Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT. Which Way to Go?

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  1. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
       #1

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT. Which Way to Go?


    Need some guidance on my new build. Current Window 10 ver 22H2. I've purchased a new EUFI mobo and Samsung NVMe SSD for the OS. I need to migrate my older SATA SSD (MBR) from my current BIOS system to the new EUFI mobo which will use the NVMe SSD in GPT. I need to do this while maintaining my all my programs; I don't want to start over with a clean install. This question came up over 3-year ago when NavyLCDR provided instructions. That discussion starts in post #20 here:
    Looking for PCIe to SATA 3 Add-in-card.
    In brief, NavyLCDR's suggestion is to do a clean Win 10 install on the new system and then recover the C: partition only, from an image of the old MBR drive to the new GPT drive. In this way, Windows would properly create the new EFI and MSR partitions which don't exist in the same form on the original MBR SSD or its image. While NavyLCDR's advise makes good sense, a few things occur to me:
    If I follow NavyLCDR s suggestion, maybe I should also restore the Recovery partition from the original system to the new system drive. If not, the new system will be using a fresh recovery partition. Question 1: Will I lose recovery functionality I this event? Anything else I should know about restoring, or not restoring the recovery partition from the image of the original drive?

    There are a few different methods of doing this migration going around. One is found here: Restoring an MBR System image to UEFI-GPT - Knowledgebase 8.0 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase which uses Diskpart to manually create the new EFI and MSR partitions and then recover the remaining partitions from the image of the original drive. In my case the remaining partitions would be the C: and the recovery partitions. Another method is to use a Microsoft tool called MBR2GPT included in windows. Those instruction are found here: How to convert MBR to GPT drive to switch BIOS to UEFI on Windows 10 | Windows Central. To use the MBR2GPT tool, I would first restore my image of the original drive to the new NVMe drive and then use the tool to convert the NVMe drive over to GPT.

    So, what I have are three possible ways of proceeding. The method NavyLCDR suggested 3-years ago, the method that uses Diskpart, and the method that uses MBR2GPT. Question 2: Will all methods work just fine? Are any of these more reliable than the others? Are there any better methods to use? Comments?
    Last edited by tweakit; 26 Mar 2023 at 11:48. Reason: fix broken link
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  2. Posts : 16,587
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4046
       #2

    How to Convert Windows 10 from Legacy BIOS to UEFI without Data Loss - TenForumsTutorials

    @NavyLCDR

    There is also some guidance in
    What is needed to switch a laptop from Legacy to UEFI boot - ElevenForum
    How to Convert Legacy BIOS to UEFI in Windows 10 - Make Tech Easier

    Personally, I'd use the tutorial procedure subject to any advice NavyLCDR, Bree, Megahertz, ... posts.

    Best of luck,
    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 25 Mar 2023 at 17:21.
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  3. Posts : 31,235
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    tweakit said:
    .... I need to migrate my older SATA SSD (MBR) from my current BIOS system to the new EUFI mobo which will use the NVMe SSD in GPT. I need to do this while maintaining my all my programs; I don't want to start over with a clean install. This question came up over 3-year ago when NavyLCDR provided instructions. That discussion starts in post #20 here:
    Looking for PCIe to SATA 3 Add-in-card.
    In brief, NavyLCDR's suggestion is to do a clean Win 10 install on the new system and then recover the C: partition only, from an image of the old MBR drive to the new GPT drive. In this way, Windows would properly create the new EFI and MSR partitions which don't exist in the same form on the original MBR SSD or its image.

    I actually did just that to migrate my Legacy bios/MBR Windows 10 and its installed apps from my System One below to a new UEFI/GPT laptop, one that would be a supported device for Windows 11 and get offered the upgrade. Worked perfectly.

    Bree said:
    To convert from an Legacy/MBR install to a UEFI/GPT one I first clean installed Windows 10 on the new machine, then restored just the C: partition from my system image to replace the C: partition created by the install. The Reflect rescue media has a 'Fix Windows boot problems' tool which I then ran to create the correct BCD entry.

    On first boot up Windows spent a while sorting out new drivers, then rebooted to my desktop with all my files and installed programs intact and working.
    how to get apps and settings to a new computer?


    While NavyLCDR's advise makes good sense, a few things occur to me:
    If I follow NavyLCDR s suggestion, maybe I should also restore the Recovery partition from the original system to the new system drive. If not, the new system will be using a fresh recovery partition. Question 1: Will I lose recovery functionality I this event? Anything else I should know about restoring, or not restoring the recovery partition from the image of the original drive?
    The clean install on the new machine would have created its own recovery partition. You are just replacing the C: partition, so the recovery partition will still be there and available.


    There are a few different methods of doing this migration going around. .... So, what I have are three possible ways of proceeding. The method NavyLCDR suggested 3-years ago, the method that uses Diskpart, and the method that uses MBR2GPT. Question 2: Will all methods work just fine? Are any of these more reliable than the others? Are there any better methods to use?
    I used the same method as @NavyLCDR suggests. It's the simplest method and worked well. That migrated Windows 10 duly got its upgrade to 11, and its still working well to this day. I'm writing this on it
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  4. Posts : 4,445
    several
       #4

    Many ways to do it.

    manually create the new EFI and MSR partitions, a partition for windows and (optionally ) a recovery partition.

    (could use diskpart or 3rd party partitioner. I use diskgenius , takes about a minute at most )

    at admin cmd prompt
    reagentc /disable

    ( takes 10 seconds max )

    copy the windows partition to the target using wincopy .

    ( typically just a few mins depending on amount of data on the source and the speed of source and target disks)

    less writing to disk and no need for intermediate steps of image and restore.


    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy1.jpg

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy2.jpg

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy3.jpg
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  5. Posts : 16,587
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4046
       #5

    SIW2 said:
    copy the windows partition to the target using wincopy
    Wincopy looks interesting.
    I could not find a download link. Do you know where I can find it?

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 15,380
    Windows10
       #6

    SIW2 said:
    Many ways to do it.

    manually create the new EFI and MSR partitions, a partition for windows and (optionally ) a recovery partition.

    (could use diskpart or 3rd party partitioner. I use diskgenius , takes about a minute at most )

    at admin cmd prompt
    reagentc /disable

    ( takes 10 seconds max )

    copy the windows partition to the target using wincopy .

    ( typically just a few mins depending on amount of data on the source and the speed of source and target disks)

    less writing to disk and no need for intermediate steps of image and restore.


    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy1.jpg

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy2.jpg

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy3.jpg
    True enough, but things can get more complicated if mbr drive has logical partitions, as gpt does not use logical partitions.

    Also, sometimes I have found copying an existing C drive over the "sacrificial" C drive on the gpt drive does not always boot, and you have to repair the bcd (I use Macrium Reflect's fix Windows boot problems as that usually sorts it).

    As an aside, MBR2GPT actually works well in most cases, provided there are only 3 primary partitions on the mbr drive and no logical partitions, and you only have one drive being booted from. In majority of cases I have seen that do not work, it is usually one of these requirements not being met, and it is usually fairly easy to resolve.

    However, mismatches between ntfs cluster sizes can be an issue, but not that easy to resolve, in which case your solution or similar is the way to go.
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  7. Posts : 4,445
    several
       #7

    Try3 said:
    Wincopy looks interesting.
    I could not find a download link. Do you know where I can find it?

    All the best,
    Denis
    winntsetup_v530

    click the windows icon at top rt and select local windows installations to get to the wincopy window

    Migrate BIOS/MBR to EUFI/GPT.  Which Way to Go?-wincopy01.jpg
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  8. Posts : 16,587
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4046
       #8

    Thanks,
    Denis
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Windows 7 pro 64
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Many Thanks to all who responded. Very helpful information here! I expect to start work on this very soon and will follow up with the results. I'm likely to use the process that NavyLCDR suggested and I referenced in the opening post,... especially since Bree had good success with that approach. I also like it because the initial clean install of windows will provide a 'test bed' upon which to verify the new hardware before inserting any uncertainties that may arise from the migration to UEFI/GPT.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 524
    Windows 10
       #10

    ?? Itīs impossible to "convert legacy BIOS to UEFI". If the computer supports legacy BIOS, itīs already a UEFI computer. Legacy BIOS can be enabled or disabled, which is another thing.
      My Computer


 

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