By Emily / Last Updated October 24, 2019

Difference between GPT and MBR

Master Boot Record (MBR) and GUID Partition Table (GPT) are two main disk styles. Their difference mainly lies in:

  • MBR disks use the standard BIOS partition table. GPT disks use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

  • MBR disks support up to four primary partitions on each disk (or three primary partitions, one extended partition and you can create logical partitions within it). GPT disk can support 128 partitions at most.

  • The MBR disks can only support disks which are smaller than 2 terabytes (TB). A single partition on GPT disks can have up to 256TB.

  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions can boot from MBR disks. Only the 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016versions can boot from GPT disks.

Convert GPT to MBR using PowerShell(command-line utility - CMD)

In some cases, you might need to convert a GPT disk to an MBR disk. For example, when you encounter "Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style" during Windows installation, you need to make a conversion to get rid of this error message.If you are right now in this situation, you can follow these instructions below to use PowerShell to convert GPT to MBR.

Note: Before you convert a disk, backup data on it since this method only supports converting an empty disk to MBR and close any programs that are accessing the disk.

Step 1. Click “Search” box and input “powershell”, right click the “Windows PowerShell” icon and choose “Run as administrator” to openPowerShell window.

Step 2.Type “diskpart” and press “Enter”. If the disk contains no partitions or volumes, skip to step 6.

Step 3. Type in “list disk” and press “Enter” to get information about any disk attached to the current operating system.

Step 4. Type“select disk”and press “Enter” (here we select disk 1).

Step 5. Type “clean” and press “Enter”: running the clean command will delete all partitions or volumes on the disk.

Step 6. Type “convert mbr” and press “Enter”.

PowerShell Convert To MBR

Other free ways to convert GPT to MBR

If you don’t want to run the complex commands, you can use the following two GUI tools to convert GPT to MBR disk on Windows computer.

Way 1. Using Disk Management (Data Loss)

Besides using PowerShell to convert GPT to MBR, you can also use Disk Management to realize this conversion.

Step 1. Press “windows key + X” and click “disk management’.

Step 2. Right-click any partition on the GPT disk that you want to convert and clickdelete volume to wipe out everything. Same as PowerShell converting method.

Delete Volume

Step 3. Repeat the step 2 to remove all partitions to make it an empty disk.

Step 4. Right click the disk and select “convert to MBR disk”.

Convert To MBR Disk

Way 2. Using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard (Without Data Loss)

From the content above, we know that the Windows built-in tools can only permit you to convert a disk without partitions to MBR or GPT, deleting existing partitions will lead to data loss. In order to convert the disk from GPT to MBR and vice versa without losing data, you can apply AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

It is a free but versatile MBR and GPT disk converter for Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista users. It allows you to convert data disks containing partitions between MBR and GPT styles,that means you don’t need to delete all partitions first. Next is how to do it in detail.

Step 1. Download the freeware, install and launch it. Right-click the data disk and select “Convert to MBR Disk”.

Convert To MBR

Step 2. Then a small window will pop out, asking you “Are you sure to convert the selected disk from GPT to MBR disk”. Click “OK” to continue.


Step 3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to commit the pending conversion operation.

MBR Apply


This is all about how to apply PowerShell to convert GPT to MBR, and how to use other convenient GUI tools to make conversions between GPT and MBR disk styles. By comparison, AOMEI Partition Assistant offers the best and safest way. If you want to convert system disk between MBR and GPT styles, you need to upgrade to Professional edition.