“A while back, while installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 on my HP computer, I got the error: Windows cannot be installed to this MBR disk. Can someone tell me how to fix it?”
As surprising as it might sound, getting the MBR/GPT compatibility errors on Windows is pretty common. For instance, if you are trying to install a newer version of Windows on an MBR disk, then you can get an error stating: Windows cannot be installed to this MBR disk. On the EFI system, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks. Don’t worry, in this post, I will help you diagnose this issue and fix it by formatting the disk in the GPT partition style.
Before we discuss how to resolve the “The selected disk is of GPT partition style” error, let’s quickly understand the difference between MBR and GTP.
MBR: MBR, which stands for Master Boot Record, is a dedicated boot sector that is located at the beginning of the storage unit. Therefore, it is the first sector in the media that stores information about the operating system and booting sequence. The only issue is that the MBR style can only hold up to 4 partitions and manage the maximum of 2 TB disk storage.
GPT: GPT (Global Unique Identifier Partition Table) is also a partitioning style, but it is considered more advanced than MBR. While it also stores the booting data and sequence, it can surpass the storage and partition limitations of MBR and is mostly used to install the latest operating systems.
Ideally, Windows installation can be divided into two categories: Legacy or UEFI. The legacy installation is done for older versions of Windows (like Windows XP or Vista) and it supports MBR partitioning style. Therefore, if you are trying to install a legacy system on the GPT drive, then you would get the Windows cannot be installed to this disk GPT error.
Similarly, if you are trying to install the UEFI system to an MBR disk, then you would be asked to format it in the GPT partition style instead. Besides that, if the disk storage is greater than 2 TB or you want to create more than 4 partitions, then MBR would not be able to support that. In these cases, users get the“Windows cannot be installed to this MBR disk. The selected disk is of GPT partition style” error.
As you can see, the “Windows cannot be installed on this MBR disk” can happen due to different reasons. Ideally, you can fix it in two ways – you can either format the disk in the GPT partition style or choose to install a legacy system instead.
Fix 1: Change the Boot Mode in Windows to Legacy
Since the MBR partitioning style does not support the UEFI boot mode, you can manually change it to the Legacy option. Here’s how you can fix the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” issue by changing the boot mode.
Fix 2: Format the Disk to the GPT Partition Style via Disk Management
If you want to continue with the UEFI boot mode on your computer, then you can simply format the drive in the GPT partition style. For this, you can take the assistance of Disk Management, which is an inbuilt utility tool in Windows. To learn how you can fix the “The selected disk is of GPT partition style” on your computer, follow these steps:
Fix 3: Convert the MBR Disk to GPT via DISKPART Utility
If you want, you can also take the assistance of Command Prompt and the Disk Partition command to change the partitioning scheme of the disk. At first, this will remove the existing data on the disk and can later change its partitioning style. To fix the issue and change the scheme to the GPT partition style on your system, follow these instructions:
As you can see, while fixing the “The selected disk is of GPT partition style”, you might end up losing some data. To get it back, you can use Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery, which is one of the best data recovery tools. It can help you recover lost, deleted, or inaccessible files under every possible scenario.
There you go! I’m sure that after reading this post, you would be able to fix the “Windows cannot be installed to this MBR disk” issue pretty easily. I have provided solutions to change the Boot Mode or format the disk to the GPT partition style. Though, if you have formatted the drive in the process, then Recoverit Data Recovery would be an ideal solution. A user-friendly DIY application, it can get back all kinds of lost and deleted data from your system like a pro.