Disk Management – Windows built-in disk management tool by using command line, is a good assistant to deal with some kinds of disk management issues. You can use it to manage your disks on Windows XP/Vista7/8/10 with its syntax. In this post, we will introduce how to use diskpart command line to convert disk from GPT to MBR.
MBR is short for mater boot record and is the standard BIOS partition table. On an MBR disk you can create at most 4 primary partitions on the disk or three primary partitions plus one extended partition (there are only one extended partition on an MBR disk and it can be further divided into more logical drives). If you want to create more than four primary partitions, you are unable to do it on an MBR disk. Besides, MBR disks can only recognize up to 2TB hard drive capacity, if you want to use a larger disk, MBR is not recommended.
GPT is short for GUID partition table disk, which adopts the extensible firmware interface (EFI). GPT disk supports up to 128 partitions, and breaks the limit of 2TB volume for a single drive. Today many users want to employ GPT due to its unique features. However, sometimes, you need to convert GPT disk to MBR disk for some reasons.
Why convert GPT disk to MBR disk? some old operating systems such as Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 32bit do not support GPT partitions, and won’t recognize the GPT disk until you convert it to MBR disk.
As we have just said that there is a necessity to convert GPT disk to MBR disk, how to convert GPT disk to MBR disk is our next concern. Can we do that with Diskpart? Yes we can have it to help. Please follow the steps below:
Step 1: At Start, type “cmd” in the search box, right click the program and select “Run as Administrator”. In the command prompt window, type “diskpart” and press Enter to open Diskpart program.
Step 2: Type these command in order, each ends up with Enter key.
Select disk n (disk number);
For more information, you can visit: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725797(v=ws.11).aspx
See with diskpart, it is easy to carry out GPT to MBR conversion. Also, you can convert MBR to GPT with diskpart. But please keep this mind: you can only convert a disk from GPT to MBR or vice versa only when the disk is empty (with no volume on it). What happens is there are any volume? Then you will have to delete all of them at first and then carry out the conversion. And for data safety, and disk backup is necessary.
So do we have a better way to avoid this trouble? Again the answer is YES, and we need the help of partition magic alternative – MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition.
Step 1: Download the free partition magic, install and launch it. Then select the GPT disk that is to be converted and select “Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk” at the menu.
Step 2: Partition Wizard will show you the preview of this change. See the target disk will be converted to MBR disk, and all the partitions are still on the drive. If you are sure to do this, click “Apply” to finish.
You need to know that changing GPT disk to MBR disk require four partitions at most. If you have more than four partitions on a GPT disk, Partition Wizard won’t allow this change unless there are gaps between each partitions staring from the third one.