Windows 10: UEFI with MBR: Can I upgrade from Windows 7 to 10?

  1.    16 May 2016 #1

    UEFI with MBR: Can I upgrade from Windows 7 to 10?

    My Windows 7 Pro pc had BIOS on the motherboard, MBR on the 120GB SSD boot disk, and GPT on the 3TB HDD data disk. I was running out of room on the boot disk (and it was developing bad sectors) so I decided to switch it to a HDD with plenty of room (yes, SSD back to HDD.) So I cloned the boot disk to a new 3TB HDD. Of course since it's MBR, I can't access the entire disk. I also upgraded the mobo from BIOS to UEFI. So now I have these specs:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Rev 1.0 with UEFI
    Boot disk: 3TB MBR HDD with MBR
    Data disk: 3TB HDD HDD with GPT
    OS: Windows 7 Pro

    I'm considering an upgrade-in-place to Windows 10. The Windows 10 "assistant" says my pc is "good to go" but I'm concerned because it's UEFI with an MBR boot disk. Moreoever, I can't make use of the entire boot disk right now. I'm not sure how best to proceed.

    - Can I upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 as things are now, with UEFI on the mobo and MBR on the boot drive?
    - Are there good third-party tools to convert my boot drive from MBR to GPT without data loss?
    - Am I better off flashing the mobo back to the its old BIOS? (And just not using the entire boot drive.)
    - Is it worth investing in a larger SSD to use as an MBR boot drive? And just using the 3TB HDD as expansion space.
    - Is upgrading in place my several years old Windows 7 install a bad idea in the first place? (Should I just stick with 7 anyway?)

    Thanks for you thoughts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    16 May 2016 #2

    If it was my computer, I would use Macrium Reflect Free to make a backup image of the current Windows 7 to the other 3TB HDD. Then I would make myself a Windows 10 USB installation drive (or DVD):
    USB Flash Drive - Create to Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    Then I would capture the genuineticket.xml file using this procedure and save that to the other 3TB HDD:
    Clean Install Windows 10 Directly without having to Upgrade First - Windows 10 Forums

    Disconnect the 3TB drive that is GPT which now contains the backup image and the genuineticket.xml file. Make sure the MBR 3 TB hard drive is on the first sata port on the motherboard (Sata 0 or Sata 1 depending on how it is numbered). Boot the computer from the Windows 10 USB in UEFI mode. Once it boots and gets to the first screen, press Shift + F10 to get a command prompt. Run these commands:

    list disk (the 3TB MBR disk should be disk 0)
    select disk 0 (or whatever disk number the 3TB MBR disk is)
    convert gpt

    Then go on with the Windows 10 install. You will want to select the custom install option. You will want to pick the great big unallocated space to install to. Do not create any new partitions. Install the same version as your Windows 7 was. Click I don't have a product key when asked. A couple of more times you will be asked for a product key, click "skip" or "do this later". Let Windows 10 setup finish, create yourself a user account. Shut down computer.

    Reconnect the 3TB GPT hard drive, reboot. Make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the 3TB hard drive you installed Windows 10 to. Copy over the genuineticket.xml file to the proper folder to activate the new Windows 10. Install Macrium Reflect Free again. Use it to browse the image file you created to copy back your data files. Re-install your programs/apps.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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