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8 Fixes: Can't Install Windows on GPT or Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk Error

Updated by Daisy on Feb 03, 2021

Are you having problems installing Windows on your target GPT or MBR drive? On this page, we'll thoroughly discuss this issue in two parts and you can follow to find respective solutions toward different errors. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix Can't Install Windows on GPT Disk Fix 1. Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk using EaseUS Partition Master...Full steps
Fix 2. Enable UEFI Boot Option in BIOS...Full steps
Fix 3. Convert MBR to GPT via EaseUS Partition Master...Full steps
Fix 4. Convert MBR to GPT using DiskPart...Full steps
Fix Windows Cannot Be Installed the This Disk Fix 1. Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk...Full steps
Fix 2. Remove HDD Protection and Change SATA Controller Mode...Full steps
Fix 3. Repair Your HDD...Full steps
Fix 4. Format the Partition to NTFS...Full steps

Check out and find the easiest solution to resolve your problem, installing Windows on your PC without any issue now.

Note that if you have saved important data on the target disk, back up your data first as some of the following fixes may remove data on your target drive. 

Part 1. Fix "Can't Install Windows on GPT Disk" Error

Applies to: Fix "Windows Cannot Be Installed on GPT Partition Drive' or "Can't Install Windows on GPT" error.

Problem: Can't Install Windows on GPT Disk

"I'm trying to install Windows 10 on a new SSD, but the computer keeps giving me this message 'Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.' What does this mean? Do I have to convert the GPT disk to MBR? Or to enable UEFI boot mode in BIOS?"

You won't be able to install Windows on GPT disk if you are receiving this notice from your PC as listed below:

Error 1. "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style."

Can't install Windows on GPT

Error 2. "Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only installed on GPT disks".

Windows can only be installed on GPT disk

Those two errors mean that the Windows cannot be installed on GPT drive. Don't be panic. In the following, we'll explain why you cannot install Windows to the selected disk and list practical solutions to help you out.

Why You Fail to Install Windows on GPT Drive

1. You forget to enable UEFI boot option. Or the motherboard supports Legacy BIOS only. (Error 1)

2. If you receive Error 2, you must learn something about UEFI and BIOS. Know the differences and relations between them.

Usually, when you install Windows on UEFI-based PC using Windows Setup, the target disk must be set up to UIEFI mode or BIOS compatibility mode. If your computer is booted in UEFI mode,while your target disk is not configured UEFI mode, you'll met Error 2. 

4 Fixes to Resolve "Cannot Install Windows on GPT Disk" Error

Here, we'll provide you with 4 effective methods to fix this error issue and relative errors. Note that the former method is presented, the higher success rate it will be.

Fix 1. Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk using EaseUS Partition Master [Error 1]

When the computer doesn't support UEFI, you cannot install the Windows on GPT drive unless you convert the disk from GPT to MBR.

Professional partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master can organize your hard drive and change the partition style easily. You can easily convert GPT to MBR with the help of this software, making disk available to install Windows again:

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

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

Fix 2. Enable UEFI Boot Option in BIOS to Fix Windows Cannot Install on GPT Drive Error

If you are faced with Error 1 -  "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.", you can boot to UEFI mode if your motherboard supports UEFI. 

Step 1. Reboot the PC and press the key that opens the boot device menu. You can press the Esc, F2, F9, F12, or another key to enter the boot menus.

Step 2. Boot into UEFI mode and locate the boot options menu.

Step 3. Confirm in the Boot Priority List that the USB UEFI OS Boot option is at the top of the list. Save your changes and continue to install Windows.

boot to uefi mode

Fix 3. Convert MBR to GPT to using EaseUS Partition Master

If you encounter Error 2, you can fix the "The Selected Disk Has an MBR Partition Table" error by converting MBR disk to GPT disk.

On the UEFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks or something similar. That's because MBR is compatible with BIOS while GPT is compatible with UEFI.

The steps are similar to those of converting GPT to MBR. The difference is that you need to convert to GPT with the help of EaseUS Partition Master:

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.

convert MBR to GPT - 2

Fix 4. Convert MBR to GPT using DiskPart 

Aims to resolve Error 2. 

Step 1. Turn off the PC and put in the Windows installation DVD or USB.

Step 2. Boot the PC from the DVD or USB.

Step 3. In Windows Setup, press "Shift + F10" to start Command Prompt.

Step 4. Enter the following command in order:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk
  • clean
  • convert gpt
  • exit

Step 5. Close Command Prompt.

After removing "Can't install Windows on GPT disk" error, you can now continue installing Windows on your PC. You can refer to Install Windows 10 on GPT disk for a detailed tutorial guide. 

Part 2. Fix "Windows Cannot Be Installed the This Disk" Error

Applies to: Fix "Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk" Error.

Error: Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk

When you are going to install Windows 10/8/7, you might receive different kinds of errors saying Windows cannot be installed to this disk. Here are some common errors that you might receive:

Error 1.  "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation".

Windows cannot be installed on the disk due to dynamic issue

Error 2. "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu."

Windows cannot be installed on the disk due to disk controller issue

Error 3. "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The disk may fail soon. If other hard disks are available, install Windows to another location."

Error 4. "Windows cannot be installed to the hard disk space. Windows must be installed to a partition formatted in NTFS."

Why Windows Cannot Be Installed to The Selected Disk

Why you could receive these errors? What are the main reasons? According to the error messages, the main reasons are as follows:

1. Users can only make a fresh install on a dynamic volume only when the volume was converted from a basic disk and was a boot partition or system partition. (Error 1)

2. Hardware protection and SATA Controller mode could bring up Error 2.

3. If you get Error 3, you can take your hard disk failure into account.

4. An incompatible file system of the partition to be installed with Windows. Microsoft rules that Windows must be installed to a partition formatted in NTFS since Windows Vista. (Error 4)

Fixes to Remove "Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk" Error

You can now selectively choose one of the solutions to fix Windows cannot be installed to the disk issue on your own PC.

Fix 1. Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk

If you receive Error 1 - "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation", convert dynamic to basic disk.

EaseUS Partition Master also helps you convert dynamic disk to basic disk easily and quickly.

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Here are the detailed steps:

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

Step 2. Select the disk that you want to convert, tight-click it and choose the conversion option:

  • Basic to Dynamic: right-click a basic disk and select "Convert to Dynamic".
  • Dynamic to Basic: right-click a dynamic disk and select "Convert to Basic".

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up notice window and you will add this conversion to the pending operations.

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Operation" button at the top-left corner and click "Apply" to begin to convert the basic disk to dynamic or dynamic to basic. 

0:00 - 0:21 Convert Basic to Dynamic Disk; 0:22- 0:48 Convert Dynamic to Basic Disk.

Fix 2. Remove HDD Protection and Change SATA Controller Mode (for Error 2)

If you receive this message "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu." - Error 2, you should do two things:

Phrase 1. Remove Hard Disk Protection

Check if your hard disk protection is enabled. If it is, contact the salesperson and remove the protection according to his instructions.

Here is a quick guide that you can follow to remove write protection from hard drive using DiskPart:

Step 1. Start > Run  -> type CMD and press enter.

Step 2. Type diskpart and press enter.

Step 3. Type the following command lines and hit enter each time:

  • list volume
  • select volume # (# is the number of your HDD.)
  • attributes disk clear read-only
  • clean

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter. Close DiskPart to finish the process.

After this, you've successfully removed write protection from your hard drive. If you need more practical solutions, refer to How to Remove Write Protection on SSD for help.

Phrase 2. Change SATA Controller Mode

This error may indicate that BIOS settings of your computer are not properly configured. Make sure you have changed the SATA Controller mode in BIOS. Then, you can try setting BIOS to the factory and go back to the default setting.

Fix 3. Repair Your HDD to Fix "Windows Cannot Be Installed to the Hard Disk Space"

Error 3 - "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The disk may fail soon." occurs when there's something wrong with your HDD. What to do with a dying HDD? How to repair it? You should stop Windows installation, and then clone or back up important data immediately. Then, you can start repairing your HDD.

Also read: How to Repair HDD Without Losing Data

Fix 4. Format the Partition to NTFS

This method aims to solve Error 4. When partitions on the target disk are not with the NTFS file system, Windows cannot be installed to the disk.

Changing a volume's file system is not an easy task for those who are not familiar with computer management and command line. Thus, an easy and safe solution is needed.

Comprehensive partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master can fully meet this requirement. It enables you to format HDD to NTFS easily.

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For this case, you need to create a bootable drive and then format hard drive from USB.

After fixing Windows cannot be installed to this disk or GPT/MBR drive error, you can then continue installing Windows on your target disk in your PC. 

Conclusion

This page covers 4 fixes to get rid of "Can't install Windows on GPT disk" error and 4 practical methods to remove "Windows cannot be installed to the drive" error for all levels of Windows users. 

If you are faced with any one of the errors, you can find answers here. If your target disk has unsupported partition styles disallow you installing Windows on it, EaseUS Partition Master helps convert GPT to MBR, Convert MBR to GPT, and even change Dynamic to Basic disk.

This software plays an important role during the fixing process. Why not get it now.

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Extended Reading: Cannot Install Windows FAQs

Besides the above issues, if you have further concerns about installing Windows on GPTor MBR disk, check the questions and answer below.

You may get a clue:

1. How do I fix Windows cannot be installed to this disk MBR?

How do you fix 'Windows cannot be installed to this disk'? The solution is easy to conclude: change MBR to GPT.

Here are two methods that you can try:

  • Method 1. Change MBR to GPT using EaseUS Partition Master (as presented on this page in Fix 3 Part 1)
  • Method 2. Run DiskPart to change MBR disk to GPT (as presented on this page in Fix 4 Part 1)

2. Can GPT boot into Windows?

Yes. GPT can be used to boot Windows OS as long as you have a Windows system installed on the disk or you have migrated your computer operating system on the disk.

If you need a guide to migrate OS to GPT, follow this link for help: Transfer Windows 10 to New Hard Drive (HDD/SSD). 

3. How do I change GPT partition to BIOS?

Mostly, GPT partition supports UEFI boot mode and BIOS compatibility mode. In order to change GPT partition to Legacy BIOS mode, you need to follow the following tips:

  1. #1. Check if your computer motherboard supports BIOS boot mode. (Check BIOS)
  2. #2. If the motherboard supports BIOS boot, then you need to check if your disk is with the MBR partition style.
  3. If not, convert GPT to MBR disk using provided method on this page in Part 1. 
  4. #3. Install Windows that support BIOS boot on the disk.
  5. #4. Finish Windows installation, enter BIOS and set the computer to boot on the MBR disk which was with GPT partition.
  6. #5. Save the changes, and restart PC. 

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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