Removing ESP or GPT protective partition

Removing ESP or GPT protective partitions is quite easy task if you know how to do it. Common methods like deleting partition in Windows disk management tool is not working (grayed out “Delete Volume” selection). So you must use different method in order to solve the problem.

You may end up having EFI System partition (ESP) or GPT protective partition on your HDD or USB stick for various reasons, like using USB boot creators. Removing ESP or GPT partitions using command prompt is most common and effective way. Here are the steps:


  • Open “Command Prompt” with “Administrator rights”. In order to do that click “Start” > type “cmd“, then right click on it and select “Run as administrator” (in Windows Xp just click Start > Run, type “cmd” and hit Enter).
  • Now type “diskpart” and hit “Enter“.
  • To get disk list type “list disk” and hit “Enter“.
  • Type “select disk ?” replace “?” symbol with your disk number. Warning: make sure you select right disk, because all data in it will be wiped.
  • To remove all partitions on disk type “clean” and hit “Enter“.
  • Now you have empty disk and you need to create new partition. To open Windows disk management tool that click “Start” and “diskmgmt.msc (in Windows Xp click Start > Run, type “diskmgmt.msc” and hit Enter).
  • You will see your disk having only unallocated space. Right click on the disk and select “Initialize Disk”. Follow on screen dialog and create new partition.
  • If you can’t see your partition in my computer even if you created a new partition check if there is partition path assigned. In Windows disk management tool right click your partition and select “Change drive letter and paths“. Make sure there is assigned partition letter.


Enjoy your clean disk drive!

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