Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Accidentally formatted brand new HDD to GPT instead of MBR

25 Nov 2014   #1
TheGurw

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Accidentally formatted brand new HDD to GPT instead of MBR

Alright. So here's my giant-ass screw-up of the year.

I have a computer that is over 5 years old - essentially a stock Dell Studio XPS 8100 (desktop). The hard drive, which I honestly am not surprised about, gave me a warning that it was likely about to fail. Not being an idiot, I went and got a new HDD, plugged it in, formatted it (this is where I screwed up, as far as I can tell) into GPT, and made a full system image on the new HDD and a recovery DVD. Unplugged the old HDD, attempted to boot up and restore the image to the new HDD.


Apparently my motherboard doesn't support GPT, at least not for booting.

Now, of course my first step would normally be to plug back in the old HDD, reformat the new one into MBR, and rinse and repeat...but the old HDD chose that moment to fail (near as I can tell. BIOS seems to still recognize that it exists, but attempting to boot the computer up gives me the AHCI Port0 Error)

My question to you all is threefold:
1. Can I reformat into MBR without the system booted into Windows?
2. Can I do this without data loss? I have some things that I would very much like to keep.
3. If either of the above is a no, can I get a new motherboard that does support GPT and replace my old motherboard, and make my problems disappear?

And of course, if you all think I'm completely off my rocker with what the problem actually is, feel free to tell me. If you need more information or pictures, I can (probably) get them.

Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Nov 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheGurw View Post

My question to you all is threefold:
1. Can I reformat into MBR without the system booted into Windows?
2. Can I do this without data loss? I have some things that I would very much like to keep.
3. If either of the above is a no, can I get a new motherboard that does support GPT and replace my old motherboard, and make my problems disappear?

And of course, if you all think I'm completely off my rocker with what the problem actually is, feel free to tell me. If you need more information or pictures, I can (probably) get them.
Re question 1: I don't think you can convert from GPT to MBR on a disk with partitions. You'd have to use something like a Windows installation disk and go to a command prompt and use the "diskpart" command. I think after you delete the partitions there is a command "convert MBR" within diskpart that will take you from GPT to MBR. Then reformat.

Re question 2: I don't think so. You can go from GPT to MBR and back and forth, but not without losing the partitions and therefore the data.

Why do you need GPT at all? The typical reason to use it is because you have a drive in excess of 2.2 TB. MBR can't recognize above 2.2, but GPT can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2014   #3
TheGurw

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Re question 1: I don't think you can convert from GPT to MBR on a disk with partitions. You'd have to use something like a Windows installation disk and go to a command prompt and use the "diskpart" command. I think after you delete the partitions there is a command "convert MBR" within diskpart that will take you from GPT to MBR. Then reformat.


Re question 2: I don't think so. You can go from GPT to MBR and back and forth, but not without losing the partitions and therefore the data.

Why do you need GPT at all? The typical reason to use it is because you have a drive in excess of 2.2 TB. MBR can't recognize above 2.2, but GPT can.
Damn. Was hoping I could keep the data without a new motherboard.

As per the title, I didn't mean to make it GPT. It's only a 2TB drive, I meant to go with MBR, but wasn't paying close enough attention.

Any idea if I just get a new motherboard capable of GPT if it will work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Nov 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Well, if you get a new motherboard, you will likely have issues with the existing installation on the drive because that installation was done with the current motherboard---leaving aside the GPT/MBR issue. Not to mention that you may have Windows licensing issues if you have an OEM license. You can't willy-nilly swap motherboards under an OEM situation.

Somebody else may have another idea as I'm not expert on GPT/MBR issues. But I'd think easiest thing would be to back up your data to another drive and start over, deleting all partitions and going with MBR all the way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2014   #5
TheGurw

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Well, if you get a new motherboard, you will likely have issues with the existing installation on the drive because that installation was done with the current motherboard---leaving aside the GPT/MBR issue. Not to mention that you may have Windows licensing issues if you have an OEM license. You can't willy-nilly swap motherboards under an OEM situation.

Somebody else may have another idea as I'm not expert on GPT/MBR issues. But I'd think easiest thing would be to back up your data to another drive and start over, deleting all partitions and going with MBR all the way.
Unfortunately backing up my data to another drive is not an option, as all the original data is on a now fried drive, the new one with the full system image won't boot because it's GPT, and I don't have another desktop to work with. Oh well. I'll give this a few days to see if someone else can provide a solution, then I'll mark it solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2014   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Your best solution would be to get another HDD and have someone format it for you, then install it in the computer. Then you can get your data off the misformatted HDD and use it afterwards as a backup drive. You should have a backup drive anyway to avoid losing data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Accidentally formatted brand new HDD to GPT instead of MBR




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Accidentally formatted system reserved partition and window won't boot
Hi, Let me explain what happened briefly. When I tried to install my third OS in my laptop which is a linux base OS and I accidentally formatted system reserved partition and my second OS which is a linux base OS also. Since then, I can never boot window 7 professional 64bit which is my...
Installation & Setup
Accidentally formatted UEFI System Partition, now Windows won't boot.
Is there any way I can restore what was in that partition?
Installation & Setup
Accidentally formatted c: and unable to install windows due to GPT
I have bought a new Samsung laptop. Specs: Model - NP550P5C-S05IN Memory - 8 GB Hard disk - 1 TB SATA II Graphics - 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce I was trying to install Windows 8 enterprise. My lap was already running some basic version of Windows 8. I booted from usb and without reading the...
Installation & Setup
accidentally formatted all three drives, cant reinstall windows
i was trying to reinstall windows but have never done it before and messed everything up. i booted from an install disk and things seemed to be working but i couldn't add any programs, i saw that i had accidentally installed windows in the recovery C: drive and had no space left to add programs....
Installation & Setup
I accidentally formatted my hard disk drive .....
HI I accidentally deleted one my hard disk drive using "mini tool partition wizard"(still remained unallocated) , and immediately i selected partition recovery wizard in that software and scanned the entire hard disk and it showed the files exactly how they are in my formatted drive looks ..when...
General Discussion
Brand new computer, Brand new windows 7.. no wireless?
I just unpacked my custom build and got it turned on.. went to try and get the internet working, and for the life of me.. i can't figure it out. I don't even have a little wireless bar down in the right hand corner. when i try to connect to a network in network and sharing center, it wants me to...
Network & Sharing


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 13:47.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App