Resolved How to merge two not contiguous partitions?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by erickarroqui, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. erickarroqui, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

    erickarroqui macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013
    Good day!
    This is my first thread here.

    I have a little problem to solve and I am relatively new to OS X so haven't figured it out yet.

    I want to install Windows 7 through BootCamp.

    To do so, BootCamp Assistant tells me I should only have a single partition on the disk.

    It happens I have a second partition called "Backup" (which I created). I can't delete it for some reason. I don't exactly remember the error but it was something like "the changes are too small".

    If I do "diskutil list" it shows that I have in 1st place the original partition, in 2nd place the Recovery Partition and in 3rd place this backup partition.

    How do I do to keep the Recovery Partition, delete the "Backup partition" and keep all the files on the first partition?

    Thanks a lot and sorry for my English. :)
  2. nyolc8 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2012
    I think it's not really possible. (maybe I'm wrong but as I know, it's not possible)
  3. erickarroqui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013
    And what if I deleted the recovery partition? Will I be able to restore it later?

    Thanks for your time nyolc8!
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I don't think you can do a "live" repartition of this sort without wiping the data. Even if you could, it's unwise to attempt a repartitioning without having a backup incase something goes wrong. So you will need all your data cloned or backed up on another drive. (You will of course have a backup elsewhere anyway. ;))

    So, repartition the drive and restore your files. I think I'm right in saying that reinstalling OS X will create a Recovery Partition, if it's not present.

    One final note: a backup partition on the same physical disk as the source data is worthless. If the drive fails, you will lose both partitions.
  5. erickarroqui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013
    benwiggy, thanks for your help.

    The "backup" was just for upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion. I had a copy on an external HDD anyways. But now thanks to you I realize I have to erase everything and that's just not fun :p

    I will leave the thread open for a day just in case someone has another idea to add.

    Thanks guys!
  6. ConCat macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    What is the exact error when you try to delete the Backup partition? The recovery partition will be created when you install OS X.
  7. erickarroqui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013

    The exact error is "The requested change in size is too small"

    Thank you,

    Have a great Saturday you all.

  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Here is how I would do it.

    1. Have AN EXTERNAL DRIVE that is large enough to hold the contents of BOTH partitions.

    2. Use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of the first partition to the external drive. In essence, you are creating a "bootable clone" on the external drive.

    3. Assuming that the second partition has "data only" (i.e., no system files), you can just "finder copy" its contents from the second partition to the bootable clone drive you just made.

    4. At this point, you should have the contents of both partitions now residing on the bootable clone.

    5. REBOOT from the external clone volume. To do this:
    a. Restart
    b. As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    c. In a few moments, the startup manager will appear. Use the arrow key to select the external volume, then hit return
    d. The computer will boot from the cloned backup

    6. Now that you are booted from the backup clone, RE-INITIALIZE the internal (partitioned) drive. Choose to create only ONE partition.

    7. Once the internal drive has been re-initialized into a single partition, RE-CLONE the contents of the external drive BACK TO the internal drive.

    8. When done, you will have the internal drive as a single partition with the entire contents of the two "old partitions" now on a single partition.

    9. At this point, you can use Boot Camp Assitant to create a new partition for Windows (I have no further experience with Boot Camp, I never touch Windows).
  9. desertman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2008
    Arizona, USA
  10. erickarroqui thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013
    Wow! That is such a piece of advice man, appreciate it.

    I will do as you say.

    Thanks to everyone, loving these forums already.

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