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G750JW - seeking advice on upgrading internal storage

Level 7
Time for another upgrade!

I currently have a 275GB SSD for the OS and the original 1TB HDD for additional storage.

I'm now considering putting in two 2TB SSDs. I couldn't find any technical specifications to determine the maximum allowable storage, if there is any such limit. Can anyone confirm that there is no practical storage capacity limit for this laptop?

I'm currently running MBR on legacy BIOS. From what I understand, MBR only supports up to 1.7TB. Therefore I need to enable UEFI so I can support GPT for my boot drive. Because I need to convert my boot drive from MBR to GPT I will be forced to do a full install of Windows. Is this correct?

Assuming I do need to do a full install, what's the current best practice way of doing this? I would normally use the Windows tool to create a recovery device, and install from that. Will that work while transitioning from MBR to GPT? Am I just better off doing a completely vanilla Windows install, and letting Windows download the drivers itself? Is Asus Backtracker still a thing?

I don't know if they're from the factory install, but do have recovery partitions on the SSD. I think the laptop came with Windows 8, and it's been since upgraded to 8.1 and now 10. When I upgraded to the SSD I may have cloned with Macrium Reflect.

I've been doing some research and apparently there is a 'MBR2GPT' command-line tool that would allow me to convert my SSD to GPT from recovery mode. Then I can boot the BIOS and enable UEFI boot. After this, I could probably just clone the SSD to a bigger one and swap it out.

[edit] While I wouldn't mind a fresh start, I have a OneDrive account, and I believe if I fresh install, I cannot just restore the files from a backup, and would instead just have to redownload hundreds of gigabytes of data. [/edit]

Any advice appreciated!

Level 7
If you are going to use 2 TB SSD, then you don't need GPT.

Yes you will need a fresh install of Windows with the USB format tool from Microsoft as GPT if that is the route you want to go. I never have used the MBR2GPT tool so I can't comment on that, but I think you're always better off doing a fresh install.

Having completed the process I can update on the process, which was pretty straightforward.

Firstly I did my backups. Copied data, imaged with Macrium, created recovery USBs with built in Recovery Media Creator, and backup up drivers separately with DISM.

First run cmd with administrator privileges

Verify drive for conversion:

mbr2gpt /validate /disk:1 /allowFullOS
Disk layout validation failed for disk 1

Failed due to too many partitions. It looks like I have two recovery partitions. Check active recovery partition:

reagentc /info
Windows RE location: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk1\partition3\Recovery\WindowsREBoot Configuration Data

Delete other recovery partition:

list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 931 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 256 GB 0 B

select disk 1
list partition

Partition ### Type Size Offset
------------- ---------------- ------- -------
Partition 1 Primary 500 MB 1024 KB
Partition 2 Primary 254 GB 501 MB
Partition 3 Recovery 562 MB 255 GB <-- partition 3 is active
Partition 4 Recovery 509 MB 255 GB <-- partition 4 is inactive

select partition 4
delete partition

Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set.
delete partition override
DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

Attempt validation again:
mbr2gpt /validate /disk:1 /allowFullOS
MBR2GPT: Validation completed successfully

Reboot system into advanced startup and run command prompt.
mbr2gpt /convert
Call WinReReapir to repair WinRE
MBR2GPT: Failed to update ReAgent.xml, please try to manually disable and enable WinRE.
MBR2GPT: Before the new system can boot properly you need to switch the firmware to boot to UEFI!

Close > Turn off your PC

System booted fine regardless of the MBR2GPT final comments.

I enabled secure boot and fast boot.

I did end up doing a fresh install, the above was just to test the MBR2GPT tool.

I couldn't do a fresh install onto the new SSD with the created recovery drive (kept failing), so I ended up creating an installation flash drive with the downloadable Media Creation Tool, and using that.

Also, after all this, I put in the second SSD, and it didn't show up. I re-seated it, and enabled secure boot (I'd disabled it at some point), and it showed up. I really didn't expect seating to be an issue, because the drives slide in pretty tightly and are screwed in place. But I also really wouldn't expect any BIOS settings to make a different.

Anyway, it all seemed to come out fine.