Convert Disk between MBR and GPT in Windows Server 2016 without Data Loss

November 30, 2016

Learn how to convert a disk between MBR and GPT in Windows Server 2016 without data loss even when the Convert to GPT grayed out in Windows 2016 Disk Management.

MBR VS GPT for Windows Server 2016

Nowadays, when building servers, people prefer large capacity drives more than 2TB. As we all know, disk space beyond 2TB will be unusable on Master Boot Record (MBR) disks. If you are going to run new server system such as Windows Server 2016, it is recommended to choose the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style, which uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode. The Recent hardware uses the advanced UEFI by default, and most of the older hardware has support for UEFI too. Therefore, to make full use of your hard drive, you can convert MBR to GPT in Windows Server 2016.

Convert to MBR/GPT with Windows 2016 Disk Management

Disk Management can convert disks between MBR and GPT only when the disk is empty without any partitions or volumes. To save important data, you can back up all your data to another storage device before deleting all partitions. You can follow the steps below to convert a disk between MBR and GPT with Disk Management:

1. Right-click the Start button, in the Quick Access Menu, and then select Disk Management to open it.

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

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, the available option will be “Convert to MBR Disk” after right clicking on the disk.

Convert to MBR

In a short time, the disk will be converted to GPT/MBR disk, and then you can repartition the hard drive. If you want to convert MBR to GPT for boot disk, then Disk Management is out of the question since you cannot delete boot partition. As a workaround, you can boot your server from a Windows Server installation disc, then press Shift +F10 to open the DiskPart utility. Then run the following command in the command prompt to convert to GPT disk with DiskPart:

  • List disk
  • Select disk n (“n” represent the number of the disk need converting to GPT)
  • Clean
  • Convert gpt

Note: Either way will cause data loss, so be careful while doing these operations. Fortunately, there is a free way that you can use to convert MBR to GPT without data loss.

Convert MBR to GPT disk without losing data

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a partition management software with multiple useful features designed for Windows Server. It can be regarded as an outstanding MBR GPT converter for Windows Server 2016 for it help you convert a disk between GPT and MBR partition style without data loss. It allows you to preview the partition layout before making changes on your disk, and you can undo any operations.

To convert a disk to GPT/MBR:

1. Download the software, install and launch it.

2. Right-click the disk that needs converting and it will bring you a drop down menu. If you want to convert MBR to GPT, select the “Convert to GPT Disk”. Click OK to confirm the operation.

Convert to GPT

If you want to convert GPT to MBR, just select the “Convert to MBR Disk” instead.

Convert to MBR

3. Click Apply button to apply the changes.

Apply

In a short while, this partition manager software will convert MBR to GPT for Windows Server 2016 without affecting all the data on the disk. Besides that, AOMEI Partition Assistant also provides many other functions to help you manage your partitions and disks, such as Resize Partition, Move Partition, and Copy Disk. Apart from Server edition, you can also choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited for unlimited computers within one company at one location, and AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician for unlimited computers at multiple locations.