Today I decided I want to install Windows 10 on a seperate partition, to test it out and have it on dual boot. So I cleared up some space at the end of the /home/ partition, made a bootable usb, and then, when I tried to install Windows to the allocated space, I got this error:

windows cannot be installed to this disk. the selected disk is of the gpt partition style

So I asked doctor Google, and he said, "oh what's the problem? just erase your entire disk".

So uh, this "solution" aside for a moment, is there a way to, like, not lose Linux in the process? Here's my current partition layout (courtesy of gparted):

enter image description here

As you can see, I have / and /home/ on seperate partitions, and I have cleared some 136GB for my Windows. What else do I need to do?

  • What about to install it in a virtual machine (VM VirutalBox)? Of course if you have an old HDD you can add to your machine and test Win10 on it... maybe can be interesting this article
    – Hastur
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:28
  • @Hastur I actually want to have Windows on dual boot, not just for testing, but thanks for the suggestion anyway
    – yuvi
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:30
  • How to say better then them... "Remember, trying out an early build like this can be risky. That's why we recommend that you don't install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything." signed the tender careful mum Microsoft :-)
    – Hastur
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:33
  • 1
    Here are two existing questions that might help one and two and just to be clear this is the reason your getting this error, as I said easily solvable.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 4, 2015 at 12:02
  • 1
    @yuvi - Sounds like you are using the compatibility mode. I don't agree that Microsoft is doing it the incorrect way though. I might agree the error is not helpful in the slightest.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 4, 2015 at 12:07

3 Answers 3


@yuvi, you've chosen a quite difficult path but it is doable. Multi-booting is tricky in itself and doing it across operating systems with only one disk drive adds two more layers of complexity.

Next time you contemplate it, consider this (some of which has been mention earlier):

  • Determine if your system is BIOS or UEFI based.
  • A Windows installation medium is typically dual boot: UEFI and BIOS
  • MOST UEFI computers can still boot using legacy BIOS mode with help of a Compatibility Support Module (CSM). The CSM can be switched on/off in many firmware.
  • The Windows installer is wired to bind system types to partition formats. If the computer is UEFI, Windows expects a GPT formatted disk and refuses to install on MBR formatted disks. Likewise, if a Windows installation is booted by a BIOS system, Windows is bound to install the OS on a MBR formatted disk.
  • The format of additional disks (data disks) is of no consequence. Windows will be able to utilise both MBR and GPT formatted disks.

Further reading: Sample: Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions by Using Windows Setup

It should be noted that Windows has supported GUID Partition Table (GPT) for well over a decade now. Windows XP was the first workstation Windows to support it and since then every successor has supported it. I'd ditch that 'handbook' that claims it is not so.

  • My question was posted a while ago, but it seems to gain traction. Eventually I solved this way back doing something different, but looking back I think this is the fullest most complete answer to the question given so I've marked this as correct
    – yuvi
    Aug 26, 2015 at 6:44

I am not sure how the Linux bootloaders work with VHD Boot, but the last time I worked with a Linux/Windows dual boot, the Linux bootloader handed off the boot process to the Windows bootloader when booting into Windows. As long as the Windows bootloader for Windows 10 is used to initialize the operating system, I see no reason why using a native boot VHD wouldn’t work.

Using Boot to VHD, you can create a virtual disk with the required partitioning scheme and boot even if the storage medium is incompatible with the system type. For example, on a BIOS computer with a GPT hard disk, you can create an MBR VHD and boot Windows from that MBR VHD, even if the storage is a GPT hard disk. See Enable Boot to VHD with BIOS and GPT for details on the workaround.

  • I have no idea what's a VHD Boot but to be frank I already wiped and installed everything from scratch. Ultimately it was the easier path I think
    – yuvi
    Feb 11, 2015 at 18:00

I have the benefit of reading the Gentoo Linux Handbook, so I have to tell you your problem is that GPT partitions don't work with Windows. The only way it will work is if you copy over Linux, format the hard drive using MBR and move back your copy. Otherwise unless Windows changes you won't be able to dual boot it without serious work. The other option is to get another hard drive but you might have to disconnect the other to get it to work, I haven't tried it.

  • I was afraid of this answer. Ah well, guess at this point it's easier to just cave in and wipe the damn thing, reinstalling Linux after Windows stops crying
    – yuvi
    Feb 4, 2015 at 10:13
  • The author's only problem is he doesn't have unallocated space. The process of dual booting Windows and Linux is not difficult. Honestly saying otherwise isn't all that helpful to anyone
    – Ramhound
    Feb 4, 2015 at 11:44
  • I’m sorry, but that’s wrong. Windows can use (and will even enforce) GPT when installing in UEFI mode.
    – Daniel B
    Feb 4, 2015 at 11:52
  • @Ramhound that's not true at all - I have made a partition with unallocated space and I have set up dual booting before, both of these are not my problem
    – yuvi
    Feb 4, 2015 at 11:57
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    @yuvi - I wasn't really addressing you just the author of this answer since they are giving you honestly bad information. Your problem can be solved.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 4, 2015 at 12:00

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