Fix – “Windows Cannot Be Installed To This Disk” Error

Installing Windows on either of the PCs or laptops is a straightforward process. A majority of laptops and PCs need to have the latest Windows operating system installed on their device. And almost every time, the process works flawlessly without any interruption. However, this is not the case. Some users who try to install the fresh Windows with a clean setup, reinstall Windows, dual boot, etc. sometimes face an error message saying that the windows cannot be installed on this disk.

Now, why is this happening? Probably, there are various reasons for which the windows cannot be installed to this disk error occurs. Whenever the users are unable to download Windows on their hard disk, they find themselves with an error message popping up continuously on the screen. 

Fed up with the annoying pop-up messages and want to get your hands on the latest Windows operating system, then here’s what you can do.

Read the below article and solve your problems instantly.

What is the “Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk” error? 

The windows cannot be installed to this disk, is an error message displayed on the screen that indicates the malfunctioning of any device. This error message warns the users that one cannot install Windows on their hard disk due to the incompatibility of the system. This is the most common error that occurs at the time of Windows installation. Whenever a user tries to install the Windows operating system of either version such as Windows 7/8/10, he/she is likely to encounter this error. 

It occurs due to the partition style of your hard drive. Whenever you encounter this, it indicates that the computer is currently operated/booted under the legacy BIOS. the problem occurs mainly due to the mismatch or the conflict between the boot method and the disk layout. By default, Windows assumes that the GPT layout works with the UEFI boot method. Whereas, the MBR layout works with the non-UEFI boot method.

Also Read: High Memory Usage Windows 10 | How To Charge Laptop Battery Manually | Windows 10 Slow Internet 

Why do we encounter the “Windows Cannot Be Installed to This Disk” error? 

Facing the window cannot be installed to this disk error and do not know what causes the error? Then this section will probably help you a lot. Here we will be discussing the main causes or the reasons due to which the selected disk is of the gpt partition style error throws different issues. 

  • The main cause for this error lies within the BIOS. While installing the Windows, one must select the hard drive partition style to begin the process, which is where the problem occurs.
  • Sometimes, your selected partition style does not support your device’s BIOS versions. The two versions of the BIOS systems are- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and Legacy BIOS.
  • When this connection does not happen, then the users are more likely to face the windows that cannot be installed on this disk. the selected disk is of the gpt partition style error.
  • To overcome this, one must select the disk partition style according to their device’s motherboard firmware. 
  • The standard combinations for both of the pairs can be summarised using the below combinations. If you are unaware of what to select, then use the below combinations to get your work done.
  • UEFI → GPT
  • Legacy BIOS → MBR

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

After knowing the causes for the windows cannot being installed on this disk error, one must now learn the solutions available to fix this issue. So, here we have some of the basic techniques and fixes that will help you to resolve them. The solutions are divided into two basic categories depending upon the type of the selected disk. 

The Selected Disk Is Of The GPT Partition Style

Here we have 3 different ways that come under the sub-heads for the GPT partition style. The fixes are as follows-

#1. Check BIOS Setup

windows cannot be installed to this disk

The first method to fix the windows can not be installed on this disk, you can check your BIOS setup. Here are the steps to be followed-

  • Restart or reboot your device before starting the process.
  • Now press the BIOS key simultaneously. The BIOS key’s location is described in your motherboard’s manual. 
  • Later on, you have to do all the needful. For this, you need to scroll and search the entire BIOS, till you encounter an option called the boost mode.
  • The option is generally available in the Boot tab menu that specifies the mode you are currently operating.
  • If by chance, your boot has a legacy BIOS and does not provide you an opportunity for the UFEI, then here you must convert your GBT disk partition into the MBR partition style. 
  • On the other hand, if there is an option available to select UFEI, or to select one from both UFEI and the Legacy boot, then select this option and save all the changes. 
  • Once done, you can now install Windows on your hard drive with ease.

#2. Convert to MBR Using Diskpart

windows cannot be installed to this disk

Another method to fix the issue is by converting the drive to MBR using the diskpart tool. But this diskpart tool has a disadvantage that can be problematic for some users. Whenever you use the diskpart tool, the files stored on your hard drive get deleted automatically. Whereas, for the users, who are using the tool on their new device, none of this is an issue. Otherwise, you need to install Windows to another empty drive. The steps to install Windows are as follows-

  • First of all, insert the installation Window media disk onto your device. Now open the command’s prompt using Shift + F10 shortcut keys.
  • Now enter the following command in the command prompt: Diskpart, and then press Enter.
  • After this, enter the List disk command in the command prompt and press Enter.
  • This command will display all the available hard drives on your device for you to view them better.
  • Now, select the drives you want to install Windows. Generally, the users prefer to select disk 0. If not, then select the one according to you.
  • Now enter: select disk 0 commands and click the enter key.
  • Type: clean followed by pressing the enter key. 
  • Now, to convert the drive to MBR, type: convert MBR and press enter.
  • Type the exit command and press enter to leave the command prompt window.

Now, close the command prompt and install Windows on your device.

#3. Use The Disk Management Utility To Convert To MBR

windows cannot be installed to this disk

Disk Management utility feature is the best of all features when the users need to have a dual boot. For this, one must have a copy of Windows on another hard drive to save it for future use. The disk management utility can help you to convert the hard drive to MBR. The steps are as follows-

  • Go to the search bar menu and type Disk management to view the underlying functions and options.
  • Click on the search window and search for the “Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions – Control Panel”. Click on this option to open the Disk Management Window.
  • Now, select the GPT disk available in the volume list.
  • After this, delete all the existing partitions or the volumes available in the list.
  • To delete the volume, right-click on it and select the delete option to delete the volume.
  • After you have cleared the entire space for the disk, right-click on it and then click on the ‘convert to MRB disk’ option.

The Selected Disk Has An MBR Partition Table

The basic methods involved in this process are as follows-

#1. Jump Into BIOS & Disable EFI Boot Sources

A quick process where the user does not have to convert or format their partition is to just disable the EFI boot source. This sounds strange, but the process is really helpful to fix the issue. To perform this, one must check their BIOS to confirm whether the option exists or not. Perform the steps below-

  • First of all, reboot your device to assure its functioning.
  • Press the BIOS key continuously till you encounter any window popped up on the screen. You can check for the BIOS key under your motherboard’s manual.
  • Navigate the boot order section from where you need to check the function available to disable the EFI sources.
  • Save all the recently made changes and try installing the Windows again.

Once your Windows gets installed, return to the BIOS and enable the EFI sources again.

#2. During Installation, Delete Partition & Reformat.

windows cannot be installed to this disk

Deleting a partition or reformatting the drive may end up deleting all your files and data stored in it. Thus, you should go with this method if and only if- you have a backup of your data, or you have nothing important to lose. 

While installing Windows, the users are asked to select the drive where they want to install the OS. during this process, one must select the partition drive to format after selecting the delete option from the list. Once deleted, you now have to create a fresh new partition to continue the process. 

#3. Use Diskpart or Other Mode in BIOS

Similar to the above GPT partition style using the diskpart, you can use the same tool to delete the problematic areas by converting them to the appropriate partition style. Here, the drive will get converted into the GPT partition style. 

To convert the drive to this style using the diskpart tool, you must follow the above conversion steps with some differences. 

In the statement to convert the type to gpt. You must swap that line with the “convert gpt [enter]” to convert it to the gpt style. 

Additionally, make sure to have a check at the BIOS settings to find out whether the combination is supported or not. If the mode is available, just simply disable the UEFI boot mode and enable the Legacy boot mode.

#4. Use a 2.0 Flash Drive for Installation

If you are using an external hard drive to install Windows on to it, then you can use a USB 2.0 flash drive. For all the latest motherboard users, it comes in handy with the support for both UEFI and Legacy boots. Also, the compatibility can be checked within the BIOS by using several solutions mentioned above. So, if you are installing the media from the disk and receive an alert prompting you to press a key, then you should not click on anything and should instead wait for a moment to let the process happen. When the message pops up for the second time, then you should press the relevant key.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Now, let us discuss some of the most commonly asked questions from the users. You can refer to these questions to get better clarity and the points where other users faced trouble.

How to know that which drive partition works with which firmware?

Several iterations can go along with different style partitions to solve the windows that cannot be installed on this disk issue. Some of the most common ones include- the selected disk is of the gpt partition style or that of the MRB partition table. You must use any one of them with your firmware to achieve the desired result. Now, the connection of these partition styles with the firmware varies as follows-

  • If you are using the select disk as the GPT partition style and still getting errors, then there is an issue with your motherboard. It supports the Legacy BIOS mode due to which the users are unable to install Windows to their drive. To eradicate this, one must install the windows only using the MRB partition style.
  • If the selected disk is of the MBR partition style and still facing the error then the problem lies within the Microsoft system. They allow the Windows to be installed only on the GPT partition styles where the motherboard uses the UFEI software.

Do the S.M.A.R.T. test feature helps to solve the issue?

Definitely. The S.M.A.R.T. test helps you to fix the issue on a basic level. It is a monitoring system that lies within Windows computers. The utility is used to detect and report the hardware failure and the drive’s incompatibility with the system. The users can then take preventive measures to ensure that their system runs perfectly fine. You can even use the feature to prevent your data from being lost while installing Windows on your hard drive. 

Why should I convert my drive into another partition style?

The latest PCs and laptops are designed to support the UFEI system that speeds up both the boot and the shutdown processes along with some extra security features. Some devices do support UFEI models but also have a compatibility mode. Some of the devices support the GPT partition while the other supports the MRB partition. Hence, to install the windows on your device it is necessary to convert your drive to the supported partition table. 

Final Verdict:

The UFEI and the BIOS models are the most commonly used methods all across the world. Installing windows on your hard drive truly depends on your computer’s firmware. So, have you ever faced windows that cannot be installed on this disk issue? If not, then you can probably be the next user to face it. However, the process can easily be tackled in multiple ways and techniques.

So, the above methods are genuine and are in working condition. All the methods are relevant to the causes of the error for the windows can not be installed on this disk issue. You can follow the steps to make it a quick process to troubleshoot. Just keep the methods handy and you can crack them. Hopefully, the article was enough that help you to fix it. Do mention in the comments any doubts and queries that we had.

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