HELP: Can you reformat your computer without the startup disk? i have the 2nd disk?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by chrl268, May 17, 2008.

  1. chrl268 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2008
    ok, i think this is in the right section - Can you reformat your computer without the startup disk?? i used boot camp to partion my mac, but i don't think it worked... as when i installed windows it formatted C and now i've lost my hard drive - which i have backed up, so not my worry, but i can't do any thing with it - haha, to quote someone else - i've turned my mac into an expensive paperweight... i have nothing to work with as i've lost half of my disks - the first one, i've got the second disk. I have the lepard disk that i updated my computer with - but it says that i can't install thing data there - probably because when i went into disk utility, it says that the format is 'Windows NT File System (NTFS)' if that means anything to anyone, i miss my mac, but yes, so does anyone know what i can do it fix it, cause i've done similar before, and i don't think my parents will be so accomidating this time....
  2. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about. Could you clarify which disk you have and which you have lost? Are you talking about hard disk or installation (Mac OS X) disks?

    Do you have a startup disk or not? Can you boot into Mac OS X Leopard normally?

  3. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Sounds like you formatted your entire drive in NTFS which is what Windows needs. Macs need HFS+ formatting and the two are very incompatible with each other. They can be made to co-exist, but you are way far from that point! When you do get this straighten out, you will want two partitions, one for your Mac, one for Windows.
    The next problem is that you have a Leopard upgrade disk but not the original Tiger installer. As you have discovered, the upgrade is useless without Tiger. So, get on the phone, net, smoke signals whatever, with Apple and plead your case for a Tiger install.
    Even if you used Terminal in Single User mode to reformat your Mac, you can't install Leopard.
  4. chrl268 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2008
    ok, second guy is right - i've lost the software install disk - the first one, as they come in a set of two, but i have the lepard upgrade cd, but that isn't working as it has nothing to upgrade... when i press alt when i start up the computer i get a grey folder that flashes with a question mark or whatever cd is in the drive (ie the windows install disk or my lepard disk - when i insert the second disk, i get the flashing folder)... the thing is that i did make a partition through bootcamp, and this is really starting to drive me nuts - i sorta did this before, where i partitioned it, then i started formatting and i realised that i was formatting my mac, not the partion so i stopped (ie turned my computer off) half way through - i didn't do that this time, but it doesn't seem to work for me, but thank you both - i think the problem is that i'm trying to do this on a imac, not a mac pro, but when i try to do it on my father's mac pro it doesn't work either... and i'm doing it all by the book!! drives me nuts... question, how'd you lose a hard disk?? i haven't done any moving of parts - i'm normally ok with computers... better than most my age anyways... Why won't windows launch anyways, when i say i've not getting anywhere, i mean it, all i'm getting when i let it start by itself is a back screen that says "no bootable drive, insert a disk and press any key" approximatly, can't be bothered going and checking, cause i'm annoyed... thanks for the help though!!
  5. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    First of all, don't touch your father's mac pro. I sincerely hope you haven't buggered it up.

    Secondly, the problem is not the iMac. It's you.

    Formatting a hard disk is one of the most destructive things you can do. Always check five times before formatting any partition on a system hard-drive.

    You apparently casually activated a format operation on the wrong partition on your system drive without checking or noticing.

    Pulling the plug out halfway doesnt make any difference, it's still buggered.

    Buy or acquire a set of Tiger install disks (they're pretty cheap on eBay, and paying cash for your mistake helps to avoid making it a second time) or spring for a Leopard master DVD (family pack?)

    Reformat your entire drive as a single partition, install Tiger, upgrade to Leopard, and go through BootCamp again, and follow procedures exactly. And get the partition right this time!

    Note: Windows partitioning uses a different system to OSX, so if you bugger up a Bootcamp Windows install, reformatting the windows partition using the Windows setup disk and restarting the Windows install won't work.

    Better to restart by using Bootcamp assistant to remove the Windows partition, then recreate it with BootCamp Assistant, then going into the Windows setup again.
  6. chrl268 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2008
    why so rude??

    if you worried about the mac pro, tell my father not to go near then, cause he's much worst than me, i'm the one who fixes the problems and sets everything up for him. I know its destructive, i've done it, its not the fact that it has been reformatted its the formatting it back thats the problem because i don't have the disks, the question was can you reformat it without the cds, and i think i got that you can't, and now its just finding them... i did notice, i just thought that i'd follow the instructions that i printed but it didn't work, for some reason everytime i partition my mac, the partition disappears when i restart it, and how is that my fault?? i go through boot camp, i've done it through disk utilities on the mac pro, i'm not that thick.. and i don't even understand the pulling the plug halfway out, i didn't do that, i turned it off at the switch (ie holding it down) i'd like to know why my father's disks won't work if all i need is a tiger install disk, cause thats what they are. I understand that they are mac pro disks but they are for the same operating system to mine, we bought them at the same time. and why would i buy a leopard install disk pack, if i already have an upgrade one. it is a single partition, thats the problem, and its not the formatting that i'm having trouble with in theory, its how do i start the process!! i don't have anything, one partition, as windows, so nothing is happening!!!
  7. chrl268 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2008
    Finishing off:

    i fixed it!! if anyone has the same problem, you're welcome to ask how i did it, but unfortunatly, i can't tell you how here (email me, ) as i didn't do it exactly legally, there are some very good tuturials out there, thanks to all those who helped, to that red tomato guy - i'm a genius, i'd like to see him hack stuff, and if he can, teach me?? haha, lol, i love learning stuff - the good outcomes are that i've now learnt how to use disk utilities well and i have a greater understanding of my mac, and now have a copy of the first install disk, and a lot of new dvd dl to play with!! ;) thank you all!!

  8. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    well congratulations on fixing it. And yup you learned a lot of stuff. Breaking and repairing stuff is a good way to learn. Just preferably on your own stuff not other people's.

    And how did I know that reformatting a buggered Boot Camp Windows install with the Windows install disk won't work? Cos I screwed my own Boot Camp XP partition myself, and had to try various things to get it to work.

    iMac uses laptop mobo and parts, MacPro uses Xeon mobo and server parts. Install disk for a MacPro won't work on an iMac. That's why you needed to 'acquire' *cough* a retail Tiger/Leopard install disk.

    Apple puts all the drivers for all the mac versions on the retail disk. The disks that come in the box with a computer only carry the drivers for that model (iMac, Power Mac, iBook, Powerbook, MacBook etc)

    PS pulling the plug or forcing a shutdown through holding down the power button are the same.
  9. chrl268 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2008

    hahaha, who said i 'aquired' one?? i used the mac pro one with the help of vim... hahaha, i know that apple puts on the drivers, i just fiddled with them a little, don't you just love disk utilities though?? haha, i love my mac!! :apple:

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