Windows cannot be installed on this disk

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Windows

You encountered the message Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is GPT partition style probably because the disk you are trying to install Windows on is configured for GPT partition style . On the other hand, the boot mode is set to Legacy BIOS mode.

It is one of the most common installation errors, but you can get lost while trying to solve the problem yourself. So, from changing the boot mode to converting the partition style of the installation drive, here are the ways to quickly fix your error message along with why the message was displayed in the first place.

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What are the causes of this error message?

The error message Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. indicates that the computer was booted in Legacy BIOS mode, but the hard drive is partitioned in GPT style. It’s basically a compatibility issue between the boot system and partition style. However, we have listed some of the possible causes of this error message:

Why should I change the partition style?

Most computer systems these days already come with the ability to use UEFI boot mode. It provides faster boot time, secure boot, better recovery features, and supports a few zettabytes of storage devices. Therefore, it is best to use UEFI mode whenever possible.

However, to boot your PC in UEFI mode, you must have the drive set to the GPT partition style.

But if you are using a relatively old PC and it doesn’t have a UEFI function, then your only option is to boot the disk with MBR partition style.

Therefore, to fix the above error message, we can do two things:

  • Change the boot mode to UEFI
  • Convert the disk to MBR
  • Note: GPT partition style only supports UEFI boot mode, while Legacy BIOS mode only supports MBR partition style.

How to fix Windows cannot be installed on this disk? The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Unless you resolve the error message, you will not be able to continue with the Windows installation process. Before proceeding to the next fixes, you can check if your drive is GPT or MBR partition style. Then you can go through other solutions like using Command Prompt and other methods discussed in this guide.

Boot in UEFI mode

When the installation begins, if the PC is started in the wrong mode, the Windows installation will not initialize. Therefore, the PC must be in the correct firmware mode. To install Windows on a GPT partition style disk, you need to boot your PC in UEFI mode. However, the problem can arise when your disk is already set to GPT but you have booted your system in Legacy BIOS mode.

This is how you can boot your PC in UEFI mode:

Turn on your PC.

Press one of the function keys F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12 depending on the device manufacturer. If for some reason you cannot access the boot settings, you can check the correct key on the manufacturer’s official site.

Select the Boot tab.

  1. Select the UEFI option.“Windows cannot be installed on this disk.  The selected disk is of GPT partition style.” (Fix) – 3 – September 5, 2022
  2. Save the settings and exit.
  3. Continue with the Windows installation process.
  4. Convert GPT to MBR using Command Prompt

This method requires wiping your drive and converting it to MBR. If you don’t mind losing the data, you can proceed directly to the steps. But if the drive contains critical information, you should create a full backup before even following these steps.

Boot your PC using a DVD or USB drive.

When the error message appears, open Command Prompt by pressing the Shift + F10 key combination. If for some reason it doesn’t work, go back to the initial installation screen and press it again.

Type Diskpartand press Enter.

  1. Type List disk and press Enter. You will see a list of all the drives connected to your computer.
  2. Type Select disk #Y and press Enter. Replace # with the disk number you want to convert from GPT to MBR.
  3. Type CleanY and press Enter. This will remove all partitions and data from the selected drive.
  4. Type Convert more and press Enter. This command converts the disk to MBR format.
  5. “Windows cannot be installed on this disk.  The selected disk is of GPT partition style.” (Fix) – 5 – September 5, 2022
  6. Type exit when you see that DiskPart successfully converted the selected disk to MBR format.
  7. Close the command prompt.
  8. After changing the partition style, the disk will have a single unallocated space. Select the disk and click Next. The Windows installation should start without any error messages.

How to change partition style without data loss

Using a third-party partition tool, we can easily convert the disk partition style from GPT to MBR and vice versa. This method does not require formatting the drive.

However, if you change the partition style of your system disk, the system may not boot properly. In that case, you need to continue with the Windows installation process again.

Frequent questions

How to check if my disk is in MBR or GPT?

First, open Disk Management and right-click on the left pane of the disk you want to check. Then select Properties and under the Volumes tab, you can see the Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT) next to the partition style field.

Should I use MBR or GPT?

If your system supports GPT, go for it, as it is a better choice than MBR in many cases.

For example, if you have a large disk (say more than 2TB) and you want to create multiple partitions. With MBR you can create only four partitions, while with GPT you can create 128 partitions, which is more than enough for real-world use.

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