How to fix the “Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk” error

Installing Windows is typically a straightforward process when your PC meets all the hardware requirements. However, you might encounter the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” error during OS installation. This error usually arises due to incompatibility between your hard drive partition style and your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) version. This article will explore the reasons behind this error, its various forms, and the methods to fix it to complete the Windows installation successfully.

Why Does the “Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk” Error Appear?

This installation error occurs when your hard drive’s partition style doesn’t support your BIOS version. BIOS has two versions: Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and Legacy BIOS. Legacy BIOS supports MBR (Master Boot Record), while UEFI supports GPT (GUID Partition Table). If there’s a mismatch, the installation will fail.

Understanding the Error Message

The specific wording of the error message’s second sentence provides clues about the problem:

  • “The selected disk is of the GPT partition style”: This indicates that your PC has a Legacy BIOS. You’ll need to convert the disk to the MBR partition style.
  • “The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed on GPT disks”: This means your PC has a UEFI BIOS, and you’ll need to convert the disk to GPT partition style.

How to Fix the “Selected Disk Is of the GPT Partition Style” Error

Legacy BIOS doesn’t support GPT, so you need to convert the disk to MBR. Here’s how:

  1. Check BIOS Settings:
    • Start your PC and press the BIOS key (F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL).
    • Look for the Boot mode. If UEFI isn’t available, proceed with the conversion.
  2. Convert GPT to MBR:
    • Insert the Windows Installation Media and press the designated F-key to open the Boot devices menu.
    • On the Windows Setup screen, press Shift + F10 to open the Command Prompt.
    • Type diskpart and press Enter.
    • Type list disk to list your drives. Note the disk number of the GPT disk.
    • Type select disk [disk number] (e.g., select disk 0).
    • Type clean to wipe the disk.
    • Type convert mbr to convert the partition to MBR.
    • Exit the Command Prompt and resume Windows installation.

How to Fix the “Selected Disk Has an MBR Partition Table” Error

This error indicates your PC has a UEFI BIOS, but the disk is in MBR format. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Disable EFI Boot Sources:
    • In BIOS, navigate to the Boot Order section and disable EFI boot sources.
    • Run Windows installation. Re-enable EFI boot sources after installation if needed.
  2. Convert MBR to GPT Using Command Prompt:
    • Follow the same steps as converting GPT to MBR, but use the command convert gpt.
  3. Convert MBR to GPT Using Windows Installation Disk:
    • During installation, select an unallocated disk. If the disk has partitions, delete all of them first.
    • Select the unallocated disk and proceed with the installation.

How to Fix “The Computer’s Hardware May Not Support Booting to This Disk” Error

This error usually relates to hard disk protection or SATA controller configuration.

  1. Disable Hard Disk Protection:
    • If enabled, request the technician to disable it.
    • Alternatively, open Command Prompt as an administrator, run diskpart, list volumes, select the write-protected volume, and clear the read-only attribute.
  2. Configure SATA Controller Mode:
    • Reset BIOS to default or manually change the SATA mode (e.g., from IDE to AHCI).

By following these steps, you can resolve the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” error and complete your Windows installation successfully.

How to fix the “Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk” error
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