By Ivy / Last Updated August 19, 2019

GPT is short for GUID Partition Table, comparing with the older MBR (Master Boot Record), it provides a more flexible mechanism for partitioning disks. And it now can be widely used in most Windows operating systems, excepting for the Windows 32-bit operating system.

About GPT protective partition error

When connecting an internal or external hard drive to Windows XP (or newer), 32-bit operating system, you may find your drive is inaccessible. And Disk Management reports that the drive has a GPT Protective Partition.

If you right-click the protected disk, you will find there are no available options. That means the drive cannot be repartitioned and reformatted. This drive was previously initialized with GPT partition on Windows or Mac computer.

GPT Protective Partition

How to remove GPT protective partition?

Whenever you meet problems, Disk Management or Diskpart may be your first choice. If you right-click the protected disk, you will find there are no available options. In this part, you can only use Disk Management to find the drive marked as GPT Protective Partition and then remove GPT Protective Partition using Diskpart.

Note: Diskpart will remove all your data and partition structure from the disk. Thus, you should backup files in advance if there are vital data.

Step 1. Find disk number of the GPT protective partition and remember it.

1. Right-click Computer or This PC and then select Manage from the context menu.

2. Select Disk Management in the pop-up window.

3. Find the disk marked as GPT Protective Partition and remember its disk number.

Step 2. Remove GPT protective partition in Windows 7/8/10

1. Type cmd in the search box and then run as administartor..

2. Type diskpart in the command prompt and hit Enter.

3. Type the following commands in order and pressEnter after each one.

  • list disk

  • select disk n(n refers to the disk which marked as GPT Protective Partition.)

  • clean

  • convert mbr

  • exit

Convert MBR

It’s a great choice to clean the GPT protective partition and convert GPT protective partition to MBR using Diskpart. However, it may not succeed all the time and you will receive an error message in the following.

the disk you specified cannot be converted to MBR.

Please select an empty GPT disk to convert

How to remove GPT protective partition without losing data?

Diskpart can delete GPT protective partition. However, it has some limitations. First, Diskpart Clean command will result in data loss. Second, Diskpart does not always convert disk to MBR successfully.

To successfully remove GPT protective partition without losing data, you’d better use GPT protective partition removal tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant. With it, you can delete GPT protective partition in Windows 7/8/10/XP without any obstacle. And you will not lose your data.

Besides, you can use free AOMEI Partition Assistant to do more things, such as, move system reserved partition, recover accidentally deleted boot partition in Windows 10, etc.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you solve most of your problems. But there are still some problems it cannot fix, such as, convert to GPT grayed out on the system disk, selected disk is GPT partition style, and more. If you want to fix problems the standard version cannot, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install and launch it.

Step 2. Right-click the disk marked as GPT Protective Partition and then select Convert to MBR Disk.

Convert to MBR

Step 3. Click OK to ensure that you want to convert a disk from GPT to MBR

Mbr Ok

Step 4. Click Apply and Proceed to start the pending operation.

MBR Apply

PS.: If you need to convert system disk from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, upgrade AOMEI Partition Assistant to Professional version.

Wrapping things up

The diskpart clean command can help you remove GPT protective partition. However, you will lose your data forever. In addition, you can use Diskpart to convert GPT protective partition to MBR. But this does not always work.

To delete GPT protective partition successfully, you need a GPT protective partition removal tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant. All the steps are very easy, even for a beginner. You just need to follow the instructions and move your finger.

In addition, it offers you more features, including Move Partition, Shrink Partition,Convert to NTFS, etc.