Category: Hard Drive

Steps to convert GPT to MBR to install Windows 7

If you are trying to install Windows 7 or the previous version on your computer, which was shipped from the factory with Microsoft windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system. Your computer will show the error message “Windows cannot be installed to the disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style”.

Yes, currently you are using GUID Partition Table (GPT), the newer versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems are using this GPT because of it’s greater partition flexibility. GPT is much more robust than MBR.  From Windows 8 operating system onwards, Microsoft has started replacing MBR by GPT. So if your computer is shipped from the factory with such operating systems, the boot record will be in GPT. If you try to install Windows 7 or any other previous operating systems on the partition, you will get the same error message mentioned above. In such cases, you need to degrade the boot sector from GPT to MBR.

Is it possible to degrade from GPT to MBR?

Obviously…. You can change your boot record from GPT to MBR by following some simple commands. Before converting the boot record, you need to take a backup of all important files from the partitions because, once you have converted the boot record, the whole partitions on the hard disk will be removed and a new partition will be created. If you forget to take the backup of your important file before converting the boot record, the data will be wiped out from the computer and you will need to use a quality partition recovery software to recover deleted partition.

Steps to change GPT to MBR using commands

Please press Shift button and F10 key when the installing window appears on the computer to open the command prompt. Now follow the steps given below:-

Step 1: Type the command DISKPART and then press on the Enter Key.

Step 2: In the diskpart prompt, please enter LIST DISK and click on the Enter button to proceed.

Step 3: If your computer has only one HDD, it will show disk 0 only. It is the hard drive, which you need to work on. Please type SELECT DISK (disk no.), [eg: – SELECT DISK 0] and hit the enter button.

Step 4: Type CLEAN and press enter button, it will remove the whole partitions from the selected hard drive.

Step 5: Next step is to convert the GPT to MBR, for converting please type the command CONVERT MBR in the disk part prompt and hit the Enter key.

Step 6: Now you can see a message showing successful converting of GPT to MBR, now please type EXIT on the disk part prompt and press the enter key to exit.

Now close the command prompt window and proceed the installation process. You will not see the same error anymore because now your boot recorder is MBR, it will support Windows 7 and earlier versions of Microsoft Windows operating system. If you want to install the Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system, again you need to convert into GPT boot record.

Ways to Prevent Hard Drive Crash

The lifetime of a hard disk could sometimes be unpredictable; it all depends on its usage. HD storage serves to be a major component for proper function of the computer. However, disks are primarily meant for storing vast data content, along with the time they are susceptible to damages and threats. Catastrophic failures can ultimately put all crucial data on disk to face major risk.

Computer crashes is simply a hard drive crash: It is a case, where system application freezes and never come out of it or the system itself crashes letting no access to hard disk data. Considerably, problems with hard drive is one such problem that is been frequently faced by a number of users, since times. Here are some issues encountered with system hard drives:

Unable to boot/boot failure- bad sectors- dead hard drive- BSOD/BkSOD errors – Corrupted disk and many other errors. These problems can arise at any point of time in the beginning or after some years. Ultimately shows some or the other trouble, the reliability of an HD is determined by which is termed as MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)- time measure between failure and working state.

In addition, hard disk crashes could reflect as a major issue to many, especially when vital data is saved on disk.  At critical crash scenarios, the whole computer system appears to be inoperable. Therefore, it is necessary to learn early signs of crash and ways to prevent them before it goes worse. This is because losing important data from HD could prove to be more expensive than that of getting a new disk. Also, we all know that prevention is better than cure, get on with some practical measures explained here in brief:

Note: Technological advancements have made it possible to recover data from crashed hard disk storage. Nevertheless, it is recommended not to put drives simply to face damages.

#1. Keep it clean

Firstly, keep computer away from a dusty environment. Secreted dust particles on disk components will apparently cause wear and tear of vigorous parts. With the accumulation of dust or dirt over CPU fan slows down fan speed, which in turn start producing excess heat that has a direct impact on disk/system components. Therefore, schedule a timely cleanup fan; keeping system ventilated, as accumulated dust and dirt results in component failures. Note to follow all necessary procedure to clean the system using relevant methods and products.

#2. Perform a regular disk defragment

Defragmentation process improves system performance, making the computer run more efficiently and smoothly. This technique arranges data in sequential order and reduces access time to fetch data from drive sectors. Disk defragment can be carried out on a weekly or a monthly basis.

Windows OS comes with an inbuilt utility called Disk Defragmenter that can set to this process automatically. One can simply do add defragment operation to schedule just by navigating through Control Panel>Scheduled Task>Add Scheduled Task>defrag.exe and follow further steps.

Defragging in Macintosh is not necessary to be carried out manually, it is automatically handled by Mac OS X functions.

p.s:- There are programs available to carry out disk fragmentation task. But always rely upon authentic tools from trusted sources.

#3. Power save

Several minutes of inactivity will make system to go to sleep mode, the drive stops to spin. This in turns plays a role to increase life of your hard disk. You can simply configure your system to sleep for a specified time accordingly to your use and breaks you take. Make sure that you are not pushing drive to sleep at frequent rates.

Other power-related issues- Use a UPS or a surge protector to avoid any damages from power surge jolts. If it is your external hard drive then do not place them near electromagnetic objects like TV, speakers etc.

#4. Monitor hard disk health

One can keep track of health status of disk via S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology). This greatly helps in monitoring status of hard drive; (whether it is working properly, is it facing any issues, current temperature, and other related specifications). With this you will be able to identify the exact cause and when disk faces any threats then diagnose accordingly. Any damages to disk is notified by pop up alerts. A number of third-party software tools are available that offers this functionality, be smart to choose a genuine one.

Alternately, without relying on software you can monitor disk status on your Windows PC by-

  • Go to start menu and search for cmd
  • Open Command prompt window
  • Type the command as wmic [press Enter]
  • Type the next command: diskdrive get status [press Enter]

/*There are few other measures that can complement life of your system disk.*/

Extra note: Conversely, there are few other basic tips-

  • Pay attention to early warning signs of hard drive crash
  • Maintain a regular yet timely backup of data stored on SD media
  • Handle disks with care- place it in a suitable environment – protect it from damages due to falling
  • Uninstall all unwanted applications present in the computer