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Windows cannot be installed to this disk.

Bit of background info... I've just replaced my mobo, cpu and ram in my old computer, was 32 bit cpu now it's 64 bit. Components are as follows:
MOBO: GA-Z170X Gaming 3. Updated BIOS to latest version - F20.
CPU: Intel i5-7500 (64 bit)
After backing up everything i want to keep, I downloaded a new copy of windows 10 64bit onto a USB drive then proceeded with the clean install.
I got a message saying that;
"Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks".
After scouring through some forums the majority of solved queries had the answer....
Go into your BIOS "Disable EFI boot sources, install Windows then go back and enable EFI again".
I've been right through my BIOS and can find no such selection...
Any help would be greatly appreciated, Cheers.
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  1. Best answer
    Answer to the "Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks" problem is simple. If you doing a clean install, and have backed up everything on drive, delete all the partitions on the drive and click next**. Windows 10 will create the partitions it needs (4 of them) and continue the install.

    Every version of Windows up to and including 7 used MBR partition scheme, Win 8 & 10 use GPT. The main difference is that GPT discs can be much bigger than MBR - MBR can only see 2tb, any more on a drive remains unseen. The largest GPT disc is so big it doesn't exist yet... every GPT disc can have 128 partitions, and every one of those partitions can be 256tb in size... we don't even have a drive the same size as 1 partition yet.

    When you install win 10 on a PC that has a UEFI bios (which yours does) it will insist on using GPT. This is where you are now.

    ** if you click next and it still refuses to work, close the installer, restart PC and run the installer again, some PC need to be restarted to make the changes.

    this could help with any other questions: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-windows-10-clean-install.html
  2. Thanks for the reply Colif, you make it sound so easy, as i'm sure it is for computer literate people...
    When I tried the clean install earlier off the usb i'm fairly certain there was no option for deleting partitions, and I don't think the windows disk management tool will allow it to be done on the disk that is running it???
    I'm sure i'm missing something..
  3. follow the last link I gave you, and do a custom install.

    I knew what was happening as 1 year ago around now I went through what you are. I didn't know anything about MBR or GPT, I was clean installing win 10 and I assumed that like every other time I had done it before on previous versions of windows, all i needed to do was delete 1 partition and reinstall on it. Nope, I got the error you did and was like.. huh? I was confused, a ssd that had just had win 10 on it was telling me it wouldn't let me reinstall it.

    It took me a while to work it out, I had thought I would need professional help to fix it but after 20 minutes I decided to try again, I deleted all the partitions and clicked next and it created the 4 partitions but I didn't notice they were new and deleted all of them except 1 and then clicked next. Win 10 didn't argue as obviously that 1 was GPT so it let me install onto it
  4. Colif: You may be correct about Win 10 needing GPT, but I recently did a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit, and when I look at the Device properties for my OS drive, under the Volumes tab, Partition style: it reads "Master Boot Record (MBR)".

    In Disk Management, my OS drive shows 2 partitions, one being 74.50 GB NTFS, and the other being 25 MB Unallocated.

    Regardless, I think your advice for the OP is valid.
  5. I didn't buy Win 8 so I am not certain about it tbh but if its like win 10, it depends on the motherboard and if you had the boot method set to legacy or CSM (terms change depending on makers). If its set like that then you can force a UEFI bios to install using MBR, its what you do to install win 7.

    I had 7 on here before I installed 10 and had no idea about this stuff. My Motherboard is set to auto in boot method so it can switch between both if need be. I only found out about that when I did the install - and from helping people on here and learning how it all works :)
  6. Maybe I just got lucky with the latest clean install. For the past 4+ years I was running Windows 8 Pro 32 bit, and I didn't make any changes in the BIOS for this install. My BIOS is still Award, version F3, date 10/18/2012 per CPU-Z.
  7. mjslakeridge said:
    Maybe I just got lucky with the latest clean install. For the past 4+ years I was running Windows 8 Pro 32 bit, and I didn't make any changes in the BIOS for this install. My BIOS is still Award, version F3, date 10/18/2012 per CPU-Z.


    I am not sure if you need the the 64bit version of 8 to use GPT so perhaps your BIOS is already set up to boot using legacy as that is what you had installed already with the 32 bit version
  8. That could well be. I haven't been into the BIOS on this computer for quite a while. My secondary drive is only 2 TB, so MBR should be fine.

    Didn't mean to hijack the OP's thread, but wanted to clarify your comment about Win 8 and GPT. I guess I learned something in the process!
  9. Colif, you are a legend.
    Your solution worked exactly as you said it would...
    Thank you very much for your help.
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