How to Change MBR Partition Table to GPT in Windows 10/8/7?
Description: In this article, we will explain the difference between GPT and MBR partition table, as well as how to change MBR partition table to GPT, or change GPT partition table to MBR in Windows 10/8/7 computer.
Overview of GPT and MBR partition table
When you add a new disk to your current computer and operating system, you need to initialize the disk to a specific partition table, and then both MBR and GPT will usually be offered as the options for you to select. So, what’s the major difference between GPT partition table and MBR partition table?
MBR, the abbreviation of Master Boot Record, is created when you build the first partition on the disk. It is the information in the first sector on every disk, aiming to identify how and where the OS is located. It has obvious limitations as regards the disk size and partition number. An MBR-based disk cannot surpass 2TB; otherwise the exceeding space will be shown as “unallocated” space and cannot be used to save any data. On an MBR disk, you can create up to 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions+1 extended partition (in which you can created lots of logical drives) at most.
GPT, short for GUID Partition Table, is a new disk partition scheme. On a GPT-based hard drive, every partition has a “globally unique identifier” (a random string of 36 characters long), used for identifying the information in the computer systems and communicating with computer. It makes up the restrictions of MBR partition style. An GPT disk can be larger than 2TB, and it is able to contain around 128 primary partitions in Windows.
At last, MBR disk stores the partitioning and boot information in one place. If the information is overwritten or damaged, it is difficult to recover. However, on a GPT disk, it keeps two copies of the information for easy recovery. Besides, MBR uses the standard BIOS boot mode while GUID uses the UEFI boot mode.
How to convert MBR partition table to GPT?
From above introduction, it is easy to get that GPT has significant advantages over MBR. So, many users are looking to convert MBR partition table to GPT. So, here we will share some effective methods to convert MBR to GPT.
Method 1. Use Windows Disk Management
First of all, you can make use of Windows native Disk Management tool. It can change a disk from MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR as long as the target disk does not contain a partition or volume. If there are partitions on it, you should delete them all and start the conversion. Before that, a data backup may be necessary.
Step 1. Press Windows+R hotkey to open Run window. Then type “diskmgmt.msc” and click “OK” to open Disk Management.
Step 2. If the disk has any partitions or volumes, right-click each of them and then click ”Delete Volume” to delete them one by one until the disk becomes an empty disk.
Step 3. Right-click the empty MBR disk, and then click ”Convert to GPT Disk”.
Note: Windows Disk Management cannot help convert a system disk between MBR and GPT partition style because you are not allowed to delete boot partition within Windows environment.
Method 2. Apply Diskpart.exe tool
Secondly, you can use the Windows built-in Diskpart.exe tool, which can change MBR partition table to MBR through some effective command. Likewise, it also requires you to delete all existing partitions on the MBR disk you want to change into GPT.
Step 1. Press Windows+R to open Run box. Input diskpart and hit on Enter to launch Diskpart.exe window.
Step 2. Input list disk and press Enter.
Step 3. Get the disk number of the target hard drive from the given list and input “select disk <number>” and press on Enter. For example “select disk 1”.
Step 4. Type in “clean” and hit on “Enter” to remove all partitions or volumes inside.
Step 5. Type in “convert gpt” and hit on “Enter” .
When it is done, you will see the message: DiskPart successfully converted the selected disk to the GPT format.
Note: this method is also unable to convert a system disk to GPT/MBR within Windows. But you can boot computer via installation media, press shift+F10 at the Windows setup screen to enter Command Prompt window, then execute “diskpart” command to launch the tool, finally run the above commands to convert a boot disk to GPT/MBR outside Windows.
Method 3. Try a free partition manager
If your are converting an empty MBR disk to GPT, or just a small amount of data needs to be transferred to another location for backup, the first 2 methods are great enough. However, what if you have stored a large amount of data on all partitions on the MBR disk, which will cost more time and efforts to back up?
Thus, you had better turn to a partition manager like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free partition manager can convert a data disk between MBR and GPT without deleting any partitions or volumes. To convert a boot disk, you can try its Paid Pro Version.
Compatible with: all editions of Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).
Download the freeware in the official site. Install and launch it on your Windows PC. Right click the MBR disk and select “Convert to GPT Disk”. In the next window, click “OK” to confirm the operation. Finally, click on “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the pending operation.
With this method, it is not necessary to remove any partition on the selected disk, saving you much time and energy to back up anything required before conversion. Besides, this free partition manager also comes with any other functions that Windows native Disk Management and Diskpart.exe do not offer, including “Migrate OS to SSD”, “Clone Partition”, “Clone Disk”, “Merge Partitions”, and more.
So, there are 3 methods in total for you to change MBR partition table to GPT in Windows 10/8/7. Now, you can choose a proper one based on your actual requirements and condition.