By Michael / Last Updated September 22, 2021

Many people post a thread like the following on the computer forums

“I just bought a new hard disk and plugged it in computer, when I go into disk management it says that it needs to initialize the disk before Windows can recognize it and asked if I want to use either MBR (master boot record) or GPT (GUID partition table) as the partition style.”

Error

To select a partition style, you should know something first. What is the volume of your hard disk? If it was smaller than 2TB, you can only initialize it to MBR. Because an MBR disk supports up to 2TB per partition.

If it was bigger than 2TB, you can initialize to GPT to verify all of the disk space to be usable, but not always can do it. You must make sure your motherboard with UEFI and your operating system support GPT. And Microsoft officially declared that Windows 11 system only supports UEFI, people will have to choose a GPT disk for the Win 11 upgrade.

What is your disk use for? For storage or system? Specific situation you can consult the chart below:

Operating System

Data Access

System Boot

Windows XP 32-bit

Not Support GPT

Not Support GPT

Windows XP 64-bit

Support GPT

Not Support GPT

Windows Vista 32-bit

Support GPT

Not Support GPT

Windows Vista 64-bit

Support GPT

Support GPT(Need UEFI)

Windows 7 32-bit

Support GPT

Not Support GPT

Windows 7 64-bit

Support GPT

Support GPT(Need UEFI)

Windows 8 32-bit

Support GPT

Not Support GPT

Windows 8 64-bit

Support GPT

Support GPT(Need UEFI)

 

What’s more, the MBR disk supports four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition. By contrast, the GPT disk supports theoretically unlimited partitions.

To sum up the above explanation, you can decide to initialize your disk to MBR or GPT.

However, when you want to change your disk style but do not want to reinstall OS or delete all existing partitions. Is there a safe and simple way to do this? Yes! AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a piece of professional partition management software and is able to convert between MBR and GPTwithout data loss.

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Step 1. Install and launch the software, right-click the MBR disk you want to change, and then choose Convert to GPT Disk.

Convert Data Disk to GPT

Step 2. In the pop-up windows, click OK to continue.

OK to GPT Data Disk

Step 3. Click Apply to operate and then your disk will be changed into GPT disk style.

Apply to GPT Data Disk

 

When you use AOMEI Partition Assistant to convert GPT to MBR or convert MBR to GPT, it provides a preview during the whole process. Once you want to stop the conversion, you can click “Undo” on the toolbar to cancel it. Thus decrease accidental operations to the minimum degree. You can also backup your disk in advance just in case.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a professional and easy-to-use partition tool. Besides converting between MBR and GPT. You can also use it to extend your system partition, rebuild MBR, split partition and check errors. More functions you can find from here.