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[SOLVED] Failed Bootcamp OS install, unable to reclaim partitions


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#1
Country Girl

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Forgive me if this issue has been discussed before. I'm new to this forum and did a search prior to posting. But partial information is all I could find.

I have Leopard installed on my Intel iMac. I read about using Bootcamp not for a Windows install but for Linux instead. I do want to use Fedora on this computer. So I used Bootcamp and installed Fedora Core (ext3 fs). Upon reboot after install the system failed. I went back to Bootcamp to remove the partitions and try again, only Bootcamp stated it can not create partitions and must be formated as a single partition.

Running gparted on CD I found partitions unallocated. I allocated the partitions as msdos initially since Bootcamp apparently isn't able to see ext3 partitions (or gparted either?). Now Bootcamp will offer to make new partitions, but the old one's are not shown. And the whole drive is now 6 gig smaller then before. I did find this issue here on the forums. And I tried the tricks to reclaim the partitions using GUI's and using my Leopard install disk. No help as Leopard wishes to simply reformat the drive. And Disk Utility only states an error if your try to verify (Verify volume failed: Unrecognized Filesystem) or erase the failed partitions (Could not mount disk0s4 with name after erase). Leaving silly pictures and images of a GUI behind I turned to the terminal.

In trying to reclaim my 'lost' disk space I ran /sbin and /usr/sbin utilities. I was hoping to use diskutil to merge the extraneous space back into one partition again. The command diskutil list /dev/disk0 offers this information:
0: GUID_partition_scheme 232.9 Gi
1: Microsoft-Reserved 196.1 Mi s1
2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 226.9 s2
3: EFI 200.0 Mi s3
4: Microsoft-Reserved 5.6 Gi s4

It's interesting but I find a MBR on both s1 and s4. I assume Bootcamp must have put one on while my Linux install put another one on? Which I reason might be why the reboot from the install failed. I'm also thinking that Leopard needs s2 and s3 partitions only, so s1 and s4 needs to be merged with s2. I have tried to reformat using newfs (fsck_hfs is able to run then) so as to fix these rouge partitions and get them to merge back again. But they seem to fail all over again and I am getting no where but running in circles.

Using pdisk I repeatedly find there aren't any partition tables on this drive. (pdisk: No valid block 1 on '/dev/rdisk0') It can't find the primary GPT headers. I finally used gpt recover /dev/disk0 with the drive unmounted (accessed by Firewire using our MacBook) in order to have any access to any GUID partition information. Now using gpt show disk0 with the drive unmounted will display partition information after running gpt recover on the unmounted drive. Still, I can't access the excess partitions to merge them. (again fsck_hfs fails with super block error messages)

Other then a total new install is there any documentation or advice as to how to fix the partition table? And have the partitions accessible so I can merge them back again? I hope other then reinstall or purchasing a $50.00 partitioning software package?

#2
Country Girl

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Waking today I decided to see what all this GPT and EFI stuff is really about. I admit that Intel Mac's are new for me. And all this partition stuff was getting too confusing. I have spent nearly all day researching my problem and how Apple has decided to partition their drives. I have now solved my original problem. For the benefit of someone who might review this post and have the same difficulty, here is what I did.

I restarted my Mac using the Leapord install disk. Once I got the screen where I could select which drive to install to I selected the Terminal from the menu. First thing was to dismount the drive: diskutil unmountDisk disk0

I didn't think there was any reason to merge partitions now. I would just delete the excess partitions: gpt remove disk0s1 (unmount drive again), and did the same thing for the next partition I didn't want. (always unmount the drive)

Now my drive had wasted space where these deleted partitions once sat. I can not increase the main partition because of this. So I created a new partition using the GUID for a EFI patition: gpt add -t c12a7328-f81f-11d2-ba4b-00a0c93dc93b. An Apple article states that they are not utilizing this EFI partition yet so I felt save deleting the old after having creating a new one.

Now I have 2 EFI patitions, so I removed the excess one: gpt remove -3 disk0
I now have my partitions laying on continous blocks, with a slight 34 bits of space between them. (Apple states they like 128 bits just incase, but what the hey)

Now I was able to expand the OS partition to max size which I determined using: diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 limits. Again issueing this command filling in the limits parameter with the amount of bits (in my case 24971537618b)

bless is a new unitility I'm not familar with and you can't access the man file using the install DVD. So I exited out of the terminal and selected the hard drive from the Tools menu as my startup disk and restarted.

The computer restarted with everything looking great. I ran Disk Utility to look things over, content with what I found. I also ran Bootcamp to see what it thought. All appears to be well. And I didn't need to use the MacBook and firewire to do this, although it would have been a simpler process if I had. Now my primary partition is up to 232.4Gi instead of the 226.9Gi I started with.

#3
mojo-ike

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i did lots of looking and found lots of discussions with no solutions. i had a problem with the bootcamp (and macos) not showing up in the startup disk control panel. sure, i could hold down the option key at startup and choose mac or windows, or use BootChamp (http://kainjow.com/) to boot into windows. the problem was with the Partition Map Scheme for the entire disk. it needs to be "GUID Partition Table" rather than MBR (or Apple). i didnt want to reformat the entire drive to fix the problem and then restore the mac and windows data, so i used iPartition (http://www.coriolis-.../iPartition.php). it converted the partition scheme and everything now works as it should.





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