BootCamp Snag

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sanford, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. sanford macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2003
    Dallas, USA
    Okay, Leopard, run BootCamp Assistant on MacBook. Repartition drive for a 20GB Windows partition. Partitions drive, crashes with "hold down your power key blah blah". No data corruption at all, reboots fine, but leaves a zombie partition, which Disk Utility will fix, no problem. I've done repair disk, successfully, a couple times. Repaired permissions, no problem. Etc.

    Happens every time! If there's something wrong with the GUID-formatted volume causing BootCamp Assistant to crash, I have no idea what, and the disk checks out seven ways. Since there is apparently no Mac OS X problem, and I'm all Time Machine'd up even if there were, I really, really don't want to wipe the drive, reinstall Leopard, restore, then do BootCamp. Like I said, I have a full TM back-up, but it's on an AirDisk and it would take a couple hours to do a full restore. Yawn. Plus the Leopard install time. Double yawn.

    I could just resize my main partition in Disk Utility. Then boot from XP SP2 CD and install from there, then use BootCamp to make a driver CD -- is the driver disc already on the Leopard DVD or do I have to make a new one? But Disk Utility will resize and split my single GUID partition without a reformat, but not reformat the new partition MBR, right? But if I split my single GUID partition, can I then go back in and erase the new, empty partition and format it MBR. Then just install XP the old fashioned way, booting off the install CD and pointing it to install on the MBR partition?

    Any ideas why BootCamp is choking? Maybe I should reset the PRAM, or whatever it's called on an Intel Mac?

    I guess I'll try that. Back in the day, I'd be all Warning Will Robinson! -- bad times ahead, immediately do a back up, reformat, reinstall OS X, restore from back-ups. But post-Time Machine, I'm fully backed up every freaking hour, so if the main drive wonks, it wonks and who cares? I'll have to spend the fix-it time then, but it's not like I'm saving myself any pain of losing 5 years of photos of the kids by doing it now.

    UPDATE: I think I got a workaround that doesn't involve trying out your new Dual Shock 3 Controller on every compatible PS3 game you already own while you wait for for Leopard to reinstall and then restore data off your AirDisk or Time Capsule, or local drive if you're just so 20th century (and disinclined like a smart person to back up over WiFi, even draft n).

    Turn Time Machine off.

    The deal is, so they say: BootCamp basically defrags your HDD as much as it needs must to make room for your Windows partition. In 10.5.2, it doesn't do this very well, so if you didn't just buy your Mac last week, you're going to kernel panic. The defrag code BootCamp uses is probably the same Disk Utility uses to repartition, so trying to hot repartition with DU from 10.5.2 will likely get you the same panic. But it doesn't matter because you need to repartition your boot volume and you can't do that while it's actually the boot volume. The copy of DU on your Leopard disc, if you bought retail Leopard, is from 10.5. And it works. So...

    Repair your boot volume to get rid of the zombie partition. Now, You can either do this the old way and just create an MBR FAT partition and install XP on your own. Or you can let BootCamp hand-hold for you. So now repartition your boot volume into two partitions If you're going to do it the old way, make sure your second partition is the size you want your XP partition... And I'll leave you there as you should know what you're doing.

    Otherwise, repartition the boot volume into two partitions (the + button in DU in the partition pane). Make the second one as big as possible so Disk Utility really defrags the hell out of your boot volume. (Note: you're probably going to have to play with it, because it needs at least double the used space on your boot volume available in the main partition in order to repartition. Just try to get your second Mac HFS+ GUID partition a little bigger than the one you'll want for Windows -- so that much space is totally clear. So it may fail a couple times before you find the sweet spot.) Once you're done, whack the second partition. (The - button in DU in the partition pane). So now you're back to one big ol' boot partition like you had. Reboot into OS X with your normal boot volume (your internal HDD). *Now* run BootCamp. I mean *now*, don't wait a day and go writing any stuff back where Boot Camp has to move it again. Pick whatever XP partition size you wish. It should work. It's already been pre-defragged by the un-waffled 10.5.0 Disk Utility data-mover code, so it shouldn't walk all over itself and pull a kernel panic.

    DU did go haywire on me after I unpartitioned my repartition, and Startup Disk and wouldn't recognize my single-partition boot volume as a valid volume -- except when it was unmounted, DU was perfectly happy with it, go figure. Do not panic! I ran a repair and it checked out just fine. If this happens to you, just hold down option when you restart to select your boot volume. It booted fine.

    After you do the Windows thing, don't forget to turn Time Machine back on. Don't forget to add the Windows partition to the "do not back up" list unless you want all that junk camping on your Time Machine disk. (If it's FAT. If it's NTFS, I don't think Time Machine will see it.)

    You can spend $35 on iDefrag and get the same results, but it took me less time to do all this than it would have to run iDefrag. Plus iDefrag stands as much or more chance of whacking your drive as this workaround. Plus there's about zero reason to defrag an OS X boot volume, save for this issue, so for me I'd rather not spend $35 on something I'll do once or twice, and can do faster for free.

    So that's it. A pain, though. But the huge selection of young kids' games, infotainment and edu software are typically Windows-only, or vastly cheaper for Windows (like $8 as compared to $30 for the same exact thing for Mac OS X). If they made this sort of stuff for PlayStations, there'd be no point, but there's no money in super-simple kids games and Reader Rabbits for fancy games consoles, so XP it is. The economy of it works out for us.
  2. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    Sorry I can't help with the crashes but I do know that the XP drivers are on the Mac disk. After you successfully get XP running, pop the Mac disk in and it will load the drivers. Don't forget to update your video drivers from nVidia or ATI website when you're in XP.

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