Help! Have I just accidentally deleted my Mac OS X partition?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Elmzeh, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Elmzeh macrumors regular

    Elmzeh

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi Guys!

    Hope you're all well! I could really use some help from those with experience of Bootcamp.

    I've had my MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) for some months now and its everything that I could have hoped for. Early on I created a Windows partition via Bootcamp which all went well however recently I've needed to increase the Windows partition size and understood the only way to do this was to re-partition the drive and increase the size.

    So today, I used Bootcamp and uninstalled Windows and then tried to re-install it however with more hard disk space this time. I thought everything was going well until I was presented with the screen that requests that I select a drive to install to.

    4 were there, all of which said they had "No Free Space" and none of which seemed to be my OSX partition as they didnt have the same amount of space on them / free.

    I proceeded to delete 3 of them which I believed were left over from the first Windows partition and formated the Hard Disk which had the space on it that I'd chosen on the previous Bootcamp screen.

    Fast Forward: Windows was installed successfully and booted up fine however now I cannot seem to boot back to OSX... I've tried the Option/Alt button when first booting but it only brings up the Windows partition and no Bootcamp software is present when booting up in Windows.

    I've read some forum posts and have tried a few fixes like a PRAM refresh etc but with no luck... I really hope that I havent lost my OSX partition as I had many important files on there not to mention photos from a recent family holiday that I havent transferred elsewhere yet.

    I'm out at the moment but will be trying more fixes when I get home. Can anyone please advise me what to do to potentially resolve this issue and is there any way in checking If I have 100% deleted the OSX info/partition?

    I heard somewhere that I may just have removed the image but that the drive/software and files etc still remain - In this case is it just that I need to reinstall OSX again to fix things?

    I will check the post again in a few hours, the more info / advice you guys can give the better! If I dont manage to fix it tonight I will try and take it to an Apple Store tomorrow for their review;

    Any help in saving my OSX will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #2
    A deleted partition calls for disk recovery tools.
    I think PhotoRec might recover anything that looks like a picture file from your disk.
    For lost partition repair, you might want to try some specialised tool.
    There is one for free - the TestDisk - but I have no experience with it's capability to recover GUID partitions.
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec
     
  3. Elmzeh thread starter macrumors regular

    Elmzeh

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Thanks for your response although I'm not 100^ if the partition is 100% gone - I didn't do anything that would lead me to believe the OSX drive was formatted / wiped. Is there a way I can check to be sure?
     
  4. sprawl2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #4
    Can you boot into internet recovery mode by holding command+R as you start your computer?
    If you can, open disk utility to see if your Mac OS X partition is listed.
     
  5. Elmzeh thread starter macrumors regular

    Elmzeh

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Thanks for your response, I will try this again when I get home however when I tried before I left it wasn't listed

    I really hope this doesn't mean that it's gone and that I've lost all that data :/
     
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    Not that this does any good now, but in the future I would be sure and repartition/resize only from OS X as it handles resizing volumes much easier and better than Windows, especially considering Windows can't manage or resize HFS (OS X) partitions. I wouldn't have deleted any partitions from within Windows, especially if it were unable to display the partition labels to let you know what each partition was.

    If you only have a single HDD and you deleted 3 out of the 4 partitions, I think it's safe to say you wiped out OS X. This is why I always make sure I have a current Time Machine backup before making any disk changes.

    Good luck, hopefully you can get your data back somehow!
     
  7. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #7
    It's gone.

    You had 4 partitions, 3 of which were deleted, and you can still boot into Windows.

    It's gone.

    Hopefully that partition recovery tool can get you back to a state before you went a little re-partition crazy.
     
  8. Elmzeh thread starter macrumors regular

    Elmzeh

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Deleted but not formatted, surely this means the data is still there but the boot info isn't? If not then ill try 1 last effort via the Apple Store then just re-install
     
  9. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #9
    Data is still there, yes. However, in order to get it back you need to rebuild the partition table on the drive. I doubt that your average Apple "Genius" would be able to do it, or even know how to do it. You can stumble across one every once in a while who knows a lot more than their colleagues, but that's more the exception than it is the norm.

    I would use a partition recovery tool if it were me.

    Whatever you do, do not let anyone at Apple tell you that you're SoL, because you aren't ... not yet anyways.

    Also, don't let any Apple employees run Disk Utility to repartition it again to reinstall OS X. If they do, chances of getting your data back diminish greatly, and if they do end up reinstalling OS X, those chances get even worse.
     
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #10
    Testdisk usually recovers almost all. It also finds each and every partition that is on the drive. It can even find those that do not show up in partition tables any more.
    It is quite a powerful tool for that sort of problem.

    However if you killed off your partitions and installed Windows you most likely have written a lot of data over the beginning of your harddrive. Therefore your OSX partition is very unlikely to be recoverable. The data which generally ends up a bit further down should still be intact and recoverable. Restoring the partition table and reading out the non corrupted files can work or using file recovery tools.

    If you wrote any data to the drive after you deleted all the partitions and created your new big one, chances are it is not just boot info that is missing.

    Still it was a stupid decision to play with a partition table you didn't understand from within an OS which generally lacks capability to deal with any but Mircosofts own file systems. Linux would have worked. Windows is just really the wrong OS to play with non Windows file systems.

    Generally there are 4 partitions on an OSX drive with bootcamp. (Not necessarily in that order)
    #1 the 200MB GPT table - which if Windows killed it or means you change to an MBR disk and have to start a new with OSX
    #2 OSX main disk
    #3 OSX recovery partition about 600MB
    #4 NTFS bootcamp partition

    If you mess it up and immediately after use testdisk, it would restore everything back to how it should be. Installing Windows in between should write data over the first couple GB and a overwrite the old GPT partition and quite a bit more.
     
  11. priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #11
    If your photos on the disk are important to you, I would start with PhotoRec and let it recover as much picture files as it can.
    It will do a raw scan of sectors on the disk and create a file for anything it sees as a picture file. That means you will also get all your Safari cache pics/thumbnails recovered, but at least you will also do the best to recover your photos.
     
  12. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #12
    You may be able to recover data if your partition tables are just out of sync rather than overwritten. Linux geeks can help you with that. I had to do it before on my Mac. It's not the hard but I forgot how I did it.
     

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