How To Convert Guid Partition Table (GPT) To Master Boot Record (MBR)?


Although Guid Partition Table (GPT) is a new disk layout and has some advantages, there are still some situations need converting Guid Partition Table (GPT) to Master Boot Record (MBR). Let’s look at the following two examples from computer forum:

1. I have a Lenovo U510 and it came installed with Windows 8, but I want to install Windows 7 instead. The Windows 7 installation would not let me install it because the drive is formatted to GPT (Both 24GB SSD and 750GB hard drive). What should I do?

2. I wiped my Windows 8 thinking I could install Windows 7 x86 but I can’t because the disk is GPT. I need to convert to MBR. Is there a tool to do that?

3. When I boot my computer up, it’s unable to boot from the hard drive, as the BIOS just says can’t boot to hard drive. But when I take the drive out and put it into another computer (XP, 32 bit) to try to recover files, it doesn’t show up in Windows explorer, but shows up as a GPT protective drive (healthy) in administrative tools > storage utility, with no drive letter but just a blank next to the hard drive icon.

The second example asked a question “Is there a tool to do that?” The answer is yes. A professional partition software named AOMEI Partition Assistant is able to do this without data loss.

Method 1

Download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition. Right click Disk 1 and select “Convert to MBR Disk”.

Convert to MBR


Click “OK” in the pop-up window if you are sure.

Sure OK


Back to the main interface, you can see the pending operating. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” in the pop-up window to start converting.

Apply


Method 1 only needs few steps, Simple, right? Next is method 2.

Method 2:

This method is converting Guid Partition Table(GPT) to Master Boot Record(MBR) via command line.

  • Right click Command Prompt, and then click run as administrator,
  • Type list disk. Make note of the disk number you want to delete.
  • Type select disk [number]
  • Type clean.
  • Type convert mbr.

This method request the disk is empty and contains no volumes, so you should delete and clean first. I suggest you back up volumes by using backup freeware.

Method 3:

This method is converting Guid Partition Table (GPT) to Master Boot Record (MBR) with Windows disk management.

  • Log on as administrator.
  • Right-click Computer and select Manage.
  • Select Disk Management from the left pane under Storage category.
  • On the right pane, ensure that the hard disk drive on which you want to reinstall Windows has no partition. (If it has, delete it first. Otherwise Convert to MBR option would be grayed out and would be disabled)
    Disk management

  • Then right-click the name of the disk (e.g. Disk 1) and click Convert to MBR from the context menu.


This method also request the disk is empty and contains no partitions. I don’t think it is a ideal method.

These methods are compared, and the method 1 is the best. Biggest advantage is that don’t mind a disk is empty or not. AOMEI Partition Assistant is professional and safe.

It has other amazing features such as migrate OS to SDD, Windows 8 To Go Creator if you have no Windows 8 Enterprise Edition, you can also create a portable Windows 8. For more information, please visit http://www.disk-partition.com/manual.html. Thanks for reading.