Windows Cannot Be Installed To This Disk
When you install Windows 10/8/7 on your computer, the Windows Setup program may ask you to restart it. “Windows cannot be installed to this disk.” It is a standard error that occurs during the windows installation.
Another similar error message, “Windows cannot be installed to this disk.” with “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.” It can be hard for non-technical users to understand what the GPT partition style and MBR signify.
What Are MBR and GPT Partition Style?
GPT and MBR are two partitioning techniques for hard disks. GPT DISK stands for GUID Partition Table, whereas MBR DISK is for Master Boot Record.
Master Boot Record (MBR)
MBR disk is the most common partition layout for managing disk partitions. Most users extensively use it since it is compatible with most operating systems. The partition table is found in the MBR disk.
On the disk, the partition table maintains information about the partitions. The partition number, starting position, partition size, etc. In addition, the MBR disk contains a small set of executable routines that aid in the OS startup process.
Only four partitions (maximum) can be created on an MBR disk. On an MBR disk, the total size of each partition is 2TB.
GUID Partition Table (GPT)
The GPT partition style is a modern disk partitioning technology. It determines partition structure by GUID (Globally Unique Identifiers). Because GPTdisk is part of the UEFI standard, UEFI-based systems must be installed on a GPT disk.
GPTdisk allows users to build an unlimited number of partitions with no size restrictions. Furthermore, the GPT disk has cyclic redundancy check values. Thus, it will enable us to validate data integrity and verify the integrity of the GPT disk header.
For example, if data is corrupted, the GPT disk can detect the issue and attempt to restore the data from another location.
Causes Of “Windows Cannot Be Installed To This Disk.”
The computer is set up to boot in legacy BIOS mode because the selected disk is not of the GPT partition style. The partitioning style on the hard drive where you’re trying to install Windows on the GPT disk.
Legacy BOIS is supported by some older motherboards instead of Legacy + UEFI / CSM Boot. Only an MBR disk can be used to install an operating system in Legacy BIOS. The older BIOS does not support the GPT partition style.
The Windows version you wish to install is GPT disk compatible, but the BIOS isn’t. The issue appears during Windows Setup. As a result, the answer to this problem is to reformat the GPT disk to MBR.
How To Solve “Windows Cannot Be Installed To This Disk”?
Following are some solutions to fix the error “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. And “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.”
- Convert The MBR Disk To GPT with Diskpart.
- Format Disk To GPT Partition Style with Disk Management.
- Disable EFI Boot Sources from BIOS
- Change The Boot Mode To Legacy
- During Installation, Delete Partition & Re-format
- Use A 2.0 Flash Drive For Installation
- Use Diskpart or Other Mode in BIOS.
1. Convert The MBR Disk To GPT with Diskpart.
You may also use Command Prompt and the Drive Partition command to change the disk partitioning scheme if you desire. It will delete any existing data on the drive and allow you to modify the partitioning style afterward. Follow these steps to resolve the problem and switch your system to the GPT partition style:
If you are installing windows, then Boot your computer from the Windows installation disc.
When your computer starts up, and the Windows Setup screen opens, press Shift + F10 on the keyboard at the same time. The command prompt window will open. Now follow the below-given instructions.
- To begin, navigate to your computer’s Start menu and run the Command Prompt as an administrator.
- Type “DISKPART” command into the Command Prompt window to load the Disk Partition Utility module.
- After that, type “list disk” to get a list of accessible disks and note the MBR disk’s identity.
- You can now choose the disk using the select command with the identification (like select disk 0).
- After that, run the “Clean” command, which will wipe the disk clean of all saved data.
- Once the disk’s saved content has been deleted, just type the command “Convert GPT.” It will convert the partitioning scheme from MBR to GPT in an instant.
2. Format Disk To GPT Partition Style with Disk Management.
Users can format the drive in the GPT partition layout to keep the machine in UEFI boot mode. You can use Disk Management, a built-in utility program in Windows, to help you with this. Follow the below steps to discover how to fix “The selected disk is of GPT partition style” on your computer:
- Open the Disk Management application on your computer.
- Press Windows + X simultaneously. Then select disk management.
- Alternatively, users can open the Run prompt and type “diskmgmt.msc” into it.
- You can traverse the UI and choose the existing MBR drive once the Disk Management application has been run.
- Right-click the MBR disk, choose “Delete Volume,” and confirm your decision.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the existing MBR drive from the system.
- After that, right-click on the same drive and select the “Convert to GPT disk” option.
- You can now confirm your selection and wait for the disk to be formatted in GPT format.
3. Disable EFI Boot Sources from BIOS
Suppose you want to avoid converting the disk and instead use a more straightforward method to get out of this difficult predicament. Your problem will be solved if you disable EFI boot sources. The steps to implementing this procedure are as follows:
- First and foremost, you must restart your computer.
- Continue pressing the corresponding BIOS key repeatedly.
- You can look for the key in the system’s motherboard manual. It is F2 or “Delete” on many laptops and desktops.
- Try to disable UEFI boot sources in the Boot Order section. After that, save the modifications you’ve made.
- Try installing Windows again after disabling EFI boot sources.
- After Windows has been successfully installed, you must return to the BIOS and re-enable EFI boot sources.
4. Change The Boot Mode To Legacy
Because the MBR partitioning style does not support UEFI boot mode, you must manually switch to the Legacy option. By changing the boot mode, you can resolve the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” issue.
- Start by restarting your computer and pressing the BIOS key
- It could be F2, F8, F10, DEL, ESC, or another predefined key.
- You’ll have to look through the BIOS until you find a setting that specifies the boot mode.
- It is usually available under the “Boot” tab menu, which will inform you what boot mode you’re using.
- You’ll need to convert the GPT disk partition to an MBR partition table if your boot mode is Legacy BIOS and there isn’t a UEFI option.
- Choose the option and save your modifications. You can now install Windows on the hard drive of your choice.
5. During Installation, Delete Partition & Re-format
During the Windows installation process, you’ll be asked to select which hard disk you wish to install the operating system.
- Select the partition you want to reformat
- Select the delete option at this point.
- If you have a UEFI system, you will need to create a new partition in the GPT format to install it correctly.
6. Use A 2.0 Flash Drive For Installation
If you want to utilize an external hard drive to install Windows on the system’s hard disk, a 2.0 USB flash drive is recommended.
You may boot from a 2.0 USB flash drive using MBR or Legacy. Users worldwide prefer to install Windows using a 2.0 USB flash drive since it is more efficient.
Modern motherboards can handle both UEFI and Legacy Boot modes when they are enabled. If you have any remaining uncertainties, you can check them in the BIOS.
For example, if you’re installing from a disk, you might get a notice on your screen that says, “Press keyboard key to boot from the disk.”
First, wait without pressing any of the keys. Then, when the message appears for the second time, press any keyboard key to choose the device you want to boot.
7. Use Diskpart or Other Mode in BIOS
You can delete the wrong partition using Diskpart, just as you did in the section above, for the GPT partition style error. Change the partition style to the suitable one. It would be turning it to GPT in this scenario. Replace “Type in: convert MBR [enter] to convert the drive to the MBR” with “convert GPT [enter] to convert the drive to GPT.”
Check your BIOS to determine if a combination of UEFI and Legacy BIOS modes is available.
Disable UEFI boot and install using the Legacy Boot option. You won’t have to convert your disk at all this way.
Why is it unable to install Windows on an MBR disk?
In theory, there are two types of Windows installations: legacy and UEFI. Legacy installation is for earlier versions of Windows (such as Windows XP or Vista) and supports MBR partitioning. If you try to install a legacy system on a GPT drive, you will receive the Windows cannot be installed on this disk GPT error.
If you try to install the UEFI system on an MBR drive, you’ll be prompted to format it with the GPT partition scheme instead. Aside from that, if your disk capacity exceeds 2 TB or you wish to create more than four partitions, MBR will not be able to handle it.
The system error message “Windows cannot be installed to this MBR drive” appears in the following cases. This is because the selected disk has a GPT partition style,” says the error message.
Which Firmware Supports Which Partition Style?
The windows error “Windows cannot be installed to this drive” comes in various forms. For example, “The selected disk is formatted with GPT” or “The selected disk contains an MBR partition table.”
Microsoft Windows can only be installed on GPT disks on EFI systems. To further clarify the relationship between the two, the firmware and partition styles are linked.
If you see the message “Windows cannot be installed on this disk,” follow these steps. Because your motherboard only supports Legacy BIOS mode, the selected disk has a GPT partition style. Because your BIOS does not recognize the GPT partition style, you can only install Windows to an MBR hard drive partition.
Convert MBR to GPT with EaseUS Partition Master
The error message implies that Windows is booted in UEFI mode. It requires a GPT partition-style system drive. Changing the MBR disk to GPT is the immediate solution to “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.”
We strongly propose using EaseUS Partition Master. It is a third-party powerful partition program that converts MBR to GPT without losing data.
- Right-click the disk you want to convert. Go to the “Advanced” tab.
- Select “Convert to MBR” from the context menu of the GPT disk you want to convert.
- In the top-left corner, click the “Execute Operation” button.
- After that, click “Apply” to begin converting the GPT disk to MBR.
Effects of UEFI/BIOS Legacy Versions on Windows Installation and Hard Drive Partitioning
Before your computer boots into your operating system, it starts up two pieces of low-level software.
Basic Input, Output System (BIOS)
BIOS is somewhat old. Because of its 16-bit CPU mode and 1 MB of executable space, it can only boot from drives that are less than two terabytes in size. As a result, it has problems initializing several hardware devices at the same time.
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
A more recent version of BIOS (basic input, output system). UEFI allows your computer to boot from larger hard drives. In addition, it has more security features, is easier to learn and operate, and startup times are faster.
Both of these low-level pieces of software are kept on your motherboard. One of the others, but not both, will be found on your motherboard. It’s what turns on all of your motherboard’s hardware.
It includes your hard drive using the Windows Boot Executable. Your computer boots into the installed operating system after your hard drive and CPU have been woken up.
Whether you want to install Windows on your hard drive depends on which version of the software you have (UEFI or BIOS). Because UEFI and BIOS only work with their respective hard drive partition styles, this is the case.
I hope you find our answers to be helpful. Fix the error “Windows cannot be installed to this disk.” with “The selected disk has an MBR partition table.” It happens during the installation of Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is UEFI better than legacy?
The successor to Legacy, UEFI, is now the most widely used boot mode. In comparison to Legacy, UEFI offers enhanced programmability, scalability, performance, and security. Since Windows 7, the operating system has supported UEFI, and Windows 8 now uses it by default.
What is UEFI boot mode?
All information regarding initialization and startup is recorded in an. EFI file on a dedicated partition called EFI System Partition by UEFI (ESP). The UEFI firmware looks through the GPTs for an EFI Service Partition from which to boot. The boot procedure employed by UEFI firmware is referred to as UEFI boot mode.
How do I fix “windows Cannot be installed to this disk the selected disk is of the GPT partition style”?
Open Command Prompt (shift+10). In the command prompt screen, type “diskpart” and hit Enter. Select disk #. Replace # with the number of the disc. Type “clean.” Press Enter after typing “convert MBR.” This command changes the disk’s format to MBR.
Why Can Windows not install?
If you see the message “Windows cannot be installed to this disk,” with “The selected disk is not of the GPT partition style.” Your PC is started in UEFI mode. However, the hard drive is not configured for UEFI mode. So you have a few choices: restart your PC In legacy BIOS compatibility mode.