How to convert BIOS to UEFI and install Windows 11

The expectation of launching Windows 11 may have been frustrated for some users, even meeting the minimum requirements set by Microsoft. This is due to the adjacent resources required to start the installation of the new operating system, in order to make it even more secure against malicious software. However, the requirements are not clarified enough by the Redmond giant and, for this reason, they have become a real problem for users.

More specifically, Windows 11 installation will not succeed if the security feature “Secure Boot” or “Secure Boot” in Portuguese is disabled. To enable it, however, it is necessary to switch the BIOS boot method to UEFI, which may require converting the system’s internal storage to “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” if it is operating in “Master Boot Record” format (MBR)” — causing problems “in a ripple effect”.

Conversion to UEFI

In short, this conversion is necessary to ensure that Secure Boot works correctly, as it requires hardware and software compliance to provide the designed security. In addition, the measure also prevents the user from losing data present on the device’s internal storage.

Before proceeding to the solution, it is recommended to assess the computer through the application “PC Health Check”, updated by Microsoft to provide more information about what could be causing the problem. Download it by clicking here.

Solving or problem

1. Diagnosis

If PC Health Check indicates that the device should “support Safe Boot”, the next step is to check which is the Partition Style is applied to HD or SSD where the operating system is installed. This can be done easily through the app. disk manager, found by right-clicking on the Start Menu — represented by the Windows logo on the Taskbar.

With Disk Manager open, right click on the Disk where the operating system is installed and select “Properties” from the list. Next, go to the “Volumes” section and check the Partition Style used.

Step by step to check a Disk Partition Style. Source: Adriano Camacho, TecMundo

If the style used is the “GUID Partition Table (GPT)”, check the guide of TechWorld to switch BIOS boot method to UEFI and enable Secure Boot by clicking here. Otherwise, the style applied will be the “Master Boot Record (MBR)”, it is necessary to follow the steps below to perform the conversion safely.

Note: The GUID and MBR Partition Styles can appear as “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” and “Master Boot Record (MBR)” in English, depending on the language chosen as the default in Windows.

2. Requirements

  • You must be using Windows 10 on version 1703 or higher. Version 1809 is recommended to ensure greater efficiency.
  • The process can only be performed on Discs with up to three partitions, as the fourth available space will be reserved for the UEFI system.
  • Disable BitLocker or any other encryption solutions, if used, before starting the process.

3. Performing MBR to GPT conversion

The process used to convert the Disk Partition Style to GPT will be through the command “MBR2GPT”, from Windows itself. To get started, restart the device using the tool “Advanced Startup“, which can be found in the “Settings” app by the way. Update and Security > Recovery > Advanced Boot > Restart Now”.

Path to perform an Advanced Startup, in the app "settings" do Windows 10.Path to perform an Advanced Boot, in the “Settings” application of Windows 10.Source: TecMundo

After booting the device, select the “Troubleshooting” option and then “Advanced Options”. Finally, click on “Command Prompt” and log in with the admin user credentials.

Next, type the command “mbr2gpt /validate“, to assess whether the disk meets the requirements to support the conversion. After validation, type “mbr2gpt /convert” to start the process. When it is finished, close the Command Prompt window and turn off the device using the option displayed.

Command Prompt screen, in Advanced Startup, running code "mbr2gpt /convert".Command Prompt screen, in Advanced Startup, running the code “mbr2gpt /convert”.Source: Windows Central

At this stage, the device will be subjected to a series of processes that may take some time to complete, patiently wait for their completion to avoid errors. Finally, just check out the guide to TechWorld to enable Secure Boot and install Windows 11.

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