By AOMEI / Last Updated November 29, 2019

MBR VS GPT for Windows Server 2016

Currently, when building servers, users prefer drives with a capacity greater than 2TBs. As we all know, any disk space beyond 2TB will be unusable if the drive has been formatted in the Master Boot Record (MBR) style. Therefore, if you are going to build a new server using Windows Server 2016 then it is recommended that you choose the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style, which uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode.

Most new hardware uses the advanced UEFI by default rather than Legacy BIOS, however, the majority of older hardware will also include support for UEFI to. In order to check whether your hardware is compatible you should look on the manufacturers website. So, if you want to make full use of your drives larger than 2TBs then convert it from MBR to GPT in Windows Server 2016.

Convert to MBR/GPT with Windows 2016 Disk Management

Windows Disk Management is only able to convert disks between MBR and GPT when the disk is empty and doesn’t contain any partitions or volumes. This means that if you want to use Disk Manager to convert your disk then you will need to back up all your data to external storage. You can follow the steps below to convert a disk between MBR and GPT with Disk Management:

1. Right click the Start button to open up the Quick Access Menu, in the Quick Access Menu select Disk Management.

2. Right click on each partition on the disk that needs to be converted and select Delete Volume to clean the disk.

Delete Volume

3. If you want to convert MBR to GPT, right click on the disk, and select “Convert to GPT Disk”.

Convert

If it is a GPT disk that you want to convert to MBR, then the option available will be “Convert to MBR Disk”.

Convert to MBR

After a short wait, the disk will be converted to GPT (or vice versa), you will then be able to repartition the hard drive. If you want to convert an MBR boot disk to GPT then you will be unable to use Windows Disk Management as you can’t delete the boot partition. As a workaround, you can boot your server from a Windows Server installation disc and press Shift +F10 to open the DiskPart utility. In DiskPart you should enter the below commands in command prompt to convert the disk to GPT:

  • list disk

  • select disk n (“n” represents the number of the disk need converting to GPT)

  • clean

  • convert gpt

Note: Both methods for converting GPT will cause data loss, so make sure you backup your data beforehand. Fortunately, there is free software that you can use to convert between MBR to GPT without losing data.

Convert MBR to GPT disk without losing data

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition is powerful partition management software with multiple useful features designed for Windows Servers. Many users consider is to be an outstanding piece of conversion software for converting between MBR and GPT without losing data. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition even allows you to preview the new partition layout before you make the changes to your disk.

How to convert a disk to GPT/MBR:

1. Download the software, install and launch it.

2. Right-click the disk that needs converting. In the drop down menu, select the “Convert to GPT Disk” option and click OK to confirm the conversion.

Convert System Disk To GPT

If you want to convert between GPT to MBR, just select the “Convert to MBR Disk” option

Convert System Disk To MBR

3. Click Apply button to apply the changes.

Apply

After a short wait, this powerful partition manager software will have finished converting the MBR disk to GPT for your Windows Server 2016 system. AOMEI Partition Assistant provides many other functions to help you manage your partitions and disks. These features include Resizing Partition, Move Partition, and Copying Disks. If you want to protect an unlimited number of computers within one company (at one location) then you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited. If you need to protect unlimited computers in multiple locations then AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician will be able to assist you.

If you don’t have a Windows Server and would like to use AOMEI Partition Assistant on your personal computer then you can choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.