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


I was in the process of installing the newly 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 a 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 thumb - What to Do When Windows Cannot Be Installed on the GPT Partition Styled Disk

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 a backup before moving forward.


Diskpart  1 thumb - What to Do When Windows Cannot Be Installed on the GPT Partition Styled Disk

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 the 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.



  1. 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.


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