Ever since we were young, we have been told that one can create up to a maximum of four primary partitions or three primary and one extended partition on a PC. Although this was quite true till a couple of years ago, you can now have up to 128 primary partitions provided that you are using GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk.
There are two major advantages of using GPT disk over the traditional MBR (Master Boot Record) disk that we have been using for decades. Unlike MBR, GPT supports partitions larger than 2TB and it also supports more than 4 primary partitions. In fact, it supports a whopping of 256 TB per partition and up to 128 primary partitions.
Please note that you will able to convert your MBR disk to GPT only if your PC (motherboard to precise) supports UEFI (see how to check if your PC supports UEFI).
Even though it’s always a wise idea to create GPT disk when you install a new hard drive, it’s also possible to convert your existing hard drive to GPT. Although there are plenty of tools available for the job, the native Disk Management tool in recent versions of Windows is capable of converting a MBR disk to GPT.
The problem with Disk Management tool is that it deletes all your current partitions and volumes before converting a MBR disk to GPT disk, which also means that you will lose your data on stored on the drive. In other words, go for Disk Management tool if you have backed up your data and don’t mind losing the data on your hard drive.
Users who would like to convert a MBR disk to GPT without any data loss cab go for third-party tools such as AOMEI Partition Assistant.
In this guide, we will show you how to convert a MBR disk to GPT without any data loss using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard edition. Partition Assistant Standard edition is one of the best disk management software out there and offers plenty of tools to play with your drives.
NOTE 1: We recommend you backup all data from your hard drive trying to convert your MBR to GPT just in case!
NOTE 2: Please note that Partition Assistant helps you convert only data or non-system disks to GPT without data loss. In other words, you can’t use this tool to convert system disks (disks on which Windows installed) to GPT without losing data.
Converting MBR to GPT without deleting partition(s) using Partition Assistant.
Step 1: Head over to this page and download the latest version of Partition Assistant Standard edition. Standard edition is completely free and supports converting MBR to GPT.
Step 2: Once installed, launch Partition Assistant, right-click on the disk that you would like to convert to GPT and select Convert to GPT option.
Step 3: Upon clicking Convert to GPT, you will see the following confirmation box asking “Are you sure to convert selected disk from MBR to GPT disk?”
Click Ok button to confirm the operation.
Step 4: In the main window of Partition Assistant, click the Apply button to start converting selected disk to GPT.
Step 5: To check if the disk has been converted to GPT, right-click on the disk again. Convert to MBR option in the menu means that you have successfully converted the disk to GPT.