If WIndows 7 supports GPT, why can't I install the OS on GPT?

#1
I believe this asks the question. Both Vista SVCPK 1 and OS7 claim to support GPT partitioned hard disks, but neither Beta or RC will allow you to install on or create a GPT partition, so does that really mean GPT cannot be used to install the OS?
 


reghakr

Essential Member
#2
Hello and Welcome to the Windows7 Forums.

Although this is totally new to me, I did some searches and understand it, however can you provide a link that shows its supported under Vista SP1 and Windows 7?

I did locate info regarding it's use under Windows Server 2008 and I think that's the closest match you'll find

How to set up dynamic boot partition mirroring on GUID partition table (GPT) disks in Windows Server 2008
 


#3
For Vista, I am running GNU which emulates EFI. But no go, Vista wants an MBR to install on so does Windows 7 RC. I am hoping that Windows 7 would remove this limitation. Also, Windows 7 creates two partitions, one boot partition, the other system file partition, that limits the user to a maximum of 2 additional partitions under the MBR partition scheme. This is very limiting on 2GB hard drives where most users will want at least 4 partitions, not one giant one. GPT gives you up to 128 partition capability.
Windows and GPT FAQ: Version 1.1

"16. Can Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?
Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for EFI-based systems. "
 


reghakr

Essential Member
#4
Yes, I read that FAQ as well.

So you don't have an Itanium-based computer, correct?

Here's one thing that might help:
How to Avoid 200MB Hidden System Partition From Been Created During Windows 7 Installation

I guess we can skip all of the above, as I have just tested on Windows 7. I already had 3 partitions, I shrank 1, and started creating new simple volumes. I know have 10 partitions on the hard drive. I'm sure I could have created smaller partitions and who knows what the limit would be. They all show up in Windows Explorer and I was able to copy directories to each of the new partitions.

That should be enough, shouldn't it?:)
 


#5
I am truly disappointed if Windows 7 has no plans to break the 4 partition MBR boundary. This limitation will come up again and again as drives become larger. It's just like when FAT had a 32GB limit until NTFS. I truly see this as a needless limiting constraint and disappointing from a new OS evaluation perspective. MBR has been around since 1982, time to let it go and embrace a partition scheme that supports todays and tomorrows increasing data storage requirements.
 


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#6
Install windows 7 and problems with GPT

Hi.
This is my first post in here. I am really not that great with computers so I hope so of you have the time to help me out here.
I am currently using windows 7 (7100 I think) and I want to make a new install of windows 7 (7127). Now when I tried to install it I got a message telling me it is not possible because I need a GPT disk, and apperently what I got is MBR. I currently have two partations, one where windows is installed, and the other one with some important files (according to what I read at some other forum). Now I am lost! I guess I can't change it as windows is running. So what is my options? Can I create a new one? Or some other options? Anyone

No one has any idea what to do?
 


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Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#7
I am dealing with over 10TB of storage trying to set up a RAID-10 and or some combination thereof. It was an extreme annoyance to have Windows 7 on MBR and then put everything else on GPT in weird combinations... It would be great if you could do this, especially for RAID when we are talking about fault tolerance. I now have to rely on several GPT partitions for fault tolerance which is in my mind unacceptable.
 


#8
A new problem discovered running Solaris and Red Hat Linux development environments, these do not seem to like the wierd MBR partitioning scheme Windows 7 creates and will not install unless it is a MBR that XP, Vista, or Linux created. This is going to be great when I tell my company I now need two laptops. To answer an earlier question, Linux does not require EFI to create GPT partitions and developers are not usually given Itanium blades, let alone server addition for application development. I was initialy very excited but now very disappointed.
 


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#9
To install Windows 7 on GPT is simple; whiloe installing from windows 7 DVD, and you get to the segment that you can create or delete partitions press "shift+F10" this will open a command prompt and you can use diskpart to convert to GPT
 


#10
While Windows 7 diskpart allows you to format a GPT drive it is intended to format a secondary hard drive. If you format a GPT primary and return to installation, Windows 7 setup will prompt you to reformat the partition NTFS or MBR and Continue Setup remains greyed out until you do.
 


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#11
Windows 7 installer will detect GPT and prompt you to change the disk partition scheme to MBR or NTFS in order to install Windows 7. Installation continue will remain greyed out until you do.
using GPT on your OS drive is only necessary if you are using a drive that is greater than 2.25TB
 


#12
Also, you should have no problems installing Windows 7 on GPT. You must convert the HDD to GPT during windows installation and you must move forward without creating a partition, i.e. unallocated partition.
 


#13
Formating the primary drive GPT from the get go or starting with a blank partition leaving Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate to do it via diskpart, setup will not proceed until you change the partition scheme to NTFS or MBR. Continue installation / setup remains greyed out even though you can clearly see the partition formated GPT and you receive the following message...

Windows cannot be installed to Disk 0 Partition 1
Click on "show details"
"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style."
 


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#14
Formating the primary drive GPT from the get go or starting with a blank partition leaving Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate to do it via diskpart, setup will not proceed until you change the partition scheme to NTFS or MBR. Continue installation / setup remains greyed out even though you can clearly see the partition formated GPT and you receive the following message...

Windows cannot be installed to Disk 0 Partition 1
Click on "show details"
"Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style."
Are you using an EFI supported Motherboard running the port controller in AHCI mode?
 


#15
No, EFI has not entered the PC business laptop and desktop world yet. It is limited to mostly blade and enterprise servers.
 


#16
No, EFI has not entered the PC business laptop and desktop world yet. It is limited to mostly blade and enterprise servers.
Intel and MSI both offer EFI support desktop motherboards, I am running the Intel DP55KG motherboard, this is also the only system that I have been able to install OS on GPT
 


#17
Unfortunately, that is not going to help most of us that are still on bios based systems. I don't know why Microsoft decided to make this the deciding factor, but until EFI becomes mainstream in Dell's, HP's, and Toshiba's, probably 2 to 3 years, most of are stuck with this limitation.
 


UBU

New Member
#18
Duh, of course Microsoft has no intention of supporting GPT, this would make it too easy to set up dual-boot systems with the evil Linux. Of course Microsoft is unaware that anyone would ever think of dual booting with Linux. Dual booting means "dual booting with 2 or more flavors of Windows, which is the only operating system".

To see more information on multiboot see How to create a multiple-boot system in Windows XP. As you can see, apparently "operating system" and "windows" are synonymous in microsoftspeak.
 


#19
You keep saying "...change the disk partition scheme to MBR or NTFS". I thought NTFS was a file system, not a partition scheme. You can have either MBR or GPT and still use NTFS format for either one, right? On one of my systems, I have MBR with NTFS. On another, I have GPT with NTFS. You should be saying that the partition scheme choices will be MBR or GPT.
 


#20
You can put Windows 7 on a GUID partition table gpt. If using gparted to define, leave the GUID gpt as unallocated and Windows 7 will define it on install.
 


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