Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Out of my depth with re-partitioning for a clean install

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    windows 8

    Out of my depth with re-partitioning for a clean install


    I normally consider myself pretty tech savvy, but over the last couple of weeks my laptop has been seriously acting up and I'm at the absolute end of my technical knowledge. I have decided that with the number and variety of my problems I want to perform a clean reinstall but have now gotten stuck on that too. I would be very grateful if someone could bail me out on this one.

    First, specs and background, I don't think any of this is necessary to answer my main question and you can probably skip it, but I'll put it all out anyway. Problems are with a Toshiba satellite laptop, intel i3 processor, 4 gigs ram, 500 gb hard drive. Not a high end computer but I'm not a heavy user and it's only a year or two old. About 2 weeks ago it started acting up, blue screens mostly, with several different error messages. I did a lot of trouble shooting on my own including running checks on my hard drive and ram, both of which came up clean, I ended up doing a refresh on the laptop, that worked for a while before I started experiencing all the same problems. I escalated through a couple of other restore options all of which were cut short be error messages saying they couldn't complete. At this point, I want to try a completely clean installation of windows 8.1

    Now on to the question. I didn't have an 8 or 8.1 cd available, but I made one with the tool microsoft provides for that purpose and it seems to work fine. I have booted to the cd and started the installation but I'm stuck on the "where do you want to install windows" screen. I see 6 partitions listed as follows

    459 mb "recovery"
    260 mb "system" (now formatted and listed as "primary", hope I didn't screw anything up too bad by doing that)
    128 mb "MSR (reserved)"
    454 gb "primary" (there's a string of letters and numbers associated with this one that I can copy if needed)
    450 mb "recovery"
    10.5 gb "recovery"

    In addition, all of these partitions have an alert "Windows can't be installed to this disk, the selected disk is of the GPT partition style"

    I have never partitioned a drive before and always bought computers with windows already installed. I really have no idea what to do here. All my data and drivers are backed up and I have the product key from the current installation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by jt7724 View Post
    In addition, all of these partitions have an alert "Windows can't be installed to this disk, the selected disk is of the GPT partition style"
    Boot from the Windows installation media in UEFI Boot Mode, so you can use GPT (GUID Partition Table).

    Quote from this post: UEFI Boot Mode (installing using the GPT partition style) and Legacy BIOS Boot Mode (installing using the MBR partition style). -> link

    Tip   Tip
    Error message when you boot from the Windows installation media in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode:

    Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. (see screenshot below)

    That is because Windows can only be installed to MBR disk in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode, but you plan to install Windows on a GPT disk.

    - Boot from the Windows installation media in UEFI Boot Mode, so you can use GPT (GUID Partition Table).
    - But if you want to use MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table, then delete all partitions on the disk.

    Click image for larger version

    Error message when you boot from the Windows installation media in UEFI Boot Mode:

    Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks. (see screenshot below)

    That is because Windows can only be installed to GPT disk in UEFI Boot Mode, but you plan to install Windows on an MBR disk.

    - Delete all partitions on the disk, so you can use GPT (GUID Partition Table).
    - But if you want to use MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table, then boot from the Windows installation media in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode.

    Click image for larger version
    How to download and clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key. -> link
    Last edited by genet; 13 Nov 2015 at 13:26.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    If you are never going to use the factory recovery option and want to do clean install, you can delete all of those partitions and start with a clean slate. If you select "custom" install you'll get options to delete partitions and create new ones. I'd split the drive into an OS partition and a data partition. Don't worry about the system partitions, windows will create those automatically and put them in the correct order.
    Clean Install - Windows 8
    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2
    windows 8


    that was exactly what I needed, thanks so much
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Out of my depth with re-partitioning for a clean install
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