I want to know how to convert a SINGLE drive partition only from GPT to MBR without making any kind of changes on other drives which are in GPT. This means that no data should be affected on other drives except the one which I want to convert to MBR.

Actually, I have Windows 10 installed and I'm interested in installing Windows 7 on a separate drive partition, but the problem is that when I'm about to install on a separate drive, it gives me the error "The selected disk is of GPT style partition"

For this reason, I'm interested in converting that single drive into MBR to install Windows 7.

  • You cannot convert a single partition to GPT, you have to convert the entire disk, please edit your question to validate you understand the difference between partitions and volumes/disks/drives. Windows 7 x64 fully supports the GPT partition schema. – Ramhound Jul 9 '16 at 10:51

Let's be careful about drives vs. partitions. A drive is an entire physical storage device: a hard disk drive. A drive is something you can hold in your hand.

The storage space on the drive may be divided up into one or more partitions. Partitions are not drives, they are sections of drives. You cannot hold a partition in your hand.

GPT and MBR are drive-level partition table formats that affect the whole hard disk drive. It's how you tell your system what the partitions on the drive are, how big they are, and where they start and end.

The ancient partition table format from the 1980's IBM PC BIOS firmware era is MBR. The modern format from the 2000's Intel [U]EFI firmware era is GPT.

A drive could either have only an MBR table, or it could have only a GPT table, or it could be a hybrid containing both.

One form of hybrid is primarily GPT but has a "Protective MBR" or "PMBR": a fake MBR that tells non-GPT-aware software that the whole disk is allocated to an unknown partition type. This keeps non-GPT-aware software from thinking the disk is unformatted and trying to format it.

Another form of hybrid is a disk that has both a GPT and an MBR, where the formatting/partitioning software has tried to keep them both in sync. So MBR-only software learns about all the same partitions that GPT-only software learns about.

You can make a GPT-only drive into a hybrid, but since this concept is at the whole-disk level and not the individual-partition level, you can't make a single partition be MBR.

Partitions have a different set of formats, such as FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS, HFS+, and others. These are choices that affect individual partitions, not the whole disk drive.

  • Thanks for you great insight. So, it means I can't resolve that error while installing Windows 7 unless that whole drive is formatted and changed to MBR? – Anonymous Jul 9 '16 at 8:33
  • @GhostRider - Windows 7 supports GPT, why would you format the drive, if Windows 7 already supports GPT like Windows 10 does? – Ramhound Jul 9 '16 at 10:52
  • @Ramhound Thanks, and I also heard that but why it is giving such an error? I'm installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit with Service Pack1 – Anonymous Jul 9 '16 at 16:31
  • You didn't boot the Windows 7 media in UEFI mode. – Ramhound Jul 9 '16 at 16:32
  • @Ramhound can you please elaborate? How can I boot it in UEFI mode? Thanks a lot bro – Anonymous Jul 9 '16 at 16:33

There is possibility to convert drive from MBR to GPT by Windows Disk Management without any data loss. The opposite direction is not possible without data loss and reformating the drive (partitions are made as new).

On Windows you can convert drives both ways by using Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc).

If you have any problems doing that, use GParted from USB stick.

  • Will it erase all the drives even if I convert that single drive from GPT to MBR? I don't care about the data on that drive ONLY in which I want to install Windows 7 as the drive is already formatted. All my data is on other drives. – Anonymous Jul 9 '16 at 4:13
  • The conversion process to change GPT to MBR is a destructive operation to your data in most cases. – Ramhound Jul 9 '16 at 10:52

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