How to Convert Extended Partition to GPT without Losing Data?

This tutorial will tell you the reason for converting extended partition to GPT, and you will learn how to convert MBR with extended partition to GPT without losing data as well.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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"I have a disk with extended partition, and are all used. Now, I want to convert extended partition to GPT. But GPT does not support extended partition. I wonder if it would be possible? Or maybe the extended partitions will automatically been converted into a primary one under GPT? I have to try. I don't want to lose my data."

About extended partition

A drive must be partitioned before it can be used and there must be at least one partition on a drive. Users are allowed to create multiple partitions on a hard disk to store different kinds of data. Actually, the number and type of partitions depend on the partition style: MBR vs GPT. All partitions on GPT are called primary partitions while three kinds of partitions can be classified on an MBR disk: primary partition, extended partition, and logical partition.

☛ Primary Partition: Only the primary partition is bootable because it can contain the operating system and other essential elements for OS booting. Also, the active partition is based on the primary partition. On the MBR disk, there can be four primary partitions at most and each primary partition should be designed with a drive letter like "C" or "D".

Extended partition: The OS bootable file cannot be stored in the extended partition, so it can't be booted. Besides, the extended partition is similar to a container which includes all the remaining space, so it cannot be used directly and designed with a drive letter either. However, you can create a number of logical partitions in an extended partition to make it available. But how many extended partitions can be created in a hard drive? The answer is only one extended partition.

☛ Logical partition: Windows cannot boot from logical partitions either. A logical partition, also named a logical drive, is usually created within an extended partition to store personal data. You can also name it as E drive or G drive. The number of logical drives relies on the amount of unused space in extended partition and the drive letter you can use.


Why convert extended partition to GPT?

AS we know, only MBR disk has extended partition with many logical drives in it while GPT disk only has primary partitions. Let's see the two following contrasts and you will find the reasons for why convert extended partition on GPT:

Primary partition vs logical drives

From the description above, the biggest difference between primary partition and logical drives is whether the operating system can be booted from it. Obviously, the Windows operating system is installed in primary partition, and sometimes, some programs and applications cannot be stored in logical partitions. Therefore, if you want to boot from logical drives and bypass the limits of it, one workable way is to convert logical drives to primary partition.


Changing logical partition to primary partitions allows you to boot from the "logical drives", however, if you are working on the MBR disk, the conversion may fail due to the limitation of four primary partitions. Therefore, the more effective way is to convert MBR to GPT. Compared with MBR, a GPT disk has the following remarkable advantages:

✦ GPT supports up to 128 primary partitions while only 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and an extended partitions can be created on an MBR disk.

✦ GPT has capacity up to 9.4ZB, but MBR can only works with disks up to 2TB.

✦ GPT is more compatible with the newer Windows or other 64-bit Windows, and MBR is more workable for the previous Windows editions.

✦ GPT can keep your data safer. This is because a partition on GPT disk has its own backup at the end of the disk while MBR not, so if the partition is corrupted, you can restore from the backup files.

As we can see, out of the outstanding merits of primary partitions and GPT disk, the desire to convert extended partition to GPT is intensive, however, MBR and GPT are two partition schemes, while the extended partition is one kind of partition on MBR disk, so you can't convert one classification into another directly.

To this end, the solution to convert extended partition to GPT should be changing MBR with extended partition into GPT, but what's the easiest way? Continue reading!

How to convert extended partition to GPT without losing data?

When it comes to converting MBR to GPT, maybe your first thought is to use Windows built-in utilities like DiskPart or Disk Management. However, these two tools only allow you to convert non-system disk or empty disk from MBR to GPT, so you must delete all the existing partitions including all the data on it in advance, which will cause woeful data loss.

So is there any way to convert MBR with extended partition to GPT without losing data? Yes, there is a powerful MBR to GPT Converter named AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional that can help you to make the conversion in a secure way. This software can not only convert system disk but also the data disk from MBR to GPT safely and easily as well as from GPT to MBR. In addition, it can work on all Windows versions like Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista and the newest Windows 11.

Now, download the demo version and see how it works:

Download DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1: Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Software, right-click the MBR disk you want to convert, and select "Convert to GPT".


Step 2: In the new window, you will be sent a confirmation notification. Click "OK" to continue. And the attention message will pop out, click "OK" and then change Legacy BIOS to UEFI after the conversion.


Step 3: After a while, you will back to the main console, click "Apply" and you will find your disk style has been changed into GPT.


Now, with the help of AOMEI software, you can easily and safely convert MBR to GPT, and you don't need to worry about the loss of your data on the original extended partition because logical drives will be converted into corresponding primary partitions automatically during the conversion process.


Now, you must know there is no way to convert extended partition to GPT, but you can convert MBR with extended partition to GPT instead. Due to the limitations of Windows built-in tools, AOMEI software can be your best helper. It works more than an MBR to GPT converter, you can also enjoy more useful functions such as moving applications from one partition to another, migrating OS from MBR disk to GPT SSD or HDD, wiping system disks, adding free space to C drive, and so on.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.