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Windows 7: How to convert GPT to MBR outside Windows ?

07 Sep 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
How to convert GPT to MBR outside Windows ?

Hello everyone,

I have an Asus K95VJ-YZ003D laptop which I want to install Win7 on. Actually, I already did install it, but to my surprise I was shocked to see it partitioned my 1TB HDD to GPT style instead of MBR. There's no option to format MBR or GPT when you install Windows, so I can't select what I want... it simply formats it how he wants and I don't want GPT (I have my reasons).
I checked and I have EFI BIOS... I read that this might be the problem, although I'm not sure. Can you guys help to enter in something like diskpart (only OUTSIDE Windows) in order to be able to delete all partitions and convert them to MBR?
I read something like "from your BIOS select to boot the Windows DVD without UEFI, press and hold SHIFT and then press F10 to enter diskpart". I did select to boot the Windows DVD without UEFI, but I don't understand when I should press and hold SHIFT, then F10.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2013   #2

Windows 7 x64

Having done this several times, I have observed the following: The drive is formatted by the Windows installation software upon installation. How the DVD is set in the bios determines how the Windows disk is formatted. If the bios is set to boot the Windows DVD as UEFI (the Windows DVD can boot in MBR or UEFI mode) then the installation software will initialize the disk as GPT. If Windows setup is booted as a normal DVD, then the disk is initialize as MBR. My experience has been that once the Windows system disk is created, it cannot be converted; you must reinstall to get the correct format. I have tried software to convert, and every time it failed; I ended up reinstalling to get what I wanted. In summary, how the bios is set to boot determines whether the system disk is eventually formatted as MBR or GPT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2013   #3

Win7 Ultimate X64

Can you post a shot of your maximised disk management window
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Sep 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


1) Downgrade to Windows 7.
Downgrade Windows 8 to Windows 7
Warning you must have the UEFI/BIOS firmware setting in Step Three set.

Make sure you read the NOTE at Step three.

2) If Using a USB Pen drive on a PC with a UEFI BIOS.
USB Pen drive need to be formatted to FAT32 as in
UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows
Take note of Step 11 for Windows 7.
Also you will need to use a USB 2.0 port, as there are no USB 3.0 drivers in Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

svukelich is right, depending on what optical drive type was selected in BIOS, Windows automatically installs GPT or MBR. I selected the non-UEFI DVD-ROM from BIOS, put in Windows DVD, deleted all partitions and reinstalled Win7... it's MBR now. Oh well, here I go again reinstalling all drivers and software
But I figured out something else as well. When booting from the Win7 installation DVD, after it loads all the files and the initial screen appears where you can select language and all... you can press Shift+F10 and a command prompt window will pop-up. From there you can access diskpart and convert the drive style from there or whatever you want.
Thank you all for your help!

P.S. As an offtopic side note, Asus is a bitch. The software DVD my laptop came with only installs automatically all drivers if it detects Win8... it doesn't install a thing for Win7, it doesn't even start the autorun software. I have to install every single driver myself because OF COURSE they are compatible with Win7, but the son of the bitches want to sell Win8.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP


Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

Understand the differences between UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS - YouTube

If you don't want UEFI which requires GPT formatting, then you can choose to Bypass UEFI to Install Win7 Normally.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to convert GPT to MBR outside Windows ?

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