GPT hard disk cannot be accessed in Windows XP

A growing number of people want to follow the fashion, not only in field of clothes, but also in field of computer. My friend Mary bought a hard disk, and she set the partition as GPT style. When it is connected to computer and computer can’t read it. Mary’s computer is stalled with windows XP. That is to say, GPT partition on XP will turns to GPT protective partition. She ran to me for help. I told her to download third party software to convert GPT disk to MBR disk. Only in this way does GPT disk can be useful to her computer installed with win XP. To let more people know that, I published this article on purpose. GPT actually has more advantages over MBR disk, but under some conditions, it is not useful to all windows, such as Win XP. Firstly, we must clarify some definitions.

About GPT and MBR hard disk

GPT hard disk is one kind of disk style. In computer hardware, GPT is a standard for the layout of partition table on a physical hard drive. It breaks up the limitation of four primary partitions, and it supports the number of partitions up to 128 per disk. However, 32-bit version of Windows XP will see only the Protective MBR and the EE partition will not be mounted. Besides, GPT can’t apply to system disk which does not support UEFI boot mode.

MBR disk is another kind of hard disk. As we all know, the original method of partitioning disks refers to MBR.  Although it has been widely accepted, this scheme has many shortcomings including partitions being limited to 2TB in size. Another shortcoming is the limitation of 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition or 4 primary partitions.

What is GPT Protective Partition?

As mentioned above, GPT hard disk is better than MBR in the storing aspects. Thus, so many computer users choose the type of GPT hard drive as their disks regardless of any defects. In this case, when they use the GPT disk, the hard drive seems to refuse to work for some users, and it will show as GPT Protective Partition. That is really annoyed to users.

GPT Protective Partition

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Why does this phenomenon show up? The reason is that GPT only works on Windows 7/8/Vista/2008 and 64-bit version of Windows XP/2003, but 32-bit version of Windows XP/2003 are not acceptable. What a pity!

How to access GPT protective hard disk partition on Windows XP?

Since GPT is not permitted on 32-bit version of Windows XP, what we need is to convert GPT to MBR without losing data, but how can we achieve this goal? Generally speaking, we always try to ask built-in Disk Management for help, however, GPT disks can be converted to MBR disks with built-in Disk Management only if all existing partitions are first deleted, with associated loss of data. Therefore, a third-party partition manager is quite needed.

Among these partition tools, AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro Edition enjoys a large popularity. It can deal with different kinds of partition problems, including the conversion between GPT and MBR disk. Meanwhile, this partition tool can also solve the problems of dynamic disk. When it works, all the data in the disk will be protected, and the clean interface gives an easy direction for users, even for a green hand.

Three-step procedures to finish converting from GPT to MBR

 Step 1: Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant pro edition. It can convert disk between MBR and GPT. The GPT disks and partitions in computer will be detected by this software, and shown in the interface of software.

 Step 2: Right-click the GPT partition you want to convert, and select “Convert to MBR Disk” function in function bar.

Convert GPT to MBR Disk

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Step3: You can see the preview effect in the interface, but that’s preview effect. To save all changes, don’t forget to click “Apply” button on upper left.

After you finish the steps above, you can open windows management and check your hard disk status especially disk, GPT or MBR? And you will find the original GPT protective partition turns into MBR one. It is very easy and safe to convert disk between MBR and GPT under the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Finally, you can open GPT hard disk and view GPT protective partition in your Windows XP (32-bit) or Windows 2003 (32-bit) computer.