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GPT, Windows 8, and a headache

Posted on 2014-02-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
One of my clients purchased a new Dell 14" laptop with Win 8.1 pre-loaded.  She works for the DoD and works from home.  Her access is through a secure card reader on her end to access 2 work specific websites.  Under Win 8, one of  the websites doesn't work.  Her I.T. support people said the site that that particular web pages attaches to is not optimized for use by Win 8 (is that even possible?  I understand a browser, but not a page).  So, they sent her a brand spanking new copy of Win 7 with instructions as to installing it.  The client got to the partition screen on Win 7 setup, deleted the Win 8 partition,  and tried to install Win 7.  That didn't work so well.  The HDD in the laptop is GPT, Win 7 x32 wants MBR, we no longer have a Win 8 partition, and now that I have it, I need to get this thing working with Win 7 forthwith.  I need to wipe out the rest of the drive and convert to MBR to install Win 7.  I haven't found a utility that I can put on a boot discs and do those things.  Any ideas?
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Question by:jwhite273
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Assisted Solution

by:helpfinder
helpfinder earned 125 total points
ID: 39874679
when you boot installation DVD of win7 you should be able before instalation starts format the disk and it should be formated in proper way.
Anyway you should be able to make this from command prompt as well, so boot instllation media into recovery and start cmd, then follow instructions (Option Two)
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26203-convert-gpt-disk-mbr-disk.html
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 125 total points
ID: 39874860
If deleting ALL visible partitions does not work, try going to Repair Your Computer (instead of Install Now), Advanced, Command Prompt and type in the following:

diskpart
select disk 0
clean
exit
exit

Then attempt the install.
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Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 39874925
Allow the comment on diskpart... I would have provided the same solution but have the line
list disk
added right after diskpart, to see what drive I am eliminating. Could hurt otherwise, in certain situations.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39874937
Yes, if you have more than one disk, then do list disk to make sure disk 0 is indeed the one you want.
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Author Comment

by:jwhite273
ID: 39875030
OK,
Using the Installation media, When I go to repair the disk, I get an error "This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of the Windows you are using.

There is also a PBR partition that appears to be the Recovery partition than I cannot access (I'd love to get this back to original state and do the change correctly) or delete as it states that it's a GPT partition and I need and the version of Windows I am using is not compatible.  I have tried Ctrl+F11 to access and F8 for the same with no success.  I'm going to try to mine a solution at Dell's site, but your help is continuing to be appreciated.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39875039
If you boot to the Windows 7 DVD, do you get all the way to where you see the existing partitions?
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Accepted Solution

by:
McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 39875044
Simply use a win7/win8/or win8.1 setup disk and after booting to the installation screen, hit Shift and F10 together which gives you the command prompt you need.
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Author Comment

by:jwhite273
ID: 39875053
Will do.  Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jwhite273
ID: 39875422
All the answers here were very helpful in a stressful afternoon.  A combination of all your answers was what did the trick.  Thanks to all of you who were able to help.
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