How to Convert MBR to GPT Disk in Windows 10/8/7

The GUID Partition Table (GPT) was introduced as a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). GPT provides more options than the traditional MBR partitioning method that is common in PCs. If you have a large-sized Hard Drive, then you could want to convert MBR to GPT. This is because MBR disks support only four partition table entries. If one wants more partitions, then one needs to create a secondary structure known as an extended partition.

So for any hard drive over 2TB, we need to use GPT partition. If you have a disk larger than 2TB size, the rest of the disk space will not be used unless you convert it to GPT. The number of partitions on a GPT disk is not constrained by temporary schemes, such as container partitions as defined by the MBR Extended Boot Record (EBR).

Here is an image of the basic disk that explains the GPT format.

IC496549

Remember there will also protective MBR area for backward compatibility. For more information on GPT refer to chapter 5 of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification (version 2.3) defines the GPT format.

Convert MBR to GPT

One of the main challenges that we face while converting MBR to GPT is that conversion is possible from MBR to GPT, only if there are no partitions or volumes present in the disk – which makes it impossible to convert without data loss. I still don’t know why Microsoft hasn’t offered a simpler solution to this problem.

Luckily there are some of these solutions that will help you in converting MBR to GPT, without data loss.

  1. Convert MBR to GPT using Diskpart
  2. Convert MBR to GPT without data loss using Gptgen
  3. Convert MBR to GPT without losing data using a third-party freeware
  4. Use MBR2GPT Disk Conversion Tool.

Before you start, it is in any case always a good idea to BACK UP YOUR DATA first to a safe place.

1. Convert MBR to GPT using Diskpart

Backup all your data and then use the DISKPART command.

  • Open command prompt and type in DISKPART and press Enter
  • Then type in list disk  (Note down the number of the disk that you want to convert to GPT)
  • Then type in select disk number of disk
  • Finally, type in convert gpt.

2. Convert MBR to GPT without data loss using Gptgen

You can convert MBR to GPT without losing data – using a command line utility called gptgen. Gptgen is a tool designed to non-destructively convert hard disks partitioned in the common, “MSDOS-style” MBR scheme (including extended partitions) to use a GUID partition table (GPT).

It’s a very extensive tool but a bit complicated to run. According to the tool’s ‘read me’ file, the syntax of the tool is “gptgen [-w] \\.\physicaldriveX”, where X is the drive number reported by the Disk Management console or the “list disk” command of the DISKPART utility. The -w switch makes gptgen write the generated GUID partition tables to the disk – otherwise, the primary table will be written to a file named “primary.img“, and the secondary table to “secondary.img“, in the directory that the program was invoked from. You can then use dd to write the tables to the disk.

Convert MBR to GPT

3. Convert MBR to GPT without losing data using Partition Assistant

The last method is using a tool called AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite Edition. It’s a free multifunction partition management software. This tool’s feature can help you convert a disk with data into GPT or MBR style without data loss.

NOTE: It appears that now the free version of Partition Assistant does not allow converting MBR to GPT.

To convert a disk to MBR/GPT disk:

image

  • Select the disk to convert;
  • Right-click the disk and select Convert to GPT/MBR Disk;
  • Confirm your operation, by clicking “OK” to continue;
  • Click Apply button on the toolbar to commit the changes.

4] Use MBR2GPT Disk Conversion Tool

Read about the new MBR2GPT Disk Conversion Tool in Windows 10 Creators Update v1703. Using this built-in tool, you can safely and non-destructively convert a Windows 10 computer from legacy BIOS to UEFI disk partitioning.

If you know of any other method to safely convert MBR to GPT, please do share with us under the comments session.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.

74 Comments

  1. LR

    Can That work if the computer Still use Bios ?

  2. @b1

    I want to convert my HDD without data loss and the HDD already has windows installed in it. my question is how will i boot back to windows without formatting my HDD

  3. kiaan

    I am using ssd and cant convert it gives me an error

  4. purnand

    Hi, I am installing windows 8, i have a similar situation as the above screenshot. Can I right click on C: and convert mbr to gpt. Are you 100% sure that the data in E and F drive will be safe? Just a confirmation as the data is very important. If anyone has done it, please care to reply. Waiting

  5. Unfortunately AOMEI Partition Assistant only supports to convert non-system disk (data disk) from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR without losing data, does not support for converting system disk between MBR and GPT

  6. Abel Braaksma

    Only for non-boot disks, BIOS-based (i.e., non-EUFI systems), cannot boot from a GPT disk (but this article focuses on converting non-boot disks only anyway).

  7. AZ Wizard

    Is it possible to use AMOEI Partition Assistant as follows?
    Clone Boot Drive C, now D
    Boot from D
    Convert original Boot Drive C to GPT
    Remove Boot Drive D
    Boot from original Boot Drive C which should now be in GPT format.

    I need more space on my boot C (2 Tb), which is MBR, and by converting to GPT I can move to a 4Tb boot

  8. I haven’t tested this myself so I really can’t comment. But when a good backup you can proceed. Let us know how to goes.

  9. mikkel

    For process 1 I had to use “clean” command after selecting the disk, otherwise it wouldn’t convert. Now I have winsdows installing!

  10. mikkel

    I finally had to delete the “freedos” installed in my partition because neither of the “convert without data loss” solutions worked.

  11. indranil

    After converting my hard disk to gpt using amoei i got a problem. Which says please enter a boot disk what to do

  12. 1) Boot with Recovery mode i.e Press F11 when the system is booting
    2) Click on Advanced Option
    3) Select the command prompt option
    4) Type diskpart and press enter
    5) Type select disk # and press enter.
    NOTE: Substitute # with the actual disk number that you want to convert to a mbr disk. For example, select disk 1
    6) Type CLEAN and press enter
    7) Type CONVERT MBR and Press enter
    8) Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY SIZE=50000
    NOTE: (The size is in MB, so enter the amount that you want to use for your system partition.)
    9) Type FORMAT FS NTFS LABEL “SYSTEM” QUICK
    10) Type exit and press enter
    11) Insert your bootable DVD and Reinstall your windows

  13. Andrey de Oliveira

    Remember that in this case all data will be erased. If there are important data, they can be copied via the console using the copy / robocopy / xcopy

  14. suji

    Hello,

    I have 2 disks in my system.

    Disk 1 ( MBR )

    I have
    driver D: 75 GB ( used 7 GB )
    driver E : 129 GB ( Used 94 GB )
    driver f : 129 GB ( Used 58 GB )
    driver G: 129 GB (used 100GB )

    DISK 2 ( MBR )

    driver C: 30 GB ( Used 29 GB )

    I want all this drivers in single disc.. how can i do that

  15. In GPT it’s still NTFS? whats the difference for small disks?

  16. Bill Smith

    The difference is the partition layout is using GPT instead of a MBR. GPT has nothing to do with the type of format(s) used…

  17. JG

    I setup a new GBT 3TB drive, cloned an existing 1TB of data across (which took a reasonable amount of time) only to discover the original was using MBR and carryied the partition info over leaving my new drive at 2TB max. Just wanted to say a big thank you as most forums had suggested wiping and starting again with a straight file->file copy between drives. I used the AOMIE Partition Lite program mentioned in your post and got my 3BT drive back to GBT in a couple of minutes with a restart and extended it back to 3TB. Thanks!!

  18. IFEANYI BERNARD

    hello shyam

    please i have any HDD from my DVR that has recording inside and i want to view the past images on my system. what i did i got an external case and fix the drive in it becuse the HDD does not have a located part on it so the system is not seen it in my computer but can be seen in Disk management so what can i do? if i convert from basic to mbr will my data be lost or not

  19. Adnan

    in the method 1 ,,, to clean all data which command should i use ???

  20. aaronfranke

    Does Method 2 also clone the partitions unreadable by Windows? I need to convert a disk which already has NTFS and EXT4 partitions.

  21. nixcamic

    I’ve used the gdisk command line utility to convert MPT disks to GPT before. It’s open source and available for many oses.

  22. ardiani

    I have a question regarding MBR conversion to GTP conversion, even though i have different hard disk partition it display in the number only one disk0. But i want to format the hard disk only in the partion D to be the windows 8, could you please tell me how you do that without deleting the data ?

  23. Tyler

    I cloned nearly full MBR 1TB system drive to a new 3TB. I have similar situation like you. But mine is system drive. According to their website, AOMIE dosn’t support for booting drive. Any solution for me? I need to convert MBR to GPT and maximize partition in my new 3TB.

  24. devil304

    You need BIOS with RAID support.

  25. jssss

    The professional edition works without having to delete anything. All you need is a reboot

  26. Con Sorts

    great stuff – your mbr to gpt convertion tips saved me from trashing a used 4tb hdd i could not get past 2tb to partition the remaining 1.7tb despite my bios settings. so now thanks to you all 3.7tb are usable.

  27. J

    What wrong am I doing pls advice Thank you in advance.

    E:IOSgptgen-1.1>gptgen [-w] \.physicaldrive1

    gptgen: Partition table converter v1.1

    Usage: gptgen []

    where device_path is the full path to the device file,

    e.g.\.physicaldrive0.

    Available arguments (no “-wm”-style argument combining support):

    -b , –backup : write a backup of the original MBR to

    -c nnn, –count nnn: build a GPT containing nnn entries (default=128)

    -h, –help, –usage: display this help message

    -k, –keep-going: don’t ask user if a boot partition is found

    -m, –keepmbr: keep the existing MBR, don’t write a protective MBR

    -w, –write: write directly to the disk, not to separate files

    gptgen: Too many arguments (3).

    E:IOSgptgen-1.1>

  28. kamran

    I have 2 partation 1 is 400 GB and another is 300 GB i want to format the 400 GB and convernt form GTP to NTFS but only 400 GB driver not and 300 GB driver how i do plz help

  29. adnan

    I have 2 partition C is 400 GB and another is 300 GB i format the C 400 GB and now i want to convert form GTP to NTFS but with out format the 300 GB drive with out losing data

  30. Josh Dawson

    This is actually not correct, at least as of now. It is correct that the free version cannot do this but one can acquire the “Portable” version of the software from an unnamed peer to peer sharing site that is pre-activated and that worked like a charm for me.

  31. Rahul shah

    hii.. i m using aomei software tool to convert gpt to mbr….
    but after whole processing, modification is same as before..
    i have used many tools but many shows same behave.
    please guied me..

  32. Tornike Atoshvili

    hi, i have veri serious problem and need your help 🙁 i have hdd with gpt partition style, i use AOMEI PARTITION ASISTENT to convert gpt to mbr… after convertation my files from d disk lost 🙁 🙁 how can i recover this files??? and why this partition asistant delete this files???? halp please 🙁

  33. Naani Mithra

    sir, but it doesnt support if disk has more than 4 partitions to convert gpt to mbr. four of my partitions related to system recovery etc… another one is c drive…. what should i do?

  34. xziled

    Partition Assistant worked better than expected, now I can expand my 3Tb drive : D

  35. tom_harries

    free version of Partition Assistant does NOT allow converting MBR to GPT – you have to upgrade.

  36. TonyHo

    Now the Pro Version is free.

  37. Daniel Sánchez Vargas

    Careful with gptgen, it will unmount the drive and when remounting it, it may not assign the previous drive letter if it was a custom one (like X:)

  38. SteveO

    It was easy using Paragon’s Partition Manager

  39. pblanton

    Shyam,

    Your blog at captaindbg.com seems to have been suspended. 🙁

  40. Darshan Devarajaiah

    Thank you very much.

  41. Yep

    Can this be done in a BIOS pc and still have windows boot

  42. alex

    Please help! I have erased my os and now i cannot reinstall it because the selected disk is of the GPT partition style. I have 2 partitions, 1 that is empty for the os to be installed and the 2nd that is full with my data. How should i proceed to install os without erasing my data? Thank you.

  43. tom n

    can you give a hint asto wich p2p site that might be ?? td? kickass ?
    desperately need to know lol

  44. Josh Dawson

    Shiver me timbers, Avast!

  45. Sam

    thank you man; saved me from losing my phone data backup

  46. nmrao

    Hi,
    I want transfer data from laptop hard drive to external hard drive.
    But my problem is I have tried to os system so the previous Windows is deleted.
    How can I transfer data now ?

  47. Unwryone

    I used EaseUS Partition Manager Pro to convert mbr to gpt on a Dell laptop with Win 8.1 installed. No need for reformat or reinstall. Pretty scary process as it required a couple of reboots in its own special OS. Then after conversion process completed, on restart, I had to make sure that on reboot, it was set for UEFI or boot manager and not legacy. Otherwise, bsod results. Google promo code for Partition Manager Pro discount. With discount, not as expensive as discounted Paragon. Unit has been shutdown and restarted several times. No data loss and Win 8.1 works just as before conversion. Verified gpt conversion in diskpart and disk management. One of the more painless and easy process for this kind of application.

  48. Krishna

    Guuys please help me I am using windows 8. 1 and it crashed for skme reason after attempting all the options available in the internet I choose to reinstall windows in that process I accidentally deleted the c drive in which windows was installed previously and now I am getting this error. So how to convert mbr to gtp so that i can install windows and retrieve my data and i cannot afford data loss. Please help me guyz

  49. Harshad

    Same here @disqus_X5iAZ6nmLp:disqus

    pls tell me what can i do….

  50. Krishna

    Guyz does installing xp also have converting from mbr to gtp requirements???

  51. Sam

    so i have a 465gb HDD and ive split tmen into two partions one 235gb which i has my data and windows 7 and thie other on is formatted 230gb so i tried to install windows 8.1 on the second part but it said it was MBR and you need GPT so how to i convert the second partion to GPT without losing the data in the first partion.

  52. ra

    I used AOMEI partition assistant, and one of my partitions dissappeared. I had to reformat the disk from windows setup in order to use all of it again. Luckily after I reinstalled windows, I used “get data back” and managed to recover everything I lost during format. I have a 1TB HDD.

  53. AriaIRI110

    Hi,
    I’m in big trouble and wanna know how can I have GPT disk for ever and even formatting/deleting it.
    Urgently need your response ASAP please????

  54. AriaIRI110

    Damn, why you delete my comment and what’s your problem with me?!

  55. AriaIRI110

    Me too but how ?!

  56. Kenneth Benson

    Someone above asked about gdisk drive names. I found a reference that says \.: is 1st drive(zero, not O) \.1: for 2nd etc. is what it will accept.

  57. nick

    is your hdd a data disk or boot disk?

  58. Helen

    *TOTALLY* false statement:

    > One of the main challenges that we face while converting MBR to GPT is
    that conversion is possible
    > from MBR to GPT, only if there are no
    partitions or volumes present in the disk – which makes it
    > impossible to
    convert without data loss

    Impossible????

  59. Janice

    3 years later? Any answer?

  60. Moh Saied R

    hi guys , intersted to know also if there is any way to convert OS partition with out data lose

  61. Thorsten Albrecht

    Starting with the Windows 10 Creators Update (b1703) everything is very easy now. No need to mess around with several tools. Just use in an elevated command shell the following command:

    mbr2gpt.exe /convert /allowFullOS

    …and you are done. This works under a running Windows 10 environment. After shutting down you have to switch to UEFI mode, of course.

    Thorsten

  62. Yes. This is mentioned in the last line of the post and covered here: https://www.thewindowsclub.com/mbr2gpt-tool-windows-10 🙂

  63. Sheikh Sufian Abdullah

    AZ Wizard Shyam Sasindran • 3 years ago

    Is it possible to use AMOEI Partition Assistant as follows?
    Clone Boot Drive C, now D
    Boot from D
    Convert original Boot Drive C to GPT
    Remove Boot Drive D
    Boot from original Boot Drive C which should now be in GPT format.

    I need more space on my boot C (2 Tb), which is MBR, and by converting to GPT I can move to a 4Tb boot

    Janice Shyam Sasindran • 3 months ago

    3 years later? Any answer?

    The answer is YES, I am using AMOEI Partition Assistant Pro. When cloning or copy C: to drive D: You will have to run the windows 8 system maintenance/repair option. it intern will discover both OS’s and enable them to be closable. when you boot your system. Most likely you will get three choices as I see when I boot my system in windows 8.1… I inadvertently had damaged my restorer partition but fixed in also thru this method.
    I can not assure success as I might not remember every step I have taken. as I had also utilized the command prompt other tools as administrator.

  64. Sheikh Sufian Abdullah

    Back it all up. than convert the drive using diskpart as administrator at a command prompt. you can always recover anything over written by running the recovery tool in AMOEI Partition Assistant. Than boot system using the dvd or USB and run auto repair option. THIS USUALLY WORKS if you’ve only converted from MBR to GPT. Rarely have loss of data.

  65. Franck

    Thank you very much !

  66. billss

    AOMEI free, no longer supports GPT/MBR conversions. (tried to use it on Oct 26, 2017)

  67. AndrewMerrymaker

    Well you’re using pro which is paid so no thanks

  68. Debby D

    > This method you have to backup all your data and delete all partitions and
    > volumes. Then use the DISKPART command.

    Huh? After I destroy all my partitions… how do I then “just run diskpart” from the
    cmd line”?

    This article if loaded with many such oddities.

  69. Naveen rao

    hello
    i have formatted my c drive nd its asking gpt file and i donot want to loose any data please help me with this problem

  70. Roger L Kolbo

    Win-10 Computer was shut down for 15 days and after 15 day vacation Computer would not boot. Blue screen of death with the message ” Win-10 has MBR partion table on EFI system. Windows can only be installed on GPT disk”. Tried all repair functions in advanced, but nothing works. I would like to keep all my data if possible. I have the Win-10 Disk to reinstall but Microsoft said they could not help me because they could not take remote control of my computer. Pleas help Thank you. Roger Kolbo

  71. Xendrian

    This a waste of time. The program wants me to pay $40 just to convert my running windows disk.
    What a rip-off

  72. The MBR2GPT Disk Conversion Tool is free!

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