By Cherry / Last Updated September 26, 2021

The Windows disk manager Diskpart is designed for disk management with command line. You can open the command prompt to manage your disks on Windows 7/8/10/11 with its syntax. This article will introduce you how to use the command line to convert a disk from GPT to MBR.

Brief introduction of MBR disk and GPT disk

MBR, is the abbreviation of mater boot record. It uses the standard BIOS partition table. It only supports up to 4 primary partitions on the disk, if you want to create more partitions, you have to convert one of the primary partitions into extended partition, so that you can create more logical partitions inside. Besides, MBR disks only support up to 2TB hard disk, if you want to use a larger disk, MBR is not recommended.

GPT, is the abbreviation of GUID partition table disk. It uses the extensible firmware interface (EFI). It supports more than 4 partitions on a disk, and it can break the limitation of 2TB hard drive size. Now, many users want to use GPT because of its unique features. However, sometimes, you need to convert GPT disk to MBR disk. For example, the Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 32bit and Windows XP 32bit don’t support GPT partitions, the GPT disk will not be recognized until you convert it to MBR disk.

MBR VS GPT

How to convert disk from GPT to MBR with Diskpart?

How to convert GPT disk to MBR disk with Diskpart? First, you need to open the Diskpart command line prompt. Click Start, type “cmd” in the search box, right click the program and select “Run as Administrator” to open the prompt, then type “diskpart” and press Enter to open the Diskpart program. Then, you can use the syntax to convert disk to MBR. Here we take an example of converting disk 1 to MBR disk.

Step 1. Type “list disk” and press Enter. Here will list all the disks on your computer. Remember which one is the disk you need to convert.

Step 2. Type “select disk 1” and press Enter to select the disk.

Step 3. Type "clean" and press Enter. If this is an empty disk without any partitions on, you can skip this step.

Step 4. After selecting the disk, type “convert mbr” and press Enter, it will convert the GPT disk into MBR disk.

CMD Convert MBR

It seems very easy to convert GPT disk to MBR disk. Actually, you can also convert MBR to GPT. But you need to know that you can only convert a disk from GPT to MBR only when the disk is empty and contains no volume. If there are any data or volumes on your disk, backup your data and delete partitions or volumes before converting it.

Free alternative to DiskPart: convert  to MBR without deleting partitions

Converting GPT to MBR, or MBR to GPT via DiskPart or Disk Management will meet the same problem that you must delete all existing partitions on the selected disk, otherwise, the conversion will fail. Here we recommend you a free tool: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can convert disks between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions or any data, and it supports converting GPT disk with more than four primary partitions to MBR disk directly.

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First, download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, install and launch it. Select the GPT disk and click Convert to MBR at the left control panel or right click the GPT disk, select Convert to MBR Disk at the menu.

Convert to MBR

Then, it will pop up a window to ask you if you are sure to convert disk from GPT to MBR disk. Click OK to move on.

MBR OK

Then, the disk has changed into MBR, but you need to click Apply on the toolbar to submit the pending operations.

MBR Apply

You can convert the system disk from GPT to MBR, or MBR to GPT after upgrading to Professional Edition.  If you need to convert boot disk without OS, you can first create a bootable media via AOMEI Partition Assistant software and finish the conversion in WinPE environment. Howerver, after converting boot disk, you have to enter BIOS to change the boot mode (from Legacy to UEFI, or UEFI to BIOS) so that you can boot from the system disk successfully.

Summary

Compared with using DiskPart to convert GPT to MBR, the AOMEI Partition Assistant is much easier and simpler, because it can help you finish the work even you are a non-technician. Apart from the MBR and GPT conversion, it also allows you to convert dynamic disk to basic one without deleting volumes, convert primary and logical partition without losing data, transfer OS to SSD, and so on.