I've made a mistake. How can I solve this problem?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Bengt77, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    The day before yesterday, I received my new iMac. The first thing I did was partition the hard drive (one HFS+ volume for Mac OS X, one FAT32 volume for Windows XP and one HFS+ volume for all sorts of stuff) and reinstall Mac OS X. Today, I wanted to install Boot Camp to install Windows XP on the FAT32 partition I had created earlier. Alas, when trying to run Boot Camp, I get the following error message: "The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume or already partitioned by Boot Camp Assistant for installing Windows."

    Fine, I thought, Boot Camp is only intended to partition your drive and to burn a cd with Windows drivers anyway. So I extracted the disc image with the drivers from the Boot Camp application package and burned it to a cd. Then I went ahead and restarted my iMac from a Windows XP SP2 install cd.

    And then the troubles arise. The Windows XP installer gives me a couple of options for where to install, but none of the options make any sense. There's an unpartitioned drive or something (can't remember the exact wording) and a drive with a size that doesn't correspond with any partition I made. Really weird stuff, if you ask me. In some old pre-Boot Camp-days manuals for installing Windows on an Intel Mac, I read that if you can only choose an unpartitioned drive or volume during the installation process, you should partition it (but should not REpartition it). Then, after a restart and back into the Windows XP installation process, you actually should see a partitioned drive and your Mac OS X installation should not be gone. But I don't want to risk losing it anyway. I mean, how do I know I won't overwrite the HFS+ volumes?

    Can anyone help me with installing Windows XP this way? Or should I just repartition my hard drive (this time with only one volume) and reinstall Mac OS X? That way, Boot Camp will surely work. The point is, I have just finished setting up the installation and installing all applications I use regularly. And, using an extremely slow and flaky internet connection, I have installed all Apple software updates. I really don't want to do all that again if I don't have to.

    Anyone? Help! And, oh yeah, I partitioned my drive using the GUID partition scheme. Should be correct, right?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    What was the size of the FAT32 partition that you made?

    There should be two unknown partitions including the FAT32 one.
     
  3. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #3
    I've made both the Mac OS X and the Windows XP partitions the same size: 100GB each. I'll try the Windows XP installer again to see exactly what it says. Also, a related question. In those manuals I referred to in my post above, I read that you might not be able to install the Boot Camp drivers using any non-Boot Camp method of installing Windows XP. Is that true? Or was that true, but not now anymore? Anyway, I'll check the Windows XP installer right now...
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #4
    Boot Camp is simply a live partitioner and driver burning application. You've already made the partition so it doesn't need to be made.
     
  5. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #5
    Okay, sounds good. I've made the partition and burned the driver disc. So, I should be all set then? How come I don't get to see an understandable partition map in the Windows XP installer then? (And no, haven't gone back into the installer yet.) Also, the size of the partition (100GB) shouldn't be a problem, right?
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #6
    Ah key thing here. You can't use FAT32 in Windows XP unless the partition is 32 GB or smaller.

    You'll see two other partitions besides the FAT32 one. One is HFS+ and the other is some 200 MB for EFI.
     
  7. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #7
    Oh, darn. And how can I format that 100GB volume with NTFS using Mac OS X? Is that even possible? I could just go ahead and use any live partitioner application besides Boot Camp to shrink the volume back to 32GB or something, but I'd rather not. Or I could just make a small FAT32 Windows partition on my external hard drive, install Windows XP on that, from withing Windows, reformat the intended Windows partition to NTFS and install Windows XP onto that. That FAT32 partition could then also serve as a handy swapping area between Mac OS X (HFS+) and Windows XP (NTFS), as they don't really support each other's file systems. Yeah, maybe that's the way to go...
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #8
    You can delete the partition and format it from within the Windows installer. Just make sure you're not deleting the correct partition and not OS X.
     
  9. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #9
    Ah yes, I did see that option in the Windows XP installer. Couldn't imagine what it would do, really. But yeah, sounds reasonable. Thank you for all your help and fast responses. I will go ahead and do it all now. Wish me luck...
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #10
    Make sure to do a quick format. You'll be waiting awhile otherwise.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #11
    Not exactly.
    Windows can use a FAT32 volume larger than 32 Mb. Microsoft artificially limited the formatting utility in Windows so that you cannot FORMAT a partition larger than 32 Mb within Windows. But you can with a Mac or Linux machine.

    Also: Bootcamp is not merely a partitioning utility. Since Apple and Microsoft use radically different disk master boot record formats, Bootcamp is necessary to create a hybrid MBR so that Windows can recognize a volume on booting. Simply creating a FAT32 partition in OSX does not make a Windows compatible MBR. No MBR, no bootable volume, therefore no Windows.
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #12
    You can read a large FAT32 partition just fine. It's just that the formatting tools provided with Windows XP won't format a partition larger then 32 GB to FAT32.

    I can't confirm your comments about the MBR.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    Echo? Echo Echo
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    I didn't see much of a need for your correction either. :p

    No comments on your use of Mb. :D
     
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #15
    Sorry about the Mb - Gb

    I understood a difference in meaning between Use and Format.
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #16
    I'll make note of that in future posts.

    Thank you
     
  17. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #17
    Okay, I'm back up and running. I ended up screwing up my whole installation. Windows, Mac OS X; everything. Did a format (NTFS) from within the Windows XP installer. Then I had to reinstall, but there was no recognizable boot volume. Yes, the Windows XP cd, but no hard drive volumes.

    Thank god for backups. Have copied over all files back from the backup drive to the Mac OS X drive again. Everything's running smoothly again. Don't know how to get this thing going then, without using Boot Camp. Why does Apple need you to have your drive formatted as one big volume? Is it so much more difficult to create a custom hybrid partition map (or whatever it is you guys called it) from an already partitioned drive than it is from an unpartitioned one? I don't get that logic.

    Is there any hope for me? Of course, seeing how fast I got everything back up and running, I could just go ahead and do a fresh reinstall again, but this time with me remembering to leave the hard drive as one large volume. Since, of course, I have repartitioned my drive with a small(er) Windows XP volume of about 20GB (well within the supposed 32GB FAT32 limit). But as I read your latest posts, this won't help me much, will it? I really need to run Boot Camp to be able to install Windows XP, right?

    Darn...
     
  18. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #18
    When I installed Vista on my Mac Pro, I did find that I needed to restore my hard drive to one large partition and then use BootCamp to partition it in two.

    I had a second 500 GB hard drive that I was partitioning as 1) 250 GB, 1) 150 GB, and 1) 100 GB partitions.

    I ended up having to accept making it one 400 GB and one 100 GB partition.

    Of course, since a 500 GB drive doesn't actually hold 500 GB of data, those numbers are more approximate than actual (due to the OS and the drive manufacturer using two different methods of calculating a Gigabyte).

    I had previously setup my 500 GB drive to hold data and projects on the two larger partitions for OS X. And, had planned on using the 100 GB partition for Windows.

    Naturally, I had to compromise and make one partition for Windows and one Partition for my OS X projects.

    So, I can say that yes you will need to use BootCamp to create the partition for you.

    Further, Windows still may not recognize the Windows partition you make with BootCamp.

    I found that it still told me that it could not find a partition it would install on. I can't remember the exact error, but I think you mentioned it above.

    So, I used the format routine built into the Windows installer to reformat that partition, and then it was even less willing to install (or try to install). I went through this routine several times from the beginning (rebuild the whole drive with a single partition, run bootcamp, format with Windows). I got the same result each time.

    Finally, I got the idea to boot from my Norton Ghost 12 boot / restore CD (yes the Mac will boot from that). Once in the Norton Ghost program, I dropped to a DOS Command Line window. In there, I used the old DOS command "Format" to reformat that partition (be sure you know what you're doing). I went with the full format since "Quick Format" had already failed. The full format of the 100 GB partition (as a NTFS drive) took about an hour.

    Upon completion of the formatting, I rebooted from my Vista install disks, and everything installed perfectly smooth.

    If you don't have Norton Ghost, and need to try the same thing, see if your Windows XP (since I think that's the one you are using) has an option to boot to a Command prompt from the installation CD.

    Then, enter the command:
    Format C: /FS:NTFS

    That will do a full format. If you wanted to try and save time using a quick format, then you could type in:

    Format C: /FS:NTFS /Q

    Understand that while Quick Formatting often works in most cases, if you're already in a trouble spot, I'd go with the full format. Sure, it takes longer, but the resulting drive will be less likely to show issues later.

    If, for some reason, you can't get into a Command prompt from your XP disk, then you could try

    http://www.freedos.org/

    Make a DOS CD and boot from that. I can't guarantee it will work. But, I've done it from PC's. And, from what I've seen, the Mac should be no different.

    If the Norton Ghost CD hadn't worked for me, I was going to try FreeDOS next. I just happened to have the Norton Ghost CD right next to me, so I tried it first.
     

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