Unable to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style
“I’d like to install Windows 7 Ultimate from scratch since too many useless applications and files are stored in system drive. When I come to select existing disk to place Windows 7 operating system, with Windows Installation Disc, it says “Windows cannot be installed to disk 0 partition 1 (Show details)”. I clicked on “Show details” and get this prompting message: Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Any suggestion on how to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style will be appreciated, better without data loss.”
Causes for cannot install Windows 7 to GPT partition style
To figure out what caused “install Windows 7 GPT error”, you may want to have a brief understanding about GPT partition style.
GPT partition style, like MBR, is a kind of partition table which helps Windows accesses and reads data on that disk. However, unlike MBR, GPT partition style supports creating up to 128 primary partitions, which dramatically overpasses the 4 limitation of MBR. That’s why so many users tend to convert system disk to GPT in Windows.
When it comes to install Windows 7 to GPT drive, there are some notable limits. First of all, you cannot install Windows 7 32 bit on GPT partition style. All versions can use GPT partitioned disk for data. Booting is only supported for 64 bit editions on EFI/UEFI-based system. Speaking of EFI/UEFI-based system, secondly, your computer and system should support UEFI/EFI mode or Legacy BIOS-compatibility mode.
Based on what discussed above, there are two possible solutions aiming at how to install Windows 7 to GPT hard disk. One is to make your computer and system support EFI/UEFI mode. The other is to make selected disk compatible with your Windows 7, viz, change from GPT partition style to MBR. Frankly speaking, last one is the simplest way out. Therefore, following parts will emphasis on how to convert GPT to MBR partition table for installing Windows 7 successfully.
Install Windows 7 on GPT style by converting MBR
Windows provides tools to convert MBR to GPT. You may want to take a look at Diskpart in Windows Command Prompt. This method applies to converting from GPT to MBR while Windows installation particularly. Learn the detailed steps below to make Windows 7 installed on GPT partitioned drive.
Convert to MBR using Diskpart
Note: This method will erase all data on selected disk. Backup files before formatting or cleaning, if necessary.
1. Boot up your computer with Windows 7 installation disc or USB installation drive. When the process goes to the page “Where do you want to install Windows”, press F10 + Shift to lift Command Prompt.
2. Type diskpart in Command Prompt, and then input following commands in sequence.
select disk n (Where n is the number of the disk you want to install Windows 7 to)
create partition primary size=X (Where X is the amount of partition size in MBs)
format fs=ntfs quick
exit (Exit diskpart)
exit (Exit CMD)
Above orders will clean selected disk first, and then convert it from GPT to MBR, and then create a primary partition in 100 GB with NTFS formatted. Usually, that method won’t take too much time. Back to the installation page, you can select the newly created partition to install Windows 7 then.
Nevertheless, some users still wonder how to install Windows 7 on GPT partition style without losing data. Well, if you can convert GPT to MBR without losing data, you are able to install Windows 7 on GPT disk without formatting. Thus, finding a way of changing partition style without data loss is vital.
Convert GPT to MBR without data loss in simple steps
AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is powerful MBR & GPT converter which allows you to convert GPT to MBR without deleting existing data, no matter system disk or data disk. You may need to boot up existing Windows normally to complete converting. Let’s take a closer look.
Note: Since MBR supports up to 4 primary partitions, make sure the amount of primary partition does not exceed 4. If it does, try merge partitions or delete partition to fit MBR partition style before you start. Note that all partitions on GPT disk are primary partitions.
1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant on your machine. If you want to install Windows 7 on a second partition on a GPT style disk, connect that disk to your machine and make sure it is detected beforehand.
2. In AOMEI Partition Assistant, right click the disk you want to install Windows 7 on and select Convert to MBR Disk.
3. In the pop-up windows, click on OK to confirm operations.
4. Preview the result. Click Apply and then Proceed to commit pending operations. A reboot is required.
5. To ensure successful boot from MBR disk, you need to change UEFI to Legacy in BIOS.
AOMEI Partition Assistant supports creating bootable media (CD/DVD or USB) to convert MBR and GPT without booting Windows.
To convert data disk like portable hard drive between MBR and GPT, you can turn to free edition of the software AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.
You can convert MBR to GPT on the contrary if you encounter “Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the MBR partition style” error.
Windows 7 will not install on GPT partition? Maybe you just installed Windows 7 on the wrong partition style. To solve installing Windows 7 on GPT partition style issue, the most effective method is convert GPT to MBR, a partition table can be accepted by your Windows 7.
AOMEI Partition Assistant provides Server edition as well to help you convert MBR GPT in Windows Server without data loss.