The partition style of a disk determines how files are written and storage sectors on the disk are managed. It’s a complicated concept but end-users using Windows 10 rarely have to contend with it since the OS can be installed from, and can read/write to drives on both the MBR and the GPT style.
That said, if you have a disk that’s using the MBR style, and you need to convert it to the GPT style, you can do so from Command Prompt.
Convert disk partition style: MBR to GPT
To convert the disk partition style of a disk on Windows 10, make sure you’ve backed up all files on the disk and then follow the steps below.
- Delete all partitions on the disk (check out our guide).
- Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
- Run the following command to activate the disk partition tool.
- Run the following command to list all the connected disks. Take note of the number assigned to the disk that you want to change the partition style of.
- Select the disk you want to convert from MBR to GPT. Replace the number (no.) with the number of the disk from the previous command.
select disk no.
- If you haven’t already, use the following command to delete all partitions on the disk.
- Once the partitions have been deleted, you can convert the partition style from MBR to GPT with the following command.
Changing partition style of internal drive
When you try to run the above command on your internal drive, i.e., the one Windows 10 is installed on, you will be told it’s in use and the action cannot be performed. In order to change the partition style for an internal drive, you need to access it via Command Prompt from outside the Windows 10 desktop.
Before you start
- Everything on the disk is backed up, or your important files are all backed up.
- You have Windows 10 installation media available.
- You know how to change the boot order on your system from the BIOS.
Access Command Prompt
To access Command Prompt follow these steps;
- Open the Start Menu.
- Click the power button.
- Hold down the Shift key and click Restart from the power menu.
- When you boot, you will see a blue screen with different boot options. Select Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Command Prompt.
- Run the commands listed in the main section to convert the internal drive to GPT.
Changing the partition style of a drive is simple but since it does result in all data being removed from the drive, it can be intimidating. As long as you have a back up of everything important, there’s no way this can go wrong. Need to convert a drive from GPT to MBR? We’ve got you covered.