Windows partition no longer bootable.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Thrash911, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Thrash911 macrumors 6502

    Thrash911

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    Randers, DK
    #1
    Hello and happy new year!

    I cannot seem to find a solution to this problem..

    I had Windows running with no problem for a very long time. I installed it via Boot Camp. Today I used iPartition to shrink my main OSX partition about 8 gigs, and then creating a fresh 8 gig partition, from that new free space. That worked just fine. I did not touch the Windows partition, as I thought that could be bad.. :)

    But after that little stunt, I can no longer boot into Windows. When I hold the ALT key down during boot, to get a list of bootable drives, The Windows partition is missing. If I select Windows as the Startup Disk in OSX, it starts to boot, but halts with a blinking cursor in the top left corner..

    Boot Camp assistant will not launch, because there are more than 2 partitions, it says.. I can still access all the Windows data, from within OSX.

    So my thought is, that the partition is unharmed, but perhaps iPartition changed some parameters or something..

    Is anyone able to assist me? Are there some "hardcore" applications that can play around with boot options (or whatever) on drives with foreign filesystems?

    A Mac is not limited to two bootable drives on a physical disc, is it? :eek:

    Again, happy new year, and thanks in advance..
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    It's not a Mac limitation. It's a Windows XP limitation.

    Intel Macs use EFI and a modern partitioning scheme called GPT, while XP is still limited to BIOS and MBR partitions. I'm not sure about Vista and GPT, since EFI support was added in at a late date.

    MBR supports only one active i.e. bootable partition per disc.

    Boot Camp allows the Mac to emulate both BIOS (through the BIOS compatibility layer) and MBR thought hybrid partitioning schemes. Apparently there are some limitations to the hybrid partition scheme and the tools like iPartition have yet to fully catch up.

    B
     
  3. Thrash911 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Thrash911

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    Randers, DK
    #3
    Thanks for reply.

    I tried removing my newly created partition entirely. I then hoped that the Windows would be bootable again, but it's still not. And it's still not appearing as a boot drive, when holding down ALT while booting up.

    I then thought of the Recovery Console during Windows setup. I tried doing a FIXBOOT command. This did not help.

    There is a command called FIXMBR. But I'm afraid to use it, as it will maybe break my OSX partition too..

    Is it safe to use FIXMBR (write a new Master Boot Record)..?

    EDIT: I also tried booting my Boot Camp partition, with Parallels. Same thing, won't boot.
     
  4. Thrash911 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Thrash911

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    Randers, DK
    #4
    Hmm.. Installed rEFIt. Now it boots perfectly. :cool:
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Yeah, I should have considered that as a possibility. Just like enabling large drive support etc... on PCs you might need a third party bootloader to make up for Windows' booting deficiencies.

    Glad you found a solution that didn't involve major surgery or reinstalling.

    B
     
  6. brdonath macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    #6
    Had exact same experience as above. Please help...

    Had exact same experience as above. Could you please explain a little further on how you installed rEFIt to fix the problem. I have installed using MAC OS and installed it on the "Macintosh HD" partition. However, I have seen no changes after a system reboot. Is there anything else that needs to be done after just "installing" rEFIt?


    -Brian


     

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