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Can somebody help me with converting to MBR.

Topics: Users Discussion
May 15, 2016 at 1:37 PM
Edited May 15, 2016 at 1:40 PM
Hello. Can somebody here please assist me with converting my Win10 Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW's UEFI/GPT partition to MBR so I can install VeraCrypt? I want to do a full-disk encryption of my SSD. I'm not an IT professional but I need to secure my laptop and after some research I decided not to trust BitLocker.

Also, if someone knowledgeable has a bit of time, I would very much like an explanation of what is going to be lost or what are the downsides (limitations ) I will have to assume by converting GPT to MBR? I suppose there are advantages of using GPT since newer machines use it,. Thank you very much.
May 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM
Edited May 15, 2016 at 3:11 PM
If you can remove and replace your SSD, then I think the best option would be to test with a new fresh SSD; make sure the UEFI is set to legacy boot -- just for starters.

Then install Windows 10 (if you must use Windows) on the fresh SSD. If you need to transfer files across, perhaps install the original SSD in a portable device so that you can see it via USB.

It might not be so easy to achieve if you don't have IT skills...

Also, realize that your device, being one meant for Windows 10, it is possible that it is a "Windows ONLY" device and you may not have adequate options in the UEFI (formerly the BIOS) to set it up any other way.

Edit: Converting GPT to MBR is not something that can be done easily if at all. Some people have indicated tools in the past, but I still have my doubts.
May 15, 2016 at 6:47 PM
Edited May 15, 2016 at 6:50 PM
I have everything backed-up on an external hdd. I am asking for a step by step guide (including changing necesary bios settings) for transitioning to MBR. I did some google searching and I only found a discussion about converting GPT to MBR without loosing data. I don't want that. I will do a clean reinstall. I cannot however take the SSD out since I don't want to void my warranty but I don't see the point in taking it out anyways. I would also like if there would be a way to find out if this CAN be done on my system (swtitching to MBR i mean), before wiping windows. I don't want to go doing this only to find out I wiped everything for nothing
May 24, 2016 at 7:15 AM
Edited May 24, 2016 at 7:19 AM
Hi, you're right, do a clean install. It's not the fastest way, but it is easy one and you will achieve the result. Big plus: you will get rid of the preinstalled crapware.

You are about to do IT stuff, so you will have to learn some of the IT stuff. There are plenty of guides, even youtube tutorials, but you will have to watch and learn yourself, it is not hard, but it takes some time. If you need "click there and press this", rather pay someone who will do it for you ;-) The main steps will be:
  1. create bootable stick with MS official "media creation tool" (use google, I guess you're after localised version of the tool)
  2. download a driver for your wifi and lan adapters (for the case windows won't recognise them, so you won't get stuck without connectivity) and place the driver(s) to the usb stick
  3. Enable CSM in bios and boot from usb stick in legacy mode. Quick google for your netbook came with this guide:
    http://blog.technotesdesk.com/how-to-enable-boot-from-usb-drive-in-bios-asus-zenbook/
  4. Erase the partitions on the internal drive, create your own layout and Install windows (note, that you will get rid of the rescue partition too, but if you feel like tech guru, you won't ever need it)
Good luck.
May 25, 2016 at 10:49 AM
Edited May 25, 2016 at 11:21 AM
Thank you testoslav. It's good to see someone willing to help a bit around here. One would expect that since veracrypt doesn't (fully) support UEFI even though it's been 2 years since win10 was released, the developers would at least post a nice friendly instruction on how to switch to MBR on the main page. Unfortunately, I have given up veracrypt for now because of the lack of feedback here because I have used a very old machine for a long time and I feel like a newbie with the new one especially with all the BIOS/UEFI type changes. There are many people who would like/need this kind of software and not everybody is an IT expert. I've downloaded a torrent (pirated) copy of Symantec Encryption Desktop, scanned it with Malwarebytes and Avira and all the on-line virus file analysers, installed that and blocked it with the firewall from connecting to the internet since I only need the disk-encryption feature. I'm not sure how much of a solution this is, I'm sure people here will say that is very stupid, and I'm not sure if the NSA has back-doors in it or not, but it will do for now at least if the laptop gets stolen. The UEFI encryption works very well, even though the version I'm using was released 2 months after Win10. I did FDE on both the SSD and the external 2 TB drive, without deleting the factory pre-installed WIn10 and as a bonus (which I did not hope) all my Virtual Disks from my previous WinXP machine, that were made using PGP Desktop 9 (the version before PGP Corporation was swallowed by Symantec) work well. I will however like to use VeraCript when it will have a final release with full-support for UEFI. Hopefully not another 2 years from now....
May 27, 2016 at 12:32 PM
Edited May 27, 2016 at 12:33 PM
The latest beta of Veracrypt 1.18 DOES support uefi, see https://sourceforge.net/p/veracrypt/discussion/technical/thread/9e760c29/, maybe you want to test it? And why don't you stick with microsoft bitlocker for the moment? Anything better than a I tainted version of whatever-crypt from a suspicious source.

Btw. once in the past I have tried several versions of drivecrypt plus pack from pirated sources, many had trojan, but the one which came up clean had strange behaviour (attempt to phone home if I rember correctly), so I decided to rather avoid it. Be sure to try the pirated version of whatever on the virtual machine first!
May 27, 2016 at 2:36 PM
Edited May 27, 2016 at 3:02 PM
True. But, I found out after buying this laptop how things work with windows10. And my version, win10 home does not have bitlocker included. And I thought, instead of pirating windows and install pro, it's easier to go with symantec. But I don't like the solution, that's why I'm looking for veracrypt. I like open-source software not because I understand the code but I trust somebody else does... I know the latest version does support uefi, but I have beta-software-phobia. Bad experiences in the past (unrelated to veracrypt).

edit: Encryption Desktop from Symantec is not exactly a "what-ever crypt" solution. It is basically the same software as my long-time favourite encryption solution: PGP Desktop from PGP Corporation
(which owned the Pretty Good Privacy codebase, originally developed by Phil Zimmermann,) just rebranded and updated to support newer systems. The fact that it is from a suspicious source is what worries me a bit (that's why I blocked it from talking to the internet, even though I'm aware that does not make it 100% safe).
May 31, 2016 at 4:12 PM
Mounir does a good job, I'm on betas since the 1.17 and never had a problem, you can bet veracrypt beta is way safer than a pirated anything :-)

If you need to pirate, I think you have better chances getting clean version of windows pro, because you can at least compare the md5 checksum of the downloaded iso with the original msdn source and there is at least one trustworthy activator where you can compare md5 too, but that does not fit into this forum.
Oct 22, 2016 at 4:44 PM
I had the same issue and wrote a step-by-step guide at http://www.genopro.com/misc/Installing-VeraCrypt/ (How to Install VeraCrypt on a GUID Partition Table (GPT))

I managed to convert from GPT to MBR. In the Windows Installer, press Shift+F10 to bring the Command Prompt. Then type DiskPart to start the Disk Partition utility.

Use the command delete partition override before using the command convert mbr

Once you have converted to MBR, you have to change the boot mode of your BIOS to Legacy