GUIDANCE REQUESTED: 10.6/10.7/Windows triple-boot

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Alaska Jack, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Alaska Jack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone. Can anyone provide or point to instructions as to how to set up a Macbook Pro to triple boot? I'd like to install Lion on one partition, Snow Leopard on another (to use when I need to run PowerPC applications), and Windows on another.

    I'm pretty sure I use Disk Utility to create three partitions. But I don't know what order to make he partitions, do the installs, etc. Also, I understand that 10.7 will create a hidden restore partition -- does this complicate the process?

    Also, I currently use time machine to back up my one-partition disk to an external Firewire drive. How will Time Machine handle the three new partitions?

    Very grateful for any advice/guidance.

    - Alaska Jack
     
  2. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #2
    #1 Install Lion.

    #2 Go to Applications, then Utilities, then run the BootCamp Assistant. Read the instructions, and install Windows.

    #3 Load up Lion. Go to Applications, then Utilities, then run Disk Utility. Select your HDD where you will want the SL partition. Click on Partitions in the right hand window panel. Click on the + Sign for a new Partition and then select it. Rename it to whatever you want and enter the desired partition size that you want. Click Apply.

    #4 Install SL to that partition.

    #5 Enjoy

    PS: I didn't test this but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

    As for Time Machine, you can exclude the SL partition if you like, or you can not exclude it, in which case it'll be backed up. I don't know about the Windows partition but I imagine if it is mounted, you will again be able to exclude or not exclude it in Time Machine preferences.
     
  3. Alaska Jack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #3
    Very helpful, thanks! One followup question: Can I still do this if I don't actually have a copy of windows yet? I wasn't intending to buy windows for a while. - aj
     
  4. METOO999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #4
    Yes, I believe you can just make a Boot Camp partition and leave it to install Windows later.

    I didn't know that you could add partitions without formatting the entire drive on Lion.
     
  5. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #5
    you could create partitions with out formatting in leopard and snow leopard too (that's the beauty of GPT partition table). dont know about tiger or earlier since my first mac had 10.5.
     
  6. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #6
    Has anyone actually got this to work?

    I would also like to have Snow Leopard, Lion, and Windows 7 installed but as I understand it Windows will not work with more than 4 partitions. This set-up would be 5 partitions.

    1: EFI
    2: Snow Leopard
    3: Lion
    4: Recovery Partition
    5: Windows
     
  7. VTECaddict, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #7
    create the windows partition first so it will be within the 4 max primary partitions for MBR. after that you can have however many partitions you want. Windows Vista and 7 should be able to see all of them, but XP will only see the first 4, so any created after that will just not show up.

    if you have a bootable Lion install media, you won't need a recovery partition. i clean installed Lion with a bootable drive and it didn't make one.
     
  8. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #8
    Creating a Windows partition with Bootcamp will always put the partition at the end of the disk. Are you saying you can create partitions before the Windows partition and Windows will still boot?

    I tried installing Lion booting from an external drive with Snow Leopard and the Lion installer and also booting from a Lion DVD but both times a recovery partition was created.
     
  9. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #9
    the partition will be at the end of the disk, but the partition table goes by the sequence in which it was created. so assuming you just have your snow leopard partition on it, bootcamp will create partition #3 (#1 EFI, #2 SL, #3 bootcamp). any partitions created after the bootcamp partition will be #4, #5, etc regardless of the physical location on the disk. as long as windows is in the first 4 partitions created, it should boot no problem.

    are you actually booting TO the install disk? snow leopard should have no part in it. reboot with your bootable lion media inserted (DVD or external drive), and hold Alt/Option to get to the boot selector. choose "Mac OS X" to boot directly to the installer without touching SL.
     
  10. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #10
    You're right that the new partition will get a higher partition number but once I reboot the partition numbers are re-ordered and bootcamp becomes number 5.

    I've tried restoring my WinClone image to the bootcamp partition but it says that "No Windows partition found".

    BTW, I was definitely booting from the Lion DVD. What I was saying is that I also tried installing by booting from an external HD with SL installed and the Lion installer from the App Store. Both created the Recovery HD partition.
     
  11. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #11
    I tried again:

    erased HD with 1 partition
    installed Lion from install DVD
    made a bootcamp partition
    installed Windows from WinClone image

    tested to make sure both Mac and Windows boots then,

    made a new partition for SL
    Windows no longer available from startup

    I then deleted the Recovery partition using gparted from a Ubuntu disk. Windows now shows up when holding down option at startup but attempting to boot gives the error "Missing operating system".

    If Apple could have just kept Rosetta in Lion I wouldn't need to install SL but that's another rant…
     
  12. JohnDoe98, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

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    May 1, 2009
    #12
    Similarly, if Windows could just boot regardless of how many partitions there are... Why must there only be 4?
     
  13. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2008
    #13
    what version of windows are you installing? 64bit versions of vista and 7 should be able to boot from any GPT partition on an EFI based machine.

    im not sure how i got mine to not create a recovery partition, i dont remember doing anything special. except my disk already had 4 partitions from before (EFI, OS X, Files, Windows). i just erased my OS X partition and clean installed Lion to it, and it didnt create a recovery partition.
     
  14. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #14
    My Mac started like that – EFI, SL, Windows. I erased SL and made new partitions for SL and Lion. I've now reformatted and installed Lion several times.

    I also ran testdisk but still can't boot, even though there are only 4 partitions.

    Windows installation is 7 32 bit IIRC.

    I have all data backed up and am currently booting from an external drive but I'm losing patience fast. :) I might just reinstall SL and Windows and get the hint that I'm not welcome at the King's table!
     
  15. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    forget all the difficult partitioning garbage...run bootcamp, install windows, download Ubuntu windows installer, install ubuntu.

    Boot to windows, and pick windows or linux. done!
     
  16. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
    #16
    Great idea, only no one is trying to install Ubuntu here!
     
  17. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    oh, lion, leopard and windows....gotcha...I just saw triple boot and assumed linux.

    Be careful with 2 mac os drives...it can cause problems...since the OS can see both and will get confused where things are.
     
  18. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #18
    ahh, 32bit still cant boot from GPT partitions. stupid windows.

    How about one last shot...
    Delete all partitions
    Install Lion
    Delete Recovery partition
    Run boot camp to make the windows partition (dont install windows yet)
    Use disk utility to split Lion partition into two for Snow Leopard
    Install Snow Leopard
    Install Windows

    Windows' boot loader is pretty finicky. it's usually recommended to install it last in multi-boot environments so other OS installs don't mess with it.
     
  19. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Like I said, having 2 mac OS partitions is dangerous...but one thing you can do is install whichever build of Lion you want. Yank out that HDD....pop in the other OS disk, install the other version....drop your main OS into bay one and the other into whatever bay you want...you will now have 2 Mac OS installs available in Boot Disk or when you press opt at startup.
     
  20. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
    #20
    I used gparted – is there a better way to delete the recovery partition?
     
  21. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2008
    #21
    gparted should work. i think you can delete it with disk utility via terminal, but not sure what the commands are.
     
  22. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #22
    It worked!

    I think the key points were deleting the recovery partition before running bootcamp and installing Windows last.

    I ran the following terminal commands to erase and merge the recovery partition:

    diskutil list
    to get the correct device number for the recovery partition

    diskutil eraseVolume HFS+ Blank /dev/disk0s3
    to erase partition number 3 of the internal disk

    diskutil mergePartitions HFS+ Lion disk0s2 disk0s3
    to merge the erased recovery partition with the "Lion" partition
     
  23. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #23
    You should get the x64 ISO... the x86 key will work just fine with it, so you shouldn't have to pay anything extra, plus with x64 you wouldn't need bootcamp as Windows 7 x64 supports UEFI natively.
     
  24. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2008
    #24
    Nice! Enjoy. ;)
     
  25. Mac-Rumours macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #25
    If I install the x64 ISO of Windows 7 Pro on partition # >4 will I definitely be able to boot from Windows?

    I've just discovered one use of the recovery partition that I didn't realise about – activating FileVault.
     

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