How to fix Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to fix Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition?

Hello. I recently wanted to reinstall Windows from scratch but encountered an unexpected error I have never seen before – it says that incorrect partition type GPT is used. I have no clue what that means, or why the error shows up in the first place. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this is a computer I have never reinstalled before? Please help!

Solved Answer

There are many reasons why users might want to install Windows – either they just purchased a new version, or they bought a new computer without an operating system. Unfortunately, this process does not always go as planned, and users are faced with “Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition” error.

Once the installation media is connected to the computer and is booted from, users are asked to select the drive they want to install the new copy of the OS. However, after clicking next, they are presented with an error that prevents any further actions. Typically, Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition error can be encountered when users attempt to install a new copy of the Windows operating system on a hard drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).[1]

After selecting the correct drive, they want to put the system files in and click “Next,” they are instead presented with the following popup message which informs that Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition:

Windows Setup

Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.

In other cases, users can also encounter the following message:

Windows Setup

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.

Without a doubt, the second version of the error explains much more than the first one – it basically claims that the selected disk partition uses MBR (Master Boot Record)[2] and that the OS can only be installed on the GPT ( GUID Partition Table) disk types.

Master Boot Record is a relatively old concept created by IBM in 1983 – a particular boot sector within the HDD (or SSD) that holds relevant executable code that is used to boot each Windows operating system. Nonetheless, some machines are using the UEFI system to process this data. Hence MBR cannot be used for the purpose due to its technical limitations. As a result, users can encounter “Windows cannot be installed on this disk” error.

How to fix Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition?

To fix the Windows GTP partition error, you either need to boot Windows in legacy BIOS-compatibility mode or reformat the existing partition to the UEFI setting. For more information, please check the solutions below.

In case you want to reinstall Windows due to system file corruption (for example, due to malware infection),[3] and can't install Windows due to GTP partition error, you can instead attempt to fix Windows system files first, so you could avoid the process entirely. For that, we recommend using an automatic repair software Reimage – it can replace corrupted Windows files with brand new ones from its internal databases, which stores more than 25,000 relevant and updated system files.

Step 1. Check your disk partition type

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First of all, you should check which type of hard drive are you using. Here is how to do it:

  • In Windows search, type in diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter
  • When Disk Management window opens, right-click on your Disk 0 at the bottom-left
  • Select Properties
  • Go to Volumes tab – the disk type should be displayed under the Partition styleCheck partition style of your disk

Step 2. Backup your data

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If you are not installing Windows on a fresh drive, you should backup your data before doing anything. In other words, you could lose your files otherwise. Please follow these steps:

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings
  • Go to Update & Security
  • Select Backup on the left
  • From here you have a few options available: if you have a second drive, you can use it to backup your files there. Alternatively, you can employ the built-in OneDrive if the data you want to save is no larger than 5 GB (of you can pay Microsoft to increase the storage space)Backup your files

Fix 1. Select the Legacy BIOS boot mode

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One of the easier ways to fix “Windows 10 can’t be installed on GPT partition” errors is by enabling Legacy mode via the computer's BIOS. Here's how to do it:

  • Reboot your PC and keep pressing F8, F12, Del, or another button (depending on your motherboard model) to access BIOS
  • Once in BIOS mode, go to Boot tab by using  button on your keyboard
  • Select Boot Mode and press Enter
  • Pick Legacy setting by using up and down arrows

In case you have the opposite problem, you should enable UEFI mode and then try to install Windows once again.

Fix 2. Use a different type of installation media

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Installing or reinstalling Windows nowadays became so much easier and more user-friendly than it was a long time ago. All you have to do is download Windows Media Creation Tool from the official Microsoft website and place it into DVD or a USB. For convenience purposes, we recommend using a USB that is at least 8GB large.

  • Go to Microsoft website and download Windows 10 installation media
  • Once downloaded, launch the installer by double-clicking it
  • Agree to Terms and select Next
  • Select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC and click NextCreate new installation media using UEFI mode
  • Pick USB flash drive (make sure you have USB connected to your PC)
  • Now follow on-screen instructions, and once the option to pick partition style shows up, select UEFI

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Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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