Windows cannot be installed to this disk, the selected disk is of gpt partition style: Solved

” Windows cannot be installed to this disk, the selected disk is of GPT partition style ”  is a common error displayed when trying to install Windows.

There basically two types of partition style configurations for hard disks, The GPT and MBR style.

What is the MBR partition style?

First things first, MBR is an acronym of Master Boot Record. MBR is a partition style configured by BIOS. BIOS is software stored on a computer’s motherboard which is the first thing a computer runs before anything else. This is where the system checks through all bootable devices for the MBR partition with the bootloader. BIOS was developed by IBM in 1975. BIOS has however become depreciated after the release of UEFI firmware which is more advanced.

What is the GPT partition style?

GPT is an acronym of GUID Partition Table. This is a partition style configured by UEFI firmware. As similar to BIOS, UEFI firmware is also stored on a computer’s motherboard and its basically an interface between the computer’s platform firmware and the Operating System. UEFI firmware was developed by Intel as an improvement on the BIOS.

What causes the error

As described earlier, BIOS is older than UEFI, this means that most of the old computer motherboards use the BIOS firmware. This means that their hard disks should be configured with MBR partition style otherwise the computer can not boot. Newly released computers, however, have been manufactured with support for both UEFI an BIOS.

The error is caused by either of the following reasons depending on the computer’s motherboard;

  1. The computer’s motherboard is not configured with UEFI, which means the computer can not boot with a hard disk of GPT partition style.
  2. The computer has both UEFI and BIOS but the default setting is to BIOS, which means the computer only expects to boot from a hard disk of MBR partition style.

There are basically two solutions to this particular error. The first solution is for computers that support both Legacy BIOS and UEFI, and the second solution can work work for both groups of people.

I suggest though that you pass through the first solution before you continue to the general solution. This is because booting with UEFI has very many advantages over BIOS and firstly i will describing how to check if your motherboard supports both or only one mode.

Solution 1 – Changing from BIOS boot mode to UEFI mode

First check if the computer’s motherboard supports both UEFi and BIOS. Don’t worry about this one, we’re not about to remove the screws and open the computer.

  1. Power off the computer.
  2. As you switch it back on, click on the appropriate key, in most cases F1, F2, Enter or ESC to open the BIOS settings. (If non of the keys work for you, check on your computer’s manual or make a google search about your specific computer’s BIOS settings)
  3. After opening the BIOS settings, Look for the boot tab or something related to booting, then identify if you have an option of choosing between booting with UEFI or Legacy BIOS.
  4. If the setting exists, change it to UEFI.
  5. Save settings and exit the BIOS setup.This can be done by clicking F10
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UEFI and Legacy boot settings

Repeat the Windows installation process and hopefully, you will not see the error anymore. But if the error persists, you will have to use solution 2.

Solution 2 – How to convert GPT partition style to MBR

In the solution, we shall be using the Windows command line interface.

Warning:

This will wipe off all the data on the hard disk. Operations done with this guide cannot be undone therefore you should be conscious while performing these operations.

Disclaimer: WindowsMaven won’t take responsibility for any lost data. Therefore make sure all data is backed up better continuing.

Step 1

Insert the Windows installation medium (either a CD or a flash drive) and make sure its recognized by the system.

Then shut down the computer.

Step 2

Switch back on the computer and open the boot manager to locate the windows installation medium.

To do this, Press the power on button and press either Esc, Delete, F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12. Various computers use different key combinations to display the boot manager.

When the boot manager is opened, select your installation medium and press Enter.

However most of the times, after pressing the appropriate key, the system loads the windows files right away.

Step 3

When the blue screen for installing windows is displayed, Click on Repair Computer at the bottom left of the window.

repair computer to solve Windows cannot be installed to this disk, the selected disk is of gpt partition style

Step 4

Next, click on Troubleshoot PC

Troubleshoot PC

Step 5

Click on Command prompt

Step 6

From the command prompt;

Type diskpart and hit the Enter. This will open the diskpart utility

Type list disk and press Enter. This will list the disks with their respective disk numbers.

Identify the primary disk(disk with the larger size) and type select disk <number> and press EnterThis will select and subject the disk to the next operations.

Type clean and press Enter. This will wipe off all data from the disk.

Once the cleaning is done, a message will be displayed saying “Diskpart succeeded in cleaning the disk

Type convert mbr and press enter. After the operation, a success message saying “Dispart successfully, the selected partition to MBR” will the displayed

Type exit and press Enter to close diskpart. Type exit again to close the command prompt and turn off the PC.

Boot the computer back pressing the appropriate button as explained in step 2 to open the boot manager. Select your installation media.

On the screen for installing windows, click Install.

Follow the steps at How to install windows on a computer to complete the installation.

Note:

After cleaning the hard disk, it will be restored to factory format without any partitions, therefore you’ll have to create new partitions as follows.

On the screen that displays the disks during the installation process, click on the disk(unallocated space) and click on the new label at the bottom of the window. Enter the size in MBS that you want for the first partition. Repeat the same steps to create other partitions.

Unallocated space will not, in the file explorer after the installation process. Therefore make sure you allocate all the persists on the hard disk.

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