My new hard drive is in GPT, can I clone it directly?
Before we answer that, you need to know more about MBR and GPT. There are two different ways to save the partitioning information on a disk, Master Boot Record (MBR), which uses standard BIOS, and GUID Partition Table (GPT), which uses unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI). Therefore, you must make sure that your computer supports UEFI before you migrate MBR OS to GPT.
MBR disks have a 2 TB maximum disk size limit, which means it does not support disks with more than 2 TB disk space. MBR disks cannot have more than four primary partitions.
A more modern partition style GPT doesn’t have the limits that MBR disks have. Partitions on a GPT disk can be many, and much larger in size. MBR disks support both 32-bit and 64-bit system, but only 64-bit version of Windows or server versions can be installed on a GPT disk. On 32-bit system, GPT disks can be used as data drives.
When need to clone MBR to GPT disk?
Many users want to clone disk from MBR to GPT, for the advantages of GPT disks. Nowadays, hard disk drives are getting more capacity, and disks beyond 2 TB are often used in building computers, so many large hard drives or SSDs are initialized as GPT disk by default for making full use of the free disk space on a large drive.
Many people want to replace their old disk with a large hard drive with GPT partition style, but only to find that the old disk is an MBR disk. On this stage, many people would either convert the large disk to MBR leaving disk space beyond 2TB unusable or reinstall Windows and applications on the GPT disk. Both ways are cumbersome. There is surely an easier way to directly clone hard disk from MBR to GPT disk.
How to clone a hard drive from MBR to GPT disk?
AOMEI Backupper Professional is a disk cloning program for Windows 10/8.1/8/7 that is capable of cloning hard drive from MBR to GPT disk without converting the destination disk to MBR and the cloned drive will remain bootable as the original one. Before you do, make sure your system is 64-bit and your computer supports UEFI boot mode. To clone hard drive form MBR disk to GPT disk with AOMEI Backupper, you can either System Clone or Disk Clone. Let’s take Disk Clone as an example:
1. Install and launch this cloning software.
2. Click Disk Clone under Clone tab.
3. In the screen, select the MBR disk as the source disk and the GPT as the destination disk. Make sure there are no important files on the destination GPT disk, because the clone process will delete all data.
4. Click Start Clone to run the process.
The process to clone MBR to GPT disk will be running in the background, so it won’t affect your work with the computer.
Before you can boot from this GPT disk, you need to boot into BIOS and change legacy to UEFI boot mode. What's more, AOMEI Backupper is also regarded as a backup and restore software. You can also backup MBR disk and restore MBR system image to GPT disk to realize the purpose of replacing MBR disk with GPT disk.