By Lucas / Last Updated May 12, 2023

Unable to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style

“I’d like to install Windows 7 Ultimate from scratch since too many useless applications and files are stored in the system drive. When I come to select the existing disk to place Windows 7 operating system, with Windows Installation Disc, it says “Windows cannot be installed to disk 0 partition 1 (Show details)”. I clicked on “Show details” and get this prompting message: Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Any suggestion on how to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style will be appreciated, better without data loss.”

Cannot install Windows 7 on GPT disk

Why can't I install Windows 7 on the GPT disk?

To figure out what caused the “install Windows 7 GPT error”, you may want to have a brief understanding of the GPT partition style.

GPT partition style, like MBR, is a kind of partition table that helps Windows access and reads data on that disk. However, unlike MBR, the GPT partition style supports creating up to 128 primary partitions, which dramatically overpasses the 4 partitions of MBR. That’s why so many users tend to convert system disk to GPT in Windows.

When it comes to installing Windows 7 to GPT drive, there are some notable limits:
1. You cannot install Windows 7 32 bit on GPT partition style. Because only 64-bit Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7 can boot from GPT disk and use UEFI boot mode.
2. Your computer and system should support UEFI/EFI mode or Legacy BIOS-compatibility mode.

Based on what was discussed above, two possible solutions are aiming at how to install Windows 7 to GPT hard disk:
Make your computer and system support EFI/UEFI mode.
 Make the selected disk compatible with your Windows 7, viz, change from GPT partition style to MBR.

Frankly speaking, the second one is the simplest way out. Therefore, the following parts will emphasize how to convert GPT to MBR partition table for installing Windows 7 successfully.

Install Windows 7 on GPT without losing data

Windows built-in tool Diskpart can achieve the mutual conversion between MBR and GPT. Learn the detailed steps below to make Windows 7 installed on GPT partitioned drive.

Convert to MBR using Diskpart

Note: This method will erase all data on the selected disk. Backup files before formatting or cleaning, if necessary.

1. Boot up your computer with Windows 7 installation disc or USB installation drive. When the process goes to the page “Where do you want to install Windows”, press F10 + Shift to lift Command Prompt.

2. Type diskpart in Command Prompt, and then input following commands in sequence.

list disk
select disk n (Where n is the number of the disk you want to install Windows 7)
convert mbr
create partition primary size=X (Where X is the amount of partition size in MBs)
format fs=ntfs quick
exit (Exit diskpart)
exit (Exit CMD)

The above orders will clean the selected disk first, and then convert it from GPT to MBR, and then create a primary partition in 100 GB with NTFS formatted. Usually, that method won’t take too much time. Back to the installation page, you can select the newly created partition to install Windows 7 then.

Nevertheless, some users still wonder how to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style without losing data. Well, if you can convert GPT to MBR without losing data, you can install Windows 7 on GPT disk without formatting. Thus, finding a way of changing partition style without data loss is vital.

Convert GPT to MBR via AOMEI Partition Assistant

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a powerful MBR & GPT converter that allows you to convert GPT to MBR  or convert MBR to GPT for Windows 11 without deleting existing data, no matter system disk or data disk. You may need to boot up existing Windows normally to complete converting. Let’s take a closer look.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Note: Since MBR supports up to 4 primary partitions, make sure the amount of primary partition does not exceed 4. If it does, try merge partitions or delete partitions to fit MBR partition style before you start. Note that all partitions on the GPT disk are primary partitions.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Select the system GPT disk you want to convert and right-click it, and then select "Convert to MBR" in the drop-down menu.

If your disk is MBR and you want to convert it to GPT, please choose "Convert to GPT Disk".

Step 2. Click "OK" after confirming the operation.

Step 3. You can preview the conversion under “Pending Operations”. To save the changes, please click “Apply” on the toolbar and wait for the process to be completed.

Step 4.  After converting GPT to MBR, you should change UEFI to Legacy in BIOS.

Change boot mode

Tip: AOMEI Partition Assistant supports creating bootable media (CD/DVD or USB) to convert MBR and GPT without booting Windows.

Final words

This article introduces two methods to solve how to install windows 7 on GPT partition style. Although Diskpart is a built-in program, it will erase the data on the hard disk. If you want to know how to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style without formatting, then AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is your best choice. By the way, if you want to convert GPT to MBR in Windows Server, you can choose to use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.​