Yesterday While trying to Install a fresh copy of Microsoft Windows 8 on my Desktop PC via USB Flash drive I ended up facing a very frustrating and strange error specifying “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. the selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.” which surprised me a lot since this was the first time i have ever faced such kind of error while installing a new windows on my system. Therefore just because of this error “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. the selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI system, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.” I had to abort the whole installation process and had to lookup for possible solutions to fix this error and finally after a long search for few hours I finally end up finding a working fix for this error which I am going to share with all such users facing the same error while installing Windows. At most of the places on different forums, sites you will find only one solution that says for deleting all of your partitions and start fresh with installing Windows on these new partitions but honestly speaking this is not the way to get rid of this error because you will end up loosing all your important data and therefore this step is to be performed in the worst case scenario where every solution fails.
Note – This error is universal so can arise while installing any of the Windows Versions i.e Windows 8, Windows or Server 2008, 2008R2 etc therefore the below mentioned fixes are supposed to be work for all versions of Windows. In Windows 7 installation you might see a different error like “Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.” but don’t worry the solution is same.
Reasons for Such Error :
Such error arises mostly because of your hard disk partition configuration where your hard disk is having previously installed Windows partition or Current Windows Installation formatted with MBR and BIOS of your system is set to EFI/UEFI or your boot media DVD/USB is set to boot EFI/UEFI mode.
How to Fix Windows Cannot be Installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition ?
FIX 1 – Changing BIOS Boot Settings
The best and fastest way to get rid of this error is to go through your BIOS Boot settings and change the UEFI boot settings. What you need to do here is to temporary disable the EFI Boot source settings from the BIOS and to do so perform the following below mentioned steps.
- Restart your PC and Open your BIOS Settings by Pressing F10 or DEL or whatever is your key depending upon your Motherboard manufacturer.
- Go to Storage or Boot Devices -> Boot Order -> Disable EFI Boot Sources OR Just change your DVD Drive that you are installing Windows with from UEF to SATA or LEGACY MODE.
- Save Changes and Exit
- That’s it now once again proceed with installing Windows and this you will no longer face the same issue.
FIX 2 – Using GPARTED Partition Tool
Gparted is a very popular free third party application that is used for converting the hard disk partition structure, creating MBR, GPT Table creation or converstion etc and is very useful tool to try out if the above solution doesnt work. The whole step by step guide is mentioned in the below link.
FIX 3 – Using Command Prompt (Wipes all your Data)
This is the last method that you can try to fix this error “Windows Cannot be Installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition” and will 100% fix your issue but the only problem is that you will loose all your data so please TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND MAKE SURE TO TAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR CURRENT DATA
- At the Windows Installation Screen press Shift+F10 to Open Command Prompt.
- Type the commands one by one.
clean disk 0
- That’s it now you will see a single Unallocated large space partition and just proceed by installing windows normally by creating the partitions.