Can no longer choose OS to boot

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by daryllee, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. daryllee, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    daryllee macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2011
    I have a triple-booted Macbook Pro--OS X (10.6.8), Win7/64, Ubuntu 11.04, using rEFIt. That is, I did until about an hour ago. All of a sudden, I have no options at boot time. When I restart, I get an unusually long delay (about a minute or so), then it boots directly to OS X. I do not get the rEFIt selection screen. I also try rebooting with the Option key down, and get nothing at all; I have to power cycle and restart. When I look at the disk with Disk Utility, I can verify the Linux partition, but the BOOTCAMP partition has neither Verify Disk nor Repair Disk enabled. Strangely enough, I can navigate both partitions in Finder. So, here are the questions I can think of:

    1. Is there any obvious, reliable solution?

    2. In Disk Utility, is there a big risk in Unmounting and Remounting the BootCamp partition?

    3. The issue with not being able to Disk Utility--> Verify the BOOTCAMP partition looks like it might be significant. I don't know much about boot loaders, but I wonder if that's where the problem might lie, and if so, how can I repair that?

    I'm trying very hard to avoid panic, but since my job depends on booting into Windows, this is pretty important to me.

    Additional information:

    I can run Windows from the Parallels installation just fine. That's not a permanent solution because my development responsibilities demand high performance that Parallels is incapable of. But it does tell me that the BOOTCAMP partition itself is functional.

    When I boot from the OS X install DVD that came with the Macbook, and select BOOTCAMP as the startup disk, it will not boot; I can only boot from the MacHD partition. The Linux partition is not visible as a startup option.

    From Disk Utiility, when I select the BOOTCAMP partition and click Info, I'm surprised to see No for both Writable and Bootable. The Linux partition, by comparison, is Writable but not Bootable.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    It sounds to me like you have something that has gone awry in one of your partition tables.

    Can you run showpart (the rEFIt) partition analyzer and port the output?

    If you don't reasily have it, I put a compiled version up here: (post #6). Download it and put it on your desktop.

  3. daryllee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2011

    Thanks. On another forum I got the suggestion I needed. It turns out that just resetting NVRAM was all it took to restore proper behavior. The steps are simple: Off the computer. On the computer while holding down Command-Alt-P-R (four fingertips required for that), and continue holding them down through two repetiions of what I call "boinks", that annoying sound Macs make when they boot up. All is well now. Thanks again.

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