Three Ways to Convert MBR to GPT Disk on Windows 10
"What's the best way to convert the drive without losing data in my other partitions (that weren't formatted)?"
Have you been bombarded with an array of "MBR to GPT" information on the search page? In this article, we'll cut through solutions to convert MBR to GPT in 3 methods, together with a third-party partition tool, disk management, and diskpart.
If you choose the Windows built-in tool, both two tools need to delete existing disk volumes. For avoiding data loss, trust us, you can choose the better one, EaseUS Partition Master, to change partition style in 3 easy steps.
Both MBR and GPT are the partition styles of Windows. Briefly speaking, the partition style is used to tell Windows how to access the data on the disk. Generally, you can use your disk smoothly regardless of what the partition style is. But there do exist some situations in which you need to convert MBR to GPT or vice versa:
- You want more partitions on your hard drive
MBR disks support only four partition table entries. That is to say, it only allows users to create four primary partitions at most. If more partitions are wanted, a secondary structure known as an extended partition is necessary.
- Your hard drive is larger than 2TB
GPT (GUID Partition Table) is more robust and allows for volumes bigger than 2TB. Thus, if your hard drive is over 2TB, you may prefer the GPT partition style in order to fully use the disk space. (If the disk over 2TB uses the traditional MBR partitioning method, you can only use 2TB of storage at most.)
- You want to perform system clone
As you may know, MBR and GPT disks use different boot mode. (MBR disks support BIOS and GPT disks support UEFI mode.) When you want to clone Windows or migrate OS, you need to make sure both the source disk and the target disk have the same partition style to ensure you can boot your computer from the target disk smoothly.
3 Ways to Convert MBR to GPT Without Data Loss in Windows 10
As mentioned, there are three ways you can apply to convert an MBR disk to GPT disk, including using Disk Management, DiskPart command, or third-party software.
If you use the Windows built-in utilities, be it Disk Management or diskPart, to convert your MBR disk to GPT disk, you need to delete all the existing volume on your hard drive. Thus, if you want to convert MBR to GPT disk without losing data, you need to back up the whole disk in advance, which could be time-consuming since a disk always stores gigabytes of files.
Given that, you are recommended to try the trustworthy partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master. This software will help you convert an MBR disk to a GPT disk directly without losing data. With EaseUS Partition Master, you don't need to delete the disk volumes as using Disk Management or DiskPart. All you need to do is to select the disk and choose "Convert to GPT".
- If your disk is a data drive, you can convert it from MBR to GPT directly. However, if it's a system disk, make sure your operating system and motherboard are supported to boot from UEFI mode before converting the disk to GPT since the system GPT disk can only be booted from UEFI mode.
To convert MBR to GPT:
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Are you looking for a reliable way to convert MBR to GPT in Windows 10/8/7? Here, you'll get three practical ways to change MBR to GPT, removing 'Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table' error on your own.
You need to delete all the volumes on your hard drive before the conversion, or you will see the "Convert to GPT Disk" is greyed out in Disk Management. Thus, if you have files existing on the disk you want to convert, back up all the files at the very beginning. Generally, you can back up a disk by copying files and folders manually, which will undoubtedly take a long time. If you want to make a backup effectively, you can use the free backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup, which is much faster than copying and pasting files.
After you keep your data safe, you can now follow the steps below to convert your MBR disk to GPT disk in Disk Mangement.
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..." (If you accidentally deleted a volume in Disk Management, you can recover the partition and the files on it referring to the linked article.
Step 3. When your disk becomes empty (shows as unallocated space), right-click your disk and choose "Convert to GPT Disk".
Now you have successfully converted the MBR disk to GPT disk. In order to use the hard drive for data storage, you need to create new volumes on the disk. (If you use the EaseUS partition tool, you don't need to perform these operations. Instead, you can use it directly after the conversion.)
Step 1. Right-click the unallocated space and choose "Create New Simple Volume..."
Step 2. Then you will see the "New Simple Volume Wizard" dialog box, click "Next" to continue.
Step 3. Follow the wizard to specify volume size, assign drive letter or path, and format the partition. Afterward, a new simple volume will be created. You can repeat the process to create more partitions on the disk.
Step 4. You can copy the files you have backed up back to your disk according to your needs.
DiskPart is a command-line utility in Windows that can be used to manage disk or disk partitions. Thus, you can also apply this tool to convert MBR to GPT disk. However, like using Disk Management, you are also required to delete the volumes on the disk before the conversion, which means data backup is also necessary if you prefer this method.
Step 1. Click the "Start" button and type cmd.
Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".
Step 3. When you see a dialog box asking you for permission, click "Yes".
Step 4. Enter the following commands one by one to delete the volumes on the disk:
- list disk
- select disk 1
If you mistakenly cleaned a partition, you can undo DiskPart clean to retrieve your files.
Step 5. After deleting the partitions on your disk, you can now convert MBR to GPT:
- list disk
- select disk 1
- convert gpt
The Bottom Line
Actually, the biggest difference between using the Windows built-in utilities and third-party software is whether to delete the disk volumes. As you can see from the details above, using EaseUS partition software, which can serve as an MBR to GPT converter, is the easiest way to change an MBR disk to a GPT disk. Besides, the tool can also help you clone disks, merge partitions, shrink partitions, migrate OS... If you want to convert a system disk from MBR to GPT, using a convenient tool is recommended.
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Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!
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Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes. Read More
It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool. Read More
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