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Cloning a MBR to GPT

Alan Silverman
Alan Silverman asked
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I want to clone a MBR disk to GPT format.  AOMEI AOMEI Software says they can do it.  Has anyone done this and made it work? Did you run into any problems?  What software did you use?

My procedure will be to clone the ssd hard drive running Win7 on a Dell Optiplex 3010 mini-tower. I'll then take the clone and update that to Windows 10 on the Optiplex.  Then I'll clone that to another ssd in GPT format, change the bios parameters and see if I can run that.

Thanks,
Al
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Ugra Narayan PandeyCloud Security Expert

Commented:
As you mention the Software, The company claims the same and much more software available which also claims to convert MBR to GPT without any data loss. You can prefer anyone, but before buying any software aware of the 30-day money-back guarantee policies. And before buying contact to support team regarding your system configuration.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
why do you want to make it so complex?
any reason you want it to be GPT ?  bigger disks maybe?
anyhow, here a free tool -  so you can test it woithout cost :  https://www.easeus.com/partition-manager-software/free-convert-mbr-to-gpt-without-data-loss.html
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
A reliable way:

create an image of your current c: of the MBR drive
install a clean win10 on the new drive (boot setup stick as UEFI device)
restore c: over the newly installed c:

That works and you'll have a bootable windows with all you had before.
Cloning is trivial. And event transforming that drive to a hybrid gpt mbr disk.

Hoping the os will still boot afterwards is very over optimistic.

And as stated above, unless you have a reason to do so, such an operation is pointless

Author

Commented:
Client is running Windows 7 pro on a Dell Optiplex 3010. I want to upgrade him to Windows 10 on a Dell Optiplex 7060.  The 7060 motherboard doesn't allow legacy boot. I avoid fresh installs for my clients because most are older people who have a difficult time finding an icon if you move it three inches to the right. I would like to get this client up on UEFI because that gives him further upgrade possibilities and he could use a better/faster computer.

My proposed procedure is to clone the current drive to another SSD so if something goes wrong he'll still have a computer to work on.  Upgrade that drive to Win10 on the Optiplex 3010. Clone the drive again to an UEFI formatted drive then put that into the Optiplex 7060 and hope it works.
Thanks,
Al
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I repeat: my suggestion is usable for you. You will be able to keep anything that you have.
the gdisk linux command available on any regular live cd can do the conversion on the fly. but you'll need to make space for the EFI partition and since you want to clone, i'd suggest another approach, similar but not identical to yours.

- stick both source and destination disk in a computer
- boot any live cd that provides gparted, possibly the gparted live cd itself
- partition your destination disk with gpt. this is trivial with gparted.
- create an EFI partition. still trivial with gparted.
- copy + paste the partitions for the source to the dest drive. still trivial : this is an actual copy + paste. resizing on the fly is also possible.
- do not forget to commit your changes : gparted will not actually do anything until you do so.
- boot the new computer on the install cd with the destination drive plugged in. windows should be able to detect the old install ( even though it would be broken and not bootable at that point ) and perform the upgrade while transparently fixing the boot process.

Author

Commented:
McKnife I'll try your method first. If that doesn't work I'll follow the suggestions of skullnobrains.
I'm going to close this and let you know how it turns out when I do it.
Thanks,
Al
hi... just a quick note to state i am interested in how that went. never tried the method mcknife suggests and i'm not even sure i understand it properly. but seems like a nice way to deal with such situations quickly and safely if it does work.