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Converting drives from MBR to GPT overcomes the limitations of the older partitioning scheme, such as the restriction of a maximum of four partitions per disk and the limit of 2TB data space per partition.
Only convert data drives
However, if Windows is supposed to boot up from the disk, you are restricted to a particular partition scheme. Newer versions of Windows x64 only start from GPT disks on UEFI systems; in all other configurations, MBR is required. Thus, in most cases, you probably don’t want to convert boot disks. Doing so only makes sense if you accidentally installed a 64-bit Windows in BIOS emulation mode on a UEFI-capable PC.
Convert MBR to GPT in Disk Management
Even in this scenario, it isn’t enough to convert the Windows partitions to GPT because the disks on UEFI systems have to be partitioned differently. Hence, I recommend converting MBR to GPT only on data drives.
Direct conversion with MiniTool Partition Wizard
If you want to avoid the longwinded way of creating a backup, converting the disk, and then restoring the partitions, partitioning tools like the MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you out.
The tool supports a couple of disk management features, such as shrinking, enlarging, copying, or moving partitions. Among the new features of version 8 are the ability to convert NTFS to FAT and MBR to GPT.
Converting MBT to GPT is fairly easy with the MiniTool Partition Wizard. You just have to select the disk (not a partition!) and then click Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk in the left-hand sidebar (or the opposite option if you want to convert back to MBR).
MiniTool Partition Wizard
The task starts after you click Apply in the ribbon. You don’t need to reboot the computer.
Free home edition for private use
MiniTool Partition Wizard is available as a free Home Edition, which is restricted to private use and lacks some of the features of the commercial versions. However, the free tool allows you to convert common drives from MBR to GPT and vice versa. The Professional Edition supports the conversion of dynamic GPT drives and costs $39 USD.
You can download the tool from MiniTool’s website.
This text was translated from the German article Partition Wizard: Disks von MBR zu GPT konvertieren ohne Datenverluste