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Can I use ATI 2015 to convert an SSD from MBR to GPT?

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This question (or one like) has been asked a couple of times in the past, but at least a few years ago as far as I can tell. Is it possible to use ATI 2015 (I have the family pack but I'm not sure that's relevant) to convert an existing system SSD from MBR to GPT? I was toying with a procedure that claimed to allow this (using gptgen) and trashed my disk, but I made a backup beforehand. However, using the bootable ATI rescue media didn't seem to allow me to do anything other than restore everything exactly as it was.

The backup in question was of the whole drive and so the restore was of the MBR partitions. Can this be done differently on top of a clean reinstall of Windows 8.1 using GPT (or some other way)?

Would really like to more to UEFI booting!

Thanks in advance,

William

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#1

It is not possible to convert an MBR volume to a GPT volume using TI 2015. See this link:

https://kb.acronis.com/content/6533

Acronis Disk Director 12 does support MBR to GPT and vice versa. See this link for an explanation of features:

https://kb.acronis.com/content/47029

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#2

You would need the Windows installation DVD to do this:

- boot your computer on Acronis recovery CD and do a full disk backup for safety,
- boot on the Windows installation DVD and using a command prompt and DISKPART, blank your current disk, convert it to GPT
- install Windows on your GPT disk
- upon completing the installation, disconnect your network to avoid the process of activation and update,
- change your BIOS settings, reboot and make sure the computer boots normally. Verify that the disk is effectively GPT
- if you want create a new backup of your new installation using the Acronis recovery medium,
- boot on the acronis recovery CD and restore only the C:\ partition on the newly installed C:\ partition
- boot on the Windows installation CD and choose repair startup of the computer (this might take a couple of passes)

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#3

Thanks, both.

Regarding disk director, the current user manual says this under MBR to GPT conversion:
The basic MBR disk that contains the boot volume with the currently running operating system cannot be converted to GPT.

So that looks like a no-go for me (unless I have completely misunderstood what this means - I have only one volume and it is the boot volume).

On the backup-restore option, does ATI convert the partitions when doing a restore of the full disk? Since the partitions are done differently for GPT it would need to.

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#4

Why do you want GPT? Is there a necessary feature you are missing that GPT will give you?

You can use a UEFI "BIOS" and boot to legacy MBR without a GPT boot drive. That is not an issue. If you upgraded from Win7 to Win 8 you would keep MBR. A fresh install of Win 8 IF you turn on in the BIOS GPT only (generally UEFI only, no legacy) will partition to GPT in the Win 8 installer. For secure boot, you need a BIOS that supports that w/ the platform keys, and unless you have a real new computer (and BIOS is kept up), you won't get that either. I tried to put secure boot and SSD bitlocker hardware encryption on a 2 year old Lenovo laptop, and after lots of pain figured out that Lenovo does a piss poor job of updating their BIOS and would probably never fix it.

A to move a system drive from MBR to GPT is very difficult because GPT partition layout is different and would have to be done preboot. Be careful, you may need to mod the partition layout for space for the new GPT partitions. You can use minitool partition wizard or gparted (preboot) or the like before you begin.

Here you go:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14286.converting-windows-bios-installation-to-uefi.aspx

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#5

[quote=William Hudson]So that looks like a no-go for me (unless I have completely misunderstood what this means - I have only one volume and it is the boot volume).
[quote]
Well, yeah, you cannot convert the boot volume like this, you have to go through the steps above, which include erasing the boot disk, then converting it to a GPT using the Windows installation DVD and a command prompt...

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#6

I have a UEFI motherboard (Asus P8Z77-V Pro) and wanted to move from the legacy MBR/BIOS solution. I have generally upgraded my systems so have not done a clean install for years. Feeling a little like a spring clean is needed.

BTW, the procedure in the technet article is the one I trashed my disk with. bcdboot just didn't want to work for me. If I used the Windows 8.1 install disk from a USB stick (on a USB-2 port) I got one error message, if I did it from a DVD I got another. bcdrec found my OS but wouldn't create a new bootstrap for it. The Windows 8.1 troubleshooter for startup problems said it couldn't fix it. So I just restored my backup.

Backup, convert disk to GPT and set BIOS to UEFI, install Windows and ATI then restore is a little long-winded but probably won't take more than an hour.

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#7

This may be of help but when I refreshed to Windows 8.1 you have to make sure you FORMAT the USB stick to GPT partition prior to loading the windows 8.1 iso or it won't work and you need to switch the boot on the firmware to UEFI only priot to preboot w/ the USB. You can't leave legacy on or it won't work. I used minitool partition wizard but many will work

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#8

Thanks for your note David. I have now tried various permutations trying to get ATI 2015 to restore my MBR disk and make it GPT, but with no success. The approach I am attempting is described here for ATI 2014, but I am guessing that either this didn't work, or the functionality was removed from ATI 2015, or I am missing something obvious.

I have tried this by booting ATI on USB in BIOS mode and in UEFI mode. In BIOS mode I always end up with a MBR disk. In UEFI mode, if I try to restore the full disk (from a local NAS), ATI does not let me select my system drive. If I select just the primary MBR partition, ATI will let me restore it, but it just remains an MBR disk (perhaps not surprisingly).

Has anyone ever got this to work?

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#9

Okay, so contrary to some of the info above, you CAN use ATI 2015 to convert a drive from MBR to GPT and use UEFI boot. Note though (see separate issue) that I couldn't get this to work until I raised a ticket with support who told me to create bootable media from this image:
http://dl2.acronis.com/u/kb/AcronisBootableMedia_b5539_US.iso

Here's the process:
1) Create a full disk (or full system) backup using ATI 2015 on Windows.
2) Boot from the bootable media (created from the ISO image I mentioned in the intro) *in UEFI mode* (use your motherboard's boot menu to choose a UEFI version of the optical drive you have the media in - if you don't see a UEFI version, you may not have a UEFI motherboard or you might have to enable UEFI in your BIOS settings.
3) If you are booting succesfully in UEFI, the Acronis loader will say so - 'Acronis Uefi Loader' (or something similar) will appear in the first few seconds.
4) Restore from your full backup. ATI will tell you that it is going to wipe the disk and create a 100 MB FAT32 partition, as well as some others. The 100 MB FAT32 partition is the EFI system partition.
5) When you're done, you should find that the Windows Boot Manager is now the preferred boot device. If not, select it and/or change your BIOS settings.
6) Once booted, run MSINFO32 from the command line. Boot type should be shown as 'UEFI' (not 'Legacy')

That's it!

William

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#10

William,

Thanks for posting back. I'm sure other users will find your post beneficial, plan on bookmarking the thread myself so that I may reference back from time to time. I do have a question though, are you certain the boot media you used is TI 2015?

Regular Poster
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#11

That boot media is indeed Acronis True Image 2015. I wonder what makes build 5539 so special?

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#12

Thanks, William.

This worked for me. The only problem I had was when first signing into windows. After entering my password nothing happened and while sitting there for a couple of minutes, wondering what my next move would be, windows came to life. Subsequent sign-ins have been normal.

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#13

As an update to my previous post:

I lost my Win 7 boot animation to what I believe was the Vista animation. After searching for a solution I tried this command "bcdboot %WinDir% /l en-US" which resulted in an error which said something about not being able to close the file. On reboot Window informed me of a boot error and instructed me to insert the installation disc to repair the problem. Disc loaded files, clicked repair, got my Win 7 animation back.