By Bryce / Last Updated September 5, 2019

Unable to convert my disk to GPT in Windows Server 2012 R2

“I have Windows Server 2012 R2 installed on my machine and I want to convert my 3TB external hard drive to GPT, so that I can make full use of it. But I found the option of 'Convert to GPT Disk' greyed out when I tried to change my hard drive from MBR to GPT partition style via Disk Management.

Windows Server Unable to Convert a Disk to GPT via Disk Management

Then, I tried to make conversion via Diskpart utility and only got the "Virtual Service error: The specified disk is not convertible. CDROMs and… “message. What should I do when encountering Windows Server unable to convert a disk to GPT via Disk Management or Diskpart? Is there any advice?”

Unable to Convert to GPT Diskpart

How to solve can’t convert disk to GPT in Windows Server?

Compared with MBR partition style, GPT supports hard drive beyond 2 TB and allows you to create up to 128 primary partitions. To make unallocated space on hard drive over 2TB or to create more primary partitions on a hard drive, converting disk from MBR to GPT is necessary.

However, if the disk needs to be converted holds partition(s), you can encounter errors what mentioned above and won’t be able to convert MBR disk into GPT. To fix this problem, you can delete all partitions on the disk that going to be converted and then convert it. Have a look at detailed steps.

The First stage (omissible): Backup volume via Windows Server Backup

Since removing partition will make data loss, you can backup volume to local disk or removable device at first. If there is no necessary data saved on this disk, you can skip it.

1. In the Search Box, type “windows server backup” to access Windows Server Backup utility.

PS.: If you have not used this function, you need to install (Server Manager\Features) it in advance.

2. Click Backup Once Wizard and follow it to execute backup settings.

The second stage: Delete partitions all partitions & convert disk to GPT

After backing up wanted files, you can remove partitions from the disk and convert disk from MBR to GPT.

Option 1. Delete partition and convert disk via Disk Management

If there is only one operation on the disk, deleting partition and making conversion via Windows Server Disk Management is not a bad choice.

1. Press “Windows + R” simultaneously, type “diskmgmt.msc” and hit Enter key to open Disk Management.

2. Right click the partition that you need to delete and choose “Delete Volume...”.

Delete Volume Server

3. After deleting all partitions on the disk that’ll be converted into GPT, you can right click the disk and choose “Convert to GPT Disk

The whole conversion process will be completed within few seconds. After conversion, you can create partition with the unallocated space and restore backed up data.

Note: It is not allowed to convert removable media like USB flash drive or SD card to GPT partition style.

Option 2. Delete partition and convert disk via Disk Management

When there are multiple partitions on the disk and it is a lit bit bothering to delete partition one by one, you can delete all partitions and convert disk to GPT via Diskpart utility.

1. Press "Windows + R" at the same time, input “diskpart” and hit Enter.

2. Run commands given below:

  • list disk

  • select disk n, n refers the number of the disk that you need to convert

  • clean

  • convert gpt

Convert MBR GPT Diskpart

When you are prompted that Diskpart successfully converted the selected disk to GPT format, you can type “exit” and hit Enter key.

Note: If you need to convert Windows Server boot disk into GPT, you need to back up the whole disk at first. Then, boot your machine from Windows Server installation disc and press Shift + F10 to open the access Diskpart utility. In the Diskpart window, type the commands presented above.

How to easily convert disk to GPT without data loss in Windows Server?

To convert disk into GPT in Windows Server effortlessly, it is recommended to employ a third party partition manager – AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. It allows you to convert MBR disk that contains data without deleting any partition in Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008(R2)/2003 . And it is very modern and concise graphic user interface, enabling you to handle it rather easily.

See how to convert MBR to GPT without data loss in Windows Server.

Step 1. Ensure that the MBR disk need converting is connected your machine well; install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Right click the MBR disk that and select “Convert to GPT Disk”.

Convert 4tb To Gpt

Step 2. In the pop-up window, click “OK” to continue the operation.

Ok 4tb Gpt

Step 3. In the main interface, click “Apply” > “Proceed” to perform the operation.

Apply 4tb Gpt

PS.:

If you converting the system disk into GPT, to boot from it, you need to change Legacy to UEFI.

It is also available to convert GPT to MBR without data loss in Windows Server via AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Conclusion

When your disk owns partitions, Windows Server is unable to convert the disk to GPT directly using Disk Management or Diskpart utility. If you insist on doing so, you need to delete partitions on the disk at first.

Or you can choose to use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server to convert a disk from MBR to GPT without deleting partition. You can also use it to clone Windows Server hard drive, converting dynamic disk into basic without data loss and more.