Originally Posted by FordGT90Concept
GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a boot sector technology poised to replace the venerable Master Boot Record (MBR) principally because MBR has a maximum capacity of 2 TB for a single partition (some single disks have reached 3 TB). Installing Windows on a GPT is a bit tricky because Windows wants to default back to MBR. In order to force Windows on to a GPT, we have to pre-format the drive prior to Windows installation. You can do that during Windows setup using the console.
- Windows Vista or 7 (must be 64-bit no matter which OS is used)
- A motherboard with EFI BIOS
- A means to EFI boot the Windows setup (I had to use a USB DVD drive on MSI Z77A-G65, the internal SATA Bluray drives didn't have an EFI option)
- Boot into Windows setup using EFI. On the MSI Z77A-G65, it showed up as UEFI:USB-ATAPI DVD ... This will change according to your motherboard and how you are attempting to enter setup. This step is critical. Without booting into setup via EFI, only MBR is available to the setup. There's no easy way to tell from within setup if it is running via EFI or not.
- Once you have booted into setup, continue through the process as you would normally until you reach the dialog which shows you the available drives. Load a driver, if necessary, then press SHIFT+F10 to open the command prompt.
- In the command prompt, enter the following lines, pressing enter after each one. Note that the <id> field below is the disk ID that you want to format as GPT from the "list disk" command. If there's only one drive, <id> will likely be 1. Note: All data on the drive will be lost during this process. Make sure to select the correct drive.
- list disk
- select disk <id>
- online disk
- attributes disk clear readonly
- convert gpt
- create partition efi size=102
- create partition msr size=32
- create partition primary
- format fs=ntfs label="Operating System"
- assign letter=C
"online disk" and "attributes disk clear readonly" are likely to fail. Don't worry, they are only precautionary. Change the drive letter and label to whatever you want. Also, the above command (specifically "create partition primary") will consume all remaining space on the drive. If you want multiple partitions with fixed sizes, substitute what you want in place of "create partition primary."
- You may now close the command prompt and click on "Refresh" back in the dialog to choose where to install Windows. You should now see at least 2 partitions (I think Microsoft Reserved is hidden) and it will only let you install on a non EFI/MSR partition. Click on the primary partition and proceed with the installation as normal.
- Note that in the EFI BIOS after installing Windows via EFI, you can no longer directly boot the volume Windows is installed on. Instead, you must boot via "Windows Boot Manager" (on MSI Z77A-G65, it was "UEFI: Windows Boot Manager"). Keep that in mind if you wish to tweak the boot order.
That should do it. You should be in Windows with >2 TB of hard drive capacity available if you had more than 2 TB on the Windows partition. Congratulations being on the bleeding edge of technology!
First of all, thank you very much for your very useful (and imho, most recommended) tip on installing Windows 7 on a GPT hard disk, which has enabled me to install Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit on my brand-new Samsung Series 5 NP550P5C laptop (only a few weeks old, coming up to its one-month anniversary) which has an UEFI BIOS, after wiping its slow 1 Tb 5,400 rpm hard disk (will replace it with a SSD sometime in the future) clean of SamCrap bloatware and performing a clean Win7 install.
Now, I think I may have an interesting question for you.
I am thinking of assembling a mini-ITX pc with Intel quad-core i7-3770K and GTX660Ti 2 Gb sometime in the near future (when funds permit).
I am thinking of putting a 2 Tb 7,200 rpm hard disk and a 240 Gb SSD together, and using the SSD to cache the two 1 Tb partitions (after setting up the 102 Mb EFI system partition and the 32 Mb Microsoft Reserved partition and partitioning the remainder into two equal-size partitions of slightly under 1 Tb each) using Intel Smart Response Technology.
On the SSD, I intend to create the following partitions:- a 102 Mb partition to cache the EFI system partition, a 32 Mb partition to cache the Microsoft Reserved partition, a 64 Gb partition to cache the < 1 Tb drive C (coz Intel Smart Response Techology only allows a maximum of 64 Gb), another 64 Gb partition to cache the < 1 Tb drive D, a 16 Gb partition to copy the system RAM to SSD using Intel Rapid Start Technology when putting the computer to sleep (in S3/S4 mode) and the remaining 95/96 Gb partition (I have done the sums) as a normal hard disk for stuff that requires speedy access, for games like Sims 3 which requires a lot of disk accessing.
My question is this:-
Is what I am proposing above feasible or not ?
Would it be possible to use the partitions on the SSD and Intel Smart Response Technology to cache the EFI System partition and the Microsoft Reserved partitions ?
Would Intel Smart Response Technology be able to recognise both the EFI system partition and the Microsoft Reserved partitions, in addition to the two < 1 Tb partitions (drives C and D) ?
Thanks in advance.