Fix GPT Error: Windows cannot be installed to this disk

This video & article will show you how to Fix Error: Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.

The old GPT partition style error! Must be close to the most frustrating and annoying errors I have encountered in my time working with Mac.
In this video on how to Fix GPT Error: Windows cannot be installed to this disk error message, I explain a few different ways to try and fix this error. However lets talk about the possible root cause of the error.

Most people myself included get this error when trying to install Windows on a Mac and seems to be caused by the hard drive not being configured for UEFI mode. If your Mac or PC is UEFI-based then to install Windows your hard drive must be set up as UEFI mode or legacy BIOS-compatibility mode.

GPT Error Message

If you want to know more information on this issue then you can the Microsoft reference on this link.
Windows Setup: Installing using the MBR or GPT partition style

For example, if you receive the error message: “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is not of the GPT partition style”, it’s because your PC is booted in UEFI mode, but your hard drive is not configured for UEFI mode. You’ve got a few options:

1. Reboot the PC in legacy BIOS-compatibility mode. This option lets you keep the existing partition style. For more info, see Boot to UEFI Mode or Legacy BIOS mode.

2. Reformat the drive for UEFI by using the GPT partition style. This option lets you use the PC’s UEFI firmware features.

You can do this yourself by reformatting the drive using the instructions below, or if you need to preserve the data, use a third-party utility to convert the drive to GPT format.

Ok so how do you fix it? Well you can try the options mentioned in the video, however I have found the best way to fix the issue was to backup my data in OS X.

Then do a Clean install of OS X.

And then try the boot camp process again from scratch. This process should sort out your hard drive partition type and resolve the issues with Windows not installing correctly on the disk.

56 thoughts on “Fix GPT Error: Windows cannot be installed to this disk

  1. Hey, i did everything as said in the video but i’m still stuck on the error message The selected disk has MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks. And even after formatting the partition the next button still doesn’t show up. Help please!

    I have a macbook pro mid 2012 15 inch

        • Hi Waddah Aldrobi
          I had this same issue and the only way I was able to resolve it was to reinstall OS X and then reinstall the Windows partition. If you find a way to fix please let me know.
          Good luck
          Matt

        • THANKS ALOT IT WORKING FINE
          ALMASOUDSHOWROOM@GMAIL.COM
          IF ANY BODY NEED ANY HELP JUST SEND ME EMAIL I WILL REPLAY U
          SOME NOTES :
          I MAKE 2 FLASH DRIVE
          FIRST ONE HAVE WIN 8
          SECOND ONE I INSTALL SUPPORT FILES FROM BOOTCAMP OPTION
          RUN NOTMAL BOOT CAMP AND MAKE SURE YOU EREASE THE BOOTCAMP PARTITIOM FROM INSIDE MAC AND MAKE SURE IT IS EXFAT
          HOLD ALT AND DONOT BOOT FROM WINDOWS FLASH DRIVE
          YOU SHOULD BOOT FROM IFT FLASH DRIVE THAT YOU MAKE IT WHEN YOU START UP BOOT CAMP AND EVERY THING IT WILL BE FINE AND NEXT BUTTOM APPEARE AND YOU WILL CONTINIO INSTALLATION NORMAL

          • HI AHMAD
            Thanks for the feedback. And I did mention this in the video. However sometimes it doesn’t work even when you do those steps 🙂
            When this happens the only way I could get it to work was to delete OS X and reinstall it.
            But thanks for helping out.
            Cheers
            Matt

    • Turn off the PC, and put in the Windows installation DVD or USB key.

      Boot the PC to the DVD or USB key in UEFI mode. For more info, see Boot to UEFI Mode or Legacy BIOS mode.

      From inside Windows Setup, press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt window.

      Open the diskpart tool:

      diskpart

      Identify the drive to reformat:

      list disk

      Select the drive, and reformat it:

      select disk
      clean
      convert gpt
      exit

      Close the command prompt window.

      Continue the Windows Setup installation.
      myway0099@gmail.com is my email if you need anything just let me know if i can be of help.

  2. I got this message: An error occurred while partitioning the disk. I tried installing again but still the same message popped up. I have a late 2012 macbook pro retina. Please help!

  3. Hi..

    I did every thin but when I need to install the windows into partition I have this error message

    “we couldn’t create a new partition”

    do you can find solution for this?

  4. I’m experience_MAN,in this case.
    1 I restart machine then see the selection menu to Install after I pressed OPTION key.
    2 I use to select the EFI HardDisk but I can’t press NEXT button after I formatted NTFS.
    3 I try again, I restart – and select the WINDOWS HardDisk, when I formatted HardDisk 0s4 to NTFS. I go through to press NEXT button, and Install-Finish.
    4 I use MBP 13″ Early 2011,Windows 10 Preview DVD,Windows support Software USB.

    • Hi Taple Plianpat
      IF you have tried all the suggestions in the video then the only way I was able to fix this issue was to backup the data on the OS X drive and reinstall OS X then Windows.
      Its a long winded way to fix the issue. But I know it worked after that.
      Let me know if you find another way to fix it.
      Cheers
      Matt

    • please help my my windows partition is not visible from the boot menu!!!! i don’t think i can download windows from the efi because no matter what i try i can never get it to work!! i have tried over and over for about a week and a half but i just wont freakin work if you can help me it would be greatly appreaciated

  5. hi , I’ve problem when trying install windows on my macbook pro 13 in mid 2012
    the problem said :
    we couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one.

    what should I do guys ??
    please help

    • HI mahartana92
      If all the tips in the video have not worked. Chances are you are out of luck. The only way I know of to fix this issue was to backup OS X and do a clean install of OS X and then a install of Windows.
      IF you find a way to resolve this issue, please let me know.
      Cheers
      Matt

      • hi guys , finally I’ve finished that problem ,
        let me share you ,
        I’ve was reinstalled my OS X yosemite , then tried the bootcamp again to installed windows 8.1 , but still got the same problem .I thought , it might be the problem occur from the disk I’ve used . so I tried burn my ISO file of windows 8.1 using DVD . Then bootcamp again .
        It works!!

  6. Hi I’m trying to install windows on my mac(MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012), 2,9 GHz Intel Core i7), everything goes right but when I’m in the installation process I get this message:
    “The selected disk has MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks.”
    Is there any way that I can fix this without loosing any on my data?
    I’m new with all this stuff so it will be cool if you could tell me what to do step by step 🙂 I will appreciate, thank you!

    • Hi Luc Fache
      Backup your data straight away and be very careful whose advise you take. The reason being is some people say that you can convert the partition of the disk and it does work but there is a chance you will lose your data.
      The only way I have been able to fix this issue is to backup your data via time machine to an external drive and reinstall OS X.
      Let me know if you want to do this and I can point you to the video guides.
      Cheers
      Matt

  7. Hello there,
    I am currently having the problem that my disk is not GPT so could you tell me how to convert MBR to GPT and another option you have stated is that to boot in LEGACY BIOS Compatibility mode but how do you boot in that mode?

    Regards,
    Emad

  8. This is really f****ed up case for me please help me i am getting this error again and again dont know wtf i should do.
    I tried every way from buying external DVD writer to buying the ISO image of windows .
    Please just help me to make the next button appear in the installation Profcess

  9. I really messed up. I used all my Mac memory for the partition and now I don’t have any Mac space and I can’t even get into my Mac anymore. It just boots to Windows 8 now. I don’t have any back up for my Mac. I just want to to know how to get back into the Mac side. And get some space for my Mac again can you pls help

  10. This works to me:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5474614?start=15

    SOLVED!

    I haven’t gotten anything useful back from Apple yet, but I found something on another thread that seemed worth a try. I managed to install Windows 8.0 x64 without any third-party tools or other foolishness. Here are my steps:

    1. Use Bootcamp to create EFI-bootable USB drive with the Windows ISO file.
    2. Uninstall any previous installations of Bootcamp, restoring the partition table to one big Apple partitition.
    3. Use Disk Utility in OS X to create empty space of the size I want my Windows partitition to be.
    4. Reboot the machine to the USB drive.
    5. Using the Windows Advanced partition options, create a new partition in the empty space. Windows will also create a small (128 MB or so) partition alongside it.
    6. Format the new partition using the Windows Advanced partition options.
    7. Proceed with installation onto that NTFS partition as before.
    8. Windows 8 installs!
    9. After installation, run the setup.exe inside the Bootcamp folder on the USB drive. This will install all the necessary device drivers.

    So, apparently, the problem is the partition created by Bootcamp. Maybe Windows setup wants to create its little extra partition but can’t because the disk is fully allocated. I’m not sure, but I am happy to have it working.

    I hope that this will work for the rest of you!

    • HI Javi
      Thanks for the feedback, I think it will work for some but in every case as the hard drives are already in the wrong format for Windows.
      Great find though! thanks again.
      Matt

    • It seems working following those steps:
      1. Use Bootcamp to create EFI-bootable USB drive with the Windows ISO file.
      2. Use Disk Utility in OS X to delete the Boot Camp partition and to restore only one unique Apple partitition.
      3. Use Disk Utility in OS X to create empty space of the size I want my Windows partitition to be (Just reduce the size of OS X partition.
      4. Reboot the machine to the USB drive.
      5. Select the free space unformatted new partition shown as free empty space as disk in which to install Windows.
      6. Click on Next button.
      7. Windows steup will continue with following steps:
      – copy Windows files
      – get files ready for installation
      – install features
      – install update
      – get finished
      it should work

    • Hi, I can’t understand what do you mean for 6. Format the new partition using the Windows Advanced partition options.
      How to get access to this feature?

    • The steps Javi mentioned works for me as well. But the problem is after installation some of the drivers in bootcamp doesnt support. And when i looked for it, says you have installed not in a correct path.

  11. Hi, Im still getting all the same issues, I have clean installed OS X 3 times now and still getting the same errors, the most recent being “Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of the installation. To install Windows, restart the installation” when it gets to finalising the windows install.

    Any Ideas?

  12. Hi Matt,
    I have tried as you said in that video but still I do see the same error. Is there anyother way to solve this problem other than re-installing OS X?

    Best regards,
    Anand A

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