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I bought a new laptop without windows. Now i want to install windows 8. I formatted entire hard disk (file format = NTFS) and then tried to install windows 8. When selecting the disk to install, the following error is displayed:

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. the selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, windows can only be installed to GPT disks.

What i can do?

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  • 1
    Windows setup should offer to repartition the disk (maybe under "Advanced" at the drive selection screen). Let it.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jan 30, 2014 at 18:00
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    Instead of MBR use GPT. You can use GParted to acomplish this.
    – Ramhound
    Jan 30, 2014 at 18:01
  • @Ramhound, how can do that? in cmd. because i can't go to windows. Jan 30, 2014 at 18:03
  • @BenVoigt, there are nothing like that. Jan 30, 2014 at 18:04
  • 2
    GParted is a Linux tool which you can get any number of ways. As already pointed out. Windows installer itself can also create the partitions for you.
    – Ramhound
    Jan 30, 2014 at 18:07

2 Answers 2

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Inside windows installer, hit Shift+F10 to get a command prompt, then run diskpart and select the target disk. Zap the drive (with the clean command), create GPT table (new gpt), create the GPT-EFI special partitions.

Step-by-step instructions provided by Microsoft here (For Windows XP x64, newer versions of diskpart such as included in your Windows 8 support all these commands and more)

Then reboot so the firmware finds those partitions and adds the disk to the EFI-native boot order (Windows installer checks this).

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As per technet.microsoft.com follow the below steps:

  1. Turn off the PC, and put in the Windows installation DVD or USB key. Boot the PC to the DVD or USB key in UEFI mode. For more info, see Boot to UEFI

  2. Mode or Legacy BIOS mode.

  3. From inside Windows Setup, press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt window. Open the diskpart tool:

    diskpart
    
  4. Identify the drive to reformat:

    list disk
    
  5. Select the drive, and reformat it:

    select disk <disk number>
    clean
    convert gpt
    exit
    
  6. Close the command prompt window. Continue the Windows Setup installation. When choosing an installation type, select Custom.

  7. The drive will appear as a single area of unallocated space.

  8. Select the unallocated space and click Next.

  9. Windows begins the installation.

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    Much better answer than the accepted one as diskpart is not exactly intuitive to use
    – Jeff
    Dec 3, 2019 at 1:37
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    It helped , but please take backup of whole hard driver as clean command will clear your hard drive
    – Saurabh
    Feb 1, 2020 at 15:40
  • 1
    I was helping my friend reinstall windows on the phone and we ran into this. This answer worked flawlessly. Thanks!
    – clav
    Jun 3, 2020 at 3:58
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    The "clean" command is ambiguous. Many users will not understand that, this clean will erase everything
    – partho
    Jun 16, 2022 at 13:23
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    This should be the accepted answer.
    – pfabri
    Aug 29, 2022 at 13:13

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