Calcining carbon-covered alumina (CCA) samples at 800°C in an oxygen flow is an efficient method to prepare α-alumina powders. It is found that the pore size distribution of CCA samples, which depends on the carbon content and the pore size distribution of the precursor alumina used, is one of the key factors for the total conversion of γ-alumina to α-alumina and the complete combustion of carbon in the pores of alumina. No matter how high the carbon content, total conversion does not occur for CCA samples prepared from alumina possessing the most probable pore size of about 5.2 nm. Using γ-alumina with the most probable pore size of 6.1 nm as the precursor of CCA samples, total transformation occurs when the carbon content of CCA ranges from 11.9 to 17.3 wt%, but the color of as-prepared α-alumina is not pure white but light gray. Polyethylene glycol (PEG 20 000), added to the sucrose/γ-alumina system, can expand the pores of CCA samples after carbonization, and calcining of thus-prepared CCA results in a complete transformation of γ-alumina to pure white α-alumina with a particle size of about 1 μm when the carbon content of CCA is between 6 and 19 wt%.