Windows 7 Gpt Uefi Boot

Windows 7 Gpt Uefi Boot

Today let’s dwell on how to install / boot any modern version of Windows (including Windows 7 and Windows 10) on an outdated computer with a
firmware (that does not support the modern UEFI environment) with a hard disk that use a
GPT partition table. The need to perform such a trick has arisen when I tried to install Windows Server 2008 R2 on HP DL380 G8 server (HP DL servers do not support EFI yet) with local disks with a total capacity of more than 4 TB in RAID 5. In a kalimantang Windows installation on an MBR disk,
only 2 TB
are available in the system.. You cannot allocate or access the remaining 2 TB of the disk space for Windows. The only way to take advantage of all available disk space is to convert disk layout to

This article describes how to configure Windows to boot from a hard disk that is marked in the GPT partition table on a computer with classic BIOS (non-UEFI) or in the Legacy BIOS gaya. The Windows operating system can not boot from GPT disks on old BIOS systems. To work around this limitation, we will
Windows bootloader
(BCD) to a separate
small USB flash drive
(or HDD drive) with the MBR partition table. This flash drive will only be used to berangkat the Windows bootloader, which then must transfer control to the main Windows image located on the disk with GPT partition table. The instruction is universal and should work both in Windows 7 and Windows 10 and in any other supported x86 and x64 Windows editions.


  • Advantages GPT over MBR
  • Booting Windows from a GPT disk
  • Installing Windows on a GPT disk on a BIOS PC
  • Gptgen: Converting MBR to GPT without Deleting Partitions
  • Moving the Windows Bootloader to the USB Flash Drive

Advantages GPT over MBR

What advantages does GUID Partition Table (GPT), a new matra of table partitioning on a hard drives, gives? GPT allows to bypass a number of limitations of the classic MBR Partition Table. Let’s highlight the major points:

  1. Support for hard drives oper 2.2TB
    (maximum available GPT disk size is 9.4 ZettaBytes (9.4 x 1021 byte));
  2. Support for up to 128 partitions on the disk
    (only 4 partitions in MBR available);
  3. High reliability
    achieved by duplicating the partition table at multiple locations on the disk and verifying the partition table using cyclic redundancy check (CRC). Thus, the disk partition structure will not be lost if the first disk sectors are damaged;
  4. No need to use logical partitions
    subject to various errors.
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Booting Windows from a GPT disk

According to the official Microsoft documentation, all its OSs starting from Windows Server 2003 SP1 support volumes with GPT markup as the data disks. However, only 64-bit Windows versions installed on motherboards supporting the new UEFI specification (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) are able to boot from a GPT volume. Thus, it will not be possible to install or boot Windows from a GPT disk on older computers with classic BIOS firmware.

There are several workarounds that allow you to boot Windows 10 / 7 x64 on the BIOS computer from a GPT disk. To do it, you have to use a boot disk containing
(Developer’s UEFI Environment) emulating EFI. In this configuration, the BIOS starts booting from the installed SYSLINUX, which loads the UEFI emulator (DUET). DUET, in turn, calls the standard Windows bootloader – bootx64.efi. Also, it is possible to convert your disk into
hybrid MBR
mode (hybrid mbr) with the Linux tool

. However, in both cases the procedure is rather complicated and requires advanced knowledge of Linux.

Let’s note an important fact that you always have to keep in mind: it is possible to boot Windows x64 from a GPT disk only on the UEFI-based system.

Thus, if your PC is BIOS-based and you need to have a disk containing a GPT partition table, the easiest way is to add another MBR hard disk (standard or SSD), install Windows on it and then boot from this disk.

We’ll try to slightly modify this technique. To do it, we will need a small USB flash drive or an SD card (64 MB at least) with MBR markup, on which small Windows Boot Manager (bootmgr) is placed. This bootable USB flash drive provides initial boot and transfer control to the bootloader of the main system located on the GPT volume.

Your BIOS should support boot from a USB flash drive or an SD-card.

So, booting of any (both x86 and x64!!!) Windows version in BIOS-based systems (without EFI) is supported.

Installing Windows on a GPT disk on a BIOS PC

Suppose we have a computer with BIOS (not-UEFI firmware), which hard disk using a new GPT partition table. When you are trying to install Windows on a GPT drive of such a computer, the Windows Setup returns an error:

Windows cannot be installed to this disk the selected disk is of the GPT Partition Style

Windows 7 Gpt Uefi Boot

You can convert a drive partition table from MBR to GPT with all data loss by pressing
on the Windows Setup screen. Run the following commands:

select disk 0
if there is one hard disk in the system
clear disk contents
convert gpt
convert the partition table to GPT

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In this case, it is possible to install Windows 10 /8.1 / 7 to a GPT disk only in the UEFI kecondongan through UEFI emulation using DUET. But this mode can be used to install only 64-bit Windows versions, and the whole procedure is quite complicated as already mentioned.

Then, it is easier to install Windows to an MBR disk in the normal mode and after that convert it into GPT using

Gptgen: Converting MBR to GPT without Deleting Partitions

The Windows Disk Management snap-in allows you to convert an MBR disk into a GPT if it is unallocated or “clean”. You can’t convert a disk with an OS installed.

Note. In Windows 10 1703 (and above) there is a console utility
mbr2gpt.exe, which allows you to convert the disk partition table from MBR to GPT without losing data (see the article Convert MBR to GPT without losing data in Windows 10)

To convert a hard disk from MBR into GPT online, you can use a small tool
that allows to change the partition table dimensi on the fly without having to delete all partitions of the disk (without data loss).

Before conversion, we strongly recommend to copy all critical data to the different external drive. Though I have never seen a failure of the gptgen tool that results in the total crash of the file system, I do recommend all users to save important data before partition table conversion.

and unpack it to any directory (e. g., c:\tools\gptgen-1.1).

  1. Run the command prompt with the Administrator privileges;
  2. Run the command:
  3. Under diskpart, display all drives in the system:
    list disk
    diskpart check gpt disk status
    In this example, there is one 40 GB disk with 0 index (Disk 0) in the system. As you can see, this disk has a standard MBR partition table (GPT column is empty);
  4. Convert the partition table of Disk 0 from MBR into GPT using the command
    gptgen.exe -w \\.\\physicaldrive0
    While running the command, you will face a warning that the developers do not guarantee that you will be able to boot from this partition when the conversion to GPT will be finished.
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0 at the end of the physicaldrive shows that disk 0 should be converted.

gptgen.exe: Partition table converter v1.1

Boot: 1, Type: 0×7, Start: sector 2048, Length: 204860 sectors

Boot: 0, Type: 0×7, Start: sector 206858, Length: 83685636 sectors

WARNING: Boot partition(s) found. This tool cannot guarantee that

such partitions will remain bootable after conversion.

Do you want to continue? [Y/N] y

Writing primary GPT and protective MBR to LBA address 0…

Writing secondary GPT to LBA address 83786657…


gptgen online convert disk from mbr to gpt

Thus, the conversion of partition table into GPT has been successful!

Moving the Windows Bootloader to the USB Flash Drive

Restart the computer and make sure that the BIOS can not boot from the hard disk with the GPT table. Excellent! Plug in a small USB flash drive or an SD card. Boot from the Windows installation (DVD/USB) wahana with (suitable Windows 10 or Windows 7 installation image), and press
on the Windows Setup screen to open the command prompt:

Go to BIOS and change the boot pesanan so that your USB flash drive or SD card come first. Save the changes. If you have done it right, the system should boot correctly. You can make sure your Windows is located on the GPT drive. Open Disk Manager (diskmgmt.msc) and select system disk properties. In the
tab, you can see that the type of the partition table is GPT (Partition style –
GUID Partition Table).

windows 7 boot from gpt volume

This method of Windows Boot Manager transfer to a separate USB flash drive allows to use all GPT advantages and make use of the whole size of your hard disk (adv lewat 2.2 TB) in BIOS-based systems (without UEFI). This trick can be performed with the following (even x86) Windows versions:

  • Windows 10 / Windows Server 2016
  • Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2
  • Windows 7, Vista, Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2
  • Windows Peladen 2003 SP1 / 2003 (x64)
  • Windows XP x64

You also need to understand that every time you turn on / reboot your device, your USB flash drive with the MBR table and the bootloader on it must be plugged into the computer, otherwise Windows will simply not boot.

According to the available information, some models of older computers with BIOS cannot work with GPT drives at all, such disks are simply not recognized during CMOS.

Windows 7 Gpt Uefi Boot


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