How to Convert MBR to GPT Without Losing Data on Windows

By | April 10, 2022

Your Windows system uses a master boot record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT) depending on your age, operating system, and system firmware. Sometimes it is necessary to switch between MBR and GPT, but to do that you must first wipe your drive. Using traditional tools like Windows Disk Management and Command Prompt results in permanent data loss (unless you make a backup).

But now there are two tools you can use to safely modify your partition table without experiencing data loss. And the best part is how easy it is and it’s also free. Let’s see how you can convert your MBR disk to GPT without losing any data.

MBR vs GPT

First, consider the differences between MBR and GPT, and why some systems use one over the other.

MBR

MBR is the older of the two and thus compatible with a wider range of systems. MBR was developed for IBM PCs and, as such, is the primary partition table option for Windows machines that spans quite a long time. The Master Boot Record takes its name from its location at the beginning of the drive, containing the bootloader for the operating system and information about the drive partition.

MBR only works with drives up to 2TB in size. In addition, an MBR drive can only have four primary partitions. This was great when 2TB was a big expense, but you can now pick up an 8TB drive, like the Seagate Barracuda, for an affordable price.

GPT

GPT is the newest of the two. GPT is closely related to UEFI, a firmware solution that modernizes the old alternative, BIOS. The GUID Partition Table gives each partition on your drive a globally unique identifier (GUID) which is a 128-bit number that identifies only your hardware device (a 128-bit integer has a maximum value of 1.7 x 10^39 a very large number).

GPT drives suffer from some limitations of MBR drives. GPT drives can be much larger than MBR (with the right settings, a theoretical 256TB drive will work). On Windows systems, a GPT drive can have up to 128 different partitions without using an extended partition. Other systems allow even more.

One additional major difference is that the GPT drive stores boot data. Unlike MBR drives, GPT drives store multiple copies of boot data across multiple partitions, making recovery easier.

Suitability

Not all versions of Windows can boot from a GPT partitioned drive, with many requiring a UEFI-based system.
Thanks For Visit

64-bit Windows 10, 8/8.1, 7, and Vista all require a UEFI-based system to boot from a GPT drive.

Windows 10 and 8/8.1 32-bit require a UEFI based system to boot from a GPT drive.

Windows 7 and Vista 32-bit cannot boot from GPT drive.

All the Windows versions mentioned can read and write to GPT drives.

Other operating systems also use the GPT system. For example, Apple now uses GPT instead of the Apple Partition Table (APT). Additionally, Linux has built-in support for GPT drives.

How to Convert MBR to GPT

As we have seen, GPT is a more modern type of partition table, offering better recovery and overall flexibility. For a long time, converting from an MBR drive to a GPT drive meant erasing the drive as part of the conversion process. But now there are two tools you can use to safely convert your drive without losing data.

Note: There is no going back unless you wipe your drive. MBR to GPT is a one-way transformation. Please also keep in mind that it is unlikely that your drive will stop working after conversion. While this is a very small chance, I’m not responsible for your hardware if you continue with this tutorial after this warning. In this case, the validation step in a future tutorial is very important.

There is one final check to do before converting your disk. Does your hardware support have UEFI support? Otherwise, your hardware will not register the drive after conversion and, if you convert a bootable drive, you will not have access to your operating system.

MBR2GPT

Microsoft’s MBR2GPT tool is already on your system as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.

This tool primarily caters to sysadmins who have to deploy a Windows 10 installation on a large number of computers. However, you can use it to switch MBR drives to GPT with minimal hassle. Here’s how.

  • First, check your disk number. Complete a Start menu search for Computer Management and select the most suitable one. Select Disk Management and locate the disk you want to convert, noting the disk number. Right click the disk number, select Properties and go to Volume Check the current partition type is MBR.
  • Press Windows + X, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. If Command Prompt (Admin) is no longer an option, complete a Start menu search for Command Prompt, then right-click and select Run as Administrator.
  • Now, validate the disk you want to convert. Type mbr2gpt /validate/disk: [masukkan nomor disk Anda di sini] / allowFullOS
  • Validation only takes a moment. If the disc does not meet the conversion requirements, you will receive an error. (For example, the error below comes from an invalid USB flash drive because it doesn’t meet the requirements.)
  • Type mbr2gpt /convert/disk: [masukkan nomor disk Anda di sini] /allowFullOS and press Enter to start the conversion. The conversion is fast, it only takes a few seconds.
  • You need to change the firmware to boot into UEFI mode. Once your system reboots, press your BIOS/UEFI entry key. Change the boot type to UEFI mode, as opposed to Legacy Mode or its equivalent.

EaseUS Partition Software

The second option to convert MBR to GPT is to use EaseUS Partition Master Professional. Honestly, it’s the easier of the two conversion options, using a UI similar to the Windows Disk Management screen. However, EaseUS Partition Software has several additional options, the most important of which is the Convert MBR to GPT tool.

On the other hand, EaseUS Partition Master Professional will cost you $39.95, while the Windows integrated MBR2GPT tool is already part of your operating system.

  • Go to the EaseUS Partition Master site. Purchase the software, download and install it. (Tip: If you’re only converting one drive, take the Trial version.)
  • Open EaseUS Partition Master and wait for your drive to load. Find the drive you want to convert. Select the disk, right-click, and select Convert MBR to GPT.
  • Press the Apply button on the toolbar. Once you hit apply, your system will reboot. You will arrive at the EaseUS Partition Master operation screen showing the conversion process in progress.
  • You need to change the firmware to boot into UEFI mode. Once your system reboots, press your BIOS/UEFI entry key. Change the boot type to UEFI mode, as opposed to Legacy Mode or its equivalent.

In my opinion, EaseUS Partition Master makes the process easier but is a bit slower than its free Microsoft counterpart.

You have now converted your MBR drive to a GPT drive, If your system fails to boot after conversion, remember to head over to your BIOS/UEFI settings and make sure the UEFI boot option is turned on.

Thanks For Visit

Category: