If you currently use older Windows versions such as 7 or Vista, you might be surprised that you need to repartition a disk to install the new Windows 10. Microsoft introduced the GUID Partition Table (GPT) to help support growing disk storage capacity and its changing technology. A common error users receive during Windows 10 installations is “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table on EFI systems. Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.” Here’s some information on the error and what you can do to fix it.
What is GPT?
GPT replaces the old MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table. Traditionally, MBR was used since the 1980s to organize data on a hard drive. Partitioning a disk lets you use one physical disk as several logical ones. When hard disks held much less storage, MBR was sufficient. MBR allows for only four partition table entries, but technology has grown out of this limitation.
GPT was originally introduced in 2010. This partitioning scheme lets your logical drives grow as needed instead of the MBR limitations. GPT supports up to 128 partitions. MBR relied on physical geometry of the drive, but GPT requires no coordination to avoid collisions. Logical blocks are increased to 512 bytes compared to the 2 bytes in MBR formats.
Older MBR formats were undocumented, and they were difficult to debug. GPT is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware interface (UEFI), so it’s more organized across all vendors and firmware providers.
Why Do You Need GPT?
Regardless of whether you want MBR or GPT for your hard drives, if you want to install Windows 10 you need the new partitioning type. It’s definitely an upgrade from the older MBR format.
First, you can partition your drives to up to 128 partitions. This is an advantage for managers who need to work with newer operating systems. The maximum storage for a logical partition is up to the operating system. In newer operating systems, you can have several exobytes as a partition. The GPT partition scheme better supports these larger logical drives and has more global support across hard drive manufacturers. With its unification, GPT is easier to debug and support than older MBR drives.
Converting Your Partition to GPT
The easiest way to convert your partition is to use the Windows command line. If you receive the partition error during your Windows 10 installation, simultaneously click the Shift and F10 keys to open the command line.
After you have the command line opened, follow these steps to convert from MBR to GPT:
- Type “diskpart” and press Enter.
- Type “list disk” and press Enter.
- Use the arrow keys to choose disk 0 from the list.
- Type “clean” and press Enter.
- Type “convert gpt” and press Enter.
- Type “exit” to close the disk partitioning tool and the Windows command line.
After you convert your partition, you can continue with the Windows 10 installation.