Convert Between MBR and GPT – Change Partition Scheme without Data Loss

In recent days, We often listen about the partition scheme basically MBR and GPT. But, How much we know about it? This article is going to explain all in details including how to convert MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR.

The full form of MBR is Master Boot Record and GPT is GUID Partition Table. When you want to set up a new disk, you will often face the question which one you want to choose between MBR and GPT. In fact, You can choose either one. But, Both have secret benefits. But, You should know about them more to decide correctly.

MBR vs GPT – Which One is Better?

MBR and GPT are two different ways to store partitioning information on a hard drive. GPT is the newer partition scheme which is gradually replacing MBR. When you try to install OS on a fresh untouched hard disk, you have to deal with MBR vs GPT. In fact, Both has their own benefits. But, I would prefer GPT over MBR. You also should do it as GPT is better. It has some reasons.

MBR Limitations:

MBR was first introduced with PC DOS 2.0 in 1983. It means it has been nearly four decades MBR is being used. While GPT is the newcomer, MBR is still the most compatible partition scheme. But, It is no longer recommended for the following reasons.

  • It is a very old and legacy partition layout.
  • You can create up to 4 primary partitions when using MBR. If you want more, you will have to go through some a complicated way.
  • It can handle partition information of a disk which is not more than 2 TB.

Else, It has many other technical downsides.

GPT Benefits:

GPT is the new standard. The big limitation of GUID Partition Table is you cannot use it in relatively older PCs. But, I believe most of us don’t use that much old hardware. If your motherboard supports UEFI, you can definitely go for it. All modern PCs support it. Anyway, GPT has the following benefits.

  • When using GPT, you are no longer limited to the 2 TB size.
  • When MBR can handle up to 4 primary partitions, GPT is able to handle 128 partitions.
  • It is more secure.
  • Data can be recovered if damaged.

How to Check If My Disk is MBR or GPT

Now, The question may arise in your mind “Is my disk or GPT or MBR?” In fact, You can check it very easily. It can be done in three ways.

1. Check GPT/MBR in Disk Management

You can use the built-in disk management tool of Windows to know whether your disk is MBR or GPT. To do it, you can follow these steps.

Checking Partition Style

  • First of all, Open the start menu.
  • Now, Type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter. It will open the disk management.
  • There, You will see all the installed disks list on your PC including the removable storages like pen drive and other USB flash storage drives. In the lower side, you will see the storage information in the graph. You will also see the names disk 0, disk 1, disk 2, etc. Just, Right-click on the disk you prefer. For example, You want to know whether disk 1 is GPT or MBR, so, right-click on it and go to the properties.
  • In the properties, Go to the volumes tab. You will see your desired information next to the partition style under disk information section. For better understanding, look at the screenshot.

2. Diskpart Command

select disk in diskpart command

It is another cool way to know about your disk partition scheme. You may already know about the diskpart command. By the way, Here are the instructions you can follow.

  • At first, Open the command prompt as administrator.
  • Now, Type the following commands and hit enter for each.
diskpart
list disk
  • You will see the star sign under GPT next to the disk name if that is GPT column. Otherwise, That is MBR.

3. Third Party Software

There are some third-party partition software that can show you about the disks, partitions on your PC in more details. From there, You can check GPT or MBR very easily.

How to Convert Between MBR and GPT

You may want to convert a disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa. Especially, When you can’t install Windows on your PC because of MBR GPT incompatibility, you need to do it. There are different ways that you can follow to change the partition style of your disk.

1. Using Command Prompt (With Data Loss)

You don’t need any third-party tools to convert disk partition scheme. The built-in command prompt on Windows 10 or any other windows is enough to do this task for you. If you want to know how to do it, follow these instructions.

  • At first, Open the command prompt as administrator.
  • Now, Run the following commands.
diskpart
list disk

Convert GPT using command prompt

  • Now, You will see the list of installed disks on your PC. Suppose, You want to convert disk 3 from MBR to GPT. In this case, Run the following commands.
select disk 3
clean
convert gpt
  • If you want to Convert from GPT to MBR, use the following command.
convert mbr

Note: It is a convenient way to change the partition scheme. But, Problem is, You will lose your date. So, Before getting started, you should back up your data somewhere else.

2. Convert MBR to GPT or Vice Versa without Data Loss by Using Third-Party Software

You can use third-party software to convert disk partition scheme easily. In fact, It is much more convenient. Also, Some software allows users to convert the partition scheme without losing data. In this case, Two tools are quite popular.

a. Convert without Data Loss Using Minitool Partition Wizard

It is a popular partition software available for Microsoft Windows. It comes with various features. One of the coolest features is it can change disk partition scheme without erasing your data. You can read: MiniTool Partition Wizard Review

To convert the partition scheme using this tool, follow these instructions.

Convert Partition Scheme using MiniTool Partition Wizard

  • At first, Install the software on your PC and open it.
  • Now, You will see a list of disks installed on your PC. Just right-click on the disk (for example disk 1) and choose “GPT Disk to MBR Disk” or “MBR Disk to GPT Disk.”
  • Then, Click on the Apply button on the top left corner.
  • Done.

b. Convert without Data Loss Using AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro

AOMEI partition assistant pro is another cool software that can convert disk including the system disk from GPT to MBR or vice versa. You can read: AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro Review

To convert using this tool, follow these instructions.

Convert MBR GPT using AOMEI Partition Assistant

  • At first, Install and open the AOMEI Partition Assistant on your PC.
  • Now, Right-click on the disk you want to change the partition scheme.
  • Then, Choose Convert to GPT Disk/MBR Disk.
  • A window may pop up and ask for final confirmation. Just, Click on OK.
  • At last, Click on the apply button on the top left corner.
  • Done.

3. Convert Using Command Prompt without Data Loss

This method is not suitable for all situations and everyone. You can only follow this method if your system disk is MBR and you want to convert it to GPT. You will just need to do following things.

  • At first, Open the command prompt as administrator.
  • Then, Run the following command.
mbr2gpt /convert /disk: n /allowfullOS
  • If it is not Windows 10. It is just WinPE, the command is different. In that case, Use the following command.

mbr2gpt /convert /disk: n

I usually don’t like this method as it often fails with showing various errors. You can either use the command prompt method with data loss or use third-party software.

I hope, These tips will help you to change your partition scheme in many situations. If you have any other better idea, you can share it in the comment box.