By AOMEI / Last Updated June 28, 2021

Scenario

Windows 10 cannot be installed to this disk

I have a SSD and I was going to perform a fresh installation of Windows 10 to it. But when I started the operation, it told me that Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. It seems that I need to convert my GPT to MBR, which will lose all my data. Is there any method of fixing it without deleting any partition?"

- Question from forums.Tomshardware.com

Windows Cannot Be Installed

Cause of “Windows cannot be installed to this disk (GPT)” error

When performing Windows installation or upgrade on a PC of Dell, HP, Lenovo, you may receive a message that Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Actually, this problem happens because when installing Windows 10, 8, 7 on a disk of GPT partition style, which is configured with UEFI boot mode, but apparently, your PC employs legacy BIOS boot mode that supports MBR disk.

It is necessary for some systems that MBR and BIOS, GPT and UEFI work hand in hand. Likewise, if your install or upgrade Windows on a MBR GPT, while your computer UEFI boot mode, you may recieve a error "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the MBR partition style". 

Since this issue is caused by mismatched partition style and boot mode. Hence, to solve this problem, you need to convert the GPT disk to MBR.

Note: If you want know more details about MBR and GPT partition styles, go to this page: What's the Difference Between GPT Disk and MBR Disk?

How to fix “Windows cannot be installed to this disk (GPT) without data loss”?

To change GPT disk to MBR disk, you can use your installation CD to run Command Prompt. Then format the disk and convert its file system. But you will lose all data on the disk, and the Command Prompt is designed to PC experts, it is complicated for most users.

So more people prefer its alternative disk manager called AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It is a user-friendly software that allows you to switch GPT to MBR partition style (as well as MBR to GPT) without data loss. With its intuitive interface, you can easily finish the operation by its intructions.

In addtion, if there is no OS on your PC, this software can help you create a bootable media to boot up your PC. Then, you can download the demo version and follow the steps to see how it works. And if your PC has system installed, you can skip to step 2 directly.

Download Demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Build a bootable media

    ✍Preparations:

  • Another PC with AOMEI Partition Assistant installed

  • A USB flash drive or CD.

  • Back up the USB drive if there are important data on it, because it will be formatted during the process.

1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant on another PC, click “Make Bootable CD Wizard” on the main interface. And click “Next” to confirm the operation.

Make Bootable Media

2. Choose “USB Boot Device”, and select your USB pen drive. Or tick "Burn to CD/DVD" if you are using a CD/DVD  And click “Proceed”.

Choose Usb Drive

3. And it will note you that the pen drive will be formatted, and you will lose all the data on it. Ensure you back up everything you need, and click “Yes”.

Warning

4. The progress will take a few minutes. When it is complete, and click “Finish”.

Finish

Then you can boot your computer which Windows installation filed on and convert the disk to MBR.

Step 2. Convert GPT disk to MBR partition style in Windows PE

1. Insert the bootable USB drive/CD to your computer, and enter BIOS to set it as boot device.

  • Power on the PC, and tap BIOS key to enter BIOS setup.

  • Under the Boot tab, use the arrow keys to choose “Change boot order”.

  • Save the change and start your PC.

Change Boot Order

Note:
● The BIOS key depends on your PC manufacturer. As far as know, HP computers BIOS key is F10, Dell BIOS key is F2, and Lenovo is F1 or F2.
● If your computer can boot up properly, you can be spared from creating bootable USB and changing boot order, just directly install AOMEI Partition Assistant and refer to the following content.

    2. When you PC boot from the USB, you will see the AOMEI Partition Assistant main interface. Right-click on the system disk, and choose “Convert to MBR”.

    Convert System Disk To Mbr

    3. Confirm the operation, and click “OK”.

    Ok To Mbr System Disk

    4. Then go back to the main interface, and click “Apply” to commit the conversion.

    Apply To Mbr System Disk

    When the conversion is finished, unplug the USB, and try to install windows 10, 8, 7. And the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” error won’t happen again.

    Related issue: Window cannot be installed to this disk. This selected disk has an MBR partition style

    In addition, if you receive the message “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.” According to the above, correspondingly, you can change MBR to GPT partition to match the UEFI boot mode to solve it.

    And AOMEI Partition Assistant also supports this operation. And the steps are very similar-creating a bootable media, and convert MBR to GPT.

    Convert System Disk To Gpt

    Conclusion

    With AOMEI Partition Assistant, you can easily fix “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style" without data loss. If you receive "The selected disk is of the MBR partition style", you will choose "convert GPT disk".

    It can easily and safely finish the conversion between MBR and GPT in Windows 10, 8, 7, XP to solve the problem, and if your computer running with Server system, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition.

    Besides, this software also provides other features to help you to manage your disk. For example, you can align SSD partition to improve system performance if you are using a SSD, and convert dynamic disk to basic, migrate OS from MBR disk to GPT or from GPT disk to MBR, and so on.