Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style

When you clean install Windows 10 or 11 on your computer by booting from the USB setup disk, the following notification may be displayed:

Windows can't be installed on drive n partition n

When you click on the above notification, the following error message appears:

setup - windows cannot install gpt partition format

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.

The above error occurs if the drive you’re trying to install Windows uses the GPT-partitioning scheme, but the system has booted in Legacy mode. Legacy mode doesn’t support GPT disks.

You wonder how to resolve this error or if it’s possible to change the disk from GPT to the supported format — i.e., MBR.


Option 1: Change the boot mode to UEFI

If you have a newer computer with UEFI firmware, enable the UEFI-only boot option and turn off “CSM” support.

Enter the BIOS/UEFI settings on your computer. To enter the BIOS Setup Utility, you need to press a specific function key while the computer is booting. The required key is either F2, F10, or F12, depending on the make and model of the computer.

Here is the list of common BIOS keys by brand:

  • Acer: F2 or DEL
  • ASUS: F2 for all PCs, F2 or DEL for motherboards
  • Dell: F2 or F12
  • HP: Esc or F10
  • Lenovo: F2 or Fn + F2
  • Lenovo (Desktops): F1
  • Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter + F1.
  • MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
  • Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold volume up button.
  • Origin PC: F2
  • Samsung: F2
  • Sony: F1, F2, or F3
  • Toshiba: F2

Here are some references:

You may also consult the motherboard manual to know how to enter the BIOS/UEFI settings.

In the UEFI settings, change the boot mode to UEFI. If your BIOS settings page shows the UEFI-only option, select it.
UEFI-only vs Legacy BIOS boot option

  • Different motherboards have different BIOS settings. The boot mode option will be available under the Boot tab on most BIOSes.
  • Some BIOSes have the “UEFI and Legacy” (or “Both”) or “UEFI with CSM” option. Do not choose that. Choose “UEFI-only“.

Additionally, if your BIOS has a separate option for “CSM support,” please turn off CSM support. CSM or Compatibility Support Module is a feature that allows booting in legacy BIOS boot mode on UEFI systems.

Option 2: Convert your disk to MBR

If your system doesn’t have the UEFI firmware, you need to convert the disk to MBR format using Diskpart’s “convert mbr” command. However, the data on that disk will be lost.

For more information, check out the article Change a GUID partition table (GPT) disk into a Master Boot Record (MBR) disk at Microsoft Learn. In the Setup screen, press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt window. You can run the diskpart commands mentioned in the above article.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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