The selected disk is of the GPT partition style (Fixed)
One of the common errors user might face when performing Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10 clean install is “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” on target drive selection.
Fortunately, there are several easy solutions to fix that error and continue Windows installation without issues.
1. Use EFI Boot for Windows installation USB
Most modern PCs and laptops have hard drives and SSD with GPT partition style. But for Windows to be installed on this kind of drive, it should boot from installation media in EFI, not Legacy mode.
How to boot form Windows Installation USB in EFI mode:
- For Windows 8 and Windows 10 USB drives created with Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool you may use bios Boot Menu (you will see the key for Boot Menu on BIOS Post Screen) — there will be 2 entries with your flash drive: one with EFI label and the other without it. Select the first one.
- Another way is to disable Legacy Mode for bootable USB drives in BIOS/UEFI. On some motherboards CSM, Compatibility Support Mode or Legacy Support Mode stands for “Legacy”
- For Windows 7 installation one should use third-party software to create USB drive for EFI Boot. Rufus is the preferred one for most users. Important thing is that it will only work for 64-bit Windows 7.
After successful boot in EFI mode you will no longer get “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” warning and the installation will go smoothly.
2. Convert GPT disk to MBR format
Another way to fix the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” is to convert disk to MBR format.
There are two basic ways to make the conversion. The first is easy and you will not need anything but your existing installation USB, but all the data on that disk will be lost.
Convert HDD or SSD to MBR using Windows Setup (all data an all disk partitions will be lost):
- In Windows Setup hit Shift+F10 keys (Fn+Shift+F10 on some laptops) — it will bring command prompt we can use to convert gpt drive to mbr partition style. Type the following commands one by one.
- list disk (here you should see all attached drives, note the number for drive you’re going to install Windows on).
- select disk N (where N is the drive number from step 3).
- convert mbr
Then, close cmd.exe and hit “Refresh” link in “Where do you want to install Windows?” window. From here you can select the disk, now in MBR format and continue the installation.
Convert GPT disk to MBR format without losing data
If you don’t want to lose your data, there are third-party software options that can accomplish drive conversion to MBR format without erasing data.
My preferred solution is Minitool Partition Wizard Bootable, available for free download on MiniTool’s official website: https://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html (another one is Aomei Partition Assistant Standard).
Here are the steps to convert the drive to MBR without data loss in Minitool Partitioning software:
- Download the ISO, image it to USB drive with above mentioned Rufus software and boot from it.
- Select disk of GPT partition style
- Click “Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk” and apply changes.
One issue one can face when converting this way: if the disk has reserved system partition, Partition Wizard might show “cannot convert system drive”. In this case, you may delete system reserved or EFI partition and convert drive to MBR then (your data will be safe since it’s not on system partitions).
So, here are the fixes, use and share.