Recently someone asked me to install elementary OS on their laptop, because they would like to get into Linux. I myself use Ubuntu and never had any problems installing it on my laptop/computer but here i ran into a problem, possibly not the OS's fault though.

So the laptop is a few years old and it came with Windows 10 preinstalled. When I start the install process I can connect to the internet, select keyboard layout and language but then a window pops up where I should select a partition to install elementary on it. I guess, because I cannot choose any partition, for ex: delete Windows 10 and replace it with Elementary OS.

I searched online and I came to a basic conclusion that this is because of the hardrive (?) which is GPT not MBR. After running a terminal command it shows GPT is the default and MBR is "protective", whatever that means. Sorry if this is not a professional way to say it, I've never encountered this before and anyway I just use Ubuntu on a simple daily basis, so I'm pretty new too.

My question is, is there a way I can change something in the BOOT menu on the computer or should I run some commands in terminal to change it from GPT to MBR?

Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


You shouldn't change to MBR. The best way is to install elementary with a GPT. You can use a tool like Rufus (for Windows) to create a bootable USB that will allow you to install elementary as GPT.

Then you need to enter the UEFI firmware (formerly known as BIOS) and set the boot mode to UEFI instead of legacy BIOS.

Note: if you want to delete any windows partition you need to boot windows first and then press reboot. This will allow you to edit those partitions.


Complementing @maccer response, in addition to generating a USB stick properly using Rufus (Windows) or Etcher (Linux) I recommend deactivating "secure bios".

This feature has been shown to be a problem and I have followed several users reporting that they only managed to install linux after disable this bios function.

My working notebook is a Dell Inspiron 3421 and I can only install Linux with UEFI that way.

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