I have a question I don't know a lot about hard drives so you're gonna have to work with me here.

Can I change my hard drive from GPT to MBR without losing data on it ?

Note that there isn't an operating system on the laptop which I'm going to do this on.

I'm going to boot from a usb and try to convert it.

  • You have to assume that data will be lost, so take a back-up first. – AFH Sep 16 '17 at 11:51
  • @AFH how can I make a back up if I can't boot the laptop ? – Mahmood Darwish Sep 16 '17 at 11:53
  • Converting is not possible. You have to remove the partition and create a new one. GPT is superior to MBR though, so I would keep GPT. One of the limits of MBR is the maximum size a partition can be. I believe 2 TB is its limit. – LPChip Sep 16 '17 at 11:56
  • If you boot a diagnostic disc or a Linux Live system, then you can back up from there. – AFH Sep 16 '17 at 11:56
  • Yes that's possible. But you have to delete the OS partition to proceed. Use any bootable partition manager e.g. link. – Biswapriyo Sep 16 '17 at 12:36

You can convert from GPT to MBR and MBR to GPT without data loss (I have tried that) with gdisk in linux.

Use at your own risk

Run command gdisk /dev/sdx with sdx as per your HDD partition

GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1

Partition table scan:
MBR: MBR only
BSD: not present
APM: not present
GPT: not present

Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format.
you don't want to convert your MBR partitions to GPT format!

Command (? for help): 


Enter w to write GPT partition on disk.

Press y to confirm your choice.


Enter r to enter in recovery and transformation options.

Enter g to convert GPT to MBR partition.

For Information

You can check table by command p.

Warning: You will lost your boot loader (Ex. GRUB)

You can check if your partition is GPT or MBR now gdisk /dev/sdx with sdx as per your HDD partition in Partition table scan

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