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Country Girl

Country Girl

Member Since 15 Aug 2008
Offline Last Active May 25 2009 06:27 PM

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

16 August 2008 - 08:39 AM

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?
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