You might know that Windows has two major partition styles, MBR and GPT, which stand for Master Boot Record and GUID Partition Table, respectively. You can use either of these partition styles to divide your disks into multiple chunks called partitions. Now MBR is a comparatively older type of partition style that supports 2TB of partition size with a maximum of four primary partitions. However, GPT is the latest one that can manage 128 primary partitions and 256TB of partition size.
GPT being the latest partition style, offers you more features. If you, too, want to convert the partition style of your computer from MBR to GPT, keep reading this risewindows article. It is easier to convert from MBR to GPT if no data is available on your external or internal storage drive. You can get the job done using the built-in diskpart tool. However, if the Windows OS is already installed on a disk, it can be tricky to handle all the data.
You should switch from MBR to GPT if you want to use UEFI boot mode instead of BIOS. You can easily change the BIOS settings and select UEFI when installing a new Windows operating system on your PC. However, if you have already installed Windows OS on your computer and want to convert from MBR to GPT without losing any data, we suggest you use the built-in MBR2GPT tool.
For those who don’t know what BIOS is, it is a piece of code that can be found on the motherboard inside your CPU. It acts as the connecting bridge between the hardware and the software. The BIOS is the older version of firmware that UEFI now replaces. You get features like support for partitions larger than 2TB and faster startup, sleep, resume, and shutdown. Not only this, but you can also use it to unlock various security features on Windows 11 or 10. One example is the “Secure Boot” feature protects a device’s startup process from malicious programs, and now it is mandatory to install Windows 11.
When do you Need to Convert MBR to GPT?
Since we have already talked briefly about both the partition styles above, let us get to the features that come with GPT:-
- To create more than four primary partitions on a disk.
- To make full use of a disk with more than 2TB space.
- To install Windows on an EFI/UEFI disk.
- In case a message shows up on your screen that says, “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On the EFI system, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks.”
What are the requirements for using the mbr2gpt tool?
The MBR2GPT tool can be used on a traditional hard drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), or an M.2 drive. However, it would be best if you kept in mind the following:-
- Turn off BitLocker if you use it.
- Your disk should have sufficient free space.
- The disk should not have more than three partitions.
How to Convert MBR to GPT in Windows 10 without Data Loss?
Use the following steps to convert MBR to GPT on live Windows 10:-
Step 1: To begin, open Command Prompt as administrator.
You can also opt for Windows PowerShell.
Step 2: Next, type the following command on your keyboard and press Enter:-
mbr2gpt /validate /allowFullOS
Step 3: The following command will help convert the MBR drive to GPT:-
mbr2gpt /convert /allowFullOS
Once you complete the above steps, the primary partition size will be reduced with the help of the mbr2gpt tool and will be converted to GPT from MBR.
How to Change the Firmware Node from BIOS to UEFI?
After converting your primary disk from MBR to GPT, you must change BIOS to UEFI on the motherboard. Windows will not boot unless you do that.
When your computer starts, pressing a unique key will lead you to change the BIOS. Since it works differently on every computer, you can try pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), Esc, or Delete as soon as you boot your computer. However, if you still cannot get to the BIOS setup, check your device manufacturer’s support website for help.
Enable the UEFI option in the Boot menu and save the changes. Once you do that, your system will usually start. If you plan to upgrade your computer to Windows 11, go to UEFI settings. Once you do that, open the boot or security settings page and enable the “Secure Boot” option. Finally, exit the firmware to save the changes.
Switching from MBR to GPT in Windows 10 is more than a mere technical procedure. It’s about updating your system to harness the full potential of modern hardware, allowing for more extensive partitions, supporting UEFI boot modes, and enabling crucial security features. As we transition to more advanced operating systems like Windows 11, which mandate certain prerequisites like the “Secure Boot,” understanding the intricacies of MBR and GPT becomes pivotal. Thankfully, with tools like mbr2gpt and clear guidelines, users can make this transition effortlessly. Remember, while the technical steps can be easily executed, always ensure you back up essential data, understand the process, and make informed decisions for a smooth and efficient system transition.