Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Trying to change over to GPT from MBR with recovery

  1. #1


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X

    Trying to change over to GPT from MBR with recovery


    I installed Windows 8.1 onto a new drive alongside a Linux distro and realized that I didn't specify a GPT partition. What I dreamt up in the meantime was to create a recovery image, use Windows disk manager to change the partition over to GPT, then restore the recovery image onto the new GPT partition? Is this possible by any means, even if it requires purchasing additional software? What is the best way (if possible) for me to do this? Thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    I wanted to add - the reason that I want to do this is because I just finished configuring the system, and it took some time to complete to my liking. I can start over, but I'm trying to avoid that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    It's not easy to do but there is a solution posted in this thread Windows 8.1 MBR Install, Wish to convert to GPT
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    Create a backup Image of the windows partition using Marcuim Reflect v6 Free > Macrium Reflect Free
    and save the image to an external source
    Reinstall windows using the windows setup media - Disable Legacy/CSM support in BIOS
    Or Rename "Bootmgr" to "Bootmgr.old" on your setup media to force UEFI booting only
    Once you get back into windows - reinstall Marcium and the Restore ONLY windows partition

    The windows media will setup your HDD and Marcium will restore your current Windows OS

    Then if you chose you can shrink the windows partition and create space for dual booting
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Create a backup Image of the windows partition using Marcuim Reflect v6 Free > Macrium Reflect Free
    and save the image to an external source
    Reinstall windows using the windows setup media - Disable Legacy/CSM support in BIOS
    Or Rename "Bootmgr" to "Bootmgr.old" on your setup media to force UEFI booting only
    Once you get back into windows - reinstall Marcium and the Restore ONLY windows partition

    The windows media will setup your HDD and Marcium will restore your current Windows OS
    Thanks. So, why would I not be able to just use disk manager to change the MBR partition to GPT?

    Nevermind. This is probably because it will be the drive I"m booted up on. Just thought I would ask because it would save considerable time.

    Then if you chose you can shrink the windows partition and create space for dual booting
    Ok. So even though I'll be messing with a different partition, Windows setup is going to destroy Linux as well? How convenient. Yet another reason to attempt bypassing the re installation process. Would I not be able to use this Marcium software to restore this partition as well, or will I have to redo the Linux install? It's not as big of a deal as Windows, but it would be nice.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    You are converting the DISK to GPT - not just a single partition
    When you convert the DISK it effects every partition and the partition layout
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    You are converting the DISK to GPT - not just a single partition
    When you convert the DISK it effects every partition and the partition layout
    Ok - makes sense now. I was thinking only the partition was affected for some reason. I think I'll give it a shot and report back with the results. Thanks for the advice!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    One more question - do I need an image of the reserved partition as well, to preserve my current installation? I downloaded the software. I'm going to image the Windows partition (and possibly the reserved partition), reinstall Windows with the CORRECT settings in BIOS (my sata was set to either/or rather than just GPT), reinstate the Windows image (and possibly the reserved partition) into the new Windows partition (and potentially the reserved partition.) I may also go ahead and image the Linux partition as well while I'm at it. When I resize the newly created partition, I SHOULD be able to just throw that image back on there as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    Didn't work.

    I followed the steps as I saw them. I make the backup. This part went without issue. It created several image files and I saved them to an external drive using the Macrium software. I then created a boot CD with the Macrium utility and reinstalled Windows forcing the GPT. I booted from the Macrium CD, chose to restore the image to the GPT DRIVE (there was no way to select an individual partition that I could find) and it did the restore. Now I'm left with a non-bootable drive. It will not boot in Legacy or GPT. After the restore was complete, Macrium reported the drive as it appeared that it should be - 4 partitions, with the restore information contained within the main Windows partition on the GPT drive. It will not boot, however.

    One interesting thing to note - there is a selection on the restore to "Replace MBR" that can be missed if you don't go hunting through the "Advanced Options" like I always do. I made sure that was UNCHECKED before I did the restore, since I didn't want the image messing with the nice new GPT that I just created.

    So now what shall I do? Did I make a wrong selection in the software somewhere? Is there a way to restore a partition image to an individual partition? I didn't see it. I can reinstall Windows 8.1 fairly painlessly now and attempt again, but I'm not sure that the results will be any different.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    Did you wait until windows completed until you got to User Setup ?

    You stated you have 4 partitions (WinRE tools) (System) (Reserved) (Windows)

    restore ONLY the OS partition

    If that does not boot after marcium restore - Boot from setup media and from the "Install" screen
    press Shift+F10 to bring up a command prompt and Type >

    C:\Windows\System32\bcdboot C:\Windows

    Assuming your OS partition is assigned C - that will write the boot files to the System Partition (Efi Partition)

    Be careful with the Marcium restore - I believe it selects the Boot partition in addition to the selected partition
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Trying to change over to GPT from MBR with recovery
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