The differences between MBR and GPT disks
There are two kinds of disk style named MBR and GPT. They are both used in computers for storage information. But what’s the difference between MBR and GPT disks? Why should you need to convert MBR to GPT?
MBR, the master boot record disk, uses the standard BIOS partition table, and supports up to 2 TB per single partition in Windows OS. It only supports up to 4 primary partitions. If you want to create more partitions on MBR, you have to change one primary partition into extended partition, so that you can create more 128 logical drives in the extended partition.
GPT, the GUID partition table disk, uses EFI, its volume is bigger than MBR disk and it breaks out the limitation of up to 2TB disk space and 4 primary partitions. But it can only support Windows 64bit system from Windows Vista. You can use GPT disk in 32 bit version of Windows XP, 2003, 2000, etc.
Besides, removable flash drives are recognized as MBR disk by default and it cannot be converted to GPT. But in generally speaking, GPT disk has a better performance than MBR. Thus, many users want to change the master boot record disk into GUID partition table disk. Clearly? If not, you can learn more difference between MBR and GPT.
How to convert disk from MBR to GPT with DiskPart?
Windows built-in tool Disk Management provides users to convert disk to GPT with Windows interface. But if you want to use the command line to convert disks, the DiskPart can provide a terrace. However, both Disk Management tool and DiskPart utility can only convert an empty MBR disk to GPT. To change a disk from MBR to GPT with cmd, you can follow the steps below:
Before you do, there are some tips for you:
- Backup the MBR disk that you want to convert into GPT disk in order to keep the data safe.
- You can only convert basic MBR disks without any partitions or volumes into a GPT disk. If there are some partitions or volumes, backup the data, then, delete all partitions or volumes before converting.
- If you want to convert MBR to GPT disk during Windows install, please open command prompt by pressing Shift + F10.
Step1. Click Start, type "cmd", and right click it, select "Run as Administrator", or press "WIN+R", type "cmd" and press Enter to open the command prompt. Then, input "diskpart" to run the utility.
Step2. Type "list volume" to make sure if there are any partitions or volumes on the MBR disk which will be converted to GPT. If there are, you need to use diskpart delete partition first.
Then, type "list disk", and press Enter, it will show you all the disks on your computer. Make note of the disk number that you want to convert to GPT disk. Here we take disk 1 as an example.
Step3. Type "select disk 1", press "Enter", it will remind you that the disk 1 is selected.
Step4.Type "convert gpt", press "Enter" to submit the operation. Wait a second, you will find the Command Prompt says DiskPart successfully converted the selected disk to GPT format. Please take a look at the following screenshot.
If you want to convert GPT disk to MBR, you can also use diskpart convert mbr command.
Convert MBR disk to GPT without losing data
Although DiskPart can convert the basic MBR disk on which there are not any partitions or volumes into GPT disk, you must run it as an administrator, and many users do not know much about DiskPart command line, which may make things complicated. Because the DiskPart command cannot be revoked once it executed. Thereby, if you do not know much about it, here you can convert MBR disk to GPT disk with a professional partition manager - AOMEI Partition Assistant, a freeware for Windows PC users to manage disk partitions. It enables you to convert disks in an easy-to-use interface, and it supports almost all the Windows OSes including Windows 10/8/7. The most important is that it can convert disk between MBR and GPT without losing data on disk. Well, Below is how to convert MBR disk to GPT disk with AOMEI Partition Assistant!
First, download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard [Freeware]. Install and launch it, you can see its main interface. Click the disk you want to convert and choose "Convert to GPT" at the left control panel.
Then, it will pop out a window to confirm the operation. Click OK.
Here, you can confirm the operations again, if there is no problem, click "Apply" on the toolbar.
It will show you the pending operations like the following picture. Click "Proceed", and it will convert MBR disk to GPT successfully.
No matter DiskPart convert GPT with its simple syntax, or AOMEI Partition Assistant covert GPT with its user-friendly interface, you can choose the way you’d prefer. After converting, you can use DiskPart create partition on the disk as you want.
Tips: As free partition manager, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard only support converting Data disk between MBR and GPT. If you want to convert system/boot disk between MBR and GPT,please upgrade AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro Edition.