Can't start Windows from Bootcamp

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2013
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Hello,

I'm hoping you can help? I can't boot into my Windows Bootcamp partition.

I am running Mavericks and Windows 7 Home Premium. All applicable service packs have been installed. I have a mid 2012 rMBP.

I haven't been mucking around with my boot partitions. The last time I checked I booted into Windows fine, came to do it today and no show. When I hold down the Option key on restart OSX does not show me a Windows partition to boot from. I have a little menubar utility called Bootchamp which does a one time boot of Windows, when I click this I get this error message on restart:- 'No bootable device', insert boot disk or some such.

In OSX I can see my Bootcamp partition and data. In Repair Utility under OSX I can see the partitioned Bootcamp. Under the Recovery partition I can see Bootcamp and run Repair disk on my whole disk. It just won’t boot.

I have spent some time searching the internet and I think I have a hosed Windows 7 MBR. Based on what other people have said in other threads I have downloaded gdisk and refit but I don’t understand how to use either.

Being a Macbook I don’t have a CD drive so can’t use the Windows Repair utility off my disk (but reading other posts I don’t think I even should).

What do I do to get this working?

Thanks.
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2013
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Did you go into bootcamp after you installed Mavericks or is this the first time? Upgrading to 10.9 did cause many users bootcamp volumes to be inaccessible and there are related threads further back on this forum.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1661481/
Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes, I had successfully used Windows after my Mavericks install a number of times. I installed Mavericks on the 22nd of October, I last booted into my Bootcamp partition on the 28th of December.

The link you provided is one of those I have read, and to be honest it's a little bit over my head.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes, I had successfully used Windows after my Mavericks install a number of times. I installed Mavericks on the 22nd of October, I last booted into my Bootcamp partition on the 28th of December.

The link you provided is one of those I have read, and to be honest it's a little bit over my head.
All of the solutions are tricky I'm afraid, most above your head. If it's any consolation I had an absolute nightmare restoring my dual boot setup cos of SSD failure to a larger model less than 2 weeks ago and had to start completely from scratch again and I count myself as seriously experienced. Glad I did though it flies on both OS faster than ever but I did have backup copies of my data.

If you're absolutely 100% sure you're done the boot sector you will have to convert the 7 repair disk ISO file into a bootable USB stick. I have always converted them within Windows and never within OSX. I would use another Win 7 PC and also make a bootable OSX USB as well, you are a novice playing with fire and could worse case scenario lose access to all your volumes.


Before we go there could you paste the results from the following terminal commands like on the other thread?

sudo fdisk /dev/rdisk0:

sudo gpt -r -vv show /dev/rdisk0:
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2013
2,681
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An update.

I also run Parallels and have another Windows virtual partition. So with a Win 7 ISO I downloaded from Digital River I created a bootable Win 7 USB key under this Win virtual machine using the MS tool. The key wasn't detected at all on boot up so I could't select it.

But using the same idea I used the OS X Bootcamp tool to create a bootable key using the same ISO. It was detected on boot up and I could boot into Win 7 off it, but when I selected 'Repair' (as opposed to install a new version of Windows) I received an error message, 'This version of System Recovery Options is not compatible with the version of Windows you are trying to repair'. I cursed, back to square one.

My results from the commands you mentioned (I had to omit the last colon to get it to work):-

Disk: /dev/rdisk0 geometry: 91337/255/63 [1467339812 sectors]
Signature: 0xAA55
Starting Ending
#: id cyl hd sec - cyl hd sec [ start - size]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: EE 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 1 - 1467339811] <Unknown ID>
2: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused
3: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused
4: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused

And the second:-

Disk: /dev/rdisk0 geometry: 91337/255/63 [1467339812 sectors]
Signature: 0xAA55
Starting Ending
#: id cyl hd sec - cyl hd sec [ start - size]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: EE 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 1 - 1467339811] <Unknown ID>
2: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused
3: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused
4: 00 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 [ 0 - 0] unused
Macintosh:~ stephen[removed]$ sudo gpt -r -vv show /dev/rdisk0
gpt show: /dev/rdisk0: mediasize=751277983744; sectorsize=512; blocks=1467339812
gpt show: /dev/rdisk0: PMBR at sector 0
gpt show: /dev/rdisk0: Pri GPT at sector 1
gpt show: /dev/rdisk0: Sec GPT at sector 1467339811
start size index contents
0 1 PMBR
1 1 Pri GPT header
2 32 Pri GPT table
34 6
40 409600 1 GPT part - C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B
409640 1172520960 2 GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
1172930600 4056
1172934656 1269536 3 GPT part - 426F6F74-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
1174204192 224
1174204416 293134336 4 GPT part - EBD0A0A2-B9E5-4433-87C0-68B6B72699C7
1467338752 1027
1467339779 32 Sec GPT table
1467339811 1 Sec GPT header
 
Last edited:

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2013
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Oh. Just tried something else.

I can access my Bootcamp partition and run Windows from within Parallels under OSX.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Oh. Just tried something else.

I can access my Bootcamp partition and run Windows from within Parallels under OSX.
I'm just about to hit the sack here it's nearly midnight here in the UK.

Simplest way in your case considering how risky it is trying to fix and you brick your partition setup is to get your data off bootcamp and look at starting over. if you have a windows formatted external copy the data off your Windows user folder onto it. Wipe the bootcamp folder and reinstall windows from scratch. After that in future use winclone in OSX to back up your windows volume regularly so you never get into this pickle again.
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2013
2,681
1,451
I ended up deleting my Bootcamp partition and re-installing, I don't keep any important data on there (all of that gets backed up to my NAS via Time Machine). It was a pain to upgrade with all the hot fixes though, why can't they do it like Apple?

And why does Windows suck so much in the first place? [rant over]
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
I ended up deleting my Bootcamp partition and re-installing. Nightmare to upgrade all the hot fixes. Why can't they do it like Apple?

And why does Windows suck so much in the first place? [rant over]
Hmm you have far less if you install a 7 SP1 DVD but yes there is a lot, tons more if you use the original disc. I have a copy of service pack 1 handy just like I have the OSX combo updates.

I'm a dual fan myself, 7 was the first OS ever comparable to a Mac OS and I've been using both since almost the very start. Both great at doing different things.

Windows 8 on the other hand I do not like, it will take the rumoured 8.2 update for me to even consider using it on one of my own systems for proper work apart from the testing rig.
 
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