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Long Cat

Moving and Resizing OSX Partitions

6 posts in this topic

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Hi Guys,

 

Today I've been trying to rearrange my partitions to accommodate a new SSD. Unfortunately things haven’t been as easy as I had hoped they would be.

 

I currently have the following setup, which is my starting point:

 

256GB SSD

Scheme: MBR

1st Partition (196GB): Windows 7

2nd Partition (60GB): OSX 10.8.4

 

128GB SSD:

Empty

 

2TB HHD:

Scheme: MBR

1st Partition: Windows Boot Manager

Second Partition: Data

 

My aim is to get it to this...

 

256GB SSD

Scheme: GUID

1st Partition (128GB): OSX 10.8.4

2nd Partition (128GB): Second hackintosh install (to be made later)

 

128GB SSD

Scheme: MBR

Only Partition: Windows 7

 

2TB HHD:

Scheme: MBR

Only Partition: Data

 

So... getting Windows 7 over to the new SSD was a piece of cake (already done). The rest should be relatively straight forward... I just seem to be a bit stuck.

 

1. Using backups, is it possible to format the 256GB SSD, convert to GUID, restore my OSX install to the beginning of the disk and then expand the partition to 128GB, leaving the remainder for a new install? If so, how would you do it? Everything I've tried has resulted in an unbootable OS or dead ends so far.

 

2. I'm sick to death of the Windows boot manager. Until now, I've been using the EasyBCD trick to get into OSX from it. What's the safest way to remove Windows boot manager entirely and have my PC boot directly to Chameleon at power on? Essentially I'm trying to shift from a Windows PC with a hackintosh on the side to a Hackintosh with a Windows install on the side. But obviously without having to give up any of my current installs.

 

Any help is much appreciated. Cheers.

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1. It is possible, but you'd have to reinstall bootloader, as it will not be cloned to/from backup.

 

  • Clone the disk.
  • Make sure the clone is not corrupt.
  • Boot from the clone drive (or use another hackintosh/Mac) and partition the target disk (256GB SSD). An installation media could be used (USB stick/DVD)for this, but you still need a working OS X (even virtual would do) to clone back the install to the target disk.
  • Repartition the disk with GPT and two partitions (for the current OS X and for the future OS X). Note that OS X Disk Utility will not allow you to have an empty partition, so a second partition (for the future OS X) should be create at once.
  • Clone the source to the target partition.
  • Reinstall bootloader to the target drive (256GB SSD)

 

There are at least two good apps for OS X cloning/restoring - CCC (carbon copy cloner) and SuperDuper! I've had good results with SuperDuper! The only problem is that the application should be run within OS X. Again bootloader should be reinstalled too.

 

2. Set the OS X disk to be the primary boot drive in BIOS/UEFI. There should be an option in BIOS to set whichever HDD/SSD should be the boot drive. Alternatively connect the drive to the first SATA port (SATA 0/1) 

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Thanks.

 

I've been using Acronis under Windows to handle backups for OSX so far. It only backs up sector by sector (no real support for HFS+) but I've restored it multiple times to the same partition on the SSD (or simply just the entire drive state along with the Windows partition and all) and it's worked flawlessly every time. However, if I remove all partitions from the drive and then attempt to restore the OSX to the beginning of the drive, I get an unbootable drive. Booting from the SSD in UEFI fails and it just defaults to the next bootable device if finds (usually my HDD).

 

Could this simply be because I haven’t reinstalled the bootloader? You'll have to forgive me... bootloaders aren't my strong point. How can I do this without actually booting into OSX?

 

I do have a MBP, but no SATA to USB connector so that option's out for now. And I'd rather not mess with my backup HDD. Maybe I could clone my OSX install to the 128GB SSD, make it bootable, use your steps to rearrange my 256GB SSD and then use Acronis and Win8-to-go to restore Windows 7 to the 128GB SSD.

 

Update: I made a temporary fresh OSX install to the 128GB SSD. So it should now be as simple as following your steps and then restoring Win 7 afterwards. So long as I can work out how to install the bootloader.

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Update: I made a temporary fresh OSX install to the 128GB SSD. So it should now be as simple as following your steps and then restoring Win 7 afterwards. So long as I can work out how to install the bootloader.

Bootloader can be installed either manually or with installer package. I'd recommend manual method (if Cahmeleon is used), as it gives you full control other the process. it is more complicated then installer method though. There are guides on both methods.

 

However, if I remove all partitions from the drive and then attempt to restore the OSX to the beginning of the drive, I get an unbootable drive. Booting from the SSD in UEFI fails and it just defaults to the next bootable device if finds (usually my HDD).

 

Could this simply be because I haven’t reinstalled the bootloader? You'll have to forgive me... bootloaders aren't my strong point. How can I do this without actually booting into OSX?

A sector-by-sector clone of a disk does the complete copy of all the sectors present in the disk (including bootloader part). When you restore only the certain partition, only the data in that partition gets restored.

 

Bootloader (Chameleon for instance) itself consists of few binaries - boot0, boot1h and boot (plus some other important stuff). boot0 goes to MBR. When you restore the whole disk, MBR is also restored, hence OS X boots as it should. When you restore only the single partition, MBR is not restored, only the partition itself gets restored.

 

There are two most common bootloaders for the OS X on PC - Chameleon and Clover. An important difference between the two, is BIOS modes supported. Clover can be used with both UEFI and legacy mode (UEFI is preferable). Chameleon can only work in BIOS/legacy mode (UEFI mode is not supported). There are many info on both (esp. on Chameleon). Both have installers and both can be installed manually. Again google/search the forum.

 

As you have MBP, you can create a bootloader USB pen drive. This USB drive would only have bootloader installed and would serve as a temporary boot device. Once this USB is configured and proved to be working, you could copy the appropriate contents (from this USB drive) to the SSD with OS X. The goal of this USB drive is to let you boot OS X from SSD without fist installing a bootloader to the SSD itself.

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Mission accomplished. Cheers for your help, and for the explinations as well.

 

Using the USB to boot into OSX after restoring with SuperDuper, then installing the bootloader worked a treat.

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