Convert to GPT Disk".

Convert MBR to GPT in Disk Management

Method 4. Convert MBR to GPT Without Losing Data Using Gptgen.exe

MBR2GPT.exe is a Windows built-in tool used to convert hard drives from the MBR partitioning method to GPT. The advantage of this tool is that it won't destroy the files on your disk during the conversion. However, it much more complicated than the three common methods above and it's only available in Windows 10 version 1730 and later. You can follow the steps below to convert MBR to GPT in Windows:

There are requirements for the disk in order to run MBR2GPT successfully. You can check the details in the related Microsoft documents (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/mbr-to-gpt) and then apply the syntax below to convert your MBR to GPT.

MBR2GPT /validate|convert [/disk:] [/logs:] [/map:=] [/allowFullOS]

For your information:

  • You can check the "disknumber" via the "select disk" command in diskpart.exe
  • If "/logs:" is not specified, "%windir%" is used. You should specify an existing directory.
  • "/map:=" specifies extra partition type mappings between MBR and GPT.
  • "/allowFullOS" is required if you are running MBR2GTP.exe in a full Windows environment instead of Windows PE.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, using EaseUS Partition Master is the easiest way to convert MBR to GPT without data loss among the four solutions. If you prefer using Disk Management or DiskPart, remember to backup your disk in advance. While if you attempt to use MBR2GPT.exe, make sure your disk meets the requirements given by Microsoft, or the conversion will not proceed and an error will occur.

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