Can I Convert My SSD (OS) Drive From MBR to GPT Without Re-Installing Win8.1?

Hello All,

I was playing around with this new program I bought called Paragon HD Manager.

I ran it on my laptop which is only about one month old and has two hard drives: a Samsung 830 SSD (for the OS) and an HGST Travelstar HDD (for data). I then ran the program on my desktop PC which also has two hard drives: a Samsung 840 PRO SSD and a Western Digital Raptor HDD. I immediately noticed one thing that was different between my laptop and my desktop PC.

On the laptop both hard drives were marked as Basic GPT, however, on my desktop only the secondary drive was marked as GPT. The primary drive was marked as MBR.

Here are some screenshots to demonstrate:

I have no idea why my desktop PC has a drive that is MBR and another that is GPT nor do I know why my laptop has both GPT. I never even knew about MBR vs GPT so I guess I didn't pay much attention. Also, whenever I install Windows 8.1 Pro (which I do quite frequently) I have never seen anything in the install process that asks whether I want to install using MBR or GPT.

I can only assume that it has something to do with the fact that my laptop is so new and my desktop is a couple years old. However, the SSD in my laptop (which is marked as GPT) is as old as the one in my desktop. I had it lying around and when I got the laptop I swapped out the original HD for that SSD, added a 2nd HDD, and did a clean Win 8.1 Pro install.

Anyway, I have 2 questions regarding MBR vs GPT:

1. I have done some fast Google'ing and from what I have seen so far it appears that GPT is better. Is it significantly better than MBR and should I convert it to GPT?

2. If I can convert my SSD to GPT will I have to do a brand new install of Windows or are there programs out there that can convert it for me without causing any major issues?

Thank you,

4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about convert ssd drive mbr gpt installing win8
  1. Best answer
    Hey tackyjan. You shouldn't convert your SSD to GPT if your computer is BIOS based, because it won't be able to boot from this drive any more. You can only boot if it's UEFI based with a 64bit Windows Vista or later. And also in your case I don't think you need to do that, because there will not be any significant advantages. But if you still want to try it, here's a link with info on how to do that:

    Hope that helps.
  2. That's the thing I don't understand... I don't think my ASUS N550JK laptop has a UEFI BIOS and yet both disk drives are GPT. My Desktop PC has a new MSI Micro ATX Motherboard (A78M-E45*) which has a UEFI BIOS and I have installed a fresh Win 8.1 OS after putting in the motherboard.

  3. Hmm, I think that for this model you should be able to disable/enable the UEFI in the BIOS. I don't think it is possible to boot from a GPT drive if it doesn't meet the requirements for a 64-bit Windows (Vista or later) and UEFI. Other than that you shouldn't have any problems with a GPT drive judging by the desktop computer's motherboard, as long as you have the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 Pro. But if you convert via any of the methods that are shown in the link from my previous post, please make sure you backup everything important just to be on the safe side if the worst should happen and you lose your data for some reason.

    Edit: But again... I don't think you should be bothered with converting the SSD to GPT. In my opinion it's just not worth it in this case. :)
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Motherboards Samsung Storage Laptops Windows 8 SSD MSI-Microstar