Have you heard of UEFI (EFI)? It’s the updated version of BIOS, which is typically found on older computer models. Major computer makers – from Dell to Acer to HP – no longer ship personal computers with BIOS, but instead with UEFI/EFI.
There are times, though, when Windows can’t be updated because of UEFI error. This error message flashes on screen:
“Windows 10 couldn’t be installed.
Windows can’t be installed because this PC has an unsupported disk layout for UEFI firmware.”
This can be a rather intimidating issue for many Windows 10 users, particularly if it emerges for the first time. What can you do anyway if you can’t update Windows 10 because of an UEFI error?
How to Fix UEFI Error to Update Windows
Start by understanding what this error means. The “unsupported disk layout for UEFI firmware” error simply shows that the partition structure of your hard drive is unsupported by the Windows 10 version that you aim to upgrade to.
You can resolve this issue on your own through creating a Microsoft Reserved Partition (MRP). This is used on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ((UEFI)/GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks.
Sure, this sounds technical and quite a handful right now. But bear with us as we enumerate the steps to fix the problem during your attempts at a Windows 10 update. Follow these steps carefully:
#1: Run Command Prompt as Administrator.
To do this, follow these instructions:
- Click Start > Windows System. Expand Windows System.
- Next, right-click Command Prompt > More > Run as administrator.
- Once the Command Prompt in admin mode opens, start by typing in the following commands.
#2: Run Diskpart.exe. Afterwards, Create the MSR Partition.
Are you still following? If yes, great. Continue with the steps below:
- Open Diskpart.exe. Do this by typing in diskpart and hitting Enter.
- Type in list disk. What follows is a list of all your disks. If you find an asterisk (*) mark under GPT, then that means your system is using the GPT partition structure. If that’s the case, you can move on to the succeeding steps. If not, you need to convert your hard drive to the GPT format and then perform a clean install of Windows 10.
- Execute these commands in order:
- select disk # – Where # is the actual disk number as displayed in list disk in step number 2.
- List partition– This will display all partitions on the selected disk.
- create partition msr size=128 – This will create a 128MB partition, a Microsoft-recommended size.
- list partition – This command will verify that that the partition was created.
- exit – This is for leaving diskpart.exe and closing command prompt.
#3: Have Another Try at a Windows 10 Upgrade.
This time, you are ready to try the update again. If the problem persists – whether due to missed steps in the instructions or because the error simply won’t disappear – then prepare to back up your data. It is likely time for a fresh install. In this case, you should allow the Windows installation format your disk to the ideal GPT structure.
How to Perform a Fresh Install to Fix UEFI Error
To begin, you will need a working Windows 10 installer in USB or DVD. You will also need your Windows 10 key. Remember to unplug all other hard drives except for your Windows drive. In addition, back up all your data before you start.
Follow these steps:
- Reboot your system. Proceed to UEFI, and set the following options as listed:
- Compatibility Support Module (CSM) – disabled
- UEFI Fast Boot – enabled
- UEFI Secure Boot – enabled
- Full Screen Logo – enabled
- The last two options are option so don’t worry if you cannot do them.
- Don’t forget to save and exit. Now, see if Windows tries to boot.
- If it does this normally or boots with a blue screen, then you are okay to go.
- If a UEFI error message ensues, then don’t continue. Instead, note down the error and return to UEFI. Reload the saved profile and then post the message.
- Insert the Windows installer into your computer. Reboot and boot from it. Ensure, however, that you select the UEFI boot option from the boot menu if you’re given different options.
- Keep following the wizard until you reach the hard drive partitioning screen. Stop there.
- Open the Command Prompt by clicking Shift + F10.
- Enter the following commands one by one. Press Enter after each one of them. If you didn’t unplug your hard drives, then you are likely to format the wrong drive.
- select disk 0
- convert gpt
- Close the command windows. Continue with the Windows wizard until Windows has been successfully installed. By this time, you have reached the desktop.
- Shut down your machine. Reconnect your other drives once again.
- Next, download and then install all drivers for your hardware. Install your applications once again, too.
With these steps, you can reap the benefits of your new Windows install. Your machine will also be running in UEFI boot mode. Ideally, future updates and reinstalls should work just fine.
When attempting to update Windows 10, several users get the “unsupported disk layout for UEFI firmware” error. This error shows that their hard drive’s partition format isn’t supported by the Windows 10 version that is being installed.
If this UEFI error doesn’t allow Windows to update, try the solutions we outlined above. Remember to follow them carefully and back up your data as necessary. Regularly get rid of junk and other unwanted files, too, to keep your computer working smoothly. A trusted PC repair tool is a handy way to automate this task.
Let us know if you’re able to fix this UEFI error in no time!
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.