By Yuka / Last update September 23, 2021

User case

How do I fix Windows cannot be installed on this disk has an MBR partition table?

“My friend is having a problem and when he tries to install Windows 11 from an SSD, it says this "Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks". I looked it up and I just need to find a way to solve this error. So, if someone could explain step by step that would help a lot. Any help would be amazing.”

- Question from Tom’s Hardware

Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk MBR

Many Windows users experience such error above when they want to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. One important thing you should know before upgrading to Windows 11 is that Windows 11 requires your computer to start in UEFI mode. And UEFI mode only supports the GPT partition table. If your disk has an MBR partition table, you can’t install Windows 11 operating system on your computer.

MBR and GPT are two different partition styles. It mainly depends on your BIOS configuration whether you can use MBR or GPT. Old computers usually employ Legacy BIOS + MBR boot mode, while recent computers use UEFI + GPT. If you try to install Windows 11 on your computer, but the error “Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table” occurs. The solution to this problem is to convert the disk from MBR to GPT.

Make a Backup before MBR to GPT Conversion

In the next section I'll show you two ways to convert MBR to GPT. However, it is important to note that both methods can result in data loss, so make a backup of the disk before the conversion.

Here, I strongly recommend that you protect your data and systems with the best free backup softwareAOMEI Backupper. This software is embedded with multiple features including Backup, Restore, Clone, Sync, as well as other tools. It is simple and streamlined. All users can operate it smoothly, regardless of computer know-how. With this FREE software, you can:

Create System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and File Backup. If you fail to boot your system from the new disk or lose your files during the MBR to GPT conversion, you can restore from these backups.
 Create schedule automatic backup in daily, weekly, or monthly mode. If upgrade to higher version, you can enjoy Event-trigger backup and USB plug in backup.
Create backups to different storages, such as
backup to Seagate Personal Cloud, NAS, local disk, or external hard drive, USB/DVD/CD, etc. You can also restore files on/from these storages. For instance, you can restore files from hard disks, recover files from/on Synology NAS, etc.
Use it in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

The following is the graphical tutorial of making a copy of your disk via AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Under “Backup” tab, select “Disk Backup” to make a copy of your entire disk, including the operating system and all the data on it.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Click "Add Disk" to choose the source disk. You can set the task name to distinguish backups from each other.

Add Disk

Step 4. Then, choose a destination to save your backups. Here, it is recommended that you make a copy to an external hard drive, which can help you restore from system failure or recover lost files if you can’t install Windows 11 on the PC.

Select Backup Destination

✍Optional Settings:
✩ Options:
It includes comments, compression, splitting, etc.
✩ Scheme: It enables you to delete old backup images to ensure that there is always enough space to keep the new backup images (available in professional edition).

Step 5. Click the “Start Backup” button and wait for the process to complete.

Start Backup

How to Fix “The Selected Disk Has an MBR Partition Table” Error

As we mentioned above, MBR and GPT are two different partition styles. At the same time, Windows 11 requires your computer to start in UEFI mode, which means that the disk can only be in GPT partition style. So, when you encounter the error “Windows cannot be installed to this disk MBR”, you should convert the disk with an MBR partition table to GPT partition table.

Solution 1: Convert from MBR to GPT using Disk Management

Windows users can use built-in partition management tool—Disk Management to convert the disk from MBR to GPT. However, you should note that you need to delete the target disk first, which means that you will lose all the data on it. Use the software recommended above to make a full backup in advance.

  1. Right-click the Windows icon, choose Disk Management.

Disk Management

  1. After you open Disk Management, right-click the target disk, choose one volume and select "Delete Volume". Repeat this process until you have deleted all the volumes.

Delete Volume

  1. Then, right-click the MBR disk, choose "Convert to GPT Disk".

Convert to GPT Disk

  1. Wait until the process is complete. Your MBR disk is then converted to a GPT disk.

Solution 2: Convert from MBR to GPT with Command Prompt

As one of the Windows built-in tools, the Diskpart Command can also help convert MBR to GPT. This method is also data destructive, which means you will certainly lose data and partition on the disk. Therefore, you need to back up all critical files to a different hard drive and create a bootable device in advance.

  1. Turn off the PC and put in the Windows installation DVD or USB.
  2. Boot the PC from the bootable device you created before.
  3. At the Windows installation screen, press "Shift + F10" to start Command Prompt.
  4. Enter the following command in order and press Enter after each command to convert the MBR disk to GPT:

● diskpart
● list disk (list all disks connected to your computer)
● select disk 00 is the number of MBR disk, select the MBR disk you want to convert to GPT
● clean (delete all partitions existing on the target disk)
●convert gpt
● exit

Convert MBR to GPT Diskpart Command

After entering the above command, close the Command Prompt and continue the Windows installation.

Conclusion

I'm sure you can find the cause and solution to the error “Windows cannot be installed to this disk MBR” on Windows 11 in this page. Once resolved, you can securely install Windows 11 on your computer. And the best free backup software—AOMEI Backupper helps you protect your data and system when you have to convert MBR disk to GPT disk through Windows built-in tools.

What’s more, if you plan to perform Windows 11 free upgrade from Windows 10, you can also use AOMEI Backupper to back up Windows 10 operating system before upgrading. If the upgrade fails, you can restore the computer to its previous state. And it has other powerful features worth a try. You can use it to install Windows 11 to SSD with its Clone feature. Try and explore it by yourself right now!