Windows 10: Partition Prerequisites for converting to GPT using MBR2GPT

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  1.    16 Nov 2017 #11

    The difference in startup and shutdown times will be at most 1 or 2 seconds. The enhanced security feature of UEFI is mostly secure boot which will only boot an OS that has the digital signature associated with it to define it as "genuine." Those "benefits" of UEFI over legacy BIOS alone just would not make it worth it, in my opinion, to mess with upgrading the drive to GPT partitioning and UEFI booting.

    Now, I have a bit of OCD. It would just bother me a little bit in the back of my mind to know my computer was UEFI capable and I was using a "compatibility mode" to turn off UEFI and be booting in legacy mode. So, only because of my minor little "disorder", which also means I don't like burned out light bulbs in my house either, I would convert the drive to GPT and UEFI booting. But I would do it manually and not use MBR2GPT. It is extremely easy to backup the OS partition (and any data partitions on the drive). Wipe the hard drive and set the blank drive to GPT. Create your own EFI System Partition. Restore the OS and data partitions. Then create the boot files in the EFI System Partition with the bcdboot command. Everything except the actual backup and restore of the OS and data partitions I can do now from memory in less than 2 minutes.
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  2. Posts : 66
    Win7 Home Premium & Win10 Pro in dual boot
    Thread Starter
       16 Nov 2017 #12

    Thanks for your replies folks.

    Cerebus -- I have seen posts elsewhere (not sure I could find them now but they are there) which say quite clearly that if you have a non-UEFI enabled graphic card your and you convert to UEFI your PC may not boot. I've also seen it said that you DO need a UEFI enabled graphic card. Now you come along and say the graphic card has nothing to do with it and I'm getting confused now. Please don't take that the wrong way but can you see why I'm getting confused. You say the graphic card has nothing to do with it -- so therefore you are saying I should have no trouble converting to UEFI mode with my old GTX260.

    Basically I've been told that BIOS is old technology and I could be better off with a system which allows up to 128 primary partitions per disk. What my aim is is to get up to date by converting to UEFI.

    NavyLCDR -- You say you would do the conversion manually rather than with MBR2GPT. I hate to ask this but since you know an awful lot more about it than I do, any chance you could detail the procedure with commands I'd need to use so I can make up my own mind as to which method to use.

    Also, could I ask your opinion re the graphic card question to help clear up my confusion on the matter? Can I use my old GTX260 or will I have to get a UEFI enabled card? Sorry Cerebus but I am so confused on this.

    Tracey
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,438
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       16 Nov 2017 #13

    @cereberus is absolutely correct. Look at my System Specs, I am using exact same model NVIDIA GTX260. So where ever info you get from is wrong.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 17 Nov 2017 at 10:33.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 66
    Win7 Home Premium & Win10 Pro in dual boot
    Thread Starter
       16 Nov 2017 #14

    Thanks topgundcp. That is a relief.

    Tracey
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 66
    Win7 Home Premium & Win10 Pro in dual boot
    Thread Starter
       16 Nov 2017 #15

    Hi All

    Having read all the responses to my initial post let me see if I have it straight in my own mind. To do the conversion (and my current Disk 0 layout minus Windows 7 is OK -- I've already checked that) I believe I have to carry out the following procedures in the order given:

    1. Backup the whole drive
    2. Delete the Windows 7 partition
    3. Convert all HDs and SSDs to GPT
    4. Run MBR2GPT to do the conversion
    5. Access the UEFI firmware and set to UEFI mode
    6. Reboot

    Regarding No.3 -- I believe that the OS disk remains as MBR as BIOS cannot have the OS on a GPT drive am I right on that?

    You know, thinking about it, there's seems to be an awful lot on this forum about converting to UEFI but it all needs to be brought together in one post or perhaps a PDF so that people can see for themselves exactly what you need to do to take advantage of the new technology. However, I believe it needs someone with an awful lot more knowledge about PCs than I have to do that. It's just a thought as it's been a struggle trying to find out what is needed and the order in which the procedures should be done. After all there is so much that could go wrong and you could finish up with an unusable PC if you DO get it wrong.

    Could someone please check the process I have given above and tell if I have gone wrong anywhere -- PLEASE?

    Tracey
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    16 Nov 2017 #16

    TraceyW said: View Post
    Hi All

    Having read all the responses to my initial post let me see if I have it straight in my own mind. To do the conversion (and my current Disk 0 layout minus Windows 7 is OK -- I've already checked that) I believe I have to carry out the following procedures in the order given:

    1. Backup the whole drive
    2. Delete the Windows 7 partition
    3. Convert all HDs and SSDs to GPT
    4. Run MBR2GPT to do the conversion
    5. Access the UEFI firmware and set to UEFI mode
    6. Reboot

    Could someone please check the process I have given above and tell if I have gone wrong anywhere -- PLEASE?

    Tracey
    Delete step 3. Step 4 will convert the system drive to GPT and convert the System Reserved partition (which legacy BIOS boots from) to an EFI System Partition (which UEFI boots from). After MBR2GPT completes that conversion, your computer will no longer boot in legacy BIOS mode. You will need to set the UEFI firmware to boot in UEFI mode before the computer will boot into the OS again.

    After the system drive is converted to GPT and is booting in UEFI mode, then you can convert the other physical drives to GPT if you want to using third party partitioning programs like MiniTool Partition Wizard or AEOMI Partition Assistant.

    After you backup your drive, presumably with a program like Macrium Reflect, make sure to also create the rescue drive (USB flash drive) with the same program so that you can boot the computer from that to restore the backup image if you need to. The rescue drive should be bootable in both legacy BIOS and UEFI modes.

    I'll work on the steps to do the conversion manually and setting up your own EFI System Partition from scratch. I'm going to make a backup of my computer and do it myself to make sure I get the steps correct.
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  7. Posts : 66
    Win7 Home Premium & Win10 Pro in dual boot
    Thread Starter
       16 Nov 2017 #17

    From what you are saying, if you can convert non-OS disks to GPT after conversion I assume that UEFI will read MBR disks.

    What I gather you are saying is that the following is the procedure to adopt using MBR2GPT:

    1. Backup the whole drive
    2. Delete the Windows 7 partition
    3. Run MBR2GPT to do the conversion This converts the OS disk to GPT
    4. Access the UEFI firmware and set to UEFI mode
    5. Reboot
    6. Convert all remaining HDs and SSDs to GPT

    I'll hang fire before trying anything to see what you would recommend re doing things manually. As far as the Mobo settings are concerned (and I've not mentioned them so far) -- I seem to have only some (perhaps only one) of the expected options as follows (its a Gigabyte Z97P-D3) showing the default settings after the double dash:

    Boot Mode Selection -- UEFI and Legacy
    LanPXE Boot Option ROM -- Disabled
    Storage Boot Option Control -- Legacy Only
    Other PCI Device ROM Priority -- UEFI OpROM
    Network Stack -- Disabled

    Any idea how these should be set. There is no CSM or Secure Boot options that I can set , at least, not that I've found them yet!!!
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  8.    16 Nov 2017 #18

    Here's the recommendations from Microsoft:
    UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs

    My steps will not create any recovery partition, and will delete all existing recovery partitions. That's just something to be aware of. The next time your computer does a major build upgrade of Windows 10, such as the Fall Creator's Update, it will likely recreate the recovery environment, either by making a new recovery partition or by inserting into a hidden/system folder C:\Recovery. I've got my system image backup made of Macrium Reflect Free of my entire SSD. Now I'm going to boot into Macrium Rescue Environment and wipe my SSD, create the required partitions with GPT partitioning on the SSD. Restore my OS partition and create the boot files

    Be back in a couple hours!

    TraceyW said: View Post
    Boot Mode Selection -- UEFI and Legacy
    LanPXE Boot Option ROM -- Disabled
    Storage Boot Option Control -- Legacy Only
    Other PCI Device ROM Priority -- UEFI OpROM
    Network Stack -- Disabled

    Any idea how these should be set. There is no CSM or Secure Boot options that I can set , at least, not that I've found them yet!!!
    I think you can leave those set just the way they are. CSM option is the same as the Legacy option under Boot Mode Selection. You won't have Secure Boot available unless you set Boot Mode Selection to UEFI only.
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  9.    16 Nov 2017 #19

    Note to self...always verify the backup file. I went to restore the backup file I had created for this project, and it was corrupt. :-( So, now I'm posting a fresh, clean install of Windows 10 on my desktop computer.

    Create a disk image backup of your existing HDD - mine is an SSD. And VERIFY the backup image!
    Then boot from Macrium Reflect Rescue media - either a USB flash drive, or the boot menu rescue option if you created it.
    In the lower left of the task bar is an icon for command prompt. Click on that to open a command prompt.
    Run the following commands:

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # <- replace # with the actual number of the system drive you want to convert and restore. Probably 0.
    clean <- this will erase the physical drive selected above. Make sure it is the correct drive!
    convert gpt
    create part efi size=100
    format fs=fat32 quick
    assign letter=t
    create part msr size=16
    exit
    exit

    Now you should be back in Macrium Reflect. Click on the Disk Image tab. Then View in the menu, and Refresh. Then click back on the Restore tab. Now select the image file you created, click on the option to restore in the menus to the right of the image file name. In the bottom half of the screen should now be something like select target drive, click on that. Select you system disk, which should now be showing the EFI system partition you created, the MSR partition, and unallocated space after that. Drag and drop your OS partition ONLY from the image file to the unallocated space on the system disk. Click the finish button or whatever button it is to do the restore operation.

    After the restore is complete, make a note of the drive letter that was assigned to the destination partition. It should be C:. Click the Command Prompt icon again and run:

    bcdboot C:\Windows /s T: /F UEFI

    The drive letter in red is whatever Macrium assigned to the restored partition.

    Now restart your computer and make sure to "spam" (repeatedly press) whatever key you need to to get into your UEFI settings. You might have to re-adjust your boot priority list to put "Windows Boot Manager" on your system drive back to the top of the list. Then restart and you should boot into your previous Windows installation.
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  10. Posts : 66
    Win7 Home Premium & Win10 Pro in dual boot
    Thread Starter
       16 Nov 2017 #20

    Thanks for the info NavyLCDR. Very much appreciated.

    Sorry to hear of your problem with your Macrium backup. I too use Macrium and so far the number of times I've needed to access a backup have been few and far between. So far I've been lucky. However, I will take note of your caution and verify my backups in future. Good luck with your reinstall.

    As for the process you adopt to manually create a UEFI system I think I follow all the commands and would not be averse to doing it that way myself if needs must. Nevertheless, I think I'll give MBR2GPT a try first and see what that does. If you don't mind though I'd like to extract the text and save it on my PC for future reference should it be needed.

    If I read you right the Mobo settings I've listed above will suffice and no changes should be needed. That's very good news. Obviously Gigabyte put some thought into their default settings. So it looks like I'm all ready to go. Perhaps I'll leave it until after I've done my backup on Saturday then go ahead.

    Once again, thanks for all your help and good luck with your reinstall.

    Tracey
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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