What to Do When Windows Cannot Be Installed on the GPT Partition Styled Disk

I was in the process of installing the new released Windows 8, and this pops up telling me that I cannot install Windows 8 on the selected disk.

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

What am I supposed to do, if I don’t want to pick other disk or partitions?

Here are two options:

Use Diskpart to clean up the disk

If you still have a Windows system running that still can access to the disk you were trying to install Windows 8, you can simply use the command line diskpart to clean up the disk.

1. Open command prompt as administrator.

2. Type diskpart

3. Check, and select the disk.

DISKPART>list disk

DISKPART>select disk n – replace n with the number listed from above command.

Diskpart #2

Noticed the disk 1 in the screenshot above that has the * in GPT column? That indicates that the disk 1 indeed is a GPT styled disk.

4. Clean up, after the disk is selected. Warning: this step will completely wipe out your disk clean. All data will be destroyed. Make sure you have backup before moving forward.

DISKPART>clean

Diskpart #1

Or, if you don’t have access to a Windows system, you can try to

Use Gnome Partition Editor

The infamous Gnome Partition Editor (gparted) is a free LiveCD partition manager that enables you to resize, copy, and move partitions without data loss.

Download the ISO images and burn it to either CD or USB (the tool mentioned here could help with writing image to USB), and boot it to clean up the disk.

Once it’s done, you can restart the installation process and will not have problems installing the Windows 8 to the selected disk that previously prevented you from installing to.

For more information about the GPT, which was introduced as part of the UEFI initiative, check out this FAQ.

  • Theo

    You don’t say how to use gparted…

  • Disappaointed

    WARNING!!! If you use the ‘clean’ command in diskpart, it will WIPE YOUR PARTITION TABLE MAKING ALL DATA THEREIN ENTIRELY INACCESSIBLE.

    If you have accidentally wiped your partition table based on Kent’s terrible ‘tutorial’, you can use TestDisk by CGSecurity, but you will have to hunt down the individual sectors that make up each of your erased partitions.

    This GPT issue is one that occurs when installing Windows 8 on an older motherboard that does not support UEFI.

    This ‘tutorial’ is less of a tutorial on fixing this problem and more about how to re-format a drive with a MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table INSTEAD of a GPT (GUID Partition Table).

    As such, the use of gParted – as Kent suggests – is to boot the gParted live cd, and once gParted loads, simply re-format the drive to MBR instead of GPT. Again, this will ERASE ALL DATA ON THE DRIVE.

    When I find an actual solution to this issue, I will try to post back.

    • http://about.me/kentchen Kent Chen

      Thanks for pointing this out. I should have put the big warning out making sure people are aware of this wipe-out result.

      Please do post back if you find a workaround that can convert without wiping out the data.

    • gizah

      errr it actually also happens on my UEFI system…..

  • Steve

    Wonderful, thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonisunavailable Jason McAllister

    I have a modern chipset (Z77) with UEFI but get this error exactly.

  • Y

    Thank you, that was really helpful

  • basie

    thank you man

  • kyla

    Great post, succinct and very helpful. Got me exactly where I needed to be. Thank you!

  • Diana

    thank you!

  • Jenn

    works like a charm…thanx kent.

  • Alex Park

    Wow, thanks man. There is a lot of talk about this problem but no one showed a clear solution the way you did.

  • nikos

    thanks mate.

  • Dave

    Worked like a charm thanks !!

  • Imani

    Thank you..things are good now..!!

  • Rudi

    Thank you very much! Greets from Austria!!!

  • Appu

    Thanks a ton dude..searched all over the net for a solution..your way solved took just 30 seconds.. AMAZING>>>thanks again..:)