Migrate MBR OS to GPT Disk without Converting Partition Style

Posted by @Cody

May 19, 2016

In order to switch to advanced UEFI standard, you can easily migrate MBR OS to GPT disk along with all the installed programs without manually changing partition style.

About GPT disk

As we know, Master Boot Record (MBR) disks can neither utilize disk space beyond 2TB nor create more than 4 primary partitions. To lift these restrictions, GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk was introduced in 2005. A GPT disk is associated with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which means a computer must have UEFI support in order to boot from a GPT formatted hard drive. Since UEFI is the relatively new standard to replace BIOS, some versions of Windows older than Windows XP will not work with UEFI boot mode. Only 64-bit version of Windows XP and Windows 7 allows you to set GPT disk as a system disk. If your computer and system support UEFI, it is recommended to migrate MBR OS to GPT disk to get the advanced performance. Since MBR disk and GPT disk requires different firmware to load system, it is a little tricky to move Windows system and all installed applications from an MBR disk to a GPT disk, but it would be very easy if you choose the right software to do this.

Free software to migrate OS from MBR to GPT disk

AOMEI Backupper Standard is free hard drive cloning software that can help you clone MBR hard disk to GPT hard drive with minimal effort. If your system is Windows 8 or Windows 10 or Windows 7 64-bit, which are supported to boot from a GPT disk, then you can directly clone MBR to GPT disk without changing the partition style. After the cloning, you need to enable UEFI boot mode, and then you can boot from the cloned GPT disk to experience all the advanced technology of UEFI. If your system is Windows 7 32-bit or other older versions, then AOMEI Backupper will convert the GPT disk to MBR to make sure the cloned hard drive bootable after the clone, and you will be prompted to agree to the disk conversion before it starts. Besides, it will not be a problem if the GPT disk is smaller than the original MBR disk. AOMEI Backupper allows you to clone large disk to smaller disk as long as the capacity is enough for the used space on the source disk.

How to migtrate MBR OS to GPT disk?

AOMEI Backupper provides Disk Clone for cloning the entire hard drive to GPT disk, and System Clone for cloning Windows system only. Be aware that all the data on destination disk(GPT disk here)will be deleted if you choose to clone the entire hard drive. For System Clone, users need to share a text message including “AOMEI Backupper” to a network site before you can use this feature. After connecting the GPT disk to your computer, then you can use the steps below to perform MBR to GPT os migration.

1. Free download the software and install it.

2. Within the software main interface, click “Clone” and select “System Clone”

System Clone

3. Select the GPT hard drive you want to migrate OS to as the destination disk and click “Next”.

Select Destination

4. Click “Start Clone” to start the cloning process.

Start Clone

While OS migration is in process, you can still do your work with this computer. When it finishes, you can enable UEFI boot mode and change the GPT disk as the first boot device to first boot the cloned GPT disk. AOMEI Backupper is also regarded as a backup and restore software, so you can also migrate MBR OS to GPT disk by backing up system and then restore to GPT disk.