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Is it possible to create only 1 partition for a 250GB MBR computer on an externa

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#1 cmptrgy


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Posted 27 June 2016 - 07:55 PM

My friend has a HP-CPQ Presario CQ60-220US 32-bit laptop

The original OS was Vista and was up to SP2: upgraded it to Win7: and then to Win10.

The computer runs fine.

However, he couldn’t create a system image backup onto his external hard drive when he was on Windows 7.

--- Toshiba Canvio Desk 3.0 3TB

--- I suppose its because its larger than the 2.2TGB capacity and uses the GPT partitioning scheme

Belarc reports the Boot Mode: BIOS

--- I did disk management and didn’t see an EFI partition.

--- From what I understand UEFI is for 64-bit systems so that shouldn’t apply in this case.

I have read that it needs to be split into 2 MBR partitions and that we could use Seagate’s DiscWizard

--- However is it possible to create an MBR partition to accommodate the computers 250GB hard drive and leave the rest alone with its GPT partitioning scheme?

To me it seems a waste to convert the 3TB external hard dive into 2 MBR partitions for one computer with only a 250GB hard drive.

If what I’m asking for isn’t possible, I’m going to recommend to him to live with it and save that external hard drive until he gets a modern computer on which that external hard drive will work.

I’m not going to work on it again until after July 4 vacation but I’d appreciate advice.


Also how can I determine whether or not a hard drive is MBR or GPT partitioned?

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:55 PM

Windows 7 32 bit should be able to read and right to a GPT partitioned disk. The one thing it cannot do is boot from one. That requires 64bit and a UEFI computer which the CQ60 is not. I have a CQ60-420US.


Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?

Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems.


You would not see a EFI partition as that is used only on a bootable GPT disk much like the 100MB System Reserved Partition on a Windows 7 MBR disk.  

To determine if a disk is MBR or GPT open a command prompt. Type


list disk

You will see a asterisk "*" under the GPT column.

What software was your friend using to create the image?  I would look at Macrium Free or Aomei Backupper. These should detect your GPT 

external disk.

Edit: I do not believe you can create two MBR partitions on the 3TB drive. Once you make the disk MBR it would only see the drive as having a capacity of 2.2TB.

Edited by JohnC_21, 27 June 2016 - 09:05 PM.

#3 cmptrgy

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 10:37 PM

Thanks JohnC_21. What you say makes sense to me.

I did recommend MRF as that's what I use. I'll check with him on what he did.

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