How to Format GPT Protective Partition So that You Can Access It again?

How to format GPT protective partition to MBR so that you can access the files on it again? In this post, 2 practical ways will be provided to help with the GPT-MBR conversion.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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I cannot open the partition, help!

“I just rolled back Windows with system recovery as the OS had become much slower.  Windows is installed on an SSD while my files are stored to the second disk that’s a 3TB SAMSUNG hard disk. There’re 3 partitions on it but one of them is protected by GPT and no longer accessible. I can see it in Disk Management but all the options including deletion, extension, and format are greyed out. Can I retrieve my data?”

gpt protective partition

Overview of the GPT protective partition

To put it briefly, a GPT protective partition is a partition protected by GUID partition table. It occupies a continuous disk area that’s divided from the rest of the hard disk and set apart from other volumes and it has no unique drive letters. Meanwhile, the GPT protective partition cannot be accessed in File Explorer or edited in Disk Management either. 

You may be wondering what accounts for the issue. Generally, there’re mainly 2 causes behind the GPT protective partition error.

Bad compatibility: You’re connecting a hard disk in the GPT partition style to a PC that’s running on Windows 32-bit OS. And the OS is unable to recognize or manage the hard disk.

Corrupted partition table: The partition table of the hard disk is corrupted or damaged and thus, the GPT protective partition error appears even though the disk is installed to a 64-bit OS. To retrieve the data on the problematic partition, you're suggested to use reliable partition recovery software.


How to format the GPT protective partition to MBR?

If you’re looking for any practical way to deal with the GPT protective partition error, then, this is the right place as in the following contents, 2 ways will be introduced to fix the issue.

As the GPT partition style is one of the major factors in causing the error, why not try formatting the hard disk where the GPT protective partition is from GPT to MBR and thus, the problem is perfectly resolved?

Here, you’ll find 2 reliable methods that may help you out by performing partition style conversion for the problematic hard disk.

Use CMD DiskPart

DiskPart, the successor to fdisk, is a Windows built-in command-line based program that helps manage hard disks and their partitions by performing various operations including partition deletion, partition shrinking, and partition extension. And of course, you can use this utility to format a GPT protective partition in Windows 10 since you cannot edit the partition in Disk Management. Follow the step-by-step guide as follows to get it done.

1. Type “cmd” in the search box and then, run Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Type “diskpart” in the window of the Command Prompt and hit “ENTER” to launch DiskPart.

3. Type “list disk” and hit “ENTER” to let all hard disks on your PC displayed.

4. Type “select disk n” and hit “ENTER” to select the hard disk where the GPT protective partition is.

5. Type “clean” and hit “ENTER” to remove all existing partitions on the hard disk.

6. Type “convert mbr” and hit “ENTER” to format the hard disk to MBR.

7. Type “exit” to quit DiskPart.

convert mbr

How to format GPT protective partition to MBR? DiskPart is absolutely a great idea if there’s no data on the hard disk. However, as you can see above, to successfully carry out the GPT to MBR formatting, you have to execute the “clean” command to remove all existing partitions from the hard disk and in this way, you could suffer from severe data loss if there’re important files on those partitions.

Try third-party disk converter

To perform GPT protective partition format without any data loss, it’s imperative to look for some other alternatives. So, this time, I recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a full-feature and convenient disk management utility that’s able to perform all operations as DiskPart and moreover, other features including primary disk to logical disk conversion, OS to SSD migration, and SSD secure erase are available. But most importantly, with the AOMEI product, you can convert a hard disk from GPT to MBR without deleting any partitions.

Now, try the demo to format GPT protective partition in Windows 10!

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right- click on the target disk and select “Convert to MBR”.

convert to mbr disk

Step 2. Hit “OK” when asked whether to proceed.


Step 3. Hit “Apply” as the screenshot shows to commit the pending operations.



How to format GPT protective partition in Windows 10/11? As we all know, a GPT protective partition cannot be accessed or edited and thus, in this post, 2 practical ways are given to resolve the issue. The first way is to use DiskPart to format GPT disk to MBR. But beforehand, you have to delete all partitions on the disk; the second way is to resort to the most powerful third-party disk manager software AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. By using it, you're able to format the disk where the GPT protective partition is to MBR without the need to delete anything. To use this software on Servers, please try the Server edition.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.