The difference between GPT disks and MBR disks
GPT (GUID Partition Table) and MBR (Master Boot Record) are two common partition
styles in our life, but they may be unfamiliar to computer beginners. Here is the
basic information about GPT disks and MBR disks:
● Partition Table
GPT disks use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) while MBR disks use the
standard BIOS partition table.
● Maximum Primary Partition Number
GPT disks theoretically allow an almost unlimited number of partitions (all of them
are primary partitions), but Windows implementation restricts it to 128 partitions
while MBR disks allow the maximum number of 4 primary partitions.
● Disk/Partition Capacity
For starters, MBR only works with disks up to 2 TB in size while GPT disks can grow
to a very large size.
All current Windows operating systems can use GPT partitioned disks for data, such as
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and corresponding server versions, but only their
64 bit versions support booting from GPT disk when UEFI boot mode is supported and
When to convert GPT to MBR?
As we learn from above, you may think GPT disks are superior to MBR disks in many
aspects. However, MBR is still the most compatible and is still necessary in some
cases. You will need to convert GPT to MBR in following situations:
◉ If your computer is of Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT4, Windows 2000,
Windows 2003 32-bit, or Windows XP 32-bit version, it will not support GPT
◉ As system disk partition table, MBR applies to both Legacy BIOS and UEFI, but GPT only applies to UEFI boot mode.
It means MBR disks are compatible with more operating systems than GPT
◉ When you plug an external hard drive to your computer, it shows as "GPT Protective Partition".
In these situations, what you should do is to find appropriate GPT to MBR converter software
and convert GPT to MBR immediately.
How to convert GPT to MBR in Windows 7/8/10 without data loss?
Since you are in a need of converting GPT to MBR, you must want to find out best
solutions to convert GPT to MBR without data loss. Here are some solutions I’d like
to recommend. You are supposed to backup the disk before converting to guarantee no
data loss in the first two solutions while it is unnecessary in the third one.
Solution 1: Convert to MBR Disk via Windows Disk Management
1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run,
type diskmgmt.msc in Run, and click
on OK to open Disk Management.
2. Find the disk (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert, right
click on each partition (volume) on the disk, and click Delete
Volume until the disk shows as unallocated.
3. Right click on the disk # (ex: Disk
1) box of the GPT disk you want to convert to MBR, and click Convert to
4. You can now create a New Simple Volume on
the unallocated MBR disk. You will specify volume size, assign drive letter or
path and format partition step by step with the help of New Simple
Solution 2: Convert MBR in Windows Command Prompt
1. Click "Start" and type CMD to open the Command
Prompt. Right-click "cmd" and select "Run as administrator".
2. Type DISKPART and press Enter.
3. Type LIST DISK and press Enter.
4. Type SELECT DISK # (ex: Disk 1) to select the GPT disk you
want to convert to MBR and press Enter.
5. Type CLEAN to clean the partitions or volumes on the disk and
6. Type SELECT DISK # (ex: Disk 1) again and press Enter.
7. Type CONVERT MBR to start converting GPT to MBR and press
8. Type EXIT and press Enter twice to exit Diskpart and Command
Solution 3: Convert GPT to MBR without Data Loss with Freeware
In the above two solutions, you have to backup the disk in case of losing data and
delete all partitions or volumes on the disk before converting GPT to MBR. That
sounds complicated. You may look for right GPT to MBR converter software
to simplify the conversion process.
Here is GPT to MBR converter software
free download: AOMEI Partition Assistant
Standard Edition. You can convert GPT data disk to MBR without losing data
with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition in following steps:
Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click on the disk you want to convert
and select "Convert to MBR Disk".
Step 2. Affirm the operation and click "OK" in the pop-up window.
Step 3. Confirm "Pending Operations" and click "Apply" to execute
Tips: to convert system disk from GPT to MBR without data loss,
please upgrade to AOMEI Partition
Assistant Professional. Find superior GPT to MBR conversion software download here.
To convert GPT to MBR without data loss , you should backup disk data first if you use Windows Disk Management and Command Prompt. Luckily, AOMEI Partition Assistant can conduct GPT to MBR conversion while keep the data safe. Besides, AOMEI Partition Assistant owns more practical functions than Windows Disk
Management including Convert
FAT32 to NTFS, Merge Partitions, Convert Logical to