How to Convert to a GPT Disk

Written by gabriele sturmer
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How to Convert to a GPT Disk
GPT disks support multiple partitions and larger volumes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When you add a hard drive to your Windows computer, you can configure the drive as either an MBR or GPT disk. An MBR disk works with all versions of Windows, allows partitions of up to two terabytes in size and supports up to four primary partitions. GPT disks, which only work with later versions of Windows, allow up to 128 primary partitions, but they require a special firmware interface to boot operating systems. If you want to take advantage of GPT's features, and your computer supports GPT, you can convert MBR disks to GPT.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Back up any important data on the drive you plan to convert to a GPT disk. Click the Windows "Start" menu button, then right-click "Computer" and click "Manage." Type your Windows administrator password if prompted.

  2. 2

    Click "Disk Management" under the "Storage" section in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window.

  3. 3

    Select the drive you want to convert in the list of volumes. Right-click any existing volumes or partitions on the drive and select "Delete Volume" or "Delete Partition." Click "Yes" on the confirmation prompt. Right-click your drive again and select "Convert to GPT Disk."

  4. 4

    Right-click the drive again and select "Simple Volume" to create a partition Windows can use. Click "Next" through all of the steps if you want to use the default values, or select a partition size, drive letter and file system during the steps. Click "Finish" at the end of the wizard to create your partition. You can now view your drive and use it for file storage in Windows.

Tips and warnings

  • Although Windows Vista and Windows 7 both support GPT disks, you should check your motherboard's documentation if you plan to boot from a GPT drive. This requires that your motherboard supports extensile firmware interface (EFI) and has the feature enabled.
  • Converting to GPT requires you to delete any partitions on the disk. You should back up any important data before proceeding with the process.
  • You can't use the GPT format for removable hard drives. These drives must use MBR.

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