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How to Access GPT Protective Partition Without Losing Data

Updated on Dec 05, 2018 by Jean to Partition Master

When a GPT Protective Partition appears in the Disk Management, you cannot open, read or access data on the drive. Read the article so you can figure out reasons and find solutions to the problem.
GPT Protective Partition
How to Clear GPT Protective Partition Error
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GPT Protective Partition

With a GPT Protective Partition showing up, owners can neither open this specified disk partition or make other operations on it via Disk Management. For example, They are unable to partition, format or simply access data inside. Since Windows couldn't read or support a GPT Protective Partition, how do you get rid of such a partition style and use the drive properly?

GPT Protective Partition

Before working out a way to remove the "protected" partition from your Windows computer, first of all, you must understand what GPT Protective Partition is about. As you know, the GPT is short for GUID Partition Table, comparing with the older MBR (Master Boot Record), it provides a more flexible mechanism for partitioning disks, and is now universally applied on most Windows operating systems, however, only excluding the 32-bit Windows XP and Windows 2003.

So, when you install a GPT internal hard drive or external hard drive on a 32-bit Windows XP & Windows 2003 computer, it may be in a normally "Healthy" state, however, Windows recognizes it as a "GPT Protective Partition", only because it cannot read or boot from it. As a result, data becomes inaccessible.

How to Clear The 'GPT Protective Partition' Error

To resolve the "protective" issue on a GPT partition so as to make it usable again, the following two workarounds would help.

Option 1. Diskpart command line utility
Option 2. Third-party GPT to MBR conversion software

Solutions on this page are only applicable to Windows XP and Windows 2003. Diskpart command allows you to clean the GPT Protective Partition. You'll then be left with an "Unknown, Not initialize and unallocated' disk, so all you have to do is to initialize the disk to MBR. Of course, all data will be completely erased. By contrast, the recommended third-party software called EaseUS Partition Master assists you in an entire secure way, because you can simply convert GPT to MBR with one click without destroying data.

Method One. Diskpart

  • Step 1: Press Win + R to open Run dialog > Type cmd and hit Enter to bring up Command Prompt. Run as administrator.
  • Step 2: In the command prompt, enter the command diskpart.
  • Step 3: Enter the command list disk.
  • Step 4: Enter the command select disk x. (x represents the drive letter of the GPT Protective Partition, so replace x with the exact letter)
  • Step 5: Enter the command clean.

In the end, type exit to close the diskpart.exe and type exit again to close the Command Prompt. Return to Windows Disk Management again, right-click on the originally 'GPT Protective Partition', choose 'Initialize Disk" and choose to initialize the disk to MBR. Since the clean command would wipe all data on the partition, administrators should really take care. Back up files or choose the second way to solve the problem.

Method Two. EaseUS Partition Master

It's good to know a risk-free way to fix GPT Protective Partition on the mentioned Windows operation systems without losing data. Now, download EaseUS partition manager software on your Windows PC, and follow the guide to work the problem out.

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 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Install and open EaseUS Partition Master on your Windows computer. 

open EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Right-click the GPT disk that you want to convert and select "Convert to MBR". Then, you will add a pending operation.

convert GPT to MBR

Step 3: Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top-left corner. Next, click "Apply" and begin to convert GPT disk to MBR. All data is safe with EaseUS partition manager software. 

convert GPT to MBR