By Emily / Last Updated April 8, 2021

Cannot install Windows 10 on GPT!

Help! Recently I tried to install Windows 10 on either a new HDD/SSD or an old HDD/SSD, but I failed and always received an error message saying “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” when I select a drive to install OS and click on “Next”. Why and how can I successfully install Windows 10 on GPT partition? Thanks a lot!

Cannot Install on GPT

Why can't Windows 10 be installed on GPT?

Most users may have this question “can we install Windows 10 on GPT partition”, especially after they have an attempt but failed, just like the users in the scenario. Actually, you can easily finish Windows 10 installation on GPT or MBR disk as long as your hard drive partition style has been set up to its corresponding boot mode (UEFI -> GPT and Lgeacy BIOS-> MBR).

Therefore, when the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” error appears, it suggests that your PC is currently booted in Legacy BIOS mode, but your hard drive is not configured for Legacy mode. Namely, you are trying to install Windows 10 on GPT partition in Lgeacy BIOS mode, so it fails.

How to install Windows 10 on GPT partition without data loss?

After figuring out the reasons, the troubleshooting will be much easier now. Here, you have two solutions to fix this error.

1. Change boot mode from Legacy BIOS to UEFI

If your PC’s motherboard supports UEFI boot mode as well, the direct solution to “cannot install Windows 10 on GPT” is to change Legacy BIOS to UEFI. This allows you to keep the existing GPT partition style. Below is how to do it:

Step 1. Reboot your PC and keep pressing F8, F12, Del, or another button (depending on your motherboard model) to access BIOS.

Step 2. In BIOS mode, go to “Boot” tab by arrow keyys on your keyboard.

Step 3. Select “Boot Mode” and press “Enter”.

Step 4. Enable UEFI mode by using up and down arrows.

Enable UEFI

After this, you can then try to install Windows once again.

2. Convert GPT drive to MBR for Legacy BIOS

This method is to convert the drive to MBR for the current Legacy BIOS boot mode. You need to take the following steps:

1. Boot from the installation device (USB or DVD).

2. Once the "Install" screen appears. Immediately press and hold SHIFT KEY + F10 KEY. This will open command prompt.

3. Once the Command Prompt is open, type the following command line one by one and remember to hit on “Enter” after each one.

  • ▸diskpart: This will enable command prompt to enter disk partitioning mode.

  • ▸list disk: You will then see a list of disk drives recognized by your operating system and please find out the GPT disk you need to convert.

  • ▸select disk 0: Replace 0 with the GPT drive number.

  • ▸clean: Delete all partitions on it. (This is compulsory since DiskPart can only convert an empty disk to MBR or GPT)

  • ▸convert mbr: configure this drive with MBR partition style

  • ▸exit: Close Diskpart Command Prompt.

After the conversion, the drive will be a single area of unallocated space. Choose the unallocated space and click “Next”. Windows will begin the installation without poping out the error message any more. 

However, converting GPT to MBR via DiskPart requires that you delete every partition on the disk, hence you will lose all data on the current partitions. If you want to install Windows 10 on GPT without data loss, we recommend you using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This partition manager allows you to convert GPT to MBR or MBR to GPT without deleting any partitions, so the data will be safe during the conversion. You can download its demo version and have a try.

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

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional on a working computer and create a WinPE bootable media on a USB flash drive via its “Make Bootable Media” Wizard.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Boot your computer where you cannot installed Windows 10 from the bootable USB drive you just created in Step 1. Once booting into PC successfully, you will see the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

PS.: alternatively, you can take off the target GPT disk and connnet it to another computer and start the conversion with the following steps on this PC.

Step 3. Right-click the GPT disk and choose “Convert to MBR Disk”.

Convert to MBR

Step 4. Click on “OK” to confirm the conversion.

OK

Step 5. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the pending operation.

Apply

Extra info: which OS can be installed and work on GPT partition?

When you are trying to install Windows 10 or other operating system on a GPT disk, apart from the boot mode and partition style, you also have to note the compatibility between OS and GPT. That is to say, not all operating systems can boot from the GPT disk and you have to upgrade the OS when necessary.

In general, only 64-bit Windows versions installed on motherboards supporting the UEFI(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) can boot from a GPT volume. In 32-bit Windows operating systems (except for Windows XP 32-bit), the GPT disk can only be used as a data disk. More details can be found in the following pic.

GPT OS Compability

Summary

Now, you should know how to install Windows 10 on GPT partition without losing data. Choose a proper solution according to your situation or requirements. The mentioned AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also supports migrating OS from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR, GPT to GPT or MBR to MBR without boot issues, converting dynamic disk to basic one without losing data, cloning MBR and GPT disk, etc. For Windows Server users, please use the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.