Installation Error: Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk

Installation Error: Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk

/ Sed Galope

There are various reasons why Windows cannot be installed on a drive, but they aren’t always clear. Thankfully, there are a variety of methods you may do to install Windows on your disk.

Let’s look at how to fix the Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk error while installing Windows and the various shapes it might take.

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What Causes the Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk Error

The Windows installation error “Windows cannot be installed to this drive” has several variations. Finding out which version of Windows you have will go a long way toward finding out what you must do to get the operating system up and running.

The error occurs when your hard disk partition style does not match your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) version. There are two iterations of BIOS: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and Legacy BIOS.

UEFI, which goes by its abbreviation, is a more up-to-date version of Legacy BIOS, dating back to the 1970s. Both versions are limited to a specific type of hard drive partition. When they don’t match, the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” Windows setup error appears.

How to Determine What Partition Style to Use

You need to read the second sentence of the error to determine what steps you need to follow to resolve this problem and what hard drive partition style you should have. The error message will tell you these steps.

If the second sentence of your error notice reads, “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style,” that suggests your computer has legacy BIOS mode. Because BIOS doesn’t support the GPT disk partition style, you’ll need to convert to MBR disk.

If the second sentence of your error notice reads, “The selected disk has an MBR partition table,” you will need to format the drive. If you see the message “On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks,” this indicates that the BIOS on your computer is a UEFI version. Only drives formatted with the GPT partition style will allow Windows to be installed on an EFI machine.

Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk Error Troubleshooting Guide

Ultimately, you can perform three main troubleshooting methods to fix the Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk error message. You can convert your disk to the appropriate partition style.

However, the troubleshooting steps depend on what error message you are getting. We will cover the common errors related to Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk.

Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk. The Selected Disk is of the GPT Partition Style

You are receiving the error message. The selected disk has a GPT partition style because the Basic Input/Output System mode, also known as BIOS mode, was intended to be the default configuration for your computer.

windows cannot be installed to this disk

However, the hard disk you are attempting to install Windows is partitioned in GPT based on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, or UEFI.

Converting the GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk to the Master Boot Record (MBR) is the only remedy. Follow these steps to resolve this problem.

  1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and then press “R.” Next, type “cmd” in the run command line. Hold both the “ctrl and shift” keys together and press enter. Click “OK” on the next window to grant administrator permissions to the Command Prompt.
control find cmd
  1. In the Command Prompt window, open the diskpart tool by typing in “diskpart” and pressing “enter.”
  2. Next, type in “list disk” and press “enter” again. You will see a list of disks labeled Disk 1, Disk 2, and so on.
  3. In the following line, type in “select disk X.” Make sure to change the “X” to the disk number you want to convert.
  4. After selecting the appropriate disk, type in “clean” in the following line and press “enter,” and then type “convert MBR” and press “enter.” You should get a message saying, “Diskpart successfully converted the selected disk to MBR Format.”
diskpart

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.

When your motherboard uses the newer UEFI firmware, Microsoft’s regulation only enables Windows to be installed on GPT partition format disks. To fix this, follow these steps.

windows cannot be installed to this disk
  1. Reboot your computer and repeatedly tap on the BIOS key on your keyboard. Please note that the BIOS key depends on the manufacturer/model of your motherboard. In most cases, the BIOS key would be F2 or the DEL key.
  2. Navigate to the Boot Mode or Boot Order Section and disable EFI boot sources.
  3. After performing the above step, save the changes before restarting your computer.
  4. Now try installing Windows with your Windows installation disk to confirm if the MBR partition style issue has been fixed.

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Using the Disk Management Utility to Convert MBR Disk to GPT

If your computer already has another copy of Windows installed on another disk, you can convert an MBR Disk to GPT using the Disk Management Utility on that copy.

  1. Press “Windows + R” on your keyboard and type “diskmgmt.msc” and hit enter on your keyboard or click “OK.”
diskmgmt command
  1. Right-click on the disk you will be converting and select “Delete Volume.”
delete volume
  1. After deleting the volume, right-click on it again and select “Convert to MBR Disk.”

“Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Hard Disk Space. The Partition Contains One or More Dynamic Volume That Are Not Supported for Installation”

You’ll get this problem when installing Windows on a dynamic disk. Only dynamic volumes converted from basic disks and kept an entry in the partition table allow users to perform a clean Windows installation. As a result of the lack of a partition table entry, the error occurs during the installation of simple volumes created from basic disks.

You can fix this error using either the CMD diskpart method or the Disk Management Utility.

CMD diskpart Method

  1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and then press “R.” Next, type “cmd” in the run command line. Hold both the “ctrl and shift” keys together and press enter. Click “OK” on the next window to grant administrator permissions to the Command Prompt.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type in the following commands and press “enter” after each command.
  • disk part
  • list disk
  • select disk # (replace # with your disk number)
  • detail disk
  • select volume=0
  • delete volume
  • select volume=1
  • delete volume
  1. Type “convert basic” once you’ve erased all of the volumes on the dynamic disk. You can exit Diskpart by typing “exit” once it has shown that it has successfully converted the specified dynamic disk to a basic disk.

Final Words

A computer can boot from either UEFI-GPT or BIOS-MBR. Whether you install using the GPT or MBR partition depends on the firmware of your device. If you get a computer that uses BIOS, the only disk type that will work for installing Windows is the Master Boot Record (MBR), but if you get a PC that uses UEFI, you should select the GPT instead. Depending on your requirements, if your system firmware supports UEFI and BIOS, you can choose GPT or MBR.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is gpt partition style?

The gpt partition style is a type of disk partitioning that allows for more than four primary partitions on a single disk. This type of partitioning is often used on servers or high-end systems where multiple partitions are needed. The gpt partition style is also required when using disks larger than 2TB.

How do i change a Windows 10 installation disk to gpt disk?

To change a Windows 10 installation disk from MBR to GPT, you will need to convert the disk using a third-party disk conversion tool. Once the disk has been converted, you will then be able to install Windows 10 onto the disk.

Does Windows 10 recognize GPT partition style?

Yes, Windows 10 does recognize the GPT partition style. This is because Windows 10 uses a newer NT File System (NTFS) version, which supports both MBR and GPT partition styles.

Should Windows 10 be installed on GPT or MBR?

To install Windows 10, one must decide whether to use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) or the Master Boot Record (MBR). GPT is a newer standard and offers advantages over MBR, such as support for larger drives and more robust data protection. However, MBR is still widely used and is compatible with older devices and systems. Ultimately, the decision of which to use depends on the specific needs and requirements of the Windows setup.

How do I convert GPT to UEFI?

To convert GPT to UEFI, you must first ensure that your computer’s BIOS is set to boot in UEFI mode. Once you have confirmed this, you can use a disk partitioning tool to create a new GPT partition on your hard drive. Once the new partition has been created, you can install Windows.

Which is the boot partition in Windows 10?

Windows 10 usually installs itself on the C: drive. This is the partition that contains the operating system and its associated files. The other partitions on the hard drive are used for storing personal data, applications, and other files. The boot partition is the one that contains the files needed to load and start Windows.

What is bootable USB flash drive?

A bootable USB flash drive is a portable storage device that can boot up a computer. The drive must be formatted with a bootable file system, such as the FAT32 file system, containing all the necessary files and drivers to boot up the computer. To create a bootable USB flash drive, you will need to use a utility such as Universal USB Installer or Rufus.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.