How to Overcome “Windows Can Only Be Installed To GPT Disks”.
Have you ever attempted to install Windows on a new computer or hard drive and received an error message saying, “Windows cannot be installed on GPT disks?” That can be frustrating, but there are ways of fixing it. In this article, we’ll define GPT disks, why this error message occurs, and most importantly: how to install Windows successfully.
What is GPT?
GPT is GUID Partition Table, a modern partitioning scheme that replaces the outdated MBR (Master Boot Record). GPT disks offer several advantages over MBR disks, such as larger storage capacities, more partitions, and improved protection against data loss.
Why does “Windows can only be installed onto GPT disks” occur?
The error “Windows Can Only Be Installed to GPT Disks” occurs when installing Windows on a drive using the MBR partitioning scheme. Windows 10 and other modern operating systems require GPT partitioning to support UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) boot mode, which has become the de facto standard for modern computers.
How to circumvent “Windows cannot be installed to GPT disks”?
You can use several methods to resolve the “Windows can only be installed to GPT disks” error message. We will cover these methods in more detail below.
Method 1: Convert MBR to GPT
One way to fix the “Windows can only be installed to GPT disks” error message is by converting your MBR partitioning scheme to GPT. You can do this using Windows’ built-in Disk Management tool or third-party partition software such as MiniTool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Master.
To convert MBR to GPT using Disk Management, follow these steps:
1. Press Windows key + X and select Disk Management from the menu.
2. Right-click the disk you wish to convert and select Convert to GPT Disk.
3. Finally, click OK to confirm conversion has taken place.
NOTE: This method wipes all data off the disk, so back up any important files before beginning this procedure.
Method 2: Reinstall Windows in UEFI Mode
Another solution to the “Windows can only be installed to GPT disks” error message is performing a clean install of Windows in UEFI mode. As this mode requires GPT partitioning, installing Windows using UEFI will completely bypass the error message and its accompanying message.
To perform a clean install of Windows in UEFI mode, follow these steps:
1. Insert the Windows installation media into your computer and boot from it.
2. When prompted to select a language and keyboard layout, make your selections and click Next.
3. Click Install now.
4. Accept the license terms by clicking Next.
5. Choose a Custom installation if available.
6. Select an empty space on the disk you wish to install Windows and click Next.
Windows will automatically create partitions required for UEFI boot mode.
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.
Method 3: Use Windows To Go
If you need to install Windows on a computer that does not support UEFI boot mode or want to convert the partitioning scheme to GPT, Windows To Go can help. This feature in Windows 10 allows users to create a portable version of Windows on a USB drive which they can use on any computer.
To use Windows To Go, follow these steps:
1. Connect a USB drive with at least 16 GB of storage to your computer.
2. Press the Windows key + R and type “control panel” into the Run dialog box, pressing Enter.
3. Navigate to “System and Security,” then click “Windows To Go,” 4. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your Windows To Go drive.
5. Connect the Windows To Go drive to the computer you wish to install Windows on and boot from it.
6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation of Windows.
Method 4: Implement a Third-Party Tool
Finally, there is another option: using a third-party tool.
Suppose you want to avoid switching the partitioning scheme to GPT or using Windows To Go. A third-party tool may help resolve the “Windows can only be installed on GPT disks” error message in that case. One such program is AOMEI Partition Assistant, which converts MBR into GPT without losing data.
To utilize AOMEI Partition Assistant, follow these steps:
1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant.
2. Run the program, select your disk to convert from MBR to GPT, right-click it, then choose “Convert to GPT Disk.”
4. Click ‘Ok’ to confirm conversion and follow on-screen prompts until complete.
Tips to Optimize Your Installation
Once Windows has been successfully installed on a GPT disk, there are some additional steps you can take to optimize it and guarantee that your computer runs optimally. Here are some helpful hints:
1. Install the Latest Drivers: Updating your hardware drivers can improve performance and stability. You can download these drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
2. Install Essential Software: Make the most of your computer by installing essential applications such as web browsers, antivirus programs, and productivity tools. These will ensure that all functions are performed optimally on your machine.
3. Disable Unneeded Startup Programs: Disabling unnecessary startup programs can improve boot times and conserve system resources.
4. Perform Regular Maintenance: Regular tasks such as disk cleanup, defragmenting, and updating your operating system can significantly enhance the performance of your computer.
5. Optimize power settings: By turning off the display after a period of inactivity, putting the computer to sleep, and disabling unnecessary visual effects, you can help conserve battery life and enhance performance.
6. Update BIOS and Firmware: Updating the BIOS and firmware can enhance compatibility between hardware and software and resolve any bugs or issues that arise.
7. Configure Security Settings: Take measures to configure security settings like firewall and antivirus settings on your computer to protect it from potential threats and vulnerabilities.
8. Optimize Virtual Memory Settings: Optimizing virtual memory settings can enhance system performance by allocating more space for programs to run efficiently.
9. Deleting Unneeded Programs and Files: Cleaning leftover programs on your hard drive can free up space on the drive and improve system performance.
10. Back Up Important Data: Regular backups of essential data are essential to avoid potential loss due to hardware malfunction or other issues.
How to install Windows 10 on a GPT partition?
To successfully install Windows 10 onto a GPT partition, take these steps:
1. Insert the Windows 10 installation media (USB drive or DVD) into your computer.
2. Boot up your computer and press (usually F2, F10, F12 or Del) to enter BIOS setup mode.
3. Alter the boot order to boot from your installation media, save changes and exit BIOS setup.
4. On the Windows Setup screen, select your language, time, currency format, keyboard, or input method, then click Next.
5. Click Install now to begin the installation process.
6. Confirm that you accept the license terms and click Next.
7. On the “Which type of installation do you want?” screen, select “Custom: Install Windows Only (advanced).
8. Select the GPT partition on which you wish to install Windows 10 and click Next.
9. Once installation begins, follow the on-screen instructions to complete it.
10. After installation, restart your computer and remove the installation media to boot into Windows 10 on its GPT partition.
Note: Ensure your computer’s BIOS supports booting from a GPT partition. If not, you must convert the GPT partition into an MBR (Master Boot Record) partition.
How to convert MBR to GPT during Windows installation?
To transform an MBR partition into a GPT partition during Windows installation, follow these steps:
1. Boot your computer from Windows installation media (USB drive or DVD).
2. On the Windows Setup screen, select your language, time, currency format, keyboard, or input method, then click Next.
3. Finally, click Install Now to launch the installation process.
4. Accept the license terms and click Next.
5. On the “Which type of installation do you want?” screen, select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
6. Select the MBR partition you wish to convert to GPT and click the “Drive options (advanced)” button.
7. Select “Convert to GPT” on the Advanced Options screen.
8. Click ‘Confirm’ to finalize the conversion.
9. You will see a message warning that all data on the disk will be lost. If you have any critical data, back it up before continuing.
10. Click the “Ok” button to complete the conversion.
11. Once the conversion is complete, you can continue with Windows installation.
Note: Be sure to select your newly converted GPT partition during installation.
The “Windows can only be installed to GPT disks” error message can be discouraging. Still, several methods are available for overcoming it. Converting your partitioning scheme from MBR to GPT, performing a clean install of Windows in UEFI mode, using Windows To Go, or using third-party tools like AOMEI Partition Assistant all work as intended and will guarantee the successful installation of Windows on your computer without reencountering this annoying message.