How to Remove GPT Protective Partition Without Losing Data?

The "GPT protective partition" will make you unable to access the partition. So, here we share you with effective ways to remove GPT protective partition without losing data in Windows XP/7/8/10/11.


By Emily / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What causes "GPT protective partition" issue?

Sometimes, when connecting an internal or external hard drive to Windows XP (or newer), 32-bit operating system, you may find your drive is inaccessible. And Disk Management reports that the drive has a GPT Protective Partition. If you right-click the protected disk, you will find there are no available options. That means drive cannot be repartitioned and reformatted.

GPT Protective Partition

Why this occurs? That's mainly because the internal or external hard disk is connected to a computer that is running Windows 32-bit operating system, and there is a compatibility issue between the GPT partition table and operating system (check the below chart to view the compatibility). Then the OS will not able to properly recognize or manage the hard drive. 

GPT OS compatibility

How to remove GPT protective partition using CMD in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

How do I convert a GPT partition to normal? You can convert the GPT to MBR to remove or delete the GPT protective partition. However, if you right-click the protected disk, you will find there are no available options In Disk Management. In such a case, you can remove GPT Protective Partition using Diskpart.

Note: Diskpart will require you to delete all existing partitions (along with all saved data) on the disk and then convert it to MBR partition style. Thus, you should backup files in advance if there are vital data.

Step 1. Find the disk number of the GPT protective partition and remember it.

1. Right-click Computer or This PC and then select Manage from the context menu.

2. Select Disk Management in the pop-up window.

3. Find the disk marked as GPT Protective Partition and remember its disk number.

Step 2. Delete GPT protective partition in Windows 7/8/10/11

1. Type cmd in the search box and then run as administrator.

2. Type diskpart in the command prompt and hit Enter.

3. Type the following commands in order and press "Enter" after each one.

•list disk

•select disk n(n refers to the disk marked as GPT Protective Partition.)


•convert mbr


Convert MBR

It’s a great choice to clean the GPT protective partition and convert GPT protective partition to MBR using Diskpart. However, it may not succeed all the time. For example, when there are partitions on the disk, you will receive an error message in the following.

♦the disk you specified cannot be converted to MBR.

♦Please select an empty GPT disk to convert.

How to remove GPT protective partition without losing data?

Diskpart can delete GPT protective partition, but the Clean command will result in data loss. So, to successfully remove GPT protective partition without losing data, you’d better use a third-party tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can convert data disk between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions, so you will be able to delete GPT protective partition by converting MBR to GPT in Windows XP/7/8/10/11 without losing your data.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can only help you solve the MBR and GPT problems like converting to GPT grayed out on the system disk, the selected disk is GPT partition style, and more on a data disk. If you want to convert a system disk, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Warning: To prevent that some improper human operation from leading to data loss, it is never a bad idea to back up everything important on the disk.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install, and launch it.

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

Step 2. Right-click the disk marked as GPT Protective Partition and then select Convert to MBR or click the disk and choose Convert to MBR from the right column.

Convert to MBR

Step 3. Click OK to ensure that you want to convert a disk from GPT to MBR.

Mbr Ok

Step 4. Click Apply to start the pending operation.

MBR Apply

PS.: If you need to convert a disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR in Windows Server, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Wrapping things up

The diskpart clean command can help you remove GPT protective partition. However, you will lose your data forever. In addition, you can use Diskpart to convert GPT protective partition to MBR. But this does not always work.

To remove GPT protective partition successfully, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard should be the best choice. All the steps are very easy, even for a beginner. You just need to follow the instructions and move your finger. In addition, it offers you more features, including Move Partition, Shrink Partition, Converts to NTFS without formatting, etc.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.