By Emily / Last Updated August 30, 2022

MBR VS GPT for Windows Server 2016

Currently, when building servers, users prefer drives with a capacity greater than 2TBs. As we all know, any disk space beyond 2TB will be unusable if the drive has been initialized with the Master Boot Record (MBR) style. Therefore, if you are going to build a new server using Windows Server 2016, then it is recommended that you choose the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style, which uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode.

Most new hardware uses the advanced UEFI by default rather than Legacy BIOS, however, the majority of older hardware will also include support for UEFI. In order to check whether your hardware is compatible you should look on the manufacturer's website. So, if you want to make full use of your drives larger than 2TBs then convert MBR to GPT in Windows Server 2016.

Convert to MBR/GPT in Windows Server 2016 via Disk Management

Windows Disk Management is only able to convert data disks between MBR and GPT when the disk is empty and doesn’t contain any partitions or volumes. This means that if you want to use Disk Manager to convert your disk then you will need to back up all your data to external storage. You can follow the steps below to convert a disk between MBR and GPT in Windows Server for free with Disk Management:

1. Right click the Start button to open up the Quick Access Menu, in the Quick Access Menu select Disk Management.

2. Right click on each partition on the disk that needs to be converted and select "Delete Volume" to clean the disk.

Delete Volume

3. If you want to convert MBR to GPT, right click on the disk, and select "Convert to GPT Disk".

Convert GPT

If it is a GPT disk that you want to convert to MBR, then the option available will be "Convert to MBR Disk".

Convert to GPT in Windows Server 2016 with Diskpart

After a short wait, the disk will be converted to GPT (or vice versa), you will then be able to repartition the hard drive. However, you cannot use Disk Management to convert an MBR boot disk to GPT since you can’t delete the boot partition via Windows Disk Management. As a workaround, you can boot your server from a Windows Server installation disc and press Shift +F10 in the Windows Setup screen to open the DiskPart utility. In DiskPart you should enter the below commands in command prompt to convert the disk to GPT:

▸list disk
▸select disk n (“n” represents the number of the disk need converting to GPT)
▸clean
▸convert gpt

Convert to GPT

Note:✎...
Both methods for converting GPT will cause data loss, so make sure you back up your data ahead of time. Fortunately, there is free software that you can use to convert between MBR to GPT without losing data.

Convert MBR to GPT disk without losing data in Server 2016

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is powerful partition management software with multiple useful features designed for Windows Servers 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 and Windows 11/10/8/7. Many users consider it to be an outstanding piece of conversion software for converting system/data hard drive between MBR and GPT without losing data. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition even allows you to preview the new partition layout before you make the changes to your disk.

★Before conversion:
To convert MBR to GPT, please ensure your Windows Server is 64-bit, if not, please upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit first.
Make sure your motherboard supports the UEFI or EFI boot mode since you have to switch from Legacy to UEFI after conversionand, vice versa.

1. You can firstly download the demo version to have a try.

Download Sever DemoWindows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012
Secure Download

2. Right-click the disk that needs converting. In the drop down menu, select the "Convert to GPT Disk" option and click OK to confirm the conversion.

Convert System Disk To GPT

If you want to convert between GPT to MBR, just select the "Convert to MBR Disk" option.

Convert System Disk To MBR

3. Click "Apply" button to apply the changes.

Apply

After a short wait, this powerful partition manager will successfully convert MBR  to GPT in Windows Server 2016 system. If you want to convert MBR and GPT during Windows Server installation or convert MBR and GPT without operating system, you can create a bootable media and boot computer from it, and finsih the conversion in WinPE mode.

Make Bootable Media

Summary

AOMEI Partition Assistant provides many other functions to help you manage your partitions and disks. These features include resizing partition, moving partition, cloning MBR and GPT, migrating OS to SSD, recovering lost partitions, and more. If you want to protect an unlimited number of computers within one company (at one location) then you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited.

If you need to protect unlimited computers in multiple locations then AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician will be able to assist you. And the Unlimited and Technician have a useful feature, Create Portable Version, which can copy AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device and use it on other devices without installation.