Reasons to convert MBR to GPT
MBR and GPT are two different standards to define the layout of the partition table on the hard disk. And it is commonly acknowledged that GPT (GUID Partition Table) is better than MBR (Master Boot Record). Compared with MBR, GPT has several advantages, which might be the main reasons for which some users want to convert MBR to GPT:
①GPT supports a disk larger than 2TB whereas MBR supports up to 2TB hard disk.
②GPT allows you to create 128 primary partitions while MBR allows you to create 4 primary partitions at most.
③Different from MBR, GPT stores the partitioning and boot information in multiple locations so that you can easily recover them when it is corrupted.
④Based on the official announcement that Windows 11 only supports UEFI to boot successfully.
Steps to convert MBR to GPT via CMD in Windows 11/10/8/7
To change disk from MBR to GPT in Windows 11/10/8/7, the CMD command line is a great tool you can make use of. As for how to finish MBR to GPT conversion through it, refer to the steps below:
①This method requires you to delete all partitions on the selected disk, so please back up all the data in advance.
② To use CMD to convert system disk from MBR to GPT, you have to enter the WinPE mode since the system-related partitions cannot be deleted within Windows.
Step 1. Open an elevated Command Prompt: Press Win+R on your keyboard to open Run dialogue, in which type cmd and hit on Enter.
Step 2. In the elevated Command Prompt window, type diskpart and press Enter to launch DiskPart Windows. And execute the following commands in sequence.
▶list disk (display all the online disks）
▶select disk n (n represents the number of the target MBR disk)
▶clean (remove all partitions on the target disk if there are)
This demonstration is based on converting a data disk. After the conversion is finished successfully, type "Exit" and press "Enter" to leave this window.
CMD alternative: convert MBR to GPT without data loss
From the above, we know it is necessary to backup the MBR disk before you convert MBR to GPT via CMD to avoid losing important data. So you might wonder whether it is possible to convert data and system MBR disk to GPT without deleting partitions and data loss. Luckily, it is fully possible with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This software can convert both data and boot disk from MBR to GPT without removing any existing partitions. (You can download the demo version to simulate the operation.)
Supported OS: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows XP/Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the disk you want to convert to GPT and select “Convert to GPT Disk”.
Step 2. Confirm your operation by clicking “OK” to continue.
Step 3. Click “Apply” button on the toolbar to commit the pending operation.
Convert MBR to GPT via CMD during OS installation
If you meet the error "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks" during the Windows installation process on your PC, you can convert MBR to GPT via CMD during installation to solve this problem. Below we will take how to change disk from MBR to GPT in Command Prompt when you install Windows 10.
①Converting system disk to GPT using CMD will wipe all data on the system disk.
②Before converting boot disk from MBR to GPT, you need to ensure your motherboard supports UEFI boot mode since you have to change boot mode from Legacy BIOS to UEFI after conversion.
Step 1. Boot your computer from the Windows installation CD/DVD.
Step 2. Wait for the "Windows Setup" screen.
Step 3. Press “Shift + F10” keys together on the keyboard to open the command prompt window.
Step 4. Type “Diskpart” into the CMD window.
Finally, execute the commands “list disk->select disk #->clean ->convert gpt” to convert the disk from MBR to GPT.
If you are not able to boot from DVD media, that is, your PC does not have an optical drive, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional as well, with which you can create a bootable flash drive and convert MBR to GPT without booting into Windows or deleting existing volumes/data.
Note: An empty USB drive is required and you need to connect it to a working Windows computer.
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional on the working PC. Click “Make Bootable Media” in the left Wizard list and follow the wizard to create a bootable USB drive.
Step 2. Plug the created bootable USB drive into the computer whose OS installation process is interrupted by the MBR to GPT conversion issue, change the boot priority to the USB drive and boot your computer from it.
Step 3. Once login, you will enter the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right click the system disk and select “Convert To GPT Disk”.
The rest steps are similar to the above part on converting data disk to GPT.
Wrapping things up
Above is all about how to convert MBR to GPT via CMD and using AOMEI Partition Assistant. Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant is a much wiser choice if you want to convert MBR disk to GPT without deleting existing partitions or losing data on the MBR disk.
If you are running Windows Server operating system, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which owns all features of Professional edition such as migrate OS to SSD/HDD, copying MBR disk to GPT disk, or GPT disk to MBR, etc, convert dynamic disk to basic without removing volumes, and more compatible (both Server and Windows PC are supported).