Anyone attempting to install Windows is likely to have come across the message claiming the operating system can only be installed on GPT disks. This again might seem to be too cryptic, to the point of being a bit overwhelming as well. Nevertheless, the issue is quite simple to tackle so that a few quick tweaks is all it would need to set things right here.
Also, before getting to the bottom of it all, you will be better off having some idea of what GPT is all about in the first place, and the reason the error message is appearing. For the uninitiated, GPT or GUID Partition Table is, in reality, a partition structure and is the more advanced one at that.
No wonder, newer operating systems such as Windows 10 will only get installed on disks that have the GPT partition structure.
How to fix Windows can only be installed on GPT disks error?
1. Convert the disk to GPT from Command Prompt window
- Insert the Windows installation disk or the USB stick if the installation media is in a USB drive.
- Reboot your PC.
- When the Windows 10 installation window appears, press Shift + F10 to launch the Command prompt window.
- In the Command Prompt window, type diskpart and hit Enter.
- Next, type list disk and press Enter again.
- This will display on the screen details of your hard disk, such as the disk number, its status, size, available space, and most importantly if it has been formatted as per GPT standards.
- Identify the non-GPT disk that you will now have to reformat. Reformatting will remove all files from it, so you might want to back them up beforehand.
- Type the following command at the Command Prompt: select disk x where x is the disk number on your PC.Press Enter.
- Type clean and press Enter.
- Type convert gpt and press Enter again.
- Lastly, type exit and press Enter to exit from the Command prompt window.
- Continue with the Windows 10 installation process.
- When asked to identify the disk where you wish to install Windows 10, select the one that you have just formatted to GPT.
2. Convert the disk to GPT from right within Windows
- Right click on Start (or press Windows key + X on the keyboard) and select Disk Management.
- In the Disk Management window, right click on the partition and select Delete partition or Delete Volume.
- Repeat this step until you have deleted all partitions on the disk.
- After all partitions have been deleted, right-click on the disk and choose Convert to GPT Disk. The option to convert to GPT disks becomes available only after all partitions have been deleted.
- After the disk has been converted to GPT, right-click on it and select create partition.
- Install Windows in the partition of your choice.
There you go, a few quick and simple solutions that will help you with Windows can only be installed to GPT disks error.